What to do when your child stops taking their supplements?


That’s frustrating, right? You did all kinds of work to figure out the supplements and then you bought them and your child stops taking them. All right. Let’s sort that out, because believe it or not, I love when this happens.

Why do I love it when kids stop taking their supplements? Because they’re communicating with us and we need that. They know what works best for their body, but the key is to be in partnership with them. Otherwise, they might have stopped taking their supplements as a way to defy you.

Supplements are a hot topic. Lots of differing opinions about whether they’re right to do or not. Let’s not debate that in this post. Let me walk you through a scenario.

Let’s say you found a great functional medicine doctor. You did the lab test. There’s a specific reason why a certain supplement is needed based on science. And let’s say that you go to give your child this needed supplement and they just won’t take it. They might be afraid. Maybe they don’t trust you since you’ve tried to sneak in supplements and other things before. So in this situation, the child needs to trust you more.

They need to feel as if they have some control over feeling better and I actually get happy when clients go through this because if they take the time to build a strong connection with their child, then getting happy and healthy becomes a partnership. And that’s what we want. We want a partnership. Healing Autism is a team sport.

Your child has to want it as much as you do. You CAN get them excited about going to the doctor. To help with this, figure out what your child really wants to do in life. What are they feeling stuck about? Maybe they want to play a certain sport. Maybe they want to read faster, do better in school, have more friends, go on a trip, whatever it is, find their interest. What will make them happy in life? Yes, I know they might be four years old. This approach works regardless of your child’s age!

Then work together to get healthy so that your child can do in life what they really want to do. This is called intrinsic motivation. I have clients whose four year old children will remind their parents when it’s time to give them a shot.

That is teamwork!

That is a motivated child, and

That is a child who’s feeling better from a particular supplement!

Okay, so what if you’ve got this great partnership going on and then all of a sudden they stop taking their supplements? It could be a a few things:

The dose might be too strong now or they don’t need it at all anymore. Also, it might be actually not making them FEEL good anymore. A lot of times this happens with vitamins and minerals. So there’s a deficit and the doctor prescribes a certain dose and that higher dose makes them feel better until the levels are built up. And then that same dose is just too much. So that might be the cause as well. Then they might stop or not want to take their supplements because now they have too much of that vitamin in the body. They’re communicating with you. It’s great. And this is just an example.

Sometimes kids want to feel better so badly that they will take supplements that might not really be working. This is when maybe your team work with them is not too strong. So you might be fighting with them a little bit to begin the supplements. I remember I had a new client once who needed a new doctor. We found the right doctor, got a new treatment plan where the old supplements would be phased out and the new ones added. This child refused to take ALL the old supplements. They had the doctor’s appointment. He heard everything & straight up refused. And the parents didn’t know how he knew which were the old supplements and the new supplements.

I wasn’t surprised. Children with autism hear everything that goes on. So many have taught themselves to read. They are smart, but they have difficulty displaying competency. This child wanted to feel better so much and was so involved in the doctor’s appointment, but wasn’t able to communicate all that he knew until he stopped taking all the old supplements. He liked the new treatment plan. He wanted to implement those ideas and that’s all he wanted to do. Kids with autism are amazing.

When your child stops taking a supplement, start to look for a reason.

Don’t just assume that they’re being difficult. Yes, it certainly could be that at times, but most children with autism want to be healthy and they are willing teammates.

It’s your responsibility to figure out what will help them.

It’s their responsibility to take it 🙂