So, so much to catch up on since joining the PTA. I've sort of sucked in keeping this blog up only because in the wake of so many things happening at once with school, my mind sort of goes to "hibernate" mode much like a computer. I think they should start giving out free shots of espresso to all moms and dads in an effort to keep them up with all the information and, well, STUFF you are inundated with on a daily business. Having a child in school is basically like having a second job. Or fourth, depending on how you look at it.
But it becomes even more challenging when your speech delayed son is also not acclimating at the pace in which you'd hoped. Challenging and somewhat heart-wrenching. I really think the problem started off with us not exactly explaining that the new school had nothing to do with his old school. Expecting familiar faces then being met with a bevy of strange ones would set anyone on their ass a bit. (Of course I'd pay money at this juncture to find my days filled with strange faces but that is another story in and of itself.)
Anyhoo, it's been a transition. That is for sure. And those one or two autistic tendencies that my brilliant child has seem oh so more definitive set against a backdrop of totally typical school kids. So now we have to readjust his IEP and have conversations with teachers and principals that quite frankly make me itch from head to toe.
In the interim of all of this, I've been "boning up" on my biomedical research. For those of you who need a point of reference, think Jenny McCarthy. I read "Louder than Words" in the course of an hour at Barnes and Nobles a few weeks ago and I really wish someone had given it to me sooner. Any child with any kind of developmental delay be it speech or something more significant, could benefit from the wisdom of Ms. McCarthy and the other mothers like her. If your child has ADD, ADHD, behavioral issues of any kind, PDD/Autism, SPD, OCD, or is just generally "out of sorts" sometimes and acts like maybe they have invaded your home from a faraway planet, many of the biomed treatments may help you.
No one knows what causes autism and it's brethren. There is speculation that it's vaccines; metals in our food system; caused by mothers with any auto immune deficiency (ex. allergies!); or just an inexplicable neurological disorder that cannot be repaired. Well, that last part is bullshit. And there are hundreds of moms out there who can prove it. Now I can't say I know for sure what causes the "A," as we call it in this household, or any of the others. I don't know that we will ever have a definitive answer. But the evidence of the first three is there and it could be all of them, one of them, a combo. I don't really know and quite frankly that isn't my issue at present. Right now my issue is just to go at this with the knowledge I have and live from this day forward. I will deal with the why later.
So we are going gfcf (gluten-free/casein-free). I found a great plan online to get you gfcf over a ten-week period so as not to:
Oh, hoorah. I do so love it when I can avoid those two things. We area already on DHA/Omega 3 supplements and a mega vitamin full of B12 but we are just beginning our research into the potency and benefits of Vitamin C, all the B vitamins, Cod Liver Oil and such detoxifying methods as Epsom Salts. Now I know there are stronger ways to detox the body of mercury, but first we have to know if that's a problem and we haven't had that test yet so I'm not trying to jump into anything without a "full" education.
The DHA/Omega 3 makes a difference in attention span and increases speech, that much I can say for certain. I don't know that we see much difference with the vitamins but I think once we go to a full on B Complex liquid, we will.
As for the diet piece of this puzzle...it just makes sense to me at this point. Especially the casein portion of it. I am so wickedly lactose intolerant that it actually pains me to eat ice cream (something I fully intend on taking up with G-d when the time comes)and it runs in my family. So it would make sense that my little man might have a really hard time processing the stuff. This can cause all kinds of issues with bowels, digestion, moods, irritability, sleeping, etc. Quite honestly, I have absolutely no qualms with giving up cheese...not only because it attempts to tear my innards to shreds but because, think about it, it's kind of gross isn't it? I've been virtually cheese/dairy product free for almost three weeks now and I can tell a big difference. I am hoping that it's as easy for him to give up as it has been for me. We will be replacing milk with rice milk and I've just discovered from another mother that there is quite tasty rice cheese. Ok, that sounds gross. But hell I'll try anything once.
Now the gluten part of the equation is going to be a much higher mountain to climb because if I didn't know he wasn't, I'd think my beloved child was Italian. He could live off of pasta and garlic bread if I let him. Granted, his blood is probably at least half garlic anyway considering the vast quantities of the stuff I consumed in my lifetime before getting pregnant not to mention WHILE pregnant. And when it comes to pasta, I don't even mean mac 'n cheese, for which I think he'd forget about pretty quickly. I mean gourmet ravioli and penne with fresh parm and pepper. His middle name should be penne. The kid is truly a junky for it. So far, our venture into rice pasta has been seriously horrific. A gelatinous mass of rubbery noodles is just not something you want to force on your child...hell, I don't know that I'd force it on my enemy. So, yeah, I'm aware that this is going to be huge, life-altering and extremely experimental. But I put my kitchen aid mixer under on arm and my gfcf cookbook for kids under the other and I say,"bring it on!"
Luckily, the smeeky (one of many nicknames I have for my son; the others include but are not limited to: mr. baby, smurfy murphy, shmee...the list goes on)is doing pretty damn well in school now considering our rough start. He's only doing half days until he gets through his separation anxiety issues (which manifest themselves as aggression more often than not) which seems to be working really well. He's got a great teacher and is having a lot of fun. His speech is expanding and he seems to be more comfortable in social situations. We haven't necessarily informed him of this diet overhaul yet but we did let him pick out some gluten free options at the store tonight and for the first time ever IN MY LIFE, I have Bratwurst in the refrigerator. Yes, recovering vegetarian, party of one.
It's going to be a high protein, no/low preservative, organic, gfcf extravaganza over here, people. I may have to lovingly remove the phrase "Golden Arches" from my husband's vocabulary and pry the pink Baskin Robbins spoon from my child's steel like grip but if it "recovers" him, I'd myself give up chocolate tomorrow. Now, that my friends, would be something.
lots of gfcf love,