Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Autism, ADHD, and how my family's diet evolved

My family became gluten-free a few years ago in efforts to try to ease the symptoms of my son's autism. Despite being gluten-free, we still had great difficulty with his sleep and continence issues until recently. Recently, we switched to a dye-free diet. After a couple of days dye-free, my son was able to sleep through the night and begin gaining control over his bladder. The effects of the dietary change were so profound and important to our family that I decided to make the whole house into a dye-free zone, including soaps and cleaning products.
After a couple of weeks I realized that my son was also effected by preservatives and pesticides, so we went all organic. Additionally, I realized he experienced gastrointestinal problems from corn and rice. With all these restrictions I had to learn how to cook in a way that would both satisfy and nourish a six year old boy while staying in budget. Hence, organic, grain-free, soy-free vegan recipes evolved.


  1. Absolutely amazing. Now I hope your wisdom will be found by many others. (As far as I know I only have the diet problems, but folks *need* to hear your story.)

    I mothered a sadly confused child, who is now 24. Now we know it was likely diet related, and the rest of life improved.

    ^_^ Debbie from Montana

  2. @Debbie, I'm glad to here that life has improved for your child. The standard American diet seems to affect a lot of people. It's apparent upon seeing the amount of antacids and stomach medicines on the market.

    I was given a prescription for IBS but never filled it. Being grain-free and avoiding nightshades is enough to keep me from having IBS symptoms, indigestion, and heartburn.

    My sons are more affected than I am. People don't think what food you eat can create issues like bedwetting and insomnia. Yet there are over night diapers being made to look like real ones for older kids. And kids are put to bed with antihistamies and melatonin.

    I think the food is the root of a few problems. The increasing corruption of our food supply has coincided with increase in ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, obesity, and alzheimer's.

    I don't think anyone is immune to this problem. Everyone is affected whether through a family member, directly, in our community, or as a nation. The costs that go into therapy, medication, and care for these problems could be prevented and eliminated by providing people foods free of chemicals, dyes, presevatives, and synthetic ingredients.

    I hope that one day as a nation we all collectively make this change in our food system for ourselves and for future generations.


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Organic Grain-free Vegan by Jennifer Stewart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.