My teen daughter is cognitively impaired with type one diabetes. She is pretty low functioning.

She will steal food when we are stores, other people's homes, and from purses. I have seen her eating out of the garbage and off the floor; it doesn't matter to her.

We have tried counseling and she is completely lost there. She just says nothing or babbles about nothing.

We have tried locking the cupboards, put up motion detection up and alarms on doors; but she just shuts them off. She has outsmarted me on every attempt.

It would be different if she would take just one or even two items but she takes everything and eats it all in one setting.

I should mention she is a adopted foster child and came to me at ten. The problem has gone on for a long time before me.

I can't be the only one who has this problem. HELP oh she does not purge. Her weight is increasing and if I put her on a diet I am afraid it will make the problem worse.

  • 1
    Are there any resources available to you as a foster parent? I know that fostered kids sometimes comes form environments where food is scarce so they hoard it. Maybe the fostering agency has some advice for the general case - of course you have extra issues on top of that.
    – Ida
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


I am not a doctor, and this forum is not a substitute for getting medical advice. If you think your daughter has a medical problem, you should seek care from a competent medical provider.

That said, has anybody mentioned Prader-Willi syndrome to you? It is a genetic disorder that results in a person always being hungry. Characteristic of PWS is "low muscle tone, short stature, incomplete sexual development, cognitive disabilities, behavior problems, and a chronic feeling of hunger that can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity" (source: PWS website). It has an estimated prevalence of 1:18,000 in the United States (source: PWS website).

Here are some other resources on PWS that might be helpful:

Again, let me be really clear: only a qualified medical practitioner can properly diagnose your daughter. This answer is meant to give you a potential avenue to explore, if you haven't already explored it with your child's doctor.

This is only one of potentially many medical underlying reasons for your daughter's behavior. I hope it helps you get on the right track to find the correct diagnosis (whatever that is) for your daughter.

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