“I don’t like you”
were the last words that I heard from my son this morning before he got out of the car and walked into school. I know he doesn’t mean it. I know he loves me. But it still hurts to hear. It was a vivid reminder that keeping him gluten-free and casein free makes a huge difference in his life. In our lives!
Last night, he perseverated on the fact that he wanted apple pie. Children with autism tend to perseverate on things. He wanted apple pie and we didn’t have it. He asked and asked and asked and finally we (my husband and I) gave in and said that we would go get it. But whole Foods did not have any more gluten-free apple pie when we got there.
Caught in a dilemma of trying to explain to our son that the supermarket did not have apple pie and suffering the tantrum that would most definitely ensue OR giving him a little “regular” apple pie, just this once, and hoping that it did not poorly affects his body and brain, we made a choice:
We bought him a little gluten filled seemingly delicious apple pie! I guess we thought that it wouldn’t hurt him that much. We watched him savor every bite of it. It was rewarding for our entire family!
But then… less then 12 hours later, another personality began to emerge from our usually sweet, quiet child. He was impatient. He was angry. He was frustrated. He was annoyed. He was dealing with the wrath of eating gluten.
I am a true believer in trying different options to help each of my children with their individual needs and issues. I was very anxious and hesitant when I first learned about the gluten free and dairy free diet that was recommended to help children with autism. I became somewhat neurotic about ensuring that my son did not get any foods contaminated with gluten or dairy proteins.
I spent hours upon hours researching and learning how to properly cook and make baked goods for him. We started to see changes and I became a believer in the gut – brain connection. And, then it started to get easier and just became a way of life and more and more places and products became available to us to make it easier for my son to enjoy what he was eating.
On days like today when I slip and think that I am giving him a treat, I am again reminded that it may not have been such a good idea. But, I have learned to adapt to the good and bad days that one has when living with a child with autism and I will pick him up from school with a huge hug and smile on my face!
I look forward to getting my son back soon!
Kimmy Katari (mom to 4 amazing boys)