This past week I’ve been eye ball deep into all things ‘parenting’. We homeschool and one of my kids has Autism…do I need to say anymore? So my big plan for the week had been getting our diet cleaned up so that my son would be more receptive to doing some school work and then for me to order curriculum for the school year. I think I did well on both ends.
The diet part was tricky at first. We started out at the beginning of the month doing a Whole30. For those of you who don’t know, it is an elimination diet of sorts. You remove all grains, dairy, sugars etc for 30 days. What you can eat is meats, veggies, fruits, most nuts. What my very picky son who pretty much hates all vegetables actually ended up eating was tons and tons of fruit though. Years ago, I had discovered that he didn’t react well to certain fruits. Bananas, watermelons, and apples were especially troubling. But since we were cutting off so many other foods, I let him have a go at them. Oh boy! His autism symptoms were exacerbated to an incredible degree. Echolalia, stimming, erratic emotions, he even became somewhat volatile at times. Scary! Since nothing else had changed, I feel pretty confident that it was the fruit. When I first became aware of the fruit issue, I learned about how some children on the spectrum react badly to high phenol foods. So I had gone with that theory. Then I read further in the GAPS book that a phenol reaction is most likely a detox reaction, so it’s actually producing something good and shouldn’t be too much an area of concern. However, this time around something else was made clear to me. Since I was doing the diet myself, and tend to have similar symptoms to my son, albeit in a much lesser form…I could listen to my own body with its many and varied symptoms and makes changes accordingly. So after much reading, I’ve come to the conclusion that what we are battling here is not a phenol sensitivity at all…but Candida or yeast overgrowth. My son had received intensive doses of antibiotics at the age of 3 following his intestinal surgery. It was only after that, that the autism became very apparent and worrisome to us. I believe that even though he probably always had the propensity for it…these conditions made it worse. The antibiotics stripped the gut not only of the bad bacteria that was causing his multiple infections but of all the good guys also. With the good guys out of the picture, yeast quickly takes over and spreads like wild fire. So…now we know…and my plan of action is a low sugar diet along with supplements.
Second on the agenda was homeschooling curriculum. I decided to go back to Catholic Herritage Curriculum. We had been with them for several years, before trying something else to change it up a bit. However,” if it’s not broke don’t fix it” is now my new motto. lol. Picking what grade to use is always fun around here, especially when teaching two that are so close in age…I really didn’t want to be having two different classes for everything. So I picked a grade that would be ok for the youngest for following the teaching guide…and then each child will have their own workbooks at their own level. win, win. Yay me!