Drinking | Autism PDD


Do any of your children drink all the time? Jason my four year old is constantly asking for a sippy or drink and if we tell him no, he goes and gets himself one out of the fridge.  He would much rather drink then eat any day of the week and I am going through a five gallon bottle of juice, 1 1/2 gallons of milk, 1/2 case of water ever 2-3 days.  It is like he never ever gets enough fluid.  The cashiers at the grocery store laugh at me because I walk out every week with two gallons of milk, two five gallon juice bottles, 5 packs of juice boxes, and a case of water. Our OT actually recommends drinking from straws as a form of sensory
stimulation. Regular drinks work OK, but a thick smoothie, and a hard to
suck sippy cup are the ideal combo. She said there are more nerves in the
jaw than any other place in the body (some connected to the inner ear) and
sucking provides excellent stimulation. Don't know if this is why your kids
like drinking so much, but thought it was interesting enough to share.

Not to be alarmist, but excessive thirst can be a sign of diabetes:


Tony is a big drinker, although my oldest (NT) is as well.  I have asked the doctor several times over the years about it and had the boys tested for diabetes as well, since it runs in my family.  One thing I will point out, both boys are more "sippers" than "guzzlers" if that makes sense.  So essentially, they most always have a drink at hand, they don't drink it all down at once then go back for more.  Overall, I don't think they are drinking a tremendous amount more than any of the rest of us; just smaller drinks more frequently.

BTW - the doctor has told me in their cases it is more about dry mouth than anything.


Have you mentioned this to his pediatrician? Excessive thirst is a sign sometimes of medical conditions. Also ask for a consult with a nutritionist and have them let you know how much he needs at his age for nutrition purposes. I have also found with My little guy is that it will become a ritual and he will request food when he is not hungry just because it is something to do. Most of the time he will eat it if I let him. The other morning he ate 5 bowls of cereal plus hashbrowns and bacon. I have now limited his cereal to one bowl. He must then eat his bacon and hash  browns. Also I still dilute Caleb's juice to about half or less than half juice and the rest water. He may be just drinking because he like the taste. Good Luck!!!!!

YES, and when she wants a drink she WAnts it!  We have to give it to her straight away or she will have a melt down, in fact she will stand at your feet and wail the whole time you are making it.

Thirst is probably her number one reason for meltdowns and apart from her fave dvd's drink is the main thing she requests.  She used to drink up to 2L of fluid a day but now we try and limit it at least a bit.  But she would still definately rather drink than eat.

We always dilute her drinks with water too, milk and juice, and cordial is very weak.
Both of my kids ae the same way the have to have a drink all the time on is auttisc the outher is not, but im the same way I have a drink with me all the time, with steven that can also get what he want out of the fridge I put it on the top shelf and fill his cup with water and he ofcourse doesn't want it when there is water invlvolved but ohwell he wines about it and puts it back in the fridge and just simple tell him no juice and he wines and I ignoe it. My son is a big drinker too - but then again, so am I.  Maybe he gets it from me.

I would't worry so much about that as long as you have it checked out and it's nothing medical.  My NT 2 1/2 year old neice also is exactly like me and always has to have some kind of drink.  Sometimes she wants a sippy cup where she has to suck, sometimes she wants a cup with a lid and a straw, and sometimes it's just a normal cup she wants.  I think because she can ask for that and we know exactly what she wants, it's habit for her to aks for it. 

I don't know, just initial thoughts!

Anyone concerned about juvenile diabetes - pay attention to how much your
child pees, not just how much they drink. When the body has too much
sugar in the bloodstream, it desperately tries to flush it out by peeing A
LOT. This severely dehydrates the body, causing red eyes, tiredness,
extreme thirst. Juvenile diabetes comes on dramatically like this, within a
week's time. It does not have a slow, sneaky onset like adult diabetes. =o)

Lachlan drinks copius amounts during the day. I give him lots of water and occasionally diluted juice/cordial. Always diet brands. He has a water bottle that he takes to daycare, but if I let him have that at home he drinks the whole lot in one go and is then looking for more.

He also likes milk.and very rarely he is allowed a soft drink (with lots of ice and again always diet).

I had initially thought that Lachlan so was so focussed on getting a drink because it was the only word we understood and so he would repeat it....but since he has been able to say other words we recognise it hasn't slowed down any so who knows?


I'm glad you've looked at diabetes, and that's not an issue. However, if
he's drinking a LOT, not just a normal amount stretched over the day, I'd
be concerned about water intoxication, or polydipsia (http://

It's not all that uncommon in people with developmental disabilities. In
the home I used to work in, one of the men (who was autistic and bipolar)
had this condition. We had to put shut off locks on all the taps, and
measure his fluid intake. Basically, people with this condition drink
enough fluid that it upsets their electrolyte balance, and they get,
essentially "drunk" from it. The sensation caused by the electrolyte
imbalance can be addicting. This is a serious condition, which can cause
long term health complications.

When my foster son (who has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and is severely MR)
first moved in, we had some issues with this - he'd stand at the tap, fill
his glass, and drink it over and over until you stopped him. It was
sensory, but he was getting intoxicated from it. We removed access to
the kitchen, and after a few weeks, he stopped trying so desperately to
get at these large quantities of water.

However, your kiddo would have to be drinking a LOT for this to be a

Donnys mom........... I heard similiar to what you mention recently when I was on a diet

For us as adults I think there was a danger in drinking more than 4 litres a day - this would have to be halved for a child I would assume. Lachlan would easily drink this amount if i let him.


Thanks that is what I wanted to know.  I have had them both tested for diabetes since it runs in my family but they don't have it.  So I was just curious if other kids with autism did this to.
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