Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A Froot Loop In A World Full Of Cheerios

I posted a link to my last blog titled "CFS, Friend or Foe" on my facebook page, and got responses to the blog almost right away.  A friend who's  twelve year old daughter also has autism, had commented on how her daughter's school has not had an IEP in place for her daughter since grade one!  They seem to think it a waste of time, but not a waste of time to call CFS on her because her little girl is "too skinny."  How familiar this story is to me...

Dayton is a tall and skinny 9 year old.  I fret over making his lunches at school, worry about his weight all the time.  I'm a wee bit over weight, and could definitely stand to lose a few pounds.  I don't think I've met a woman that's ever been happy with her weight, but when I tell you I'm a wee bit overweight, believe it to be true.  I enjoy romantic walks to the fridge...

Dayton's father on the other hand stands very tall at 6'3" and is super lean.  Not skinny, he's "one of those people" we all love to hate.  The ones that can eat whatever they want, whenever they want and never have to work out, yet looks like he's a health nut and works out faithfully...  Grrrr...

Any how...  Here's the latest email from Dayton's school with my response:

The email from the school guidance counselor:

Good afternoon Lou

Just thought I'd check in with you re Dayton's start to the day as he has been saying that he doesn't eat his breakfast and is hungry as soon as he gets to school. What is your take on this?  Thanks for the feedback.

My response back to the school:

Hi Judy,

I've discussed your email with the principal this afternoon, as I was shocked to receive it.  I've also had the chance to discuss this with Dayton.

First, I'd like to assure you as I have assured the principal, Dayton eats breakfast every morning, and it's always the same breakfast as he won't eat anything else:  a nutella sandwich, with either tea or milk (most often he ignores the beverage).  He has this every morning at 7:15am, as it takes him 15 minutes to eat.  At 7:30am, he is asked to get his teeth and hair brushed, wash his face and get dressed for school.  This takes him another 20 minutes or so.  If he has enough time, he gets to watch "YTV" before heading off to school.  He gets picked up by the bus at 8am.  Would it make sense for him to be hungry when he gets to school?

I've discussed this with Dayton.  He tells me that he arrived at the school and you had asked him what he had for breakfast, and that he told you "nothing" as a joke?  Of course I'm not finding this amusing at all.  Speaking to the principal she was under the impression that you had tried to get him to do some work at which point he may have delayed the work by asking to eat first?  I'm not sure which happened...

His lunches are always the same, as he doesn't want anything else but meat, crackers, pudding or yogurt.  I always send him to school with a fruit, which sometimes he eats, sometimes he doesn't.  I used to send him to school with snap peas or celery sticks, but he used them in an offensive way in class (placing them between his legs) and he no longer gets them included in his lunches as Mrs. P. complained of his behavior.
Here's what I do know. 
When bed time arrives, Dayton will try to delay bed time by asking for a snack.  I've combated this by offering him a drink and a snack before announcing it is bed time.  If I am asking Dayton to do something he's not comfortable with or if it's something he doesn't like to do, he will ask for a snack.  I've combated this in the same way, by offering him a snack before the task.

I've just checked his lunch bag, and he still has an apple sauce and a package of bunny crackers.  So it appears he is getting more than enough food to take with him to school.  Every day he comes home from school, he has plenty of lunch left over, sometimes he doesn't even touch his lunch. 

On weekends, Dayton most often grazes.  I find he eats more because I don't need to give him the second Biphentin as necessary at school.  One of Biphentin's side effects is loss of appetite. 

There are times when Dayton is uncomfortable, and sometimes he copes with his discomfort by eating.  He takes after me in that respect, and thankfully has his father's metabolism.

I hope I've answered all of your questions. 


Her response back to me was "thank you."  Seriously!  These are the actual emails I had sent, with the exception of substituting the word principal for the principal's name and the changing Mrs. P's name. 
There's so many more emails I could share with you, but I thought I would share this one as it addresses my friend's concern on food and weight issues.  As a parent, I feel responsible for my child's behavior.  The school knows this, and they hold me accountable for his behavior.  It seems as a parent, that no matter what you say, do, or write, there is always that unspoken insinuation that at the core of the problem is your parenting.  Although there typically is no mention of the word "irritated," you can often sense the "tone" of the email coming through loud and clear as in this one from Dayton's principal:

Hi Lou,
Dayton and I are just talking about being kind to Jack. He just flushed one of Jack's toys down the toilet and Dayton will have to replace this toy. It is a little mini figure. He can describe it to you.
He continues to call Jack names and we have talked about this as well.
If you get a chance to call, Dayton is still with me.

Yes...  because I check my email every every minute of the day...  Fortunately for the principal, I do have my email set up to alert me immediately on my blackberry, so I'm aware of an email right away, as long as I have my blackberry with me that is.

Continuing on with some of the comments made on my facebook page regarding the link to this past blog, another friend had posted a link that may be of help to you if you have a picky eater.  Her little guy refused to eat veggies or anything remotely healthy, and so she tricked him by giving him a veggie burger shaped as Mickey Mouse...  Here's the link:

Let me know via email at or by commenting on this post if there is a topic you would like to discuss.  

Consider yourselves hugged!



  1. Lou, you are doing such a great thing with this blog. Keep it up. Love you babe.

  2. Thanks Dani, it's all thanks to you!