I can no longer say I’ve tried “everything” to help my kids, until I try this. There’s so much evidence about the damage gluten and lectin causes to cells and the behavioural consequences to those on the autism spectrum. I can no longer walk around blind folded. Going gluten free is something we have to do. If nothing else, I can say I’ve tried it.
Don’t get me wrong; I have “tried” it before. Different bread, no processed carbohydratey type goodness. But it lasted a week. A very LONG week.
I want bread! I want a donut! I want pancakes! I want pizza!
Because the problem is, when you’re allergic to something, you’re often addicted to it. My boys are addicted to wheat.
This time around I’m doing things differently. The whole house is going gluten free and I’m doing it one food group at a time. And experimenting, ensuring that it tastes really good, because this time, I’m doing it too!
Week One changes:
Gluten Free Bread – Kids are happy because they get to eat white “bread” for the first time in their lives. My Husband thinks it tastes like cake, and I don’t eat bread anyway, so no change for me.
Gluten Free Self-Raising Flour Pancakes - Our school holiday staple is now gluten free and will also make a handy lunch box pikelet treat when school resumes.
Gluten Free Pizza Bases – Different but ok!
Gluten Free Noodles – Packed with potato starch – Fail.
Gluten Free Choc Chip Cookies – Fail.
Gluten Free Bread Crumbs – Great for fish and chicken crumbing. A definite win!
Week Two changes:
Gluten Free Rice Noodles – Verdict unsure.
Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets – AMAZING
Gluten Free Rice Cakes – I love them, everyone else thinks they taste like cardboard.
I am yet to find the right noodles and start baking my own gluten free cookies. But both of those things will be in week 3.
Slowly as the cupboard is emptying of wheat and gluten products, they’re being replaced by alternatives. I’m thinking this process will take about 4 weeks. In my resistant to change house four weeks is fast. It took me a whole year to convince Casey to try eating a cupcake!
The effects of going gluten free though have already started to appear. I’ve been wheat free for a while now, so I haven’t noticed too much change. My husband noticed an “intestinal” change within 3 days. His body is a lot happier.
As for the boys, it’s been a bit of a struggle. I’m wondering if there’s a detox process going on, as they are even more highly-strung than usual. Time will tell how going gluten free will impact their lives, but if all of the research I’ve done is true, it should be positive.
The journey doesn’t end here. It’s just the beginning. Next is going dairy free, followed by introducing about one million supplements (okay, slight exaggeration). Probiotics, antibiotics, Omega 3, vitamins and minerals all carefully measured to bring my boys’ bodies to prefect health.
Mental health doesn’t start in the brain. It starts in the stomach, and ends in the brain. If I can heal their stomachs, I can heal their minds and hopefully we will all find a little more sanity!
Tests, especially those involving blood, are no fun for an eight year old. I hated subjecting him to it. It also cost me 2 Lego Mixels and a medium sized box of Lego Movie inspired bribery.
Tests this week were:
QEEG Brainmapping – Quantitative Electroencephalograph
A diagnostic tool for mental illness showing reliable EEG differences between ADHD and non-ADHD children and sub-types of ADHD. You get a multi coloured picture of your child’s brain that shows you which part of their brain is functioning and which bits are switched off. It can also tell if you’re a psychopath. We’re still waiting on the results.
T.O.V.A. – The Test of Variables of Attention
An objective, neurophysiological measure of attention. It is a 20 minute long, very simple "computer game" that measures your responses to visual stimuli. These measurements are then compared to the measurements of a group of people without attention disorders who took the T.O.V.A. Bailey had two T.O.V.A.’s, one without his ADHD medication and one with.
Blood Tests – Five Vials of Blood Worth!
Gene Testing, Fatty Acid counts, Iron, Copper, Zinc and Selenium levels, Vitamin D and B6 levels, Co-Enzyme Q10 and Homocysteine levels. The list goes on. Hundreds of dollars in testing which we will know results of in about three weeks. It took two visits to the pathology lab and 10 cups of water to find the blood vein of gold they were looking for. The Emla numbing cream helped with the pain, but the Lego reward bribe helped more.
With all of these tests I will have a definitive starting point. A scientific Point A of where my son’s heath is. In twelve months time I will be retesting and measuring to find Point B. I hope that the journey is tangible. Physical. Visual. Evidential. Above all, that it’s beneficial. I want to help my son. I want to get him out of the emotional, mixed up world his brain is currently attempting to function in.
For a behaviourally challenged eight year old, Bailey is being extremely accommodating. Bailey understands he has ADHD, and he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t like feeling out of control and he’s constantly worried that he might hurt someone when he’s not on his medication. Bailey’s awareness of how his brain works and how different he is from others is deceiving. It may seem like he is in another world, but in reality, he wants a cure even more than we do.
At the moment I feel like I’m starting to climb an enormous mountain. I’ve done the research, I’ve started to gather my supplies and above all, I have a guide. An educated, dedicated and determined guide whose goal in life is to get every child on the autism spectrum to the top of that mountain. Cured. For life.
Wish me luck everyone. My backpack is pretty bloody heavy at the moment. I’m trying not to buckle under the weight. I will make it to the top of the mountain and I will build my knight in shinning armour along the way to show you. One piece at a time.
Onwards and Upwards!