Saturday, February 5, 2011

An Autism Improvement on Video

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!"

video
video
video

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.
video

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!
http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2011/02/real-food-wednesday-2911.html

53 comments:

  1. Your videos have brought tears to my eyes and encouraged me to KEEP TELLING PEOPLE about the GAPS Diet and the difference it can make. Just this morning I was emailing with a Mom who has suffered for over 20 years with her son and I encouraged her to at least TRY doing GAPS. Then I got your link so I forwarded it to her. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and such amazing results in your son! I know GAPS certainly isn't an easy diet to implement, but I'm so proud of you and other parents like you who do the difficult thing for their children. :)

    Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  2. I must say, that is WONDERFUL!!! Way to go!! Keep up the great work Mom!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hard work pays off and your story shows it. Way to go!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amazing. I have debated for over a year now about GAPS for my son. He's not autistic but has ADHD pretty severely. I'm just nervous and mostly afraid that he will reject everything I try to feed him. He eats so little now. But this has got me encouraged. We are going to start with just GF and then probably go onto GAPS.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous, to be totally honest with you, my children went through a period the first week where they boycotted anything that I made them. They even refused to eat foods that they happily consumed before. That lasted several days, but then they greedily started scarfing down their meals and asking for more. I started doubting myself during that time and contemplated abandoning the diet, but I'm so glad that I stayed the course. Based on my experience...if your son does reject the foods, I believe that it would only be temporary. Best wishes to you in whichever course you choose!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ohhhh! I'm so glad to have seen these videos -- the difference in Sam is astounding :)

    Over on http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/GAPShelp/ we're buzzing about the growth that his body and personality are making as you follow the GAPS protocol with him.

    You're a wonderful Mama to be blessing your children with the gift of health!

    Sage~~

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is remarkable. Keep up the good work mom!

    ReplyDelete
  8. "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."~ Janice, I know I have already
    e-mailed you, but you have nailed it on the head with this statement. You are truly a testament and an uplifting and encouraging example to many!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you!! This is wonderful. While our kids are not autistic, they do have tics (humming, drumming, not being able to sit still) that drive us crazy. We have been gluten free since July. We eat mostly Weston A. Price. Due to health issues, I am wanting to go full gaps (Intro) starting next month. This is such encouragement to us. I will look forward to seeing changes in my own kids.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for sharing this. I love your video documentation. So much of this is anecdotal research, and will affect the lives of others - much appreciated.

    We are over a year on GAPS, and its all worthwhile!

    Shelley
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Truly AMAZING. I am so happy for you all!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi,

    Oh my goodness -- I have tears in my eyes, too.

    Would you be willing to write a guest post on my blog? Either a guest post or an interview? If not, can I post the videos? I would like to upload them to YouTube so I can embed them directly on my blog.

    I would really love to help get this out to a wider audience. I know this will encourage so many of my readers.

    Please email me at annmarie@realfoodmedia.com and let me know.

    Thanks so much!

    Ann Marie

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, wow, wow, that is so encouraging! Thanks for sharing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have a 10 yr old who was diagnosed with autism when he was 3. I was so blessed to have people in my life who showed me how changing his diet can help. We started on the SCD immediately and we did see incredible improvements. A couple years ago our ped actually told us to just forget the diagnosis. He still has his moments, especially when he eats too much of something he shouldn't have. I really wish we had before and after videos like you do to remind me that it is all worth it.
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you so much for sharing your videos. GAPS has made a tremendous difference in our lives.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I shared this on Facebook. It made me cry. Your patience, your hard work, your determination makes me want hug you. A doctor once told me when I pushed for information on helping my then 2 year old, "A persistent Mother is a good Mother." And my friend, you ARE a great mother!

    ReplyDelete
  17. My youngest child had Autism as well. When he was three years old, he was about like your Sam. He just turned 17. I didn't find out about WAP or GAPS until about three years ago, but I did make a switch to whole milk and butter several years ago, and more recently to raw milk. We did a TON of other types of therapy with him, and he has turned out very well. He requested to stop receiving services at school in 6th grade, and in 9th grade, he was removed from Special Education completely. Recently, he got his driver's license, and is in the planning stages of entering the Army and wants to be a helicopter pilot.
    He would flap his hands, repeat phrases over and over, only interact using lines from movies, insisted on wearing costumes at all times, laughed inappropriately (but not till he turned three)....the list of symptoms was endless. Now, he is a fairly normal, interesting, fun teenage boy, with normal problems and normal aspirations.
    While we didn't do GAPS (and your son's progress is amazing - mine took five years to make that kind of progress), there is a hope and a future for your Sam. In spite of what we, and countless other parents are told, Autism is NOT incurable, there IS help, and it IS NOT in the form of psychiatric drugs. It is in food.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for this glimpse into your family and SAm's wonderful transformation. I am questioning our diet for many reasons and we are making changes.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your son reminds me alot of my son Oskar, he is also 5 years old and has not been diagnosed with autism but shows many symptoms. We have been implementing alot from the Gaps diet lately and it seems to be helping but last week he had more than usual of food containing gluten (pizza at kindergarten) and I made a cake (with wheat) and he has been really bad these past days, he has even bitten both me and his father (wich he hasn´t done since he was much younger) I am thinking it is the same as you experienced with your son.

    Thanks for sharing, its amazing to see the videos, you really have helped me make up my mind on going on the full Gaps diet and even on the intro soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you so much for sharing this. My son and I don't have autism but I have struggled with depression and emotional problems my whole life until I went on GAPS. It is not easy to be on but I am so grateful to be living happily that it is so worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. HE is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!
    Look at those intelligent eyes!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you so much for sharing your videos and story! What an amazing transformation. As the mother of a young boy, my heart reaches out for you in facing these challenges, and in continuing to work to overcome them!

    ReplyDelete
  23. What an amazing improvement! This is so wonderful! I copy/pasted your link on my Facebook page... had to share this with others!

    Many blessings!
    Victoria

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow you are amazing! My son is hyperactive. It's a lot to take in, especially since it effects his teachers at school and the teachers around him. We started him on the Feingold diet and he seemed to calm down tremendously. In fact the teacher said he was an entirely new child. Any slip off the diet and he is back to the old. Anyway. I want to look up the Gaps Diet and see what that's about. It sounds like an amazing program and I am thankful you found it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beautiful!! There is a *remarkable* difference in Sam from the earlier videos to the recent one. How wonderful that GAPS is helping so quickly, I'm sure you will see much more along the way!!! I have been on GAPS for over a year. I had hoped it would help me with depression and anxiety and it has done wonders. I feel like a different person. I just read the other day at Dr. Campbell-McBride's site on her Q&A page Question 28 where she says if you don't think the diet is working, go off and see how you feel, I guess that test works! I'm so happy for your family! Praise the Lord for GAPS! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. We had a very similar experience with our son and the SCD, I'm so glad to see more success stories!!!!! Two years on the SCD and he started kindergarten on time and is in a regular classroom. Our stories have got to get out there. My 40 year old brother has autism too and my parents sure wish they had known about the diet then. I just can't tell you how important it is that you have documented your sons changes with the diet. Way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  27. That was overwhelmingly powerful, and beautiful. There is such a striking depth to his eyes in the last video! Thanks for sharing your amazing story.

    ReplyDelete
  28. That is amazing! My kids have food allergies and I do as well, got the books and want to do GAPS someday soon, thanks for sharing so happy for your family.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Janice,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I also appreciate your honesty about the first week.

    Would yo mind answering a follow up question? While your children were boycotting, did they basically go hungry for those days and after they were hungry enough, suddenly everything tasted good?

    If my family were to try to switch to GAPS, I am wondering if we make the switch cold turkey, or if we should prepare GAPS foods, but have "backups" on hand of foods they are used so they are not complaining of hunger all day.

    If I felt there was a light at the end of the tunnel, I could endure some rough days.

    Thanks again for your amazing and inspiring blog!

    Michael

    ReplyDelete
  30. Michael,

    When my children were boycotting food that first week, they did go hungry for a time. They had food available to them at all times because I had soups warming on the stove or in the crockpot at all times. The children simply refused to eat the same soups that they had happily consumed days before. I believe that their behavior was brought about by die-off of the bad bacteria in the gut. I say this because, at the time of the food boycotts, the children were literally screaming out for fruits. I think their bodies were craving sugars and wanted nothing to do with other foods. I don't remember ever once hearing them say, "I'm hungry." I DO remember hearing them wail, "I want a date!" or whine "I want some figs." They ALWAYS requested fruit. Once those sugar cravings calmed down, then the children began eating massive amounts of food.

    Those days were VERY rough and I never want to repeat them again, but I feel they were worth it.

    If you do decide to embark on GAPS Intro, please don't hesitate to contact me during those awful first few days. I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

    Take care,
    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  31. Janice,
    Thank you for posting your videos. What an extraordinary change in your child! It seems that he has been given a way back to himself. His look in the last video is one of deep intelligence and sweet gentleness. May your joy continue.
    H.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you, Janice, being so open about this part of your life. Your son is just beautiful! And you are such a blessing in your children's lives. My son was so incredibly hyperactive up until he was 6 (he's now 8), that I cried tears during the homeschool day just trying to calm him down, focus, and be nice to his little sister. He was incredibly disobedient, but just seemed like he "didn't get it". We heard about the Feingold diet, and within a day of implementing it, he was completely normal, he walked (as opposed to hopping everywhere), and that was the last night he had his night terrors/ hallucinations. Twice, we let our kids have Kraft Mac and Cheese out of convenience, but that was such a horrid mistake, we will never do that again! I am really interested in the GAPS diet- I have never heard of it! So I will check that out right away. . . Maybe there could be more that we're missing. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Tears, Tears, I just finished reading the GAPS book and am in the process of implementing the diet. My son is not Autistic, but has SPD. This makes me so hopeful that the years of challenge may soon be behind us.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Someone posted your story on our discussion board and it was very moving. I hope you are learning about the hidden sources of glutamate, the harmful component of MSG, and the main amino acid in gluten. The site, www.msgmyth.com will amaze you, as it opens your eyes to some of the items many people are unaware of that contain MSG. Best wishes for your child and children everywhere suffering due to dangerous food additives.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Janice: Awesome! So inspiring...

    I have now posted about -and linked to- your story via the GAPS Guide website here:
    http://gapsguide.com/2011/03/18/sam-heals-the-impact-of-gaps-intro/

    All my best,
    Baden

    ReplyDelete
  36. Baden,

    So neat to have you here and passing along our story! Your book was immensely helpful to us during some of the most difficult times, so THANK YOU for taking the time to put your insight into book form!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Janice, What an encouraging blessing to see your videos and read your blog!
    How beautiful it was to me to see God's grace poured out on you in talking to Sam BEFORE GAPS. Yes, there's a remarkable change in Sam after GAPS; your loving, patient voice is the same before and after. You are a model of the loving mother all are called to be, no matter how challenging the children and circumstances. Thankfully, with GAPS the challenges are fewer! May many blessings continue!

    ReplyDelete
  38. What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the GAPS diet. My mom just introduced me to this diet, and you have inspired me to try it. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Janice,
    I just found you through a link from the CheeseSlave blog and wanted to thank you SO MUCH for sharing this about your son.

    Sam in the first 3 videos acts and sounds just like my son - it's seriously uncanny. My son was diagnosed as autistic about a year and a half ago. I recently started finding info about GAPS and want to use it with my family. The dramatic improvement in Sam on the 4th video gives me HOPE and confidence that this will benefit my son too. I was amazed how still & calm he was and that he was able to attend to and answer your questions. Phenomenal! THANK YOU again for sharing.

    Be blessed!

    Karen H
    mama2gems [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  40. WOW!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING. I started crying. This is amazing. Lets hope naysaying relatives can see the difference and better support you guys. (we too have naysaying extended family which is difficult).

    GAPS has helped me recover from depression and helped my daughter to stop suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. It has also helped our youngest to not have issues with candida. It is amazing - and our whole family has a new lease on life.

    Thank you again for sharing this miracle. God is good!

    ReplyDelete
  41. WOW. I too had tears in my eyes as I watched this. I kept thinking, "it's FOOD that's doing this! That's healing this boy!" I am immensely inspired, both by what you've been dealing with, and the hope you must feel after your experience on intro GAPS. I'm starting the intro diet today, hopefully to heal my food allergies but also to prepare my body for pregnancy. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  42. oh my goodness, i burst into tears at the end, your son is soooo gorgeous and you are a wonderful mama!! I am posting this on my fb page "Our GAPS and Nourishing Traditional Food Journey" to show other mamas the difference GAPS can make in 4 weeks!! I am amazed, keep up the fantastic work and I'm so glad Sam is doing well xxx

    ReplyDelete
  43. Janice, your son is so handsome. He has such a wonderful face. My son 4yo autism has been giving me grief with his hyperactivity and non stop carb eating. He is raiding the pantry all the time. Thank you for your encouragement. God is good. I shall start too.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thank you with all my heart for posting these. My family and I are all on this diet. We each have problems that need addressing, but especially my 8 yo with Aspergers. She has horrible tantrums daily, sometimes several times a day. We've been on full GAPS for 2 1/2 months and just started the intro 5 days ago. I am so encouraged by your post. What a blessing to have found GAPS! and other who are doing it who can lead us! :) Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  45. This is so amazing. I think you were inspired to post these videos.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I just keep thinking about this since I heard of GAPS the other day. I was a special ed teacher before I stayed home to have children. I had several students with autism. As is common in the school atmosphere, and especially in special education, we rewarded with treats. One student in particular, we'd give him M&M's for doing what he was supposed to. This was high school, and he was 6'3". He was so sweet, but would get into these fits of rage that were so bad. He would throw desks - literally. All we could do during an episode (that happened several times a day) was take the other students out, and call the office for some men. Finally, they put him in a behavior unit. I was instructed by my district mentors to give him the M&M's. I was health conscious, so I didn't like doing it. But I had no idea it was actually making his autism worse. I remember my mentor said to me, "a little candy never hurt anyone." Little did she know. Little did I know, too. Also, in the lunch room, they gave all the students a mini pack of M&M's EVERY DAY with their lunch. I remember one time talking to the lunch workers, asking them not to give this particular student M&M's because part of behavior modification, is they only get that particular reward when they earn it. She told me she wasn't allowed to not give him M&M's, as it was part of his lunch. This is a true story, not exaggerated. I remember rolling my eyes at the time in disbelief with the school lunch system, and now I am wide-eyed remembering this instance. What damage we are doing to our children. We really need to get this word out there. Why do you think it's not spreading faster? I'm thankful for the internet, but why doesn't the media pick up on it?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Has your son also received concurrent therapies for behavior (like ABA), speech, OT, along with the GAPS diet? I'm a parent with a newly diagnosed child (almost 4) and I'm wondering whether this is only GAPS diet alone, or whether other treatments are used and for how long. I've bought 2 GAPS diet books and am just beginning to read them.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Anonymous,

    We are not doing any additional therapies of any sort with Sam. The last therapy he had was all the way back in 2006 when he was 1-1/2 years old. The GAPS Diet in and of itself is amazing. If I can be of any help to you on this journey, please don't hesitate to contact me at janicegaps@yahoo.com

    Take care,
    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Janice.

    I have just seen this link posted on a Facebook page. I'm really curious about how this works.

    My son is 6 and he has Aspergers. I have tried homeopathy but it didn't work.

    He has a good diet but due to his condition I am unable to work, and we live on just my partners wage, therefore don't have money to buy organic etc foods...

    I'd love some advice on how to get started xx

    ReplyDelete
  50. Anonymous,

    I didn't want you to think that I was ignoring your question. My answer turned a bit lengthy, so I just did an entirely new blog post based on your comment. If I can help you any further, please let me know!

    Take care,
    Janice

    ReplyDelete
  51. Janice - congratulations on the remarkable improvement of your son. We are staring Gaps this week and your story is a real inspiration. I am hopeful we will have a success story of our own to share about GAPS soon. Thanks for getting the word out and helping us all fight the good fight!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Started the intro GAPS diet 3 days ago. My daughter's bloated stomach has already gone away!! Thanks for your blog, always great to hear the good news!!

    ReplyDelete