ADHD and Autism Diet-a book that changed my life
There have been many moments along the path as an autism parent that are indelibly etched in my mind. Some positive, some negative, some awe inspiring. Our path as autism parents is one not well worn, it can feel lonely at times and confusing. How do I make the right choices that will benefit the outcome of my child's well being and success in life? The sentiments I was hearing in the early years of my child's diagnosis were not hopeful or particularly progressive. I knew there must be alternative solutions to help improve the quality their life and prospects for their future.
Like most autism parents I tried everything and anything that I could to see if I could help bring my child more peace. I didn't understand at that time that what looked challenging behaviors from the outside may well have served an important purpose to my child, a coping strategy if you will.
In the midst of flash cards, timers, fidget toys, compression blankets, and a plethora of other strategies to help my child, I came across a book. It was a book that outlined the connection between ADHD/ASD symptoms and food sensitivities. This was one of those moments that changed everything, it is etched in my mind as a fork in the road that made such a difference in my child's life. After only two weeks of removing gluten, casein, soy, dyes, preservatives from the diet we started seeing notable changes in behavior. Less fidgeting, less hyperactivity, less meltdowns, greater concentration and all of this was most notable in the classroom where the struggles had been the greatest. This was enough to convince me that there must be something to this! This was not a "cure" for autism but personally I don't believe there needs to be one.
This autism nutrition therapy was a way to help significantly reduce some of the symptoms for my child and allow her to cope and self regulate more effectively. By removing the stimulus or irritant it allowed her nervous system and immune system to calm down, which in turn allowed her to flourish. It was a process over several years of adhering to holistic diet and lifestyle strategies that allowed her to eventually move out of special education and into a mainstream classroom. She went from being told she had permanent pervasive communication challenges to winning a speech arts contest at her school. A wonderful victory and there weren't many dry eyes in that auditorium, including her teachers.
That book was just the beginning for me, the start of my journey to understand the gut brain connection and the biomedical understanding of autism specific diets. Now as a nutritionist and chef I can provide support other parents to help their child reach their highest potential. I create custom autism diet plans that take into account the unique needs of that family, and autism specific vitamin supplement plans. It can be one book, one spark, one idea, or one diet strategy that can effect such amazing change!