And I still haven’t answered it–
Well, when I first learned of Autism and Asperger’s, 3 years ago, I also heard for the first time about the “GFCF”, which means “Gluten Free, Casein Free” special diets. So like the good little researcher that I am, I started adding to my reading list. As I looked up Asperger’s, Autism, Dyslexia, Sensory integration, and Special needs, I also looked up GFCF and special diets of all sorts. I read through Dr. Posts, and Blogs; bought books and magazines, (and I’m now teaching myself to read medical journals and medical college research papers) and basically read enough in those first several months to write a Master’s thesis. I read so much that I felt stuffy headed, like cramming for college finals, and I still feel like I have barely scratching the surface. Then reality jumped into the mix, teaching me the rituals and red-tape of Specialist Dr.s, getting IEP’s , the difference between IEP and 504, teenagers with Autism, and all of the sorts of schooling needs and difficulties that comes with 4 kids on the spectrum plus one more not to forget about. At this point, I became so, um, barely hanging in there, that the thought of trying to reconcile the diet with the word of wisdom, and re-learning how to cook was just more than I could tackle… Plainly put– I got completely scared to death.
So, I haven’t jumped in yet. But I have learned a few things…
I have learned that the GFCF diet either really really helps Autistic kids, or does nothing at all, with pretty much no “sort of helps a little bit” in the middle, and that even though it’s the cool thing right now, it is truly still in the research stage. I’ve learned that for the AS kids who need GFCF–the difficulty is not an allergy, it is a little closer to Celiac disease, which is actually a specific damaging of the intestines, but it’s not the same thing as that either. It has to do with the way their intestines digest (and don’t digest) and absorb proteins, especially the ones in milk and gluten. Lots of people have written very good and accurate articles on this problem, doing the subject much better justice than I ever could, so I am not going to try to write more about it here. If you are interested, some key-words to look up are “Leaky Gut”, and “peptides.” But the Gluten Free challenges of cooking and getting the right nutrition are shared by anyone who needs this special diet. And because of the nutrition issues, this is not a diet to be taken lightly, or on a whim, but preferably with a doctor’s advice.
Lately, I have had to shift my concentration to Migraines, and Autism with migraines; what they are, and what trigers them. I have learned that along with bright lights for both of my children who suffer; ultra refined foods, and preservatives are very high on my son’s list. So- I am reading lots of product lables and learning to cook a lot af things from scratch (I make a mean spagetti sauce) And we have had a fair amount of good results with magnesium, especially with my littlest.
So anyway, through all this I have decided I need to share a bit. Hope it helps. And maybe the process of sharing will help me have the emotional energy to be in the kitchen in the first place. 🙂
(The Recipie books have been moved to my list of “Favorite books”)
Also- Check out these websites….(not linked- sorry- still working on that)