Your Autistic Child will benefit from the GAPS diet

I wanted to take some time to highlight a website I have been blessed to come upon these last few years as we have been on this Journey of Autism with Joshua.

Health, Home and Happiness, Click here to visit Health Home and Happiness. has been one of those “go to” sites where I have felt encouraged and empowered, while embarking on this dietary approach to helping Joshua recover from autism.  It was clear he had some gut issues and what is sad, that once a child is diagnosed with autism, it seems doctors stop looking at why the child is having physical complaints and everything seems to be lumped into the “autism diagnosis box”.

What I have appreciated about the biomedical approach is that each child is looked at as an individual.  What science has actually shown is autistic children are prone to having gut issues.  How many of you parents out there have an autistic child, or a child with ADHD, etc., with gut issues?  How many of these kids are picky eaters and in a sense, have a restricted diet?  There are a number of studies out there that Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride sites in her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome:  Natural Treatment for Autism, ADD, ADHD, Depression, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Schizophrenia, which address the various physical complaints autistic children tend to present with.  Dr. Kenneth Bock makes note of these studies as well in his book, Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies.  In fact, it was a result of knowing about these studies that our DAN doctor in Everett, a pediatrician, Dr. Cheryl Beighle, had the idea of testing Joshua regarding his L-Carnitine levels.  L-Carnitine, as you may recall from earlier posts, is the amino acid that our bodies produce that help it detoxify and autistic kids are often not producing.  Joshua was one of those kids and with the proper supplement, after 6 months, he was producing it.  I still give it to him on occasion and I do think it has made a difference.

With all this information in mind, it is essential for every child who is diagnosed with autism, or even suspected of having the disorder, to get started on a sort of Specific Carbohydrate Diet, such as the GAPS diet.  Our naturopath is of the belief that it is the best diet out there.  I will honestly say, we have gone to great expense and trouble to have Joshua on this diet, but honestly, it has been so worth it.  Cara, who writes the Health, Home and Happiness blog, has a great help in getting kids started on the diet, with a step by step procedure, with recipes and tips to guide you along the way:Click here to visit Health Home and Happiness.

How this e-book can help you:

  • Remember all the components of the GAPS diet– from rotating detox baths to gradually increasing juicing, to slowly introducing new foods.
  • Use the symptom chart included to see correlations between introducing foods and symptoms that come up.
  • Tips to guide you through getting started– I’m a mom who once was completely overwhelmed at all this too! It’s taken me a year, but I feel that GAPS is easily incorporated into our lives now I share all I can with you to help you as well.
  • A daily reminder of what’s next on the GAPS journey without having to re-read through the GAPS book to find specifics for that day.
  • Recipes that are simple and easy to prepare for even the most beginning cook, yet can be dressed up easily by those with more cooking experience.
  • A table of contents and index so you can easily find what you’re looking for
  • Formatted so that it can be printed and spiral bound or hole punched and put in a binder. I hope to have an in-print version eventually, but I haven’t been able to do that. If you have Kinkos or a similar shop print it for you in black and white and spiral bind it, it only costs about $8 and you can keep the file on your computer for reference too (please only do this for personal use)

Cara knows how it is, as she has had her kids on the diet and has seen fantastic results.   We have found, while even doing the GAPS diet imperfectly, due to our limited budget, that Joshua has really responded positively to it, initially increasing his eye contact and becoming more engaged.  He had a tough time while his body was detoxing, but being ready for bath of Epsom Salts or Apple Cider Vinegar really helped him calm down and got us through those tough times.  It didn’t matter to me how many times a day he needed a bath either!  I must also say that it was difficult to get him to take Cod Liver Oil, but with the help of the GAPSHelp Yahoo group, I discovered that I could just give it to him without trying to hide it and after initially pitching a few fits, we got it in him and he progressed to getting it out to the fridge for his daily dose!  Additionally, the diet calls for him drinking a cup of bone broth every morning, but he would refuse.  A friend, who introduced the diet to us, suggested simply cooking his veggies in the broth and that worked!  So, it wasn’t perfect on our end, and I’m quite sure Cara will have even better suggestions, but the effort has been paying off in the mere fact that Joshua has a wide variety of food he will eat and enjoys.  The classic autistic kids I have encountered who are not using a diet, really, have a much more restrictive diet and the food they are eating is far from nutritious.

I know what a lot of you may be thinking though, it’s hard and yes, it is, but we often have to do what is hard to get good results.  The kids will complain, cry, try to manipulate and pitch all kinds of fits and you will be tempted to give in.  What I want to leave you with is a quote from a foster parent I used to work with:  “Israel doesn’t negotiate with terrorists and neither shall we!”  Stand firm and the kids will respond and you will all benefit in the long run.  Please leave comments as to any struggles you are facing and I will be happy to offer any support that I can!  Starting your kids the younger the better, but it is never too late!  God bless you and strengthen you as He guides you in caring for these special gifts!

Joshua, a sad face of autism. He was told “no” he couldn’t have another banana and tried to pull me away from the refrigerator. Hard lesson to learn.

At cousin Joey’s birthday party, we bring food Joshua can eat and he’s perfectly content. He actually ended up eating in a different room, which gave him a comfortable place to eat as the other room where they were having cake had a ceiling fan. Birthday parties are going to be different for autistic kids to attend, but they should still be included, even if for a short time! He had a great time, over all!

This entry was posted on Friday, October 19th, 2012 at 12:05 am and is filed under Autism Diet, Autism Treatment, General Autism Info. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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