I've been doing a lot of research lately on the GFCF diet and the positive effects that it can have on people with autism. For quite a while I have put it off, because it is hard to implement, it's expensive, a lot of food is hard to find (our Whole Foods is an hour away), you have to be SO strict about it (kids on it can't even use certain school supplies because they use gluten in playdoh, some kinds of glue, etc) and many other reasons.
BUT I have finally decided that this is something we need to do. It's an experiment of sorts-one that needs to last at least 6 months- but hopefully we will see at least SOME results before then. Even the smallest improvement would make me happy, but I am really hoping Jackson might start talking.
In case you don't know, gluten is a protein in wheat and casein is a protein in milk that are causing health problems for some people who basically cannot digest these proteins. They can experience stomach problems, skin rashes, hyperactivity, self-stimulation, and other issues that many children with Autism Spectrum Disorders have. (Trust me when I say that is a very vague description of the issue and there are MANY books and websites dedicated to more information about it). We have thought Jackson was lactose intolerant and have been limiting his dairy and giving him Almond Milk instead of cow's milk for over a year now. His tummy troubles have gotten much better since then, but hopefully he will improve even more when we completely eliminate it from his diet.
We haven't started the diet full-time yet- we will start after he gets out of school and we get back from visiting family. So far I have been researching appropriate foods, finding out which stores near me carry what & what I can order online, and I've bought a few things for Jackson to try. So this month we will be experimenting and next month Jackson will no longer be eating gluten or casein.
So far he really likes Pirate Booty Veggie Puffs and he even ate a grilled cheese tonight made with GF bread and rice vegan cheese! He is a very picky eater so I was surprised he even tried them! I also made a batch of GFCF blueberry pancakes to freeze for his breakfasts this week. He hasn't actually tried them yet, but I did. I thought they were pretty good but next time I am going to add some pureed banana to make them a little sweeter.
I know this wasn't the most interesting post ever, but I want to try to keep up with our progress and any improvements that Jackson makes as well.