Hello strangers! Yes, our family is still in existence! Blogging has taken a back seat for a while. For the last month, our family has been strictly following the GAPS diet in an attempt to heal Sam of autism. It's very time-intensive, but very worth it in my opinion. Today I was looking back through old pictures and found some videos that I had taken a year ago. In those videos Sam had a lot of difficulty controlling his body. He couldn't focus well enough to answer simple questions. Then I took a video from today. I think the change in one year is pretty substantial.
Here are several of the videos from February 2010. In the first video, I was trying to get the kids to send a Valentine's message to Grandma Colette, but Sam was too excited to participate. When he watched the video today he just kept giggling at himself. I asked him why he was laughing and he said, "Because I'm clapping funny!" I then asked him why he was clapping funny in the video and he replied, "Because I was excited!"
And, finally, here's the one from today. There's been so much improvement in his ability to have a conversation and his ability to control his body better. He's certainly not healed of autism, but I'm so proud of how far we've come. Notice at the end of the video that he finally sends a message to Grandma Colette that I was trying to accomplish in the video from a year ago.
During the time of the videos from last year (February 2010), our diet was about 70-80% Weston Price. I was really just starting to feel comfortable soaking grains. We ate a lot of potatoes and corn and rice and oats. I baked a lot using soaked wheat for bread, pizza crusts, tortillas, muffins, pancakes, etc. The kids loved to snack on fruit and homemade yogurt with honey and berries. In April 2010 we went gluten-free. I did notice an improvement in Sam's social behavior at that time. He seemed to show more interest in playing with other children. However, he still didn't seem to understand exactly how other children played together. Unfortunately, that change didn't seem to last because I noticed a regression despite maintaining a gluten-free diet.
In October 2010 we went straight into the Full GAPS diet and stayed on it for 8 weeks. During that time I noticed a few small changes, but nothing that jumped out at me. At that time I couldn't justify limiting our diet for the miniscule changes that I saw, so in December 2010 I took us back to a gluten-free Weston Price diet. We were on that diet for almost a month and it was the most miserable month that I've had in a LONG time. Sam's behavior was awful. He lost control of his body. The humming and hand flapping and clapping escalated. He even started biting the other children, which had never happened before. Apparently Full GAPS had been helping, but I didn't realize it until we had abandoned it.
So, in desperation, our family started doing the GAPS Introduction diet on January 10, 2011. We've now been on the Intro diet for 4 weeks. You can see the improvement in the last video. Sam still has moments of humming and clapping when he gets really excited. He will occasionally have a meltdown over something insignificant but those instance have dramatically decreased. Before starting Intro, Sam would wake up at 5am every morning and lay in his bed for hours humming and clapping. I would have to get up several times and tell him to quiet down so he didn't wake the other children. Starting on Day 2 of GAPS Intro, Sam's room has been blessedly quiet in the mornings. He sleeps more soundly, often until 7am. His body is now capable of being still.
So, needless to say, I am IMMENSELY pleased with the outcome of doing the GAPS Intro diet. If, after only 4 weeks, we've seen this much change..what can we expect after four months on the diet? I am just amazed that all of this is possible simply by eating foods that God created.
This post has been linked to Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop!