Monday, August 31, 2009

Why, Mom?

My son approached me while I was at the sewing desk, so I greeted him and told him what I was doing. "Why Mom?" was his response, so I calmly told him more about it. Really, on the inside, I was just thinking, "DID HE JUST SAY THAT??"

By the time most children are the age of four, they have already been tormenting their parents with the 'why' question for quite some time. I just heard it from my son for the first time about 2 weeks ago when this incident happened. Parents of typical kids: be grateful to hear the perpetually asked question. Apparently it is very important for a child's development. I haven't yet learned all the details of 'why' yet. :)

In the meantime, I am hoping to encourage the 'why' question more often.

In other news, this week is another Low Dose Antigen (LDA) injection. My son's DAN! doc is the only one that does these, but he is very active in the conferences and so I hope that many other doctors learn about it from him. The LDA helps my son not be so sensitive to things in the environment and also foods that bother him. It is very safe, it simply helps him build a tolerance. Parents of autistic children know: These kids are sensitive! A special test showed that my son was sensitive to many common foods, and soy especially was almost off the chart!

Preparing for the LDA includes eliminating fish oils from supplement regimen two days before, and eliminating supplements all together for three days, the day before, the day of, and the day after the injection. Fish oil is still avoided during the week after. Also during the supplement free days, he has to be off of chocolate, eggs, wheat, sugar, corn, and milk. I have to admit though, that we usually never give him those things anyway, except the egg. I'll have to remember that when I'm making pancakes in the morning...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Move

I haven't posted for awhile because of all the chaos of our recent move. It is all over though, and we are happy with our new place! The reason for our move was the autism preschool located in Orem, Utah, called Giant Steps. It is public, but it is funded by the Wasatch Mental Health Department. Translation: it is free and the program is cutting edge. The downside is that our son had to be on the waiting list for this program for 2 years. We had to be living in Utah County for him to attend, but that was OK because anything out of the county was just too far to commute for a one car family. So here we are! This program is totally worth the move and we are pumped! It is an ABA based program, (although they will use whatever method works for the individual,) and it is four days a week, with full school days!
Our last move was back at the end of December of last year when we moved north in order to complete hubby's education. That move was hard on Eli, as you would expect for a young one with autism. We had lots of uncooperative behavior, vocal outbursts, sleep disturbances, etc. He stopped being manageable with taking supplements for a while there, too, but we kept trying. Once we started getting the supplements down him again, things started getting better, and then he started school at the public school there, and things got even better. We have kept with the biochemical intervention for this whole year this last month and let me tell you how great he is doing! Eli now calls me "mom" and his dad "dad." His vocabulary is growing everyday. If he is looking for a favorite toy train he will say "Gordon go?" He tells me about things in his little shows he likes to watch. He is starting to have more and more of a social smile. This recent move has been such a switch from the one back in December! No regression at all.
Eli had some very kind little friends in our town we lived in up north who taught him so much about interaction, playing and friends. We miss all of you sweet little people! These are some pictures to show his friends how happy Eli is at the new place. There is a swing in the backyard that is cut from an old tire.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The BEST Gluten Free Cookbook

Several months ago I went to a "gut" specialist for the aching and tiredness I was experiencing. He decided we needed to do a procedure so that he could see my stomach and intestines. After the procedure he said he may have seen possible celiac disease, so I went home and stopped eating gluten, and started feeling better. I went back to see him only to hear him say that the test was negative for celiac and to take a prescription for the aches the may be caused by a "non celiac gluten intolerance." I went home confused. If gluten was making me not feel well, it was obviously not being handled by my body properly and should be avoided. I have been eating gluten free ever since and have been feeling great.
Although I had already been cooking gluten free for my son with autism for the better part of a year, this experience led me to search for even better gluten free baking recipes. I worked in bakeries for 5 years. I had to be able to bake things that I would really enjoy!

That is when I found the ultimate gluten free baking book: Cooking Free by Carol Fenstar, Ph.D.

This book is AWESOME for baking for persons with autism, because many of the recipes have included alternatives to the major ingredients that many persons with autism have problems with: sugar, eggs, milk, and of course gluten.

The best part of this book is that the recipes are good! The ones I use most are the pancake recipe, the basic chocolate cake (it's great for family gatherings!) and the sandwich bread recipe.

The basic flour blend recipe that is the staple for all the recipes in the book is a flexible one, meaning you can use the flours to best suit the recipe to your taste. I find that bean flour in the mix makes a better flour for pancakes and sandwich bread, while corn flour (not corn meal) instead of the bean flour portion makes a better blend for sweets, like the chocolate cake. I just mark my two quart ziplock bags "corn flour blend" or "bean flour blend" and I am stocked and ready to bake anytime.