The Gluten Experiment and sensory

Copyright 2012 The Edge of Autism

Copyright 2012 The Edge of Autism

On January 17th my son announced that he wanted to try my diet. He wanted to be gluten-free and learn about what foods he could have on this diet. He said wanted to try it for a week and see how it goes. And if he liked it, he would continue it.

Now I almost fell over because previous attempts to have him try this diet were always difficult and resistant.  I’ve been gluten-free for about 5 years now and for me it’s just the way I live. I don’t think much about it anymore, its second nature now and all the meals I have been making at home have been GF for several years. So making this leap for him would involve some changes but nothing as drastic as what I endured when I went on it.

We had tried a gluten-free diet for him in the past because I wondered if it might help his sensory symptoms. Every time I researched sensory dysfunction on the forums that’s one of the things that seemed to help the most stubborn cases. So it isn’t that I wasn’t aware of it, it’s that I’d been duped!!

And by this I mean the previous attempts at a gluten-free diet didn’t show any results because as was revealed to me recently……he cheated! In fact dad and child both admit to sabotaging the gluten-free diet when we had tried it in the past. So my son had not actually been 100% gluten-free at all. He was sneaking cereal and dad won’t admit what he might have contributed to this but I suspect they are both guilty!!

So……this time, it was my son’s idea and decision. I supported his decision but in no way have I made him follow it or said that he had too. He knows it’s his choice. What I have done is supported him by helping him learn what he can eat or can’t. Making sure we have plenty of options in the house for him. Making him delicious gf treats helps a lot when you first start out.

Two weeks on the diet and on January 27th my son reported to me that his tactile defensiveness to paper was gone. Absolutely GONE! He wasn’t getting any tingling or zapping feeling when he touched paper.

He has suffered from sensory symptoms since infancy and they became life altering by the time he was a year old. Things were so bad he didn’t wear clothes in the early days.

Chelation helped a lot of it but we were always left with this one residual sensory problem which was tactile defensiveness to several things. (paper, wood, tissue, napkins)

In fact on Saturday we took him out for dinner at a local organic place for some gluten-free penne with marinara sauce and for the first time since he was a baby we were able to sit down to the table and have a normal meal.

In the past we would always have to quickly remove any paper or napkins from the table as soon as we sat down because the look and feel of them bothered him so much.

This includes menus folks… we had to be choosy about where we went.

And we have had many places we have had to walk out of due to noise, paper table cloths and things like that. Not fun.

We would eat our meals with the napkins on our laps and watching constantly because waitresses would always bring a new stack thinking we didn’t have them. Some places got to know us and knew not to do this. Mostly though it was a tactical mission on our part to avoid more napkins or quickly remove them from the table and inform our server that we wouldn’t need anymore.  Leaving the results in a child hiding under the table or covering his eyes and ears curled into a ball. Further leaving them resulted in a melt down. As he got older we learned and we were proactive to avoid this.

And can I just tell you how terribly difficult school work is for a child that cannot write on standard paper? Every project had to be modified to avoid the use of paper or to use the only type of paper in thee world he could stand. That was finger paint paper. It’s thick, glossy and doesn’t crinkle. It took us a long time to find this one sort of paper that he could tolerate and from that point on we printed lines on it for school work or used it for writing, projects etc.

When he started need to use paper more in school in 2nd grade I took him to an art store and let him feel every kind of paper they had to find one he could stand. And thankfully…the finger paint paper was it. So I ordered a ton of it from an art supply company and ran it through the printer to make worksheets, writing paper etc.

But alas…finally…….my search to cure the sensory dysfunction seems to have shown itself to us.

Gluten. Evil gluten.

Here we are on February 3 and his symptoms have not returned.


6 thoughts on “The Gluten Experiment and sensory

  1. Pingback: Sensory Regression | The Edge of Autism

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  3. Pingback: Are we really allergic to gluten? The Caputo Flour experiment | The Edge of Autism

  4. Pingback: Sensory Is Gone Again, it’s not gluten | The Edge of Autism

  5. Pingback: Sensory Conclusion | The Edge of Autism

  6. Pingback: Sensory Triggers and Diet | The Edge of Autism

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