Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Gluten free, dairy free, casine free, wheat free, yeast free, additive/colours/preservatives/sugar free - yes, we did them all and got the t-shirt to prove it!
No, seriously, we cut out as much of the processed foods as possible, stuck to the gluten and dairy free diet for a number of years - before it was fashionable and we had the choice of cardboard or cardboard with tomato sauce at 10 times the price of 'normal' food - and yes, it worked.
For a while.

We went through extensive allergy tests to find what other foods may be a problem, (working in an allergy unit in an hospital certainly helped) the list grew longer and we stuck to it with sheer grit and determination, no matter the cost.
For a while.
There was a definite improvement in his eye contact, behaviour, calmer in crowds, not reacting to fluro lights on the fritz, overall it did improve his lifestyle.
And that's what we wanted.
Sure, doctors and paediatricians have thrown up that there's no evidence to back this diet up but we know there was an improvement for him.
For a while.
The creche workers were marvellous in that they had at least 6 kids with multiple and varying food intolerances - one had life-threatening food allergies triggered by some of the food substitutes some of the other kids used -  yet they never got it wrong, not once, for any of the kids.
The Autistic-specific school was great, too, in that they kept a watchful eye on everyone at recess and lunchtime to make certain no food swapping or sampling went on, plenty of others there on a similar diet.
Mainstream school was the kicker that rent everything into shreds, diet didn't work, calming techniques and quiet places, favourite toys or music or nursery rhymes, nothing worked.
That's when the cardboard diet (with extra tomato sauce flavouring) went out the window and we got back into 'normal' (read cheaper and more readily available) food with natural flavour.
And now it's fashionable to be 'gluten-free' but I think it's wonderful because food manufacturers have been forced to create something more than cardboard with optional tomato sauce flavouring!

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