When Billy was around three I really felt he was slipping quickly away from me. My happy smiley boy was getting more and more distant, his eyes were glazed over, drool would soak his shirts, and his lips were the most beautiful pure red. I was reading every book I could get my hands on, feeling my time was limited…I missed his smile. I came across some new-at-the-time theory that the proteins in milk and wheat may not break down fully in some autistic children’s bodies. At this point it was worth a shot. I started eliminating milk from his diet, and the results were breathtaking and unmistakeable. Within three days I had my little boy back. I went further and eliminated wheat as well. The positive results continued.
Nowadays grocery stores have plenty of Gluten and Casein free options, but not the case in 2002. I began shopping and cooking differently then, and this was not easy at all but well worth the work. I often wonder if things would be different had I known earlier what these proteins do to him? Would there be struggles he would have never known?
Fast forward a few years and we began trying dietary enzymes to do the job of breaking down the proteins his body is unable to process. For Billy, this is a huge deal. Who doesn’t like pizza! He can eat ice cream if he has his enzymes but he cannot drink a glass of milk. Milk makes it difficult for him to control his emotions and think clearly, so he now drinks Almond milk as the alternative. Red 40 dye is also now on the list so he avoids those foods.
As Billy gets older we hold him responsible for his behavior in fact, he has become very responsible in his label reading. We do monitor his typical symptoms regularly, so they don’t get out of hand. We can suggest changes in diet or verify that he has taken his enzymes. It is important that we continue to give him tools and knowledge to make good choices easier.