But I did want to update everyone on how it's going with Litttle Bean's new diet. We went cold turkey,removing gluten, casein, and artificial colors, and decreasing soy products. We added a daily multivitamin, as well as a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement. The results have been really, truly astonishing!
We went from a kid who was quiet most of the time....to one who starts up conversations with you and engages you by asking questions and making comments!
We went from a kid who could not finish a school assignment that involved writing without crying and becoming overly distressed to....a kid who voluntarily spent two hours on a writing assignment so that he could 'show it off to his dad after work'!
We went from a kid who could not control a single impulse, no matter how small,...to a kid who is now controlling them at least half of the time.
We went from a kid who could not stand to be touched to...a kid who lets me rub his back for a short period of time sometimes and who comes up for hugs now.
But the most significant change, and the one where we've seen the most improvement is in the area of aggression. Almost within the first days of starting his diet, Little Bean drastically reduced his temper tantrums and aggressive behavior. We were actually used to having multiple violent fits a day in which Little Bean would slam doors, kick, bite, head-butt, pinch or otherwise try to injure us. I began this diet as a desperate attempt to help him with this behavior since nothing else was helping, and I had heard that for some children with Autism, this diet helps a lot for whatever reason. I don't think I really understood how much we were all, Asa family, living in pure survival mode until we saw such drastic improvement in Little Bean. Since we started the diet at the end of May, we haven't had a single large tantrum, and only a few mini tantrums which Bean was able to recover from almost instantly, where previously it had taken it's toll on the rest of the day.
Since this diet has been so successful so far, I'm feeling two things:
Incredibly grateful that we have stumbled upon something that is helping him, and allowing us to avoid medicating him, and
A bit terrified that one day I'll wake up and he will have regressed to where he was two weeks ago.
I do want to share more about the resources we are using and the books which have been particularly helpful when I have more time. I also want to make it very clear that this post is focusing on the positive changes we have seen, and Little Bean is in no way recovered or cured of Autism. None of the changes we have seen are totally complete across the board, but they are way, way improved from what we were seeing even two weeks ago. And they are convincing enough that we want to continue what we are doing, and learn about more nutritional interventions that may help him.