Autism and Supplements

A friend of mine inspired me to write this post as we parents of autistic children are always sharing information, learning, and finding what we feel will work best for our child. Originally my husband and I were very uncomfortable with supplementation and seeing as it is controversial that seems easy to rationalize. However, I do have one firm belief that is often said, “you are what you eat”. I have always fed my son healthy food, but once I started to eliminate foods to see what he was reactive to I found that for him some “healthy” foods cause quite severe behavioral problems. After eliminating what felt like every food I usually gave him in a day a friend of mine shared with me about the GAPS diet (www.gapsdiet.com).

The GAPS diet is grain-free, lactose-free, refined sugar free. I know the next question is, “what is left to eat?!?”. He eats loads of protein and veggies, and occasionally a little fruit. The reason we chose the GAPS diet is that it aims at actually healing the gut of its intolerances to foods and after 2, 3, or however many years it takes to repair the damage, he could go on to leading a relatively normal eating pattern. Probably more like a “Whole Food hippie” but that would be good for all of us permanently anyway :).

We started the GAPS diet on our own 6 months ago and he got very ill just before the holidays and we started consulting with a GAPS practitioner. Doing the diet without assistant we saw marvelous gains in this eating varieties of food, cognition, auditory processing and it completely eliminated all his sensory issues! He is able to focus, and learn so much better. Consulting with the GAPS practitioner has gotten us to a new level of processing and cognition that is similar to my 2 year old neurotypical daughter! The learning that has taken place in the last month have been mind blowing — couldnt be more excited about 2012!

That being said, back to supplements. The GAPS diet includes a few supplements temporarily until the body gets itself to a place of better health. Just aids supporting the system on the outset of the journey. We currently take 7 supplements — for me this seems like far to much, but watching his gains and knowing these are temporary keeps me in check.

Here is our list of supplements

Before breakfast: Lutimax L-Theanine
Breakfast: HMF neuro probiotic (good bacteria), Biotone EFA (helps digest fatty acids), Thorne HCL pepsin (to help digest foods), Omega Complete (omegas 3, 6, 9), fermented cod liver oil (Vitamin A & D), Thorne Magnesium/Calcium Citrate (help break down oxalates in some veggies), black walnut formula (just for 6 weeks for parasites)
Mid Morning: Lutimax L-theanine
Lunch: HCL pepsin
Mid Afternoon: Luitmax L-theanine
Dinner: HMF neuro probiotic (good bacteria), Biotone EFA (helps digest fatty acids), Thorne HCL pepsin (to help digest foods), fermented cod liver oil (Vitamin A & D), black walnut formula (just for 6 weeks for parasites)
Bedtime: Lutimax L-theanine

We have only had this many supplements for 3 weeks and this has been our great month for learning and understanding ever! As his body heals with the GAPS diet broths, fermented veggies, delicious meats and veggies the supplements will subside and I will have no regrets. I have personally tried over half his supplements and they simply make me feel better — more energy and focus :).

I would love to hear your thoughts on supplements as I definitely had my opinions prior to having a child with autism, but watching him improve with these is amazing. Also, none of them are harmful in any way.

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

4 replies
  1. India
    India says:

    I love your website/blog. When I am feeling less emotional, I will read it in more detail. It was great talking to you today! You inspire me so much!

    Reply
  2. Wendy Ching
    Wendy Ching says:

    thanks for your post. It is so very encouraging. I would like to try the GAPS diet but am worried as to how I am going to get my autistic child to drink the soup/broth which is an essential part of the GAPS diet.

    How do you do it?

    Reply
    • eppardfamily
      eppardfamily says:

      Thanks! We tried giving him broth in a cup and a syringe without success. We finally settled on making “sauce”. I boil his veggies in the broth and add animal fat and let is reduce a little. Then put it all in the blender to make “sauce” which we put over his protein, dip the protein in it or just eat as is. Although I think an integral part of GAPS and working with our kids it not to assume they cannot or will not do something. Introduce the broth and foods excitedly however many times it takes for your child to try them and start liking them. It is process, but we need to have a positive perspective and really believe in what we are doing as the parent so they will sense we are not going to give in or are unsure. Hope this helps!

      Reply

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