Thursday, February 02, 2006
I will continue....
I went to a speaker last night at the Autism Society of Minnesota about adapting a gluten and casein free diet for people with Autism. It was very compelling and also earth shattering for me. We are still trying to come to terms with the "A" word around here. It's been a very difficult road already and we've just gotten started.
There is evidence to prove that some children with Autism have some gatrointestional problems that prevent them from digesting gluten and casein properly and that contributes to the Autistic behavior. Some people have found that by cutting out these items from thier diet, it can reduce some of their Autistic tendencies. There is some very compelling evidence showing this link. The earth shattering part of it is that you have to completely cut out gluten (found in wheat, oats, barley, malt and rye) and dairy (all dairy!). That's no small feat! The good news is there seems to be a lot of products on the market to make this possible.
The meeting itself reminded me of the movie Fight Club. A room full of people with a common thread- parents of children with Autism. Was I really a part of this group now...or will this dream end? The emotion in the room was palpable. The tears of joy hearing about how a child had such a positive reaction to the diet. The glassy-eyed stare of information overload.
So we're starting with baby steps for Lowell. Over the next few weeks we are eliminating dairy and gluten from his diet. We'll then see what changes we see. I've heard to really access the impact, after a bit, re-introduce a wheat or dairy product and look for a behavioral reaction. Interesting stuff. So this is another part of this journey for us and we'll see how it works.
So today has been a day of meloncholy about how different Lowell's life may really be. How much effort this is going to take, by all of us. I try to tell myself, "He's just Autistic..it could be so much worse." But just Autistic, doesn't quite cut it yet. I haven't wrapped my arms around that.
I will continue to try to make peace with it. I will continue to make art as a way to express myself and keep me strong. I will continue to hug my son endlessly and thank him for all the lessons he has already taught me. I will continue to be energized by my daughters bright eyes and contagious smile. We will continue...