We had a fabulous family reunion at our house yesterday.  While it was a rush to prepare our home for that many people, it was nice to have it here because “here” is Christian-proofed.  Brian and I were able to visit with everyone.  Lovely!  😀

Unfortunately, piles of gluten also visited our house yesterday.  Usually, gluten is not that big of a deal as Christian will avoid most gluten-laced foods.  Ironically, Christian was attracted to some store bought, nothing fancy gluten-stuffed chocolate chip cookies.  Sigh.  I don’t understand why those were the draw (especially since he has been on a full-forced cookie strike since our “cookie company” went out of business), but he had (at least) two of them (from what we saw). 

The cookies were not big, but made a big impact.  Sleep is horrible — both falling asleep and staying asleep.  The aggression is back — mostly because I will not let him surf “youtube” for production companies after 8pm at night and I won’t let him downstairs.  And I’m just beat.  I want to sleep (not possible when you have a child literally bouncing off of walls (and doors)). 

Sigh.

I wonder how long this will take to pass…

Christian is a man of few words.  He still doesn’t request many things by asking (especially when he is not prompted).  He would just prefer to grab a hand and drag someone to whatever it is that he wants.  An eternal work in progress.

However, the last couple of days he has made two very clear requests!

First, he has started requesting, “Mom. Dad. Bed.”  This means, “Mom and Dad, please come with me, tuck me in, pray with me, and turn off the light.”  Seriously.  THIS IS SOOO COOL!!! 😀  And, this has happened, not once, but twice!  We could NOT be any happier!!!!  😀

OK. Second request.  “Milkshake.”  Yep, my 6-year-old, who has NEVER had a milkshake in his entire life or even a glass of milk (because he refuses to drink any beverage that he can’t see through) clearly asked for a “Milkshake!”  Crazy.  So, I got out the rice cream (non-dairy ice cream), soy milk, and the Magic Bullet.  Christian watched carefully and filled with excitement.  He LOVED it!  😀  Wow.  I. am. amazed.

Christian enjoying his milkshake. (He DOES have clothes on. Well, his swimsuit anyway. 🙂 )

As Liv and I were circling the health food section of the grocery store today, I got to thinking about Christian’s complete and utter distaste for any cookies that I try and bake for him.  Believe me, I’d LOVE to bake cookies for him.  Not only to save money, but just because I enjoy baking for the people who I love.

But every time I try to bake his favorite chocolate chip cookies (gfcfef, of course), he takes a look at the cookies, grabs one, screams, and crumbles it up into itty, bitty pieces.  (And then tries to stomp these pieces even more.)  To me, the cookies look the same, smell the same, and taste the same, but to Christian they are completely different and just wrong.

I try not to be overly hurt by his reaction after all of the love I poured into this dessert, but it’s really hard not to be frustrated and a little depressed.  Sigh.

As I was reaching up in the frozen food case to buy the one and only cookies that Christian will eat on this earth, I was thinking about God’s love and the gifts that he continues to shower on me and my family.  So many times I take these gifts and crumble them to pieces because I don’t see them as the gift(s) that I was expecting.  They don’t look right.  They don’t smell right.  They don’t taste right.  So I scream and smush them into oblivion. 

But what if I stopped and looked at the hands of the one giving me these gifts?  If I stopped and looked at the love in his eyes?  Trusting that he wouldn’t give me something that wasn’t right.  What if I tried this gift and realized just how good it really is, even if it looks/smells funny?  I think I’d open my eyes to so many more blessings in this life that I just pass by.

Ah, lessons from a cookie.  😉  I pray that I can stop crumbling the gifts of God.

Sigh.  I am thrilled to report that Christian is no longer staying up past midnight, but he has still been up ’til 11pm.  I’m pretty tired.  Actually, I’m VERY tired.  However, I am, again, thankful that the Olympics are on.  He seems to have taken a liking to “skate” = speedskating and “down” = skiing.  🙂  Perfect.  Some of my favorite events to watch!!!  😉

We are still seeing more aggression than usual.  More hitting and kicking me, especially when getting changed.  More spontaneous shoving of Olivia.  More tantruming and screaming when he doesn’t want to do something.  Sigh.  I really hope THIS part, in particular, goes away soon!

He has also been avoiding his therapists a lot, too, and clinging to me instead.  One night I had to actually lock myself in our bedroom, so that Christian would work with his therapist.  And major parts of his communication skills are still missing — like if asked a question, he will not even acknowledge you standing 6-inches away from his face.  That is heart-breaking. 

Also heart-breaking, watching him go back to dragging his forehead across a room on the carpet.  We have seen him do that maybe 3 times in the last 3 years (since we pulled gluten from his diet).

Sigh.  It’s amazing how much damage TWO pieces of toast can do…

(…and I’m praying that the rest of it leaves his system soon!)

I’m sure you have all been waiting breathlessly by your computers to see what has happened in the wake of the gluten-FILLED toast incident on Saturday.

The BIGGEST change has been sleep, or lack there of.  Christian hasn’t been able to go to sleep before midnight the last two nights and keeps me up until after he falls asleep.  I am, literally, a walking zombie mom today.  (So tired that I was part of a bumper-bump in the parking lot at school this morning.  I was leaving while someone else was coming.  Our bumpers bumped.  No damage to either vehicle.  I’m thankful to say that the other driver just shrugged it off.  Whew.  I definitely didn’t run any extra errands this morning though.)  However, I am thankful that at least there is something on TV in the late evening — thank you Olympics!!!  😉

Sitting through church and Sunday school were an extra special challenge yesterday.  Christian volume knob was stuck at full-blast and I didn’t have enough snacks along to keep his mouth busy the entire time.  Sigh.  Oh, well.  What could I do?

Christian’s been sensory seeking a bit more than normal, too.  Crashing constantly.  Literally bouncing off of the walls and doors.  Running while shaking his head back and forth — therefore running into anything that happens to get in his way.  Manic laughing and screaming.  Climbing everything and everyone…

…but his teachers said that they didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary at school today.  I guess that’s a blessing, right?!?  He’s comfortable enough to leave the fall-out for home.  🙂

Hurray!  HURRAY!  HURRAY!  For Olivia spontaneously sharing with Christian.  🙂

Boo.  BOO!  BOO!  That she was sharing her very own gluten-filled toast.  😦

I am a little nervous.  A little scared, as to what will happen with Christian later today and into the next week. 

Will he sleep?  Will he endlessly stim?  Will he scream even louder and more constantly than usual?  Will he be able to attend?  Will the eye contact disappear?  Will his ability to communicate regress?

I guess these questions will be answered shortly.  I have sometimes wondered exactly what the “fall-out” would be like if gluten was in his diet, so now I will receive that answer unexpectedly.  (Please pray that we all survive it.  😉  )

Dear Scientists,

There has been much news this week swirling around autism.  There have been stories saying that the MMR vaccine has not been proven to cause autism.  There have been stories about restrictive diets, such as a gluten-free/casein-free (gfcf) diet, not proven to help people on the autism spectrum

Just because you haven’t proven something, doesn’t make it less true.  Just talk and LISTEN to the hundreds, the thousands of parents, who have seen their children slip away after the MMR vaccination (often given in combination with other vaccines).  The MMR vaccine alone may not cause autism, but children with underlying conditions not known about are not the same after their vaccinations.  Something is going on.  These parents are not all nuts.  I am one of them.  We just want answers.

The same holds true of restrictive diets, like GFCF, SCD, etc.  You may not have proven that they are helpful, but there are thousands of families across this country that have benefitted from these dietary changes.  Some families have had miraculous results, while others have seen none, and some have been in the middle.  That doesn’t mean that dietary changes don’t work, they just don’t work the same for everyone.  (Much like medications — some medications work for some people better than others.  That doesn’t mean that they don’t work at all.)  I am a parent who has seen the benefit of a GFCF diet.  My son is less aggressive without the casein and participates much less in self-stimulatory behavior without the gluten.  His diet restrictions are not the only tool that we use to help him, but it is an important part of our kit.

Perhaps, some day you will prove these things.  I will not hold my breath.  But I don’t need proof to know what is happening to us.

Sincerely,

Christian’s Mom