Withdrawals and other fun stuff that go with GFCF

GFCF is not cheap in anyway and there is not much variety. I’ve been excited to come across new foods that say gluten free, but alas they usually contain casein. I was going out of my mind trying to figure it all out. My son was such a picky eater and I mean picky. He had maybe 3 foods he would eat at the point that we started and I worried so much that he would just refuse everything and start to starve. But I knew what these foods were doing to him and I couldn’t let that go on anymore. I had to go back to basics. Fruits, veges, meats and snacks from scratch. Not easy and it takes so much patience to work through trying all these foods to find ones that your child will eat. It’s slow going and you will constantly be worrying if they are getting enough, if they will constantly refuse to eat anything but ‘restricted foods’.

It will get better and it does get easier. The worst and –I say this with all the love in the world- most annoying part of it all is the withdrawal. They may get angrier, stim more, cry more, self injury more and when you get down to the nitty gritty, they will hunt out ‘restricted foods’ like a crackhead looking for a fix. I am not kidding. My kid hounds me when I eat bread and goes for playdoh or any not so edible thing that has gluten or casein in it. I’ve heard of kids licking the newly polished floors because they can literally smell the gluten in the wax. I’ve heard so many stories of children eating things, you would not imagine had gluten or casein in it. You have to be on constant watch; daycare, school and just being at someone else’s house could inadvertently cause an ‘infraction’.

A really good tip if you are on your way. Approximately 6hrs after an infraction you will start to notice signs. This has helped me countless times when trying to figure out what food he was ‘reacting’ to, when I started to see him ‘react’ I counted back about 6hrs and would find out what he ate. I removed the food and no more ‘reactions’.

Now on to the good stuff. If everything goes accordingly –the diet works for your child, you have made sure to remove all ‘restricted foods’ –you may not see the same improvements if you are doing a slow diet- you will start to notice some or all of the following: Less/no – headbanging, self injurious behaviour and hitting, pinching, biting of others. Less – meltdowns, headaches, stimming, stomach pains and waking up in the middle of the night screaming/crying. More – eye contact, focus, speech, awareness, interaction and imaginative play.

Now remember, you could see results right away or they could take a few months. Gluten and Casein are in many, many things so it’s good to recheck what your child is eating when you are implementing this ‘diet’. Also Remember that it’s not just about gluten free, casein has the exact same effect. Good Luck.

GF/CF Getting Started

I’m sure at some point you’ve heard something about the ‘autism diet’, touted sometimes in such extremes as the miracle cure or a load of crap. As usual, somewhere in the middle is the truth. We can get right down to the science of it later but for right now let’s talk a little more personal.

Now first off, there are a few things that need to be made clear.

This may not be right for your child

You don’t have to go all hardcore about it to start

You can do tests to decide beforehand whether to start

Things will get worse before they get better

So first thing, you need to determine is whether this is right for your child. Take a week and really watch your child, there are a few things you should be watching for. WARNING: this can get a little gross.

Does your child have many, very few, or regular bowel movements?

Does your child rarely have a solid poop?

Does your child’s poop have a very rancid odor, is it very often runny, is it ‘acidy’ – burns the skin on their bottoms?

Does your child’s urine have a very strong smell?

Is your child underweight and/or have a bloated belly? (an example would be, like the children shown on those feed the children infomercials)

Does your child have a limited number of foods they will eat?

Does your child eat an abundance – a lot of or only – these foods; Pasta, milk, cheese, breads, cereal – basically any obvious milk/bread foods – an example would be a child that drinks say 10+ glasses of milk per day and only wants to eat pasta and cheese

If this is your child it would be worth it to give the diet a try. You can work at it slow or go cold turkey, but please remember that your child WILL go through withdrawals. I believe the bigger the cut out, the worse the withdrawal can be. So it could look like doing this is making it worse but please give it some time, this is a good sign. You can start out small and just remove drinking milk and then move on to removing bread and pasta. We did a trial run to know for sure after seeing all the symptoms for our son. After a week of just taking drinking milk out of his diet, he started to look us in the eye again. Not everyone will be this way but the more you take out the more results you will see and seeing is believing.