Throughout the past year, my wife and I have read many different articles about the effects of positive nutrition on kids with an ASD. But there are so many media outlets (newspaper,television and the internet) that have varying opinions about what it all means. The one thing we felt comfortable with was that almost everyone feels that proper diet and nutrition diet is best for everyone, especially kids with an ASD.
After much consideration, we both felt that Jacobs diet could somehow be affecting his behaviour in a negative way. What my wife and I noticed was that when Jacob got sick, he wouldn't eat much, nor would he drink milk. And usually after being sick for a week or two, his behaviour would be great at school, only to have it slide back down to a near intolerable level within a couple weeks. So after weighing all of the information, we decided to make a couple small, yet big changes to Jacob's diet.
We first tried to change the bread that Jacob eats. Many kids like ours have issues with food.
1) Kids with an ASD are often very picky eaters and often have a limited pallet of foods that they may choose to eat.
2) With a limited diet, breads and milk products often become the forefront and staples in their diet.
The changing of the bread turned out to be too difficult to maintain because there were too many issues with it. The bread didn't last very long, all the loaves were small, they were expensive and they honestly didn't taste very good. The first day of using the new bread, Jacob had one sandwich, then didn't eat bread again. Because Jacobs food choices are limited, we had to switch back to white bread.
After the bread experiment, we looked at other ways for Jacob to consume healthier things. And the obvious area for improvement was in what Jacob likes to drink. His drink choices, like his food choices, are limited to only water and milk. So changing his milk was a huge area that we could hopefully alter.
Now, kids like Jacob will definitely notice if their go to drink has become different. Our concern was that soy milk would taste awful, therefore making Jacob go on a beverage strike, so we knew that we'd have to pick carefully. We then began looking at soy milk in the grocery store and we decided to try So Good soy milk.
We were still apprehensive as we waited for Jacob to want a drink. When he finally asked for one, the moment was upon us. I opened the milk and gave it a quick sniff, and it smelled pretty good. I casually poured some in his cup and we all waited to see his reaction. "I love this milk!" He shouted. And we all felt better.
Now for the good news. Since the change in milk, and only milk, which was only 2 weeks ago, Jacobs in school behaviour is much better. We know that it's been a short period of time, but we can't help feel optimistic about things. Hopefully Jacob's behaviour continues to improve at school. He's even begun doing his work actually in school, which is huge. My wife and I know that autism has no cure and that the notion that food plays a role in ASD behaviours, is relatively new. But if a small change in food choices even makes Jacob 1% happier, then it's well worth it to us.
WELCOME TO JIM'S AUTISM BLOG
Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.
"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980