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Schoolboy who only ate chocolate bars and Nutella is cured by hypnosis

A fussy schoolboy who only ate chocolate and crisps his entire life has finally had a proper meal – thanks to hypnosis. Eight-year-old Rocco O’Brien munched down on Cadbury’s chocolate bars, Nutella spread and Pringles salty crisps - all washed down with Nesquik milk. He would scream and be sick if mum Heidi tried to give him other foods to try and would burst into tears if he even held a chicken nugget or any vegetable. Heidi, 45, became so desperate for help she contacted hypnotherapist David Kilmurry who specialises in curing obsessive eating conditions. Rocco was diagnosed with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) and underwent intensive hypnotherapy treatment. After several two-hour sessions, his diet had begun to expand and he now has ten foods which he is willing to try. Heidi, 45, from Ipswich, said: “Rocco’s food fussiness started as soon as we started weaning him. “He was gagging on everything and was avoiding certain foods. “I was one of these old school mums who weaned them at four months instead of six. I tried him later but he didn’t want any food. “He wasn’t just refusing food, he was sick with it. We couldn’t go to restaurants, he couldn’t be in the same room as food. The smell, the look. “I used to open his hand and put pasta in it and he’d just scream like I’d put spiders in his hand. “He didn’t eat it or anything. He only just held a chicken nugget six months ago and he cried. “He’s got a sensory processing disorder and his senses are heightened. He’s been hit with all of them. He’s afraid to touch most food. “He just had bottles of baby milk. That’s all he’d have. We got him off the bottles of milk at about six. “We went to the dietician, they suggested Nesquik powder because they can have a lot of vitamins. “The professionals weren’t interested, they were awful. “I came across ARFID and the dieticians and psychologist agreed that’s what it was. They hadn’t heard of it. “I’m a mother and they looked at it like it was my fault. They told me to basically starve him. I was fighting a battle with them. “I felt like people thought I was a bad parent, it was all that was running through my head. “My first concern was it was just sugar. We had to give him drops to put in the milk and he’d know. “He’s got autism and a lot of autistic children have beige diets. This was way more. “He did eat a beige diet of dry cream crackers, bourbon biscuits. Then it started to turn chocolate. Coco pops and chocolate. “His diet is chocolate spread sandwiches, coco pops, quavers, ready salted pringles, bread sticks and bread rolls. “It just depends what he’s feeling. It could be two pots of pringles in the morning. It could be coco pops in the evening.” Heidi, who runs a property management company, said it was only matter of luck that she finally turned to hypnotherapy to help Rocco conquer his eating condition. Heidi, who has four other children with husband Chris, 45, added: “A couple of weeks ago we were camping at a caravan park and girl at the shop asked about Rocco because we were trying to find him something eat. “She asked if he had ARFID and said she had it but was now cured after meeting David. I booked Rocco a session with him that night. “After just two sessions he’s tried baby spinach, apple, pear. These are things he’d never try. “Rocco does a 1,2,3 thing. You cut them up in three tiny pieces. It’s just to get them with a tiny bit in their mouth. “Before I used to pile it up on his plate. He’s tried a different cracker at home, with a different texture. “He likes those now. He’s trying things like crackers but different ones.” Hypnotherapist David said: “It was an honour to meet and work with Rocco and his family who travelled a big journey here which in itself is an achievement having autism. "Rocco was very relaxed and happy to eat the foods immediately after the hypnosis a pleasure to see him eating pears as if he’s been eating all his life."