Nothing is as precious as the ongoing health and wellness of our children - they are God’s greatest gift to us and as parents it’s entirely within our own heads/hands to help them. At the end of each day we have to know everything within our power has been done to make their lives worth living (as opposed to just existing). It is of paramount importance in raising a child with a degenerative disorder to follow the correct diet to protect those precious brain cells lest they continue to degrade.
We start following the Interim Elimination Diet for a period of (approx) 6 months giving the gastrointestinal tract time to improve and other biomedical protocols to be put in place enhancing immunity and improving health. The child can still eat well with a healthy variety of safe foods (later on we move to more appropriate diets for our child’s developing needs).
The elimination of ALL artificial colours, enhancers, artificial flavours, pesticides, preservatives, gluten and casein from the diet of any spectrum child has long been considered appropriate. However, we have come to realise that soy and corn also need to be deleted along with a reduced sugar intake. GF/CF/SF/CF become familiar abbreviations and once the amazing benefits of removing these foods are seen most parents follow diet guidelines indefinitely such that they become a beneficial way of life for child and family!
Have courage to face challenges with faith in your ability, perseverance to stay the course and the capacity to rejoice in every little improvement your child of the future achieves.
PEPTIDES: Peptides are the big culprits. Found in casein, gluten, soy they have an opiate-like effect on the brain similar to that of heroin, morphine and opium. Opioid peptides bind to opioid receptors in the brain and GI tract slowing gut motility and mimicking the addictive and debilitating effects of narcotic drugs by reducing pain and inducing pleasure. These natural opioid type substances cause our children to crave them more and more in the same way a drug addict craves his fix! The effect is similar with our little people appearing to be drugged and unaware of their surroundings and family until they withdraw into a world of silence where we can no longer reach them!
We can help our children most by removing these peptides from their diet.
The gut-brain connection is vitally important in humans especially in spectrum children as the gastrointestinal system has the job of breaking down proteins into peptides to be further broken down into amino acids the building blocks of life. These opiate-like peptides are usually quite large and generally unable to pass through the intestinal lining of the gut. However, if the gut is damaged and full of holes (leaky gut syndrome) they are enabled to make this transition entering the blood-stream and crossing the blood-brain barrier damaging delicate brain development and producing debilitating cravings.
The first step in management is to remove selective food groups containing these PEPTIDES enabling awareness and cognition to improve. Once the amazing benefits from removing them are seen we will have no hesitation in following more advanced diets and biomedical protocols in a few months time.
Time is of the essence for our children and every single day we delay is a day lost that cannot be recovered. Many parents say “I wish I had started along this path earlier” or “if only I had known how to help my child and where to start”... let’s not waste another moment but commence a Logical Sequence that biomedical parents have found works well for the majority of children.
DELETE CASEIN: Self-restriction to a few foods is common in ASD not only because of cravings but also because absorption and digestion is difficult and may lead to painful inflammation and food sensitivities developing. Casein is a milk protein found in all dairy products and many processed foods. It’s by far the easiest peptide problem to delete with residuals leaving the GI tract in 7 days and parents usually detecting cognitive and emotional improvements within the first 2-3 days - how exciting is that - sufficient to inspire us to adhere 100% to a casein free diet and look to the next item on the Diet List!
*A replacement for casein is usually Organic Rice Milk (some come with added calcium). We never replace casein with soy as soy has its own problems!
DELETE GLUTEN: The small intestine of autistic children is sensitive to gluten a protein component of the following grains. Experience has taught us that gluten removal (once considered a temporary measure) ought to be maintained for life just as it is for coealiacs.
barley - bulgur - buckwheat - couscous - triticale - oat - malt - maize - millet rye - spelt - tapioca - quinoa - wheat - (gluten is found in packaged foods)
Even the tiniest amounts of gluten can be harmful. When the lining of the small intestine in damaged nutrients are poorly absorbed. Untreated this can result in a range of disorders including malnutrition, but if the gut is rested for a number of months it will enable many of the tiny villi lining the small intestine to recover and assist in normal absorption of nutrients.
It can take 6 months (often longer) for gluten to leave the digestive system so care must be taken to ensure there are no infractions. Many parents choose immediately to go cold turkey, others prepare in advance with alternative foods and menus. If all gluten foods are eliminated in one go its more beneficial for the child as it reduces withdrawal times. As gluten products are eliminated there is usually another leap forward and a reduction in antisocial behaviours along with healthier sleep patterns and budding awareness of family members and surroundings. Whilst almost immediate positive responses are seen from eliminating casein it can, in some cases, take much longer for the full benefits of a gluten free diet to become evident.
SOY: We ought not make the mistake of substituting soy products for dairy products for (allied with dairy and gluten) soy is a problem product. It seems easier to delete soy at the same time as casein (as they duplicate each other in almost everything in the fridge) thus eliminating 2 major food sources of toxins within the same time frame.
The natural toxins in soy contain anti-nutrients and are high in phytic acid a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals e.g. calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc in the intestinal tract. Soy produces effects similar to that of casein and as all opiates are highly addictive it leaves our children as if affected by hallucinogenic drugs.
Opioid receptors are found throughout the body from the brain to the intestines (which explains many of the gastrointestinal side effects of opiate withdrawal) and since it can only be partially digested soy is best deleted.
Soy is one of the big allergens along with eggs and milk and is used in a wide range of processed foods. It causes bloating, hives, rashes and possibly severe reactions particularly in kids with asthma or peanut allergies.
*99% of soy is genetically modified and has a high percentage of pesticide contamination. During the processing of soy products the beans are exposed to extreme heat and to chemicals like Hexane.
Soy also contains goitrogens - substances that depress thyroid function. It is high in oxalate a compound that binds with calcium in the kidneys to form kidney stones. Soybeans contain haemagglutinin that cause red cells to clump and clot.
Soybeans are classified as a legume along with carob, chickpeas, navy, kidney, string, black/pinto beans, lentils, licorice, and peanuts. Sensitivity to peanuts is common and dangerous such that most schools now ban peanuts due to the risk of an anaphylactic reaction occurring. Soybean sensitivity is also high.
CAUTION: Soy formula is dangerous for babies for the above reasons plus it contains high levels of aluminium, phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, lectins, manganese and phytoestrogens and is known to inhibit mineral absorption. It lacks many factors necessary for normal brain development including essential fatty acids, DHA-brain growth factor and cholesterol.
ASD children may appear to have high pain thresholds and often are not aware if they hurt themselves, extremes of heat and cold making their home a fairly dangerous place at times. Opiates (like morphine) act as painkillers disguising normal warning signs so vigilance is required to ensure they do not harm themselves.