May 23, 2008

Just a few things…….

I came home from dropping Gav off at school a few days ago and there was a lovely package waiting on my front steps. My dear friend Tammy had sent us some Trader Joe’s Pancake and Waffle Mixes (GF/CF of course!) There was a yummy recipe on the side of the mix for coffee cake, so I decided to make that-Gavin loves anything “cake”. It was scrumptious! Thanks, Tammy! (I’m so jealous of your easy access to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s!)

This past Tuesday we were FINALLY able to take Gav to get his blood work done for his ION panel and food sensitivity tests. First we needed the urine sample and once we had that, we were to take him to a lab here in town. We were all ready to go last Thursday when I realized he was not supposed to have eaten anything for the last 12 hours. He had just finished breakfast. Another setback. Since the lab doesn’t do blood draws on Fridays and they are short-staffed on Mondays, we ended up having to wait until Tuesday. Poor little Gavie! He sat happily in the waiting room without a clue as to what was about to happen. I made Josh come along to hold him down (Gav’s had blood drawn before and I could barely keep him still). Six vials later, they had what they needed and we returned home with a very upset, hungry boy. (Luckily we still had coffee cake and that saved the day!)

That same night, there was a story on the news about our pediatrician’s office (old office-we no longer take our kids there). Apparently they recently sent out letters to their patients letting them know that the vaccines given from March ’07-December ’07 may be inactive. The refrigerator used to store these vaccines was found to be at an incorrect temperature, so they are unsure of the effectiveness of the vaccine. LIAM WAS GIVEN 6 VACCINES IN MAY ’07 AT THIS CLINIC. Back then, Gavin had yet to be diagnosed and I was just beginning to understand the problems behind vaccines. (I know some of you reading this may not agree with my position and that’s ok. This is my view since Gavin has been diagnosed). Liam was two months old and at the time I was very on the fence about vaccines. I went ahead with them and have regretted it ever since. This news the other night made my day! I cannot tell you what a huge relief I felt when I heard that. I had been walking around with guilt about that for some time.

If you are interested to learn why I feel the way I do about vaccines, please read these fantastic articles on the Generation Rescue site. Read their vaccination article and The User-Friendly Vaccination Schedule.

And lastly, Gav’s been sleeping much better this past week. He is no longer fighting bed time, and even though we hear him get up once or twice in the night, he gets right back in bed. He no longer wanders and we’re sure he’s not even awake when he gets up. Morning still comes awfully early at our house, but at least we’re all getting a more restful night’s sleep. Our family will be moving in with my parents starting Saturday so Josh can refinish our floors. This will probably mess up the good thing we have going, but we’re looking forward to lots of Grandpa and Grandma time!


May 15, 2008

First of all, I am happy to announce that Gavin has successfully gone potty in his potty chair-sans crumbs- and we now have a good sample to take to the lab (and frozen pee in our freezer).

Anyway, back to the reason for this post. Myself, Josh, and my extended family have been AMAZED at Gavin’s turn-around over the last two weeks. Gavin now eats everything that is put in front of him, whether or not he’s had it before. This never happened prior to the GF/CF diet.

Before trying the diet ourselves, I had kept reading about all these kids who were getting better on the diet, but my big question had always been how parents even got their children to start it. Autistic children are commonly very picky, as was the case with Gavin. To get him to try anything apart from his favorite four things was impossible. He would look sideways at his plate and refuse to even try one bite. I figured the same thing would happen on the diet, especially since we had to cut out all of his favorites.

A strange thing has happened. He no longer refuses food. He tries everything and more often than not, cleans his plate. He’s been asking for broccoli for goodness sake! This coming from the child who flat out refused vegetables most of his life. Gavin has suddenly become a bottomless pit. We had dinner at my parents’ house last night and we literally ran out of food to give him. He just kept eating! I know he feels better and the enzymes are helping his food digest the way it should. What I don’t understand, though, is what changed his mind? Did he know certain foods hurt his tummy hence the pickyness? Does he now feel so much better that he’s not afraid to try new things? Why does he suddenly like (dare I even say, love) vegetables? Why hasn’t he even asked for the old standbys? He’s a completely different person when we sit down to eat. Meal times are enjoyable now. Before it was a battle at almost every meal unless he was eating a favorite. I caved more often than not and let him eat what he wanted, just so he would eat something and be full.

To anyone who is contemplating starting their child on this diet, please try it! It is hard at first (and expensive), but the results are amazing and fast. I am so excited to see what Gavin will be like even a month from now! The possibilities are endless!

On a sad note…….I was informed by a Hy-Vee worker recently that they are going to stop carrying A2 milk because they are not selling enough. Apparently, they are one of the last Hy-Vees in the area who even still carry it. Bummer. Guess we’re just going to have to get an A2 cow for the back yard.

This Beatles’ song has been rolling around in my head lately. Here’s why…….for almost the last two weeks, Gavin has been waking up in the middle of the night and is usually up for AT LEAST 2 hours, sometimes several times a night. I don’t know if it starts with sleepwalking and ends up waking him up, but it’s VERY frustrating. To begin with, he’s been having a really hard time going to bed and staying in bed. It takes a good half and hour of punishments before he finally stays in bed long enough to fall asleep. 4-5 hours later, he’s usually up again and refuses to stay in bed. Josh and I decided a long time ago that we are not going to let him sleep in our bed. We just can’t start that with him. So, one or both of us ends up guarding his door and putting him back in bed repeatedly in the middle of the night. (I feel like I have a newborn again with the small amount of sleep we’ve been getting). Fortunately Liam, whose room is right next door, sleeps through it all.

The thing is, sleep problems are common among autistic children, so we are definitely not alone, there’s just not a lot that we can do. He already takes melatonin before bed to help him fall asleep (doesn’t really seem to help though) I’m seriously hoping that once we get his body balanced with supplements this will help him have a more restful night sleep.

And that brings me to the other issue we’ve been facing. POTTY TRAINING. Well, we’re not actually doing that yet (Gav has absolutely no desire). After meeting with Carolyn Walker at Prevention Iowa, Josh and I decided to have Gavin take a food sensitivity test and an ION panel (this measures everything his body produces to determine if he’s too high or too low in certain areas. It will also determine if there is a high level of metal in his system-another common factor of autism.  In order to do the ION panel though, a urine sample is needed. Kind of a big problem for us. Gav has yet to go in the potty. He’s been known to sit on it for up to an hour, but doesn’t go. (Some other problems are that the test requires first morning urine and the child should not have any liquids prior to going). My thinking was that we could just keep giving him water or juice, but that could potentially dilute his urine and ruin the test.

Last night while the family was over to celebrate Mother’s Day, Gav sat on his potty while everyone ate dessert. He ended up eating a cookie while we “waited” for him to go because he was feeling left out. Still nothing. This morning, Josh had him sit again and this time he sat for a good hour. We finally decided it was time to call it a day and then we realized at some point he had gone!!!! YAY! We had our sample!!! I got the lab kit ready and then realized there was a bunch of black crumbs floating in his urine. Apparently some of his cookie from last night had made it into the potty chair. I’m thinkin’ that’s not going to go over too well at the lab. So, we’re back to square one. At least he went. I guess that’s the first step. SIGH……….

Liam too!

May 5, 2008

In all this talk about Gavin, we can’t forget about the littlest person in our family. Today, while Gav was at school, Liam managed to sneak the bag of granola right out from under my nose. Here’s what I found when I walked into the living room.

Every time he reached into the bag, he gasped. Yes, the granola is THAT GOOD. Thank you, Amy, for the Trader Joe’s Granola! (It lasted about 24 hours). And in case you’re wondering, it’s GF/CF-even better!