Hi my 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with high functioning autism in August 2017. She has never drunk much and says she never experiences thirst. This resulted in her being hospitalised this weekend for rehydration. Even though my daughter is very intelligent I can't get her to believe that she needs to drink more. Even though she ended up in hospital she had no physical shmptoms of dehydration, it was a blood test that highlighted it. As far as my daughter is concerned no physical symptoms = not important. Has anyone else any experience of no sensation of thirst with their ASC CHILD/adult? Thank you.
I’m the same. I’m currently in bed, aware that I’m thirsty, but I won’t get a drink. The thought of it seems preposterous. I only know I’m thirsty when my mouth is so dry and I get these severe headaches, but it doesn’t change anything, I still won’t drink. To be honest with you, I’m not worried. It’s not the ‘not drinking’ I need to tackle, rather the reasons why I don’t drink and I’m doing that. I’m 50 and have been this way all my life, never knew what hunger was and still don’t, so I don’t expect it to change so what I need to do is find a way of fitting food and drink into my life which doesn’t stress me out and that’s gonna take some time, but I’m working on it.
Find a way to be able to communicate the necessity to drink, in a way your daughter can understand and relate to. It’s no good saying you need to drink to avoid illness or whatever, that means nothing to me and likely won’t mean nothing to her. Be patient and find ways of communicating the importance of this to her and work with her to empower her with independence to manage this herself even if you have to use aps etc. I was never taught why I needed to eat, as a good, just that I should eat, which is no good to me. Even after more than 30 years of studying food and diets, I am only just able to relate the need for food etc to me so I’m now only just working out what’s best for me. It might sound crazy that I didn’t understand I needed to eat, I did on one level but not in a way that was meaningful to me.
It's very interesting that you say telling her to drink to avoid illness or dehydration would mean nothing to her as this is absolutely the case. It is difficult for me to understand that because I know she is aware that to stay healthy you need to drink but until she has some physical symptoms I don't think it would be a reality for her. I think some of Blade's suggestions might help her. She has also suffered from anorexia for nearly 2 years, which may be related to what you say about not being hungry. She says she does get hungry but it doesn't bother her. She doesn't feel the need to eat just because sheis hungry and I don't think she will take her anorexia seriously until something drastic happens. Having said that 9 weeks in a Childrens hospital and 14 months as a CAMHS inpatient doesn't seem to have been drastic enough for her to overcome it! It is an ongoing battle.