The boy who only eats KFC skin for 12 years; please help this family!

There is a local story that is causing a lot of discussion about bad parenting, special needs, and nutrition. There is a 20-year-old man, who has essentially only eaten KFC skin, and more recently also fish batter, for the past 12 years (since he was eight years old). He has cerebral palsy and autistic-like traits, as a result of oxygen deprivation at birth. He functions around the age of a two or three-year old.

His family has taken their story to the press. They are asking for advice from people who have been through similar situations, or professionals who might have new advice.

You can watch the full video here. Please do watch it all, it’s less than seven minutes long. If it won’t let you view it (I’ve heard that some people have struggled to view it), please let me know and I’ll add more details to this post. I just thought it best to let the parents tell it in their own words as much as possible. I am still searching for a version that I can embed to this post.

The main reason for me sharing this, is a plea to my autism community to offer up help to this family if you can. Like me, many of you have struggled with the eating difficulties that come with autistic children. You’ll need to watch the video to understand the challenges, what they’ve tried so far, and indeed to fully appreciate the desperation these loving parents have to find a solution to this harmful problem.

I’m also sharing this story with a deep sadness, having seen the horribly predictable reactions of the public to their plight. On this discussion thread alone, you’ll see people attacking their parenting, saying intellectual disability is no excuse, even saying that what is happening is a form of child abuse. These parents take the drastic step of reaching out publicly for help – exposing their story and themselves – and they get attacked for their honesty. It’s those sorts of reactions that stop parents asking for help. And it’s those sorts of reactions that drive home how important autism awareness is, and how far we have to go.

So please, if you can help this family with new advice, or support them somehow through this problem and the attacks they’re currently suffering, then do. If you want to email the program that ran the story to get your message to the family, their email is

If you want to try to talk to the dad directly – on the off-chance he’s still monitoring the thread – he has popped his head in on the discussion happening here. He’s posting under the name harepeka.

Please do share this story with others who might be able to help too. Thank you xxx


Kim Wombles has re-posted the story over at Autism Blogs Directory, with the video embedded.

This entry was posted in Attitudes to Autism, Parenting an Autistic Child and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The boy who only eats KFC skin for 12 years; please help this family!

  1. Jean Nicol says:

    I would love to try to help this family and perhaps The Eating Game would be part of the solution. I would want to communicate with the family first to see what other issues might need to be addressed first and plan how to have maximum opportunity for success. They can contact me on facebook at!/jean.nicol1 or through my website

  2. christina says:

    I have a daughter with ASD, non-verbal, and appears to be developmentally delayed. she has enormous difficulties around food. I completely undersand what your situation is and support you and understand you.
    Textures is a really big deal with kids with these issues. It apparently also has to do with the act of eating– my daughter will only chew with her front teeth, in a sort of odd way, and neer on the molars.
    for the fis 7 years she only ate pured baby food. spits out everything else.

    It is only ecause we managed to get her to eat MINIGOs (like yogurt, smooth consistency, no fruit chunks) that we ae able to hide medicines and supplements in her food.

    to help with BMs, we use Benefibre– it is clear and colourless and you can’t taste it in water. it now comes with added B vitamins for helping break down food– which would help your son a lot!
    We have found supplements that go undeected in minigos which have helped a lot. imporant for the brain is omea 3 fatty acid high in EFA. Webbes makes one that is orange flavoure and the fish smell is completely neutralized. This could be put into a minigo for your son and you would slowly increase the amount of omea3 over time.
    Benefibre also makes Beneprotein – another thing easily hidden in the minigo. this is the only way we get protein into our daughter. we also put in the same time a digest enzyme (which has plant enzymes for specifically breaking down protein for metabolizing). this is very important for keeping our daughter’s BMs regular as well as enabling her body to properly use proeins in the body. without he proper enzymes, the body cannot meabolize and use the protein properly ( scientiss have found the build up of some proteins in ASD brains and recommend taking digest enzymes for them).

    I don’t know if this helps, but I hope so.
    also, if your son etd constant constipation, it could be because his brain cannot tell the muscles in his intestine to coordinate and work properly. so SENEKOT can be crushed and added into a minigo…but just a very little so he won’t easily deect it. it also comes in a chocolate flavoured liquid bur our daughter wouldn’t take it.

    It has been many years of trying to find ways of etting some nutrition into our daughter hat has led us to this point in her diet. I hope tat this might give you some ideas. you can contact me if you wish.

  3. KWombles says:

    I put up this story on the Autism Speaks forum and some great ideas are coming in; I hope you can share the link with that family:

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