I’ve written about this before – Emma’s limited diet. It’s self-imposed. As her parent and someone who struggled with an eating disorder for 22 years, I have been reluctant to get too involved in her food other than to make a few half-hearted attempts to offer her other foods I thought she might like. By the way, Nic, her older brother eats a wide range of foods, even eating a curried rice with cauliflower and chickpeas dish I made the other night, without complaint. (He was being a good sport, I know.)
When we first received Emma’s diagnosis I immediately put her on a gluten free/casein free diet as so many families found it helped their child. Some even found their child lost their diagnosis after going on it. We had her on the diet for more than three months and saw her lose 10% of her body weight with no other noticeable change. At the time we were working with a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor, who specialized in allergies and nutrition. During that time she became even pickier about what she’d eat and by the time we took her off of the diet, she was eating soy yogurt and scrambled eggs, shunning “good” foods she once ate, such as vegetables, chicken or fish. Years later someone told me that soy is another food to be avoided and that may have been the reason we saw no change. All these years later, I still wonder whether we did the diet wrong, if we’d removed all soy products, perhaps we would have seen some significant change.
A friend of mine suggested the GAPS diet, created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride who “fully recovered” her own child with her diet. The problem is, there isn’t a single thing allowed on this diet that Emma currently eats. In addition it is a labor intensive diet, requiring one to make homemade condiments – such as mayonnaise, ketchup, etc as well as yogurt. BUT – I am still willing to look into it and have purchased the book describing the diet as well as the cookbook with various recipes. (Richard is groaning as he reads this as he no doubt is remembering the fanaticism with which I tackled the GFCF diet.)
Before I even contemplate starting the GAPS diet, I will take her to a new pediatrician who is said to be versed in autism and am trying to encourage her to try some new foods. I intend to document our progress and (hopefully) hers on this blog.
Last night I introduced Emma to a piece of Comice pear, peeled.
She was tentative, but eventually after smelling it, licking it and touching it, she finally ate it!
This morning I gave her a small bite of a Fuji apple, which she immediately picked up and ate without hesitation. Tonight I will go out on a limb and try a raspberry.
Emma on her way to the school bus this morning.
If anyone reading this has had success with any sort of diet, please contact me with what you tried and any progress you saw in your child.
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to: www.Emma’sHopeBook.com