I am the mother of two adorable autistic children, Caroline and Barrett. At 2 years old Caroline was diagnosed as autistic. My mom thought she had a hearing problem. Matt and I noticed she didn’t look at us. We watched other kids run to their parents when they came home from work and Caroline would glance at us, never turning her head, with her peripheral vision. Barrett was a newborn then. At 9 months old, we knew we had a problem with Barrett too. Unfortunately, we knew it was autism AGAIN.
Immediately we started the GFCF diet and a regimen of supplements and a lot of ABA. Poor little Barrett was so little when we started him on ABA (around 18 months) and Caroline was till in diapers when she started.
We saw gains. We had slips too. I could never figure out what the missing piece was. I saw other autistic kids who were “better” than mine and they were NOT on any special diet. It was all very frustrating.
Autism is a very lonely, lonely disease. My family support is amazing. My mom and my sisters were the ones who cried with me for days then, when it was time, they told me to “get it together” and “get a plan” (with their help of course).
I think the moms carry the burden of the treatment. I think the dads carry the burden of the disease. By that I mean, I meet so many moms who, like us, are so determined to recover their kids. Dads too. But it’s different in a way. I think they feel the impact of the disease. We do too, we/I just choose to deal with it differently. Oh and just out of curiosity, when do you stop looking at a child, any child, a kid on the street, a little neighbor kid, or a kid walking down the sidewalk, and stop wondering why is that child normal? Does it ever happen!
Anyway, about a year ago, when Caroline and Barrett had just had their birthdays in June of 2007 a friend of mine sent me a link to the Body Ecology Diet. I read it briefly and then closed it thinking I just cannot try one more thing. It probably won’t change the kids so what’s the point. Well, of course, us mothers don’t have the “I-Don’t-Care” gene in us so I ordered the CD’s and was even more intrigued.
It took me about one month to actually start the diet. It is a little daunting. When I finally did, the kids did not like it. Barrett actually didn’t eat dinner for two nights in a row and threw himself on the kitchen floor when I put a salad and the CVs in front of him. Again, as a mother of two autistic children, I don’t have the side to me that gives in easily. By the next night we all had a terrific, CALM dinner. From there it was easy! They now eat very well. They eat very, very well! I am so proud of them.
The most important thing I noticed was the focus and attention span. Both kids were “on” more than ever. Caroline, in particular, would have these “spacey” moments where she would be silly, laugh and be in her own world. I used to wonder why this would happen when she was on the GFCF diet. Well now I know.
After I had one phone conversation with Donna I incorporated two new supplements into their program and changed a few things with diet. THIS IS THE BIGGEST GAIN I’VE SEEN IN BARRETT EVER! He started talking more. He would look right at you (and still does), wave and say, “Hi”. And he is more engaging with us and his sister, pulling her hand, taking us places. His nanny and teacher have both commented on this.
Another thing that I have noticed that is so important is he has lost his impulsivity. He would dart into streets, or climb on things that were inappropriate, … He doesn’t do that anymore. He is more calm. That, in turn, allows him to focus better.
Caroline too has had advancements since we started the diet as mentioned above. In addition, she is putting together concepts better. For example, you can tell her about something we are doing in the future, ike going to the Beach, then the next day she will remember it and talk about bringing her bathing suit and the friends she will play with there. She will bring out her suitcase and ask if it’s time to get ready. A whole lot more development with this. She seems more mature.
Well we are only in our 8th month of the diet and plan on continuing for life if necessary.
And for the record, I don’t always post or reply when I don’t think my response is meaningful enough, but if I didn’t have this group to turn to I don’t know what I would have done. I have read the posts at 2 or 3 in the morning. I have read them on the weekends. I read them every day. It is such an incredible support group;
nothing like I’ve ever experienced. We truly want to help the other people in the group by passing on knowledge and information and tips. Those tips are great!