Hi! It’s Cara from Health Home and Happiness, and I’ve never actually talked about our whole autism story all at once
I have bits and pieces all over the Internet
but I found the GAPS diet when my daughter Hannah was 3 when she was about
a year old she was showing signs of autism she wasn’t making eye contact she
wasn’t interested in her peers she wasn’t an interest in connecting she was really
just interested in nursing and later poking at eyes and opening and closing
doors and she was all the time that’s really all she cared about and but
really the eye contact and the delayed milestones were what was the most
alarming for me so when she was a year old I started kind of half-heartedly
looking into autism treatments everyone told me she was too young to be
evaluated she didn’t get evaluated until she was right around – maybe just before
she was 2 years old anyways so I was looking and I started
her on like fish oil because that’s supposed to help with brain development
I started her on methyl b12 someone and an online discussion group told me about
the specific carbohydrate diet and at that time this was back she was born in
2006 so this was in 2007 the Internet has changed a lot there’s a lot more
information on there now so they pointed me to pecanbread.com which is specific
carbohydrate diet and it just looked insane. at the time we were eating
standard American diet I had the book Nourishing Traditions and I thought it
was interesting and but I really hadn’t incorporated much of that at all
so anyways by the time she was 2 if she was missing her milestones at 2 she
still didn’t walk she was definitely delayed and she still wasn’t making an
eye contact she was showing those repetitive stimming behaviors that’s
symptomatic of autism we had her evaluated and those particular
evaluators and you’ll find this if you’re evaluating your child and getting
your child evaluated that different people have different standards of what
they will diagnose and so at that time she didn’t qualify for an autism
diagnosis she was red flagged for early intervention and she was given a
developmental delay diagnosis later on at 4 and I’m skipping ahead now but
before she did get an evaluator that did that did give her the autism diagnosis and if you look at then it was the DSMIV diagnostic criteria she definitely did
qualify as pretty much moderate to severe autism there was no there’s very
little verbal there was stimming there was not sleeping no one thought was a
big one she didn’t sleep and I thought that was that was kind of like okay
until she was two, not okay but it was somewhat normal
lots of toddlers don’t sleep well but – and she still wasn’t sleeping she’d
never slept through the night it was just starting to become really alarming
to me and so that’s when I read special needs kids eat right and she talked
about the gluten free dairy free diet and she kind of started mentioning
coconut oil and she started mentioning other dietary interventions that can
help children that have autism and so I just said okay deep breath we’re gonna
go gluten-free casein-free and it was something that was overwhelming to me I
mean I was a pretty young mom I was 23 when she was born by the time she was 2
I her brother was born when she was 2 years and 2 months excuse me
so I was and we were mere broke we were so broke and we were in this tiny
apartment I had this baby we’re on WIC which is food assistance
I’ve got like big ol belly I’m pregnant I’ve got this two-year-old that doesn’t
walk doesn’t sleep she ate really well and today I did when
I did start her on solids I started her on like nourishing traditions type stuff
but we also like let’s be honest we drive through RVs when we were in town
and we we’d buy RVs and she would definitely RVs off of my plate as well
so her diet wasn’t perfect it wasn’t perfect nursery traditions but she was
probably 80 percent organic Whole Foods once I started her on solids and that
was another thing that she was super delayed in as she didn’t eat a bite like
I I’d put food in her mouth sometimes to see if she wanted it she didn’t swallow
a bite of food till after she was a year old she just nursed so anyways that’s
her early her early autism story and that was our first trial with
gluten-free casein-free was she it was after her brother was born she
was just turned 3 that’s when we did gluten-free casein-free and two days
into it she was a new child like before she would never walk through a parking
lot she was she could walk away then she walked right around to or right after
she turned 2 but she had never just walked through a parking lot without
getting like out in la-la land just like distracted by everything and not coming
along with me not being cooperative not doing anything like she just wanted to
stim that’s all she wanted to do was open and close doors so walking through
a parking lot wasn’t happening and I remember we were going to Big Lots and
this was two days into gluten-free casein-free as she hugged my hand and
she walked into Big Lots and like as a mom with a child with autism that’s like
the most amazing life-changing thing ever she was making an eye contact like
she was sleeping through the night she was going and she still wasn’t going to
bed until like 10:00 but she was sleeping from 10:00 until 6:00 and
because she had been up for every two hours for like over an hour at a time up
until then this was just life-changing for me when she did get up she was
making eye contact and so that was just amazing and she did that for about a
week maybe four days five days and she started regressing and so it’s like I
had seen that I had seen the eye contact I had seen the sleeping I had seen her
willingness to take my hand like a typically developing child and walk
through the Big Lots parking lot and so to go back to losing that again to have
to put her I had her in the Ergo and she was three at this time when I had a
newborn on the front and her in the back in the ER go to do all of my grocery
shopping because there just she wasn’t going to stay in the car she wasn’t
going to do anything but I still had to get stuff done so to have her go back
into what I call autism land was just it was just heartbreaking
so I started googling cure autism because I didn’t know what else to do
I’m just like I’ve seen it I know she has more potential than this I know this
isn’t her life this isn’t what her life is destined to be as stemming and
screaming and screaming and not sleeping all the time so I googled her autism and
I came up with I believe I was on nourishing romaine she talked about the
gaps diet and I think they did diet for food allergies I don’t think
they did it for autism but she was one of the first blogs that talked about
caps diet and so I googled around and I found the yahoo group and I found pend a
couple of different people that had the gaps guide and then I bought the older
version of the gaps book and then we started intro I gave myself a month to
kind of prepare because it’s a huge change especially before there were the
meal plans before there was all of this information on the gaps diet like I was
pretty much like I don’t know what to feed her we ate so many scrambled eggs
and so many hamburger patties with pureed squash is I didn’t know what to
feed her it’s not nearly there it wasn’t nearly as much information now and like
I had started my black health home and Happiness at that time and I had started
posting a little bit of stuff not that she had autism but just that we were
thinking about certain in the GOP’s diet and the backlash I got was like
terrifying because I was getting it not only from her doctor who said like she
needs gluten or she’s gonna starve but also from friends that are just like oh
we’ll just let her have it like you’re too uptight and from family was just
like why are you doing this you need to go see a real doctor and so I was
getting like all these conflicting information from everybody the internet
included and telling me that I was starving my child and so anyways I put
her on the gaps diet we spent I remember we started November first and this was
right before her brother turned one so she was turning three or no she had just
turned three and her brother was just turning one cuz we had his first
birthday was just pureed butternut squash which is all I could handle at
the time because I was so focused on cooking for this child but anyways we
didn’t see the overnight change in her like I did when I started gluten-free
casein-free and we did keep her dairy-free on gaps for over a year so
she we never reintroduce gluten and casein but it was just having that
initial time where I saw such a rapid change in her and I saw the eye contact
that gave me hope that I could keep looking for something that would help
this child and so we started gaps and we started on
the introduction diet which I will link to right above some more information on
the introduction diet right now I have something that walks you through the
first 30 days just because we did it and it was so hard for us anyways I put her
on the introduction diet and I slowly saw steady progress it wasn’t like I
think it was just like her system had never been without gluten and dairy
because I had always eaten some of it and she was nursing so it was that
initial shock that showed me that first huge change and then I’m GATS she was
progressively it wasn’t as big of a shock but she was progressively getting
better day by day week by week and I was checking to see and she was tolerating a
lot more foods so yeah that was our autism story at four she was on yaps and
she was diagnosed with autism at four and then she was revalued evaluate like
every two or three years I think she was revalued at six and she had lost her
autism diagnosis she still has a global delay diagnosis but and some people will
tell me that like oh well she still has a diagnosis so why do you care I’m like
I care because she’s not screaming all the time and she sleeps and she’s happy
and she makes eye contact she makes connections and it’s just something as a
mother like it’s so much not only easier to parent her but we just get such a
better her quality of life is better and we get a better connection with her
after the gaps diet so she stayed on yacht’s diet from four and then I took
her off at I think five and a half she was we had tried different things and I
tried doing no dairy I tried to introducing derry-o try doing less
probiotics more probiotics the one thing that did worked really well for her was
going low-carb and we have a family history of silent seizures which is
seizures that like it’s not the typical tonic clonic shaking but there are
seizures that are happening in the brain but they’re not showing and physical
symptoms so I didn’t try her on a low-carb version of the gaps diet she
did really well like she hurt impulsivity went way down and then I
ended up going to a traditional Oh during the time we were doing the
gaps diet we were going kind of as often as I had money if I had five hundred
dollars to throw at an alternative treatment I would go to an alternative
treatment so we did chiropractic we did homeopathy we did traditional Chinese
medicine anyways the traditional Chinese medicine is what allowed her to start
eating carbs again she stopped having that adrenaline response he did some
acupressure on her it’s a martinet green mantis kung fu in Mesa Arizona if you
guys are curious yeah so it’s not it’s not like a magic bullet but it changed
our life so much and that’s why I have health um and happiness and I try to
help as many families as I can I am passionate about making so much stuff
that is legal for the gaps diet and helping other families I have seen other
families that had complete recovery autism recovery from from severe autism
by using the gaps diet I’ve seen some people like us that had like pretty
moderate but really helpful recovery and I’ve seen other people that have like a
change in digestive systems or a change in eye contact a change in sleeping and
really I haven’t seen a whole lot of people especially for autism that had
done the gaps diet and had done it strictly because it is something you
have to be incredibly compliant for that didn’t find something of value in it
they might have had to tweak it to go like low phenyl or they might have had
to tweak it to go low-carb like we did but in general just healing the gut is a
great way to help heal autism so that’s our gaps how we got started that’s our
autism story and due to privacy concerns I don’t talk a ton about specifics but I
am since this is so far in the past I feel comfortable sharing our story we’re
really happy with where we are and I hope that’s encouraging to you if you
found this helpful if you could subscribe over there
I would love it