Here’s a draft of a post I had started this past summer. I had it in the hopper because I didn’t want to jinx how well things were going at the time and I was about to have a baby…
…..but, the summer has been going really well. I really wanted things as planned out as possible to hopefully eliminate stress, tantrums, too much tv/iPad use, etc…and I think it has worked out as well as possible thus far.
We did get Buggy on a fully gluten-free diet. The first 2 or so weeks, not a darn thing changed. According to people who have done it before/do it always, you could see immediate changes, see no changes for months, see changes after a few weeks, see no changes ever, or it takes up to 6 weeks for everything to officially leave the system….sheesh. Talk about a variety of outcomes. We saw our first differences after about 3 weeks. All of the sudden, there was a little bit more talking coming from him. Some of it was still echolalia, but we were getting more complete sentences and incorporating of peoples’ names. We have noticed more engaging of other people….wanting to do things together with others/ have others joining it to what he wants to do, or referencing wanting to go places and see certain people. He has also been super duper happy. He’s always a pretty happy kid, but it’s like rays of sunshine coming from him 95% of the time right now. Maybe it is because these adjusted foods make him feel better. It could also be the more relaxed summer schedule, getting outside every day, or just growing up a little bit. But we are certainly rolling with it!
He has been through one week of summer “camp” (for lack of a better word…it is basically a play group that focuses on social skills and some academics to bridge possible gaps between school years. It is the program that was created because I asked). It was incredible to watch him transition to a new place, new instructors, and new peer group seamlessly. I was in tears the first day just thinking about how terrible it was going to be. But he completely surprised me. He has gone to camp happy every day and left happy as well. We have 3 more weeks of it at various times before school resumes, so that should be nice to keep him attached to a routine.
Now we have the task of keeping this great stuff going. There are going to be some big changes soon that will certainly rock our kids’ world, so hopefully it doesn’t totally throw everything off kilter…at least not for too long.
Overall, things went SO well with the diet, that we were convinced it wasn’t the diet at all, and after the adjustment to the school year was over, we dropped it. Nothing crazy happened right away, so we were feeling a little relieved to not have to modify things/seek out alternate foods/spend so much more on groceries. Then the other shoe dropped…..It didn’t happen dramatically, but gradually over the course of a week. Bad behaviors started creeping in, and by the end of the week, I was pulling my hair out trying to keep him under control and reign in super-amped up craziness. We think now that the reintroduction of gluten must’ve just made him feel so out of whack that the only thing he knew to do was to act out.
Now several months in to the diet, we still aren’t convinced that it is perfect, but that it does certainly make enough of a difference to continue. Plus, since it’s been so long, we’ve done pretty well adapting his favorites, and I like the baking aspect. Still wish it had been a magic bullet, but…
The summer camp was amazing as well. He loved it so much and there was very very little adjustment to a new place, instructors, and routine that we are still surprised. It was also nice that he still had a week and a half left to go when his baby brother arrived, so there was a good distraction and interaction with others when it got hectic for us. Hopefully (after another long insurance standstill) he will get to start his 1-on-1 therapy there soon, because he still asks about going there all this time later!