HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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How can I bottle break him without causing him extra stress?

"My son Jacob has aspergers (high functioning). He turned 3 years old several months ago, but still is in diapers and takes a bottle. How can I bottle break him without causing him extra stress?"

In general, Aspergers kids can try a cup at 6 months and be weaned off the bottle around 12 to 18 months. It does vary from child to child, and it is up to the mother to decide when to encourage the change from bottle to cup. The things to look out for are when the baby can sit up for themselves; obviously drinking from a cup is going to be near impossible when baby is still lying on his back. Also, your baby should be taking bottle feeds at regular times. You should also be noticing that your Aspergers child starts to show a real interest in the food of others.

Aspergers kids being bottle fed are more likely to suffer from tooth decay. So, it is important to not allow your him to carry on bottle feeding longer than is necessary, but don't force the issue - remember, weaning your Aspergers child of bottle feeding is a gradual process. As your youngster develops, the nutrients he requires change. He will not get these nutrients from bottle feeding alone whereas he will get more than he needs from solids. Finally, Aspergers kids who delay the transition from formula to solids may have difficulty developing appropriate feeding skills.

How do you wean your Aspergers child off the bottle?
  • At age 8 to 10 months, substitute a 'sippy' cup for a bottle at one feeding during the day. Choose a feeding when the Aspergers child usually drinks just a little, rather than a major mealtime. Use this same feeding time to use the cup every day for a week. Remember, routine is key.
  • Be patient. Help your Aspergers child to hold the cup and tip a small amount of liquid into the child's mouth.
  • Consistency is key to successful weaning. Be sure to give the Aspergers child the cup at the designated feeding time and don't switch back to the bottle at this feeding.
  • Gradually introduce the cup at another feeding, slowly decreasing the number of bottles the Aspergers child receives.
  • Some Aspergers kids may need to suck as a way for them to control their behavior. This sets their mood to accomplish certain tasks such as sleeping, concentrating and running. Some Aspergers kids may continue to suck on a pacifier or bottles of plain water for the first few years.
  • Wean your Aspergers child during a relatively stress-free time. It is not a good idea to start when a new sibling has just arrived or when the family is moving to a new house.

What can you do to make weaning easier?
  • Be a positive role model and drink from a cup with your Aspergers child.
  • Buy cups with handles, spouted lids or baby cups with straws to make drinking easier.
  • Offer other comforts such as a soft blanket or stuffed animal or play soothing music.
  • Spend extra time cuddling with your Aspergers child during the weaning process.


1 comment:

Andrew said...

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