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Special Diets
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Special Diets

Okay, I have been told that gluten/cassein free diets are the way to go for autistic children.  My daughter has not been officially diagnosed, but all her therapists that see her weekly and the therapists who did her initial evaluation to get early intervention think she has autism or PDD.  She has an appointment scheduled with a developmental pediatrician, but we have to wait a couple months.  She has the following signs:  no eye contact, repetitive behaviors (arm flapping and spinning), toe walking, severely delayed language both expressive and receptive, staring at fans and lights, playing with her fingers, sensory issues both with touch and hearing, severe delays in communication and social skills, and no joint attention.  She does not have seizures like Jenny McCarthy's boy (I've been reading her book).  Does this diet thing only work for kids who have the seizures?  Or does it work for everyone?

So, my question is, does this diet work for all children who have autism?  I tried eliminating milk for a week, but that didnt' seem to make any difference at all.  I did not want to change her diet completely all at once, so have kept the wheat in it but have limited the wheat/gluten as much as I can to almost none at all.  Or do you have to do both at once, and how long do you wait until you see a change?  And what if it doesn't work for all kids with autism?  Do you add that stuff back in again if there is no change?

I'm really confused about the special diet thing.

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Avatar_n_tn
Works formsome seizures or not...every child is different..but no it is not geared towards just kids with seizures...takes alot longer than a week to see if it will make a difference.
Try completely eliminiting one thing for at least a couple months...see if that makes a difference.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for replying to my email and sharing so much information.  It is difficult when we are all so desperately waiting for a reply from the docors on this forum.  I keep checking several times a day and nothing.  With regard to your gluten free diet, I have read that it works for some and not for others regardless of whether they have seizures or not.  I spent up and bought many gluten free products but Reilly (almost three) will only slect some things like biscuits and show no interest in the others.  Obviously this approach will not work well for me because Reilly limmits his food preferences.  I have considered taking Reilly to a dietician to perhaps provide me with some guiding principles relating to his needs, maybe you could try this.  Just another of the many costs to consider though.  

I am reading Jenny McCarthys book too and isnt it a tear jerker.  I am glad to hear that your daughter does not experience this.  As mums we seem to become a mix of some expert in reading so many different sources, it is often hard to know what is best for your child.  I hope you dont mind me adding that from my understanding, it sounds like your daughter is showing some fairly concrete signs on the spectrum.  I hope you get a response from the forum doctor soon and good luck with your special diets!   Please feel free to share any further concerns, between us we may be able to fill some gaps.  
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I might try a dietician. Thanks for suggesting it.  If I can get a referral from the pediatrician, it might be covered under the health insurance.  Not sure if the pediatrician will give a referral or if it's covered since it's not exactly a provem health need.  There is a nutritionist (retired) in my church, though I know adult nutritionists and pediatric nutritionists are different, but maybe she'll help me out if I ask her.  Might help cut some of the costs.  She may not know about my daughter's particular issue, but I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

Do you think autism is caused by different reasons in different kids?  What if some autism is caused by immunizations, some by diet and eating stuff like wheat and milk, and other is just genetics?  Also this autistic spectrum, some of the symptoms can be so different for the different kids.  My daughter doesn't zone out, for example.  She's so hyper.  Some autistic kids are hyper, some zone out.  And then some won't allow people to touch them, and others inappropriately touch other people (one of the people in a moms group I'm in has an 8 year old autistic boy who does that).  There are two autistic kids in the moms group I go to.  There are about 90 moms and about 200 kids (I'm guestimating but I think that's pretty close).  If my daughter is autistic, that would be 3 kids in that 200 group.  Seems kinda high, doesn't it?  2 in that group, who were already diagnosed, seems kinda high.  Those 2 boys are quite different from each other, as well.  One didn't have immunizations at all, so they know that the immunizations didn't cause it.  Though if he was immunized, who knows if it would have made it worse.  One of the two moms tried diet changes and said they didn't change anything for her son.  The other one hasn't tried and is questioning whether to do it, like I am, since her son is my daughter's age.  This whole thing is so confusing.  I think kids get a follow up MMR at 4, don't they?  The first at 18 months or so, the second at 4?  Do you get the second shot?  I just want to cry sometimes.  Shots, diets, therapies.  I just feel over whelmed some days.  Am I doing the right thing?  Am I being proactive enough?  Am I trying to do too much and jeopardizing the family relation thing by being focused on therapies too much and not enough on enjoying life itself as it comes and goes?

I am getting my daughter checked for allergies next week at the pediatrician.  Don't know how accurate a blood draw and check for allergies that way is compared to the skin ***** test, but that's what we're going for.  I really don't think she has any allergies to them.  She has no gastrointestinal problems whatsoever.  Her immune system is rock solid.  She's never had seizures.  She has no diareah, no constipation, no stomach pains.  In her whole 2 years, she's had 2 ear infections and that is it.  Her little play buddies have managed to give me several bouts of bronchitis, strep, ear infections, hand/foot/mouth, and many colds.  Anya never got sick from them.  Doesn't seem to fit the whole stomach problems, and reduced immune system that other autistic kids have.  So, I'm not changing her diet until I get these results back from the pediatrician.  She refuses to eat all but a few foods, and unfortunately the only things gluten and dairy free is homemade chicken soup (which I make every other day for her) and hot dogs.  Okay, there are veggies and  fruit too, but the main course meals, she likes mac & cheese, all sorts of pastas, pot roasts that don't have too much wheat gluten but have some in the spices/seasoning that I add to it and the stuff I make to thicken the gravy up.  I also make lots of stuff with meat, rice, and veggies, and add some canned cream soups, like cream of mushroom, in there to make the foods tasty to her.  Without the added creamy soup to it, she won't touch it.  She won't eat meat except hot dogs unless it has some breading to it.  Even hot dogs have buns, too.  But she likes pot pies with the crust.  Dumplings.  Basically, to eat meat, it's gotta have some bread on it or some sort of sauce that either has milk or wheat gluten.  I don't blame her.  That's how most toddlers eat!  So, if I change her diet around, that basically means she'll be eating the same 2 or 3 foods over and over and over.  That does not sound healthy to me.  

The sensory integration therapy has been doing wonders these past 2 weeks.  I think that will do more than changing her diet will.  We started last week a touch-pressure system, rubbing her with a brush every 2 hours and doing joint compression activities, rolling her up in blankets, rolling balls on top of her, rolling her on top of balls, and bouncing her on top of balls.  Her transitioning has gotten better in last week and a half.  She'll actually lay down for a diaper change, let me brush her hair, and brush her teeth, and tolerate some other things she wouldn't before like rinsing her hair out after a bath.  I think her eye contact is also improving, but that might be from the speech/language therapy and developmental therapists as well.  The whole sensory diet thing is very interesting.  Didn't think sensory integration therapy would be so essential but it seems like it's the most important thing right now.

Hopefully this allergy test will tell me something about whether or not to try the special diets.  *sigh*  I do feel overwhelmed.  And winter coming doesn't seem to be helping since we're stuck inside.
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heh, I got sensored by the web site!  I was talking about a skin test where the stick your skin with needles, and evidently the word instead of stick, I used *****, well, I guess that is also an insulting word to call someone else to.  I just thought it was funny the web site thinks I'm a potty mouth.
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Avatar_n_tn
You have to try more than just diet change...your goan wanna try supplements as well.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ha veyou read the book/cook book, SPecial Diets for Special Kids?  It's a good resource for a lot of what you have been discussing.  My understanding re the gluten/free casein free diet is that you need to gradually wean your child from these foods, and after they have been weaned, then it usually takes a month or so to see changes.  Good luck, hang in there.  You are beginnig to figure out a complicated puzzle re your child - the hard part is finding all the pieces, then you get to try to put them together.  Best of luck - she is lucky to have you!
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Avatar_f_tn
the makers diet.. the makers diet.. the makers diet....


did i mention the makers diet?
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325405_tn?1262293778
Okay, can you give me the rundown on the makers diet?  I checked out a couple websites, and will check my library to see if Jordan whatshisname's book is there for me to check out.  Sounds like it is based on biblical principals like eating kosher and eating foods that have no chemical additives and are organic.  It doesnt' sound like bread is bad, if you get the right type of bread.  Or did I read that wrong?  I have a bread machine, so I guess what type of bread I make would be an issue... so what type of bread or pastas are okay on this diet?  If I get a pasta machine, would homemade pastas be okay?  I have already been homemaking my daughter lots of soups and breads and muffins (she can't have eggs so I really have to watch store bought stuff).  But, we still can't seem to give up pasta and mac&cheese.  Those items are staples in her diet.  Plus PB&J sandwhiches.

Anyways, if you know the rundown on the diet, I'd be interested in hearing it, if you have time to type a little. :)

Thanks!
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325405_tn?1262293778
Okay, can you give me the rundown on the makers diet?  I checked out a couple websites, and will check my library to see if Jordan whatshisname's book is there for me to check out.  Sounds like it is based on biblical principals like eating kosher and eating foods that have no chemical additives and are organic.  It doesnt' sound like bread is bad, if you get the right type of bread.  Or did I read that wrong?  I have a bread machine, so I guess what type of bread I make would be an issue... so what type of bread or pastas are okay on this diet?  If I get a pasta machine, would homemade pastas be okay?  I have already been homemaking my daughter lots of soups and breads and muffins (she can't have eggs so I really have to watch store bought stuff).  But, we still can't seem to give up pasta and mac&cheese.  Those items are staples in her diet.  Plus PB&J sandwhiches.

Anyways, if you know the rundown on the diet, I'd be interested in hearing it, if you have time to type a little. :)

Thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
the makers diet is based upon what what eaten during biblical times... only SPROUTED grain is what they are referring to.. and i dont think you can make that at home .. you can buy sprouted wheat.. sprouted sourdough, and sprouted seven grain bread from wild oats foods. or from sprouts market..  

no pasta.. unless it is sprouted..  you can buy spagetti. and other pastas that are sprouted at the same places i mentioned above..

you dont have to give up mac and cheese.. just get REAL cheese.. and buy the sprouted pasta.. i switched that as well. and my children like it..  peanut butter.. sure.. jelly .. sure.. ON sprouted bread..LOL..

there are no egg products in the sprouted grains.

you can "the makers diet" at a used bookstore .. or at a place like barnes and nobles... its WORTH it .. believe me.. if you think of it in food terms.. it costs only 9 boxes of kraft macaroni and cheese.

its just not eating processed foods.. food with additives.. and preservatives... no more pork.. you can eat beef.. vegtables.. fruits.. dairy.. lots of stuff..

to be perfectly honest with you .. its just eating whats right.. its eating foods that nourish our bodies.. that dont bog us down.. and its  eating like those big time docs like dr oz say to eat.. it just that that as a society.. we tend not to listen .. because fatty processed food tastes..SOOOO >>> SOOOO GOOD..lol.

i mess up alot .. i will be honest with you .. and i pay the price for it..lol.. i have started back on the makers diet again.. and i cannot tell you how much better i am feeling again.. only two days into changing what i eat.. and i feel so much clearer.. and so much healthier.

there are some things that are difficult to totally take out of a childs diet.. and you have to learn to comprimise..lol.. have you tried goat milk? you can add some strawberry quick to it.. even though the diet doesnt call for that.. like i said  before.. soemtimes. you ave to comprimise...lol..

it would be best for you to just get the book... there is SO much information  that would prove to be very useful to you .. and your entire family concerning what you eat..

i wish you the very best!! hope i could help!!




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