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Regression by Strawberry May 2, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, autism diet, Children, Health, school, specific carbohydrate diet.
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Gotta love those care-free days of youth and all the fun school projects you do in special ed first grade. You’ve got the non-edible projects with macaroni and glue. And, occasionally, you get the edible ones.

And when your kid is on a totally restrictive special diet from hell , these projects are the ones that make you want to kill somebody. Or kill yourself. Oh, and it’s extra special when you get only one night’s notice about the project…

So the note comes home:

We’re going to be making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in class tomorrow. Can you send something in so that Fabio can participate?

Unlike the hundred of thousands of kids who’d die from it, it’s not the peanut butter that’s a problem for Fabio.  I have a special organic peanut butter with no additives that he loves.

And it’s not the bread. I make Fabio bread from cashew butter, eggs, baking powder and a pinch of sea salt. 

It’s the freakin jam/jelly that is the challenge.

I’ve been canning jams and jellies for competition for almost 20 years, so thankfully, I have a leg up on most folks in that area. And I can substitute honey for sugar in the recipes. The trouble is the fruit options.

Fabio can eat many fruits, but not the ones that make popular jams. He can’t tolerate berries, grapes, or apples due to their high natural salicylates and/or phenols. And what’s worse is…he loves them. If you put out a bowl of blueberries and a cake, he’d go for the berries every time.

When he eats these fruits, he is in heaven. Until the next day. And the five to ten days thereafter. Yes, you heard me. The effects far outlast how long the food was in his body.

It’s like a Jeckyl and Hyde thing.

He regresses across the board. Total loss of eye contact and any functional language. Very bad behaviors. Repeated tantrums. And it goes on for days! Of course, it’s never worth the moment of pure joy he had while eating the coveted fruit. And yet again…

Still, every 6-12 months a situation will arise when the temptation is too great. When heroic efforts would be needed to avoid the fruit. When just enough time has elapsed since the last time to let me forget how hard those several days of hell are going to be on all of us.

When you think that maybe… just maybe… this time it will be different because maybe… just maybe… he somehow outgrew this allergy.

So I stay up til 2 am making this gorgeous, ruby-red strawberry jam for my little man. And I bake him a fresh loaf of his bread and slice it a bit thicker so he’ll be able to spread on it without ripping. And I packed a little container of his peanut butter. And I crossed my fingers.

Sleepyhead walks in to the kitchen at 7am, sees the jam in his lunchbox, removes the container, and says very nonchalantly: “No thank you.”

Umm… No freakin way!!! I thought. And… with the look of daggers coming from my tired eyes as I replaced the container in the lunchbox… I said through gritted  smiling teeth:

“Mommy made you yummy jelly to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches today at school.”

“No thanks.”  As he removes it again.

Okay, this is going nowhere. So, I give him a tiny taste. And in one instant a memory awakened inside him. And his green eyes widened. And he smiled. Big.

So he happily went off to school with the promise of more jam in his future. And I met him up there later to give him some enzymes to help him digest the berries. And he came home begging for more PB&J sandwiches…which I gave him… until the small allotted amount of jam was gone. And he was in heaven.

Until the next day when regression set in.

But I’m happy to say that it is less severe than it’s been in the past. He has more language now and has retained it. Eye contact is okay for the most part. The bad behaviors are only evident when demands are placed on him that he doesn’t want to do and even then, not as bad as before.

It gives me hope that my boy will someday be able to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

Like fresh strawberries in the summer.

And maybe a friend to share them with.


An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor…On Call November 9, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, autism diet, Children, Health, Parenting, special needs.
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There’s something really wrong with the world when a little boy can be harmed by an apple.

Yes, an apple.

Brief history here: Some people…including my son…are sensitive to can’t tolerate foods that are naturally high in salicylates/phenols. Apples are one of those foods. For most people they’re a food that’s as natural, healthy and as “American wholesome” as it gets. One a day is supposed to keep the doctor away, right?  Well, not exactly…for my son, anyway.

Apples are “legal” on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet he follows, but they have given ‘C’ some grief in the past, so we’ve avoided them for about a year. In a weak moment, and with a special enzyme to help avoid the problems, I gave ‘C’ an apple. What I didn’t realize I needed to do was watch him like a hawk while he ate it. After all, he’s 6 and he’s eaten them before…

In the two seconds that I turned my back to open the front door to an arriving friend… (Isn’t that always the way these tales begin? )… ‘C’ runs over to greet the friend. Does he say “Hi”? No. He was too excited. Instead, ‘C’ held out his hand to show the man his special treat…his treasure. 

His apple… or should I say, the nub that was left of it.  SON OF A B#TCH!!!!!!

There in his hand was the bottom inch of the core. Did he eat the top half? The friggin stem? The little brown pits…which have arsenic in them??!! Panic struck. I tried to get his to throw it all up…until he almost bit off my finger in self-defense.

Quick, call the chiropractor (who treats him for everything). God Bless this man. He is always so calm and reassuring and never makes you feel like the bad mother you feel like you are.

So ‘C’ got his apple…with an activated charcoal “chaser”. Of all the supplements, vitamins and such stuff I’ve had to force into ‘C’, this charcoal was by far the most vile. But the doctor said it’ll absorb everything…not to worry.  And ‘C’ appears no worse for the wear. Thank God.  But me?  Well…

I am glad I listened to that “voice” that said to buy the activated charcoal. Its been knocking around in the very back of the kitchen cabinet where all the vitamins and supplements are stored for several months now.  I  highly recommend every household get some for emergency use. You never know when it’ll save a life…or at least a trip to the doctor or ER.

Hmmm. There’s something very fitting about the thought of Santa stuffing some activated charCOAL in my little devil’s angel’s stocking for being on the shit nice list this year again…