This is not a story about a child’s heroic efforts, calling 911, or lifting 10 times one’s body weight. It’s a story of “autism prevented” when Andi, a smart mom in Pennsylvania, applied early intervention techniques prescribed for her first child, Peter, to the whole family.
I spoke with Andi right after Christmas. She called me after receiving the results of IgG testing that evaluated her younger boy’s sensitivity to almost 100 foods. “You were “right on,” she related. I had suggested that she have allergy testing for her 20-month-old, Micah, with a chronic runny nose and apple-red cheeks. He’d already had several ear infections and the doctor had mentioned that tubes might be in his future. I recommended immediately stopping all dairy products.
Testing revealed that the younger boy was highly reactive to gluten (the protein in wheat and other grains) and casein (the protein in dairy products, as well as to eggs. The test she used is available from Alletess www.foodallergy.com
and can be done at home with a quick finger stick.
“How do I cook for a highly allergic child?” “Easy.” I said. “Use REAL food!” Sticking with organic protein from poultry, fish, beans or grass-fed animals, and pairing it with greens and some rice is the way to go.” I know… he’s a picky eater, and so are many kids. This is where you have to be creative.
Transitioning from traditional mac and cheese to organic, gluten- and dairy-free mac and cheese is not hard at all with the great products out there. Go to www.autismNDI.com
for recipes and Lisa Lewis’ books, Special Diets for Special Kids
, Vol. I and II. The ultimate goal is REAL, not processed. Try The Kid Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook (www.devdelay.org/booklist.html#health)
I just got off the telephone with Andi again. A week into the new regime both boys are doing SO well. Peter, diagnosed a year ago with mild autism, is now indistinguishable from a neuro-typical three-year-old. Prior to the diet, he had received other treatments that I will write about at a future date. An elimination diet, for him, was the icing on the cake.
Micah, the baby brother is the miracle. With a younger and more malleable neurological system, a mere week of elimination had turned his health around. His skin and runny nose were less problematic, he had better color, and was pooping more regularly. I suggested some essential fats and probiotics to round out his program, and gave Andi the name of a nutritionist to consult with.
“Knowing what I know now,” exclaimed Andi, “I truly believe that Peter saved his brother.” I agree.