What…he’s wearing Jeans?


It has been literally years since my child could wear anything but track pants or sweats. The last time he wore jeans he was less than 2 years old. And even then, wearing clothing was limited and eventually, he just didn’t wear much but a t-shirt and diaper.

His sensory became so bad that he did not wear underwear, socks, jeans, cargo pants, dress pants…well anything really unless it cotton knit and tag free.

This week we took him shopping  because he asked about getting regular pants.  He wanted to try jeans and cargo pants again. Past attempts were unsuccessful and just too “scratchy and rough” feeling for him. So..he’s lived in track pants since he was 2.

He picked out several pairs of jeans and cargos and tried them on yesterday. He said they felt find and comfortable and he wanted them.

He has been wearing his new jeans all day today as if he’s always worn them.

As I watch him running through the house in his jeans, sneakers and sweatshirt…..I have to look twice. I am not used to seeing him in jeans.

But for us it’s an amazing milestone moment in our biomed journey. We have finally over come severe sensory dysfunction enough to wear normal clothing!

Sensory Triggers and Diet

Sensory Triggers and Diet

We’ve noticed some sensory symptoms have flared up again and the only coincidence we can link this too is a change in diet. It’s summer and that means going out for a burger and fries at the burger stand. It’s a summer tradition but before we realized it slowly the sound sensitivity and reactivity to paper has crept back in.

It is nowhere near as bad as it was prior to it going away for the first time ever but clearly it’s there in a smaller capacity but when I have a child complaining that a crayon is too loud when he writes with it, I know something is up!

This led me to thinking about what if anything we were doing differently in the past two months. Our schedule and our eating has been off kilter with family from out-of-town staying with us. During that time we had taken them out to eat at several popular summer time places. Not realizing of course that my son being gluten-free, was only ordering french fries at those place because they offered a designated fryer, if they did not offer gluten-free bread for a hamburger or gluten-free chicken.

He has stopped ordering french fries since going gluten-free last year. He was eating only rice or broccoli with a hamburger. Something like that. So when he went gluten-free, the fries also went away. And now they were back, and this was the only food that was reintroduced.

When I began troubleshooting to figure out what was going on, I remembered an article I was sent some time back pointing out the difference in ingredients between french fries make in Europe and the U.S. The primary problem was that in the U.S they are fried in GMO soy/corn oil which contains a chemical anti-foaming agent known as dimethylpolysiloxane.  So basically, silicone derived caulk compound some of us know as “silly putty”. And apparently “beef flavor” that may or may not contain gluten.

If restaurants can make french fries in Europe without GMO oil that contains dimethylpolysiloxane, then it’s certainly possible.  Silly Putty in Food

In fact McDonald’s used tallow until 2003 to cook their french fries! Until of course the “trans fat” attack began and pushed restaurants to switch to vegetable oils. The problem with this is that they are usually hydrogenated GMO corn and soy oil which contain plastic to reduce foaming. I’ve also read a fair bit that implicates vegetable oil in heart disease and health problems, not animal fats which would explain why obesity and heart disease have not declined when the nation switched to vegetable oils. Plus what if this oil does contain gluten? How is a designated fryer any good? Well, it’s not.

The claim is that this additive in the fryer oil is safe to eat this in small amounts but seriously would you toss a bit of silly putting into your next casserole?

I do not know what effect this chemical could have on the nervous system but I suspect it does have an effect.

I have since made organic fries at home in the oven which did not produce sensory flares. I have also made fries myself cooked in lard or tallow that I made. Still no sensory.

We have removed this exposure from his diet. I cannot verify if it’s the gluten in fryer oil or the chemical….either way we are steering clear of commercially prepared fries.

Autism is not going out today

It’s a wonderful sunny early summer Memorial Weekend. The sun is shining in a clear blue sky, birds chirping and a gentle breeze.

Families all around us are cooking out, swimming, and have family over. We sit alone, in the house.  Watching other people live. I can hear the laughter and shrieks of children having fun outside. I remember my own childhood of large family Memorial Day picnics in grandma’s back yard. Us children running around playing hide and seek, grabbing hot dogs on the run while we played until dusk. Come dusk it was time to roast marshmallows and my grandpa would light the sparklers for us. I remember how much fun those days were, and how delightful it was to trace circles in the air with my sparkler. I got to stay up late and look for fireflies with the other children. It was those summer nights you never wanted to end.

This is not the childhood my son gets. We were invited to a large cook out. We could not go because my son is having  a particularly autistic weekend.  He is irritable and does not want to go anywhere. He doesn’t like it outside because it’s too bright. Anytime we try to suggest doing something he melts into a tantrum. We can’t go out for lunch because they have too much paper at the restaurant. He can’t take the napkins and place-mats. He is crying in his bed. So we don’t go. We

English: A picnic assembles in Columbus, Ohio.

A picnic assembles in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

opt to cook at home. We make his favorite barbecue steak. He won’t eat it.  He shouts out that my food is bad and I don’ t know how to cook. This is the child who normally loves barbecue steak, but this week he won’t eat any of the food he normally eats.  Today he’s only eating Cheerios and bagels.

It is another holiday we will miss again. It is another weekend we cannot leave our house. And while it’s not happy for us I remind myself how much harder it must be for him to be trapped in autism. To not be able to enjoy things other

children enjoy. He’s missing out on so many things because autism gave him sensory dysfunction. Autism made him sensitive to light, sound, touch, the sight of paper or too many people being around him.

Instead of cookouts and Popsicle. We went to Super-Walmart. My son loves to look at the toys. This brings him happiness. It’s empty to me and it’s not a “family holiday” but its something he can enjoy and so I must enjoy it with him.