Literacy, Diets, Progress

Dr. Marion Blank has written a terrific piece for the Huffington Post regarding the 60 minutes segment on APPs for autism and the current ways in which language is taught.  For anyone with even a passing interest in language or autism, I encourage the reading of it.

An update on Emma, her diet, her progress:

Emma ate about three tablespoons of chicken and brown rice two nights ago and tasted the pumpkin mousse I made.  I will attempt to make coconut milk whipped cream this evening in preparation for our Thanksgiving feast.  I want to have several things Emma might like, so I am planning to prepare Maple Syrup glazed Turkey, roasted carrots and sweet potatoes and some kind of desert she might enjoy (she didn’t love the pumpkin mousse or pumpkin scones, so I’ll try some other recipes) as well as things the rest of us will enjoy – we are having between 12 – 15 people, many of whom are bringing things!  I am thinking of writing a cookbook entitled All The Delicious Things I’ve Made That Emma Won’t Eat.

I worried the other day (someone pointed out that I am always worrying about something – I blame my mother for this – she is a known worrier, plus I’m a New Yorker so there’s no hope for me) that Emma is just as rigid now as she was before the diet.  Instead of only eating six things, all of which were dairy or wheat, she now eats six other things, but as Richard pointed out, at least they aren’t dairy and wheat.  I think my expectations were high (they tend to be) when we began the diet; I had read in many cases the child, once off dairy and wheat, expanded their diet dramatically.  Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful to see Emma eating brown rice and roasted chicken.  In fact it’s a huge achievement on her part.  I’m taking a deep breath now and will bask in the glow of brown rice and chicken.

Okay.  Now that I am filled with gratitude, to continue –

To date we have seen no identifiable cognitive or behavioral progress as a result of this diet.  We see her doctor in another three weeks.  I am still hopeful we might see something by then.

We received a report from her school that Emma threw a chair across the room on at least two occasions and pulled one of the TAs hair.  Obviously this is not good news.

Another deep breath, focusing on the joys of brown rice and roasted chicken.

For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to:   www.Emma’s Hope

5 responses to “Literacy, Diets, Progress

  1. Terrific article by Dr. Blank. Thanks for alerting me to it.

    I just read an article “The Brain” by Carl Zimmer that appeared in this month’s issue of Discover. It is not about autism, but about the illusions and distortion of reality that occur when sound and image are mismatched in the brain.


  2. You definitely have to write that cookbook! Just the name of it alone is guaranteed to click with any parent of an autistic kid.

  3. I seriously laughed out loud at your cookbook title:) Yes, hold on to the chicken and brown rice moment. It is a success. You mentioned yesterday how as an observer of your testimonial, your story does seem positive and optimistic. I have to say as an observer of this blog, that the brown rice and chicken are indeed successes. That being said, I know that it takes mental stamina and deliberate thought to come back to that chicken and brown rice mantra when you get emails such as yours and look at a bigger picture where expectations are met. My Emma has also hit her TA. I dread pick ups at school every day because the more negative news I receive, the harder my mantra reciting becomes.

  4. Don’t you love how our mantras have changed over the years? Gone are the – I am living a life of abundance – replaced by – I will maintain my composure no matter what behaviors my child displays!

  5. Thank you for the link to the article by Dr Blank. We are facing this problem now. That for the most part Roslyn can only make single word requests. This is basically how she has been taught all along with private speech therapy and at her autism specific school – it only is for the first 4 years of schooling- nothing else is available where we live that is autism specific sadly a whole other story for another day). Any way she is stuck on one word requests, some she says clearly, most she struggles to clearly articulate. At 10 years old we are getting serious behavior issues around her wants now not being fulfilled-outbursts of anger ,shouting, self harm ,destructiveness. It is an expectation of both my children that ALL their wants be fulfilled. Her brother can verbalise his objections and will continually whinge and nag.This is no longer possible. I have tried redirecting and giving other choices but now this isn’t really working either and sometimes there ios no acceotable other choice she will accept. I even have a schedule board showing her when she can have her want fulfilled. I have never thought before that it is down to how communication has been taught to my children- but reading Dr Blank’s article makes it all so obvious.

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