Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 2

As you know, Alex, has Asperger's syndrome. This is considered an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Meaning that it is related to Autism, but not exactly. Things that can help or hinder Autistic's also help or hinder people with Asperger's. Alex has been seeing a councilor for just about 2 years now. And even though there is definite improvement when he is going once a week, with his birthday he has slowly started to decline. The negative behaviors associated with Asperger's have been getting worse. In watching him, I feel like a lot of this has to do with hormone shifts in his body. He has just been generally struggling more and more.
In trying to help figure out a better way to live than him freaking out all the time, I started research into diet alternative helps. About 85% of children with Autism benefit greatly from a Gluten Free/Casein Free diet. (Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other related grains and Casein is a protein found in all dairy products.) What happens with many kids is that these proteins don't get broken down all the way and then hang out in the blood stream creating a morphine type drug effect when those foods are eaten. This effect enhances the negative behaviors. Just think about anyone you have seen on drugs and then imagine this happening every time your child eats cheese or bread or milk.
So what does this have to do with us? Well we, as a family, have started into the new world of being a Gluten Free/ Casein Free (GF/CF) Family. After researching for awhile, Marc and I decide to do it in steps. If Gluten and Casein are affecting your child, then within a few weeks there is a noticeable difference in behaviors. If it doesn't then there really is no change and you go back to eating what you used too and try something else. It takes about 3 week of being Casein free to see a change and about 2-3 months of no Gluten.

We started with the Casein Free yesterday. Marc and I felt that it would be better to go through the with-drawl period while still on break. And I say with-drawl seriously. If there is problems with this protein then the body had drug like with-drawl symptoms, making the first week to week and half more like HELL week. After two days on NO DAIRY at all I would say that we are having some with-drawl. I have been screamed at more in the last 24 hours than I have been in the last week. I have to keep telling myself that this is good because it means that the changes we are making may make a difference.

Luckily I am not re-inventing the wheel when it comes to cooking GF/CF. Many, many people have gone before and there is a lot of product available in the regular grocery store these days. There are also lots of recipe blogs out there to help me on my way. I will keep you all posted on our progress, both good and bad.

To some this may seem like a drastic change and I suppose it is. BUT for me and most parents, you will do what it takes to make the quality of life better for your children. And this is where we are at. I am trying to keep my son off of mood stabilizing medications for as long as possible. He just turned 10 and I am doing all I can so that he doesn't need to spend the following 70 years on medication. I am not ruling it out but I am doing everything else to make a difference first. I also feel that these changes will make a difference for Marc and Sam. Marc has always been borderline ADHD and we have started the process of getting Sam tested for the same. This type of diet change has been shown to improve the lives of the those with ADHD as well Autism.

So here we go. Day 2 is on its way. Wish me luck and I will take all the recipes I can get. :)


Wendy said...

hope it works!

Nana S. said...

Good for you. It is certainly worth a try and a challenge for all of you. We will pray for the best results. Did you ever find a support group on the net or locally. Your aren't alone you know. Love to all.

Debbie Murdock said...

I believe in this stuff!!! We have no idea how certain foods affect us until we start paying attention to it. Hang in there and be strong!!

AJ said...

You can do it! I hope the things I sent are helping for the gluten-free stage. I have decided to do better this year on my gluten-free eating and limiting sugar. I'm on day 2 as well. Not perfect, but better. Let me know if you have more questions and I'll see if I know the answer. And if you find anything really good on gluten-free, please pass it along. lol

Becky said...

I'm rooting for you!!! Hoping this makes a difference.