Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Biomedical intervention - some positive signs

We have been reading a lot of books on autism and it seems that a number of authors (most of them parents of autistic children) have suggested that a change of diet and/ or biomedical intervention could lead to positive outcomes in autistic children.

Most believe that children (and adults) having autistic spectrum disorder have gastrointestinal and related problems (too many to discuss in detail here). The most common dietary intervention treatment is the removal of the gluten (wheat) and casein (dairy) free or GFCF diet.

As there is very little scientific evidence of the link between diet and autism, the mainstream doctors are very sceptical of such treatments and our paediatrician was no exception. She was totally against it and initially I agreed with her.

However as time went by and we saw very little improvement in our son, my wife finally convinced me. We decided to go ahead with the GFCF diet.

This was easier said than done, for our son who is a really fussy eater and I am afraid that most of the stuff he likes contains gluten. This includes pizza, noodles, paratha (Indian flat bread) and Rich tea biscuits. He will smell everything before he eats and will not try out new food.

Working with our dietician, we tried to see if cutting off either gluten or casein had any effect on our son. We did by first cutting off both casein and gluten from the diet. Then reintroducing gluten only for a month. This was followed by the reintroduction of casein and removal of gluten for a month as well. All the while we noted the behaviour, sleeping patterns, eye contact and bowel movement. Fortunately our son's nursery were willing to work with us during this experiment.

Ultimately we found out that our son seemed to have a problem with casein. The symptoms included loose bowel movements and waking up at night. The dietician finally recommended substituting the milk with soya milk and he has been on it since then.

He would throw a tantrum when ever we tried giving him vitamin supplements and we were relieved when he started taking Haliborange Baby and Toddler Multivitamin liquid which we usually buy from our local Tesco or Lloyds pharmacy. We have been giving Omega 3 (Equazen eye q) to our son since he was 2. We squeeze the oil from the capsules into his food or drink. He refuses to take the eye q chews and now we just started Haliborange Omega-3 syrup.

We also recently joined the Autism Biomedical Europe discussion group on Yahoo after reading so much about biomedical intervention.

After reading all the positive feedback, we decided to start biomedical intervention on our son in a small way. Just last week we started him on Cyrstal C Max and BioCare MindLinx Glutamine with Probiotic bacteria food supplement. Three days later we started giving him Vitasorb B.

To tell the truth we were optimistic but the results were amazing. In this short duration, his eye contact suddenly increased. While playing jigsaw with him, one eveing, he suddenly started saying "no!" whenever he got a piece wrong and laughing and clapping looking at our eyes, when he got them right. And the day before yesterday, we went to a friend's house for a party. There were loads of people and not only did our son put on the best of behaviour, he actually played happily alongside the other kids. I said "alongside" because he was not playing with them but this was such a big improvement that we were overwhelmed.

My wife and I looked at each other and we were both smiling. An event like this in the past was such a chore. I would usually have to carry him throughout. He would be throwing a tantrum- screaming, kicking and scratching.

You might understand why just watching him run around the garden getting biscuits for himself and taking turns with other kids on the trampoline was such a pleasure.

You might be interested in this story as well: Can diet really improve the symptoms of autism? Read this family's story and decide
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