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Autism Diet and Schools Don’t Mix September 15, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Health, Parenting.
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(First-timers: See Autism Diet Help section)

Only a week into school and the phone call came.

“Uh, Mrs. M… It’s Ms. V.  We got a call from the cafeteria…” the school social worker began. “It seems that ‘C’ got…a raisin…”  I remained silent for a moment, to take in the inconvenience of the statement.

“I’ll be right there with an enzyme”, I replied with a slight sigh.  And so the saga goes when you have a first grader with special needs on a special diet.

Now, could I have just brushed the incident aside? After all, it was only one raisin… and by the time I got to the school, it’d have been at least 20 minutes from when he ate it.  But then, I’d be sending a message that small infractions can be overlooked.  I’d almost be giving them permission not to take a future infraction seriously. So I had to go.

And just to be clear. Raisins are allowed on the SCD. Its just that my son can not tolerate them due to the salicylates/phenolic compounds they naturally contain. He is supersensitive to many foods high in salicylates/phenols.  When he used to eat a reasonable portion of them, he’d suffer behavioral consequences for several days…long after they physicaly left his body. Frankly, it wasn’t worth it.

So, off I went and gave my son an enzyme meant to assist with phenol digestion. That doesn’t guarantee anything, but it may help.  Fortunately, he didn’t appear to suffer any negative effects from the “single raisin incident”, other than it reaffirmed his longing for the fruit he can no longer have.

My son’s school is great. The teachers and aides seem to understand the seriousness of his diet… He can not eat anything that I don’t make and send in for him myself.  He’s starting his second year there and there’s ample help in the classroom and cafeteria. But accidents happen…and my son has quick hands if an opportunity presents itself. (Hey, maybe he’s “typical” after all…) I just have to hope that the infractions are few and far between.

His dietary restrictions are on his IEP. But as attentive and fast as the staff may be, the kids are apparently faster.

And they don’t read IEPs…

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Comments»

1. asdmommy - September 17, 2008

I remember one time picking up C from pre-school, and the teacher said, “Wow, we discovered something he really likes – purple cows!” Apparently he drank about 5 grape juice and milk combos….EEEK! I freaked out an immediately ran him to the doc’s office….not only is he allergic to milk but we also do GF/CF. Turns out the teacher didn’t know what casein was….yikes.

After that we went the “No food except what is sent from home” route. I think you were smart to go ahead and go over, and kudos for them for even calling. Dietary stuff is hard at school when we aren’t there watching them like the hawks we are! LOL!

2. hopeauthority - September 19, 2008

I really am thankful they called from school. It’d be so easy to pretend you didn’t see it and avoid the wrath. But the reaction is hard to mask, so they’d really risk it if they didn’t call. And the diet is on his IEP. Nothing except what is sent from home. Ever. Period.

But purple cows would really send me (and my own little ‘C’) over the edge!

Tune in next time for my post on the latest infraction yesterday. Argh!


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