No honey, they won't. Not my kiddo and from what I hear, not a lot of other kids with autism either.
This sentence has been way to much. From the get go. You see, my kiddo would in fact pick starving rather than eating. That lent itself to me doing what I call "Desperate Acts of Parenting". Think how cranky/listless and down right crappy you feel when you are hungry. Add a dash of autism and you got a recipe for an epic meltdown with poor health for dessert. Good times people! Good times. I would beg this kiddo to eat anything. I mean anything, if it meant something would pass those lips of his. How else do you think this blog got named? Fries for breakfast? Sure! They are just hash browns in stick form. Same thing! Not to mention the limited places we could grab a bite to eat ourselves that we could take him that would be quick and would be able to purchase through a drive thru window should we not even get across the parking lot without a meltdown because he saw a school bus he wanted to touch barreling down the highway. Big mean mommy that I am, I wouldn't let him run into traffic to go play on it. Plus the added bonus of those little indoor playgrounds. Nothing helps builds up your child's budding immune system by being exposed to the petri dish that is the ball pit! Hey it's good sensory work. I'll just give him a Silkwood type shower after. He'll be fine.
I started seeing the eating issues when the kiddo was about twenty months old. Being the new (clueless) mom that I was, I eagerly accepted that he was just starting to be fussy as a result of the "terrible twos" that he was approaching. Four months ahead of the game! My word! Truly he was gifted. However when mealtime became a battle that ended in tears, usually mine, I suspected it was more than just being a toddler. By the time we finally got an early intervention speech therapist into our lives to take a look at this, I was frazzled hot mess. I was desperate. Not eating was effecting EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY in this house! (Except the dog actually. Whatever the kiddo threw, boy, that puppy was loving it!) That poor therapist was probably driven to drink by the kiddo. Not a single spoon or those little Nuk brushes would go in his mouth without a major production. It wound up being one single spoon that my son would actually wrap his lips around in the beginning. If the house ever caught fire I think I would of run back into the burning flames to rescue that spoon. Even she seemed a little shocked that I was willing to feed him chocolate pudding at 9:30 in the morning if it meant something on a spoon got in his mouth. I did not care. When it came to getting him to eat, it was by any means necessary.
We are now on our second attempt at feeding therapy with this kiddo. I'm cautiously optimistic by his progress this go around. We have gotten him to try more things. He finally started used a fork correctly. Might be a no brainer for anyone else but for us it was a multi step process of learning how to accept that this sharp pointy thing was going to go in his open mouth just far enough to get the food in but not so far to gag on it or stab himself. That he would then bite down on the fork and pull it out to get the food off the fork. That he would have to manage the sensation of the different textures of the food next to feeling the texture of the metal or plastic of the fork and then remember after all that to chew his bite completely and then swallow. Repeat, repeat and repeat. It's a process.
I've kind of accepted that eating is always going to be a major issue for him but hey, what else is new. The fact that the kiddo is willing to try some new foods here and there give me some hope. Please though, please don't ever tell me he will eat when he's hungry because after nine years of this I can tell you without a doubt that he won't. This isn't him being a fussy eater. This isn't just me spoiling him. Please don't tell me to bring him shopping or involve him in the cooking because I've done both and neither have made a dent in this problem. (Much like his father, he doesn't like cooking at all.) Yeah, I already know about all those how to hide veggies in foods cookbooks. Bought a few of them too. Problem was he wouldn't even eat the foods that were suppose to be the carriers of the secret veggies. We have about a thousand different mountains to climb. It stinks that eating is one of them. Sensory processing disorder is real and sometimes it's a real pain in the ass. I'm not going to lie about that. I can never even tell what each meal is going to be like still.
Let me break it down to you this way. This kiddo is the walking french fry but there was a time that they couldn't be any other shape but sticks. No curly fries. No crinkle cut. Don't even think about steak fries or wedges. Matchsticks cut or nothing. The first time he "kissed" a waffle fry I almost wept for joy. Yeah, it can be just that complex. So I don't know what I was thinking when I offered him mashed potatoes last night. Just the inside of a fry right? WRONG!
I must of had a leave of my senses. :-)