Results of the Gluten-Free Diet Change
Summer 2010 – I write this note because I know without a doubt now simply changing your child’s diet can change their world and yours. Many of you know by now Tristan is on the autism spectrum and also has Albright Hereditary Osteodystrophy (AHO). He was tested by the county in October of 2009, and was found to have about a 12-15 month-old speech ability with only about 7 – 10 words and a few sign language gestures. In January of 2010, he started a language intensive preschool. Also, in the same month his father and I decided to go gluten-free as a family. We went gluten-free because we read countless success stories of parent with children on the autism spectrum and who had ADHD. Those children who had severe delayed speech issues improved with a simple diet change. There is a lot of information that points to a strong gut to brain connection in some kids, and there is a range of successes with changes in diets.
After our son Tristan was on the gluten-free diet a mere four to five weeks, it was like a fog had lifted. He started to talk a lot more, and it was not just a few words it was a lot of words. Even his teachers and therapists asked us what we were doing differently. We told them the only change was in his diet and no one could believe it. They told us that amount of progress in such a short period could not be accounted for simply by the therapy or the preschool environment alone. The felt strongly something else had influenced his dramatic progress.
Tristan has now been gluten-free for 16 weeks. I am now a TOTAL BELIEVER in how a simple diet change can help your child without using drugs or other more invasive treatments. I do not look down on those who use drugs, but our developmental doctor balked at our idea of even doing the diet, and said go ahead and try it. We could tell she did not expect much from it. I know physicians want the best for their patients, but I wish more would push for dietary changes. I believe many people’s lives would change, and not just those with who have special needs.
As of Friday Tristan had another ”fog lifting”. He woke up this past Friday, and even more new words poured out of his mouth, and they were clear like he could finally say those words without issue. His Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapist also noticed the change when she came Friday. She said she could not believe the progress he made with her that morning. He used long sentences, he said words like Daddy, Mommy, I LOVE Grapes, I want a cookie please, I love cookies, I love my baby (his sister), I want to help cook, help me move my chair, and the list goes on and on. Life gluten-free not only changes my son’s life, but it now gives him a voice for which even months and months of speech therapy could not achieve before.
So, I plead with those of you in a similar position who could think it is too difficult to make a huge diet change, the results are worth the extra money spent, the time taken, and the stress endured. I will not lie, it is difficult, especially at first. Tristan is a trouper and a very hard worker. From what I read, it can take up to a year to see the full results of a gluten-free diet. I cannot wait to see where he will be by next January in 2011. Even if there are no more fog lifting occurrences, this was still the BEST decision his father and I ever made with regard to Tristan’s development.