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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3327
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
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My 12 year old son has always been a very fussy eater and will

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My 12 year old son has always been a very fussy eater and will only ever stick to the foods he knows he likes. But now he it even refussing to eat some of those. For example, he will only take packed lunch to school and then will only have a cheese sandwich or crackers but most days the lunch comes home untouched. I know this is probably because he is sick of having the same types of foods. But how can I get him to try different foods if he completely refusses? He is currently seeing a Dietician which is having no affect whatsoever.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

CoachJenK :

I am sorry to hear of this change within your son. Has he lost weight? Has he talked about his body as a source of discomfort? Has there been any recent changes for him that have affected him emotionally?


 

Customer:

I don't think he's lost weight but he is quite thin anyway and has no muscle definition. He doesn't say anything about his body at all. He has recently moved to high school, but he says he's really fine with it. In fact he says he's really enjoying high school.

CoachJenK :

Have you taken him to the pediatrician for a check up and to discuss this? I know you said he is with a dietician. My concern is that this is more psychological in nature and that is why even with the help of the dietician and all of your help in the home he is unable to make any changes.


 

CoachJenK :

It is hard to think that young boys can develop eating disorders but it is possible. When did this change happen around the food and did it coincide with the move to high school?


 

Customer:

Yes I agree that it is most probably more psychological but he has always been very fussy even from when he was put onto solids as a baby. So I think it started when he as a toddler and just gradually become worse. He has also recently seen someone from CAMHS who has now discharged him but she said that he would probably benifit most from seeing the Dietritian, but I disagree. Should I take him back to pediatrician?

CoachJenK :

I would take him to the pediatrician and ask their opinion about a possible eating disorder. I am with you and agree on this that if he could do it then working with the dietician would be beneficial but as you can see there isnt any change which says to me that there could be something deeper going on.


 

CoachJenK :

I would also let the pediatrician know that he isn't able to make changes even while working with a dietician and you bending over backwards in the home to do whatever it takes to have him eat.


 

Customer:

Would they then refer him to a psycologist and if so what kind of things would they suggest?

CoachJenK :

I think it might be a good idea to have him seen by a psychologist...If they find that there is something deeper going on for him that is is using this food refusal as a way to express it, they would work with him to understand what these emotions are and to work through them in a different way rather than using food to do it.


 

CoachJenK :

If he has the place to talk about it all then he has a great chance of getting these symptoms under control.


 

CoachJenK :

While i cannot be sure that he has an eating disorder it does seem like there is something going on for him...some sadness that prevents him from being able to eat. Does the dietician give you a report on how he is in their sessions?


 

Customer:

No. In fact she asked if I would not bring my son to our last session as she wanted to speak to me without him being present. She then told me to back off and put our meals in the middle of the table and let him choose what he wanted. But it didn't work, all he did was sit there and refuse to eat anyting (which I thought he would). She than advised me to give him a multivitamin with iron (the iron is supposed to make him hungry) but he won't taken them.


 


Do you think that it is not just that he is a fussy eater? Could it be more a phobia maybe?

CoachJenK :

This sounds to me more that just a fussy eater. Fussy is not liking a certain food but complete refusal is something deeper. I strongly suggest he be seen by the pediatrician and a psychologist to understand what is going on.


 

CoachJenK :

It is hard for you to pull back as your concern for him is so strong and rightly so.


 

CoachJenK :

Often in therapy with a child who has an eating disorder we do suggest that parents let the child plan and do his own things around food. Very difficult for you because you know he wont eat, so you step in and the battles develop and the cycle continues.


 

Customer:

Who would I go to to have him referred to a psycologist?

CoachJenK :

i would start with the pediatrician as they may work with people that have a specialty in food related issues.


 

CoachJenK :

where in the uk are you?


 

Customer:

Leeds, West Yorkshire.

CoachJenK :

Let me check for a moment. I am still here with you in chat while I look.


 

CoachJenK :

Here is a link to therapists in your area that work with people who may have an eating disorder. Again it is difficult for me to say that he is suffering from one but i do believe he needs to be evaluated. http://righttherapist.com/dir/therapists/west-yorkshire/eating-disorders/


 

Customer:

Okay. Many thanks for your help.

CoachJenK :

I know how scary it can feel but I do believe you will feel relieved when he can be seen by someone with this expertise.


 

CoachJenK :

Come back to me anytime and let me know how he is doing.


 

CoachJenK :

Please take a moment to click on the rating tab to offer a rating of my work...my goal has been to give you excellent support.


 

CoachJenK :

when you complete the rating you will get a copy in your email of this transcript so you will have the link


 

Customer:

You have given great support and more confidence to go ahead and make a better decision. I will get back to you if I require you help again.


Thanks.

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