How did you first learn about the biomedical approach and the role of nutrition in ASD?
The day I got the diagnosis of my son that he is ASD, I started searching the web for treatments to help my child. I passed over some articles and stories about how nutrition affects the functioning of a person. Then after more search and reading I found the DAN! protocol, and I was convinced that in order to help my child’s mind and functioning I need to nourish his body.
Why did you choose this approach to help your child?
I knew I needed to help my child with several approaches…one approach is not enough. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, art therapy, hydrotherapy, psychology therapy, sensory diet. I knew I needed to find something that helps his body and I believed that nutrition is a big part of the treatment.
How did the GFCF diet affect your child/what kinds of changes did you see in your child?
The first three weeks were hard he was very angry all the time, didn’t sleep well and cried a lot. But after these three weeks miracles started to happen. For 6 months we did speech therapy and we managed to get one word from him, but after 3 weeks of GFCF words started to come out it was unbelievable. He didn’t notice his sister didn’t play with her, it looked like he didn’t know she existed, she loved him and was very frustrating for her that she tries to contact with him and he ignores her, she asked me once “why doesn’t he love me?”. And one day out of nowhere after about 2 months in the GFCF diet on the way to kinder-garden he shouted “Bye Rawan” with a wave [of] the hand and a kiss, Rawan ran back to him hugged him and said “Mom, Suliman called my name”. I can’t forget that moment, just then I knew I’m on the right path for treating my lovely son.
What kinds of supplements do you feel helped your child the most?
We did lots of blood, stool and urine tests, so any vitamin that [he] was low [in], we got a supplement for it.
What were the greatest challenges you experienced with this approach?
At home, I needed to clean up the kitchen to be GFCF, and all the family moved to 80% GFCF diet and Suliman to 100% GFCF – it wasn’t easy to change eating habits. I was very hard to go to a restaurant, can’t find one that is GFCF. It was almost impossible to go to a hotel we needed to ask for special food arrangement and not all hotels are ready to do it. He is a child in kinder-garden, he wants cookies and snacks like all the children in his class and he can’t have some. I needed to be ready all the time with replacements for him every time we went out of the house, event to visit family I needed to bring his food with me.
Would you recommend biomedical nutrition to other families and why?
Yes, I certainly would recommend it. It worked well for us, and helped my son a lot, and I believe that nutrition is a big part of the treatment.
Any special tips you’d like to share with other parents?
You can’t do less than 100% GFCF it won’t work. Find a market nearby that sells GFCF foods. Think about moving the family to GFCF diet – it helps. Explain to your kid why he can’t eat something in a simple words that he understands, don’t just say “no, you can’t eat that”. I used to say “your tummy will hurt if you eat this because your tummy doesn’t like flour, many kids are like you, here have this instead”, and always have replacements for him.