I am a mum to two little children, one of them got an ASD diagnoses in the spring 2017.
As soon as we knew our son needed help I started researching. Autism is becoming very prevalent and I decided to share all the links, books, places and people who I came across and we found helpful, or I think others might find helpful. Please message me if you have other information and we can grow this list and hopefully help some little (or big) people in a similar situation.
I am not a therapist, not a doctor, I give you no advice but only share what I wish I knew 2 years ago. Here it is (it’s a work in progress)
90% of children on the autism spectrum have digestive problems. Doctors will tell you that it is not connected in any way, but don’t believe this. Our kids often have “leaky gut” syndrome, with their gut lining being permutable and leaking undigested food and toxins into the body and brain. If you child has constipation or loose stools then definitely look into this. Our son’s behaviour is very closely linked to the state of his tummy (bloating, stools). The funny thing is, when I first started doing research on this I was completely convinced that there was nothing wrong with my son’s gut. Yet the food sensitivity test showed that he reacted to 60 foods and “leaky gut” was clearly written in comments from the lab.
This test is not done by your GP or NHS paediatrician, so you need to find a practitioner to arrange it for you if you are interested. Our practitioner is Nijen Aksel. She is also the person helping us with adjusting our son’s GAPS diet as needed.
We first started with Gluten free/casein free diet, but only lasted 2 months on it. After a huge improvement in our son’s behaviour, literally within 24 h, after 2 or 3 weeks he started going back to his old challenging behaviours. I believe this is because what we typically serve the child on the GF/CF diet is gluten and milk free food from the supermarket “free from” section. This food is full of sugar, harmful ingredients, colourings and flavourings. All to make it more like “normal” food. Time to reexamine our idea of what NORMAL FOOD is. “Normal” and “common” are the not same things. There is big difference between slices of organic apple and apple flavoured corn rings lovingly advertised as the perfect snack for little fingers. Coke, boxed juices, diluting juices, chocolate milk, vanilla drinking yogurt, milk shakes, crisps, things with neon colours are not food, they are food like products. Don’t give them to your kid whether they are on the spectrum or not. Water for a drink is perfectly fine, even better if it’s filtered at home and not kept in the shop in plastic bottles for years.
The bottom line is: diet makes a huge difference for our kid (and our life as a result). We use GAPS diet, but there is also SCD diet, proper GF/CF diet (by proper I mean free from processed foods). If you strongly believe that your kid’s body has nothing against gluten or milk, try removing those 2 for 2 weeks and see what happens. If nothing, introduce them again, but stay away from everything fake (just read ingredients list)
Have a look at this video post by Dr Greger for some scientific data:
This is another huge influence on the quality of your life and your child’s life and behaviour. Most parents when first realise that their child is not developing in a typical way go through grief, anger, sometimes guilt, blaming, sadness. We have been there for too long. Here is what helped us to get out of that horrible state:
“Happiness is a choice” by Barry Neil Kaufman- fantastic book that changed the way I see life and world. I have on audible and go back to it when I need to.
The Son Rise program is now available online! It’s the most amazing tool for creating meaningful interactions full of respect, love and acceptance.
Insight timer – free app for meditation. This is my go to tool to relax and works magic, even if I only have 5 minutes. I do meditate daily, typically using guided meditation, most of the time I am lazy and tired and do it while laying in bed. And it still works.
I’m working on adding notes on:
- Sensory processing differences
- Biomedical treatments
- Speech therapy
Come back soon for more!