Thursday, May 21, 2009

How Autism taught me about food.

Still feeling really, really crappy , but still staying on program. Last night after my normal evening snack I was feeling very hungry and I decided to satiate it with something high volume, low calorie and yeast free. I choose a rice cake with a wedge of laughing cow light an a great big glass of water. Then son was going through his box of memories ( he saves birthday cards and such) and found a coupon book I made for his last birthday. In it was a coupon for an extra sugar free jello and fat free whipped cream. So I got him one and decided I really, really wanted one for myself. I ate it but asked myself why did I choose something this junky and toxic ?

I have decided not to buy these jello things anymore because while they are only 10 calories each, they are junk calories and wrapped in too many chemicals. The artificial sweetener, the dye, the chemicals to flavor it - not a single thing found in nature . And in getting rid of these it will eliminate the next to last source we ingest of artificial sweetener. The other one is sugar free jello pudding, but now that everyone in the house is disciplined enough to take one and stop, I think we can safely take the hit of regular pudding. I will still buy it pre-made in those little cups though because the portion control factor is still needed. Now I want to buy a brand that is closer to nature instead of so chemically altered for shelf stability and mouth feel. These two items gone from the house means farewell to all artificial sweetners and chemical additives.

Son has been making some breakthroughs and spent yesterday talking my ear off about any and everything. I had to laugh , because when we started down this whole road of Autism the first definate clue I had was that he did not talk. He was 3 and never even did the normal baby bables. Our pediatrician patted me on the head for a while and said I was being a nervous mother. I would mention this to my parents, and my dad would say "don't worry- one day you will be begging to shut him up". To be honest I prayed that day would arrive soon. Finally it did and has brought many other days of nonstop chatter. However over the last month the chatter has begun to fall into the pattern of real human conversation, and about things other than the tv schedual, the order of upcomming household events . Diet and supplementation have been the factors in this change once again, and it serves as a reminder to me that we must live this lifestyle not just to lose weight, but to bring my son totally into the light of normalcy. When you consider those factors, the urge to cheat or fall off program rapidly dissapears. Back at the worst, before the supplements, life was a series of meltdowns , baffling behaviors and really bad food based on the avoidance of those meltdowns, accompanied with feeling physically unwell and trapped. Supplements brought a real gain in comprehension and then dietary changes were possible. With dietary changes came an increase in nutrition which fed the body in ways it needed, and then the rest came to be. Seeing this change with my own eyes is a pretty potent protection against the desire to eat cake or ice cream or even Grandma's Marshmellow salad. While they may taste good, the also mean a huge backslide into a world of darkness and silence. You just never want to go there again.

In a very weird way, this is the final step in the whole changing my own relationship with food journey. As a little kid I learned from my parents that good eaters were strong people, and strong people were the only ones worth dealing with in life. Then I learned that strong people became strong not because of what they put in their mouth but rather because of the way they responded to life. Food was merely fuel and nothing more.Those who are not strong need the compassion and aid of those who are strong in order to become strong themselves. Now I am begining to see powerful examples of how the proper mix of nutrition can form something into the most awesome, resiliant and strong machine ever designed- the human body. When the mix is wrong, the machine malfunctions badly. When it is right, it is almost magical. With the proper mix of nutrients, activities and emotional satisfaction and the elimination of a daily does of unnessisary chemicals through food and enviroment, that machine can continue to function a lot longer and more efficiantly than we have come to belive as the norm.

We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. And God speaks to us in the ways we listen to the best it seems.


skinnyhollie said...

"Then I learned that strong people became strong not because of what they put in their mouth but rather because of the way they responded to life."

I love this quote! So true!

And I experienced the same thing with my autistic son. He didn't talk until he was 3, but once he started he has not stopped since! But isn't it music to your ears? I prefer his endless chatter than silence any day!

The Incredible Shrinking Family said...

I agree ! Nick's speach was the one reason I got involved in homeschooling, and it has been delayed but always increasing.( he learned to speak and read on the same day while we were in the bathtub playing with letters). There are days now when he gets SO yackity that my first instinct is to yell "Nick shut up !" . But then I quickly remember all of the times of silence and I take this chatter as the most beautiful thing in the world. What Hannah Montana said and how those birds outside sure are noisy may be annoying, but the silence is terrifying.

Have you tried any of the biomedical intervention things with him ? I always like to hear other parent's experiences with these thing.

JC said...

Wonderful post. Very insightful.