Our 11 year old daughter is ASD and has an anxiety disorder. She hasn't been to school for months. We are in the process of trying to get her an EHPC to go to a special school which can provide for her needs. She's very bright. Our main problem is that she resists doing anything she doesn't want to do to the point that she won't leave her room. Getting her to eat is a problem since she's been on sertraline which has helped her anxiety but taken her appetite away. I've tried getting her to leave her room to eat but she'll literally not eat or drink all day so I end up taking food to her in her room facilitating her not leaving it but I feel like a bad parent if she's hungry and thirsty. She won't tidy her room but freaks out if I try to. She generally shouts at us every time we go in there. She locked herself in the bathroom for 7 hours the other day because we said she had to take a screen break. She's obviously unhappy but we also feel she manipulates us. We don't know where to turn or what strategies to try any more.
My daughter went through something similar when she was in middle school. She's in high school now doing better but still depressed. We r hoping to find online friends she can talk with or text. She also doesn't like to t screen breaks.
Hello NA S66776
I am sorry to hear that you are struggling with your daughter's eating.There is an advice page here on the NAS site about issues around food, that you can find here - https://www.autism.org.uk/about/health/eating.aspx - which offers some advice on how to try and communicate changes in diet to children, underlying environmental, sensory and social factors that might play a role in picky eating, and different strategies to try and control portion sizes and help your child accept a more varied diet. There are also links to other resources from the NHS and books that NAS recommends on the subject. Hopefully there might be something here that will be able to help you.
In addition , you may like to contact our Autism Helpline team who can provide you with information and advice . You can contact the team via telephone on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor. Alternatively, should you prefer to send a message, you can do so via their webform:
I hope you find some of this useful
Hello, I would suggest you join the Facebook group Autism Inclusive Meets.
Here is their web site.
Here is their Facebook group.
All the best, Graham
Perhaps it might help to have a chat with her? Ask her why she's acting in this way. Explain why she needs to take necessary steps. Ask her what help she needs from you to achieve these goals. This can help rebuild confidence and reduce anxiety.
It would be best to discuss your daughter's appetite with your GP. Alternative medicines may be available and may not have side-effects.
We've faced something similar. It can take a while for the situation to improve and your daughter to return to her happy self. Have patience.
I'm so sorry she's not feeling great still. I think an online group would be great. Stay strong.
Thank you so much, I'll take a look at the website and I didn't know there was a helpline. Thank you again.
Thank you, I will.
Thank you. I am always trying to talk with her but she just says, 'I don't know'. I will speak with the psychiatrist but I think sertraline is the only drug licensed for children with autism in the UK. Definitely worth looking into though.
just like to reply to you as i have a son with same problems will not leave room and eats and drinks there too. i have moments when he comes down, i find it hard to get him out of house and missed school for over a year. he has left with no exams co,s he would get aggressive and angry when raise voice and pressured into anything out of room. i am still no better off too, over time it has got a little better but i just like to say hang in there and your not alone he has autistic and sensory progressive disorder
It may well be that she doesn’t know. Perhaps look into alexithymia.