Adventures With Autism and Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle

What We Do

I’ve noticed many blogs about ASD contain a page about which supplements, therapies, foods, etc. the family utilizes. So, here’s ours.

Current (as of 08/23/13):

Dietary restrictions: Gluten-free, casein/dairy free (“GFCF”) (other than being contaminated in public, or out of our own ignorance); no artificial colors (this is a BIG one!!); no artificial sweeteners; no high fructose corn syrup (corn syrup is also avoided, but not as religiously — if it’s in a Non-GMO product, I don’t worry too much); cutting down on soy exposure (but it’s in so many things); no cottonseed oil (cotton isn’t regulated as a food, therefore, it tends to have a high pesticide content)

“What CAN she eat?”
Emily’s diet mainly consists of: Chicken (pretty much any way, but she won’t touch it if there’s sauce/toppings); peanut butter (Jif Natural) & jelly (Welch’s reduced sugar) sandwiches (GF bread); Envirokids dry cereals (organic, non-GMO, GF) such as Gorilla Munch (corn, sugar, sea salt… that’s it!); fruit (apples, pears, oranges, “canned” {usually in a jar} mixed fruit or peaches {in juice – no corn syrup or “fake sugar”}, green seedless grapes, dried cranberries, etc.); veggies (I’ll count tomatoes here, even though they’re fruit… celery, bean sprouts, beets); Jimboy’s chicken taquitos; rice and rice noodles; GF pasta (quinoa/corn blend).

Emily LOVES soup, so I get other veggies down her (and us) easily that way: cabbage, spinach, zucchini, carrots, etc. It varies.

About one Sunday morning a month, I make gluten-free pancakes cooked in coconut oil. I’ll post the recipe at some point, because they’re pretty good. DH and I eat eggs with ours, but Emily’s not much of an egg person (other than her obsessive desire to smash them).

I cook almost exclusively with coconut oil, which contains healthy fats/fatty acids. Coconut oil is believed to be very good for people with Autism… and everyone! We also use Earth Balance (the soy-free one) as a butter substitute (for toast and things, in recipes calling for butter I usually use coconut oil).

As of now, she still gets snack foods, such as: french fries (though we’re getting more careful about where we get them and how often), GFCF pretzels (Snyders of Hanover); GFCF crackers; chips (cottonseed oil free, GF); popcorn (usually homemade with coconut oil, but there are a few non-GMO, GFCF brands out there). Ideally, I hope to get us to a point of fewer processed/packaged things in our lives, and less starch/grains, but for now, we’re going with it.

Vitamins, supplements, treatments, etc.: Michael’s Naturopathic Programs Children’s Chewables (multi-vitamin); Buddy Bear Digest (digestive enzymes); RAW Kids (probiotic); Omega 3-6-9 for kids (I forget the brand, as she removed the label); Flax milk (for Omegas); Melatonin (for sleep); Epsom salt and baking soda baths (for “detox,” about 1-3x/week).

We’re switching products to “natural” versions, as well.
For Emily, this means: shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hair de-tangler. For DH and I, it’s a bit more complicated and is taking longer. We’ve switched a lot (toothpaste, bath products, etc), but we still have a way to go. Research (and a lot of price-comparing) is necessary for a lot of it, so it doesn’t happen overnight.

We’ve also switched the majority of our cleaning products to homemade, and/or natural versions. Vinegar, baking soda and Dr. Bronner’s are my new best friends. 😉

Therapy/Education: ASD classroom (Kindergarten), four hours per day, five days a week. “Floor time” style play at home, along with implementing principals learned in ST and parent ABA training. Practical skills taught in the home. We’ll be seeking out more “formal” therapies soon, but for now, school and “home school” are working quite well in combination.

Emily also has a speech therapist (ST), but we haven’t been lately due to illness, being busy getting into school, other life events, and a snafu by our insurance company (took two months to tell me she’d been approved for more visits).

I guess that covers it for now.

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