Today I had lunch at my son's pre-school. It was a Mother's Day lunch.
I saw my little guy (4 years old; 12/2004) line up on the line, wash his hands and dry them, get back into line, sit in the right spot as he was instructed, and stand up and sing 3 songs with his classmates who range in age from 3-6 (a song in Spanish about colors, a song about the continents, and a song about "I love you"). He sang with a big smile, he knew all the words, and he looked right at me. Then he came over to me when they were supposed to and gave me a huge hug and kiss and said he loved me. Then the teacher called his name to go up in front of the class of 25 kids and moms, get the vase and paper flowers he had made for me, carefully walk it over to me and say, "Happy Mothers Day, Mommy." Then we sat at a little table with a classmate and his mom. He enjoyed his GFCFSF lunch with gusto (lentil stew, Breads from Anna, fresh pineapple, a teff/almond cookie, and water to drink), talked to me, his friend, and his friend's mom during lunch with his butt in the chair and a cloth napkin in his lap, and then he packed up his lunch bag and put it away on the cart. He asked if we could go home and I told him I had to go back to work but I'd get him later. He kissed my arm and said, "Bye mommy!" then went to get a book to read.
Last year at this same Mothers Day event, he had already been on the GFCFSF diet and doing some supplements for 6 months. He was so much improved at that point, but he couldn't follow directions, ran to me when he saw me and buried his head in my legs for the entire time while his classmates sang. He was distracted and acting goofy during lunch, couldn't sit still, and cried unhappily when it was time for me to leave.
**Today was a tremendous Mothers Day gift.**
My son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder in August of 2007. I believe he had autism. His symptoms at that time included alternating diarrhea and constipation with no formed stool unless it was "rabbit pellets," lining up toys, massive tantrums, rigidity about schedule, watching things spin like pinwheels and car wheels, eczema, reactive airway disease (on nebulized Pulmicort 2x/day and albuterol every 4 hours when he caught a cold), sensory issues (hated haircuts, nail clipping, wet clothes, rain, snow, bright lights, loud music), he touched the seams on his clothes obsessively, difficulty sleeping (2 hours to fall asleep with somebody in bed next to him; sleeping on a pile of cars/trains/books), always sick, not responding when name was called repeatedly, no interest in playing with others around him, "reporting" type speech (labeling, not expressive), constant drooling (we put a bib around his neck to keep his shirt dry), muffled/distorted words and unable to repeat new words correctly, very picky eater (tons of milk and bread items), pointing with his thumb, difficulty with/disinterest in eye contact, "empty" look in eyes, shoving food into his mouth then gagging, very low tone, "W" sitting style, separation anxiety, and meltdowns.
Our idiot of a developmental pediatrician (I know now) in August 07 determined after 30 minutes of asking me questions while my son had a massive tantrum & screamed that "He does not have autism because he looked at me once." With our Sensory Processing Disorder diagnosis, we started occupational therapy (OT) right away, then in October 2007 (thanks to a recommendation from Anna Letaw) I joined the GFCFKids Yahoo group and we started the GFCF diet cold turkey. Three days later he started looking us in the eye, asking us questions, and he told me "Mommy, I'm happy."
I gave him basic supplements that I could get him to take (biotin, melatonin, probiotics, carnitine, magnesium citrate, Epsom salt baths, and enzymes) and I treated yeast with grapefruit seed extract (GSE) and bacteria with oil of oregano. I learned everything from other moms on the GFCFKids yahoo group; we never saw a DAN! doctor. I got all our supplements from Whole Foods or Amazon, and we didn't do any tests.
More recently he has learned to swallow caps, so he now is taking biotin, calcium/magnesium, zinc, lysine, olive leaf extract, vitamin c, folic acid, carnitine, probiotics, TriEnza, and (newly) curcumin/Enhansa. I recently did the IgG test and have since also removed (in addition to gluten casein and soy): rice, coconut, sunflower, safflower, tomatoes, eggs, peanuts, peas, and cashews. He sleeps through the night on a chemical-free bed (now without melatonin), plays with toys appropriately, has friends, eats a wide variety of foods, loves to sing and asks me to turn up the music in the car ("I love this song!" he says about each one!). He runs and jumps and plays outside with the neighborhood kids. His poops are formed and regular. He rarely gets sick. He got his first haircut last weekend without any crying, and he asks me to clip his nails when they're long. He's off the Pulmicort and albuterol (although I kept the albuterol for times I think he has had an infraction, he wheezes). He doesn't drool, he looks people in the eye, and there is "life" in his eyes once again. He laughs and makes jokes, he initiates conversation, and he is very aware of what's going on around him. He attends a regular Montessori pre-school and is in the largest class with 30 kids ranging in age from 3 to 6.
Happy Mothers Day 2009 to all you mom's out there! Keep it up!