1 in 68 or 1 of a kind … Here’s to all the tireless parents and caregivers and incredible children out there. #AutismAwarenessMonth
Spring always motivates me to clean and organize. So on April 1st I began a spreadsheet to track Logan’s meltdowns. It’s actually kind of odd neither my husband nor I had started a tangible system like this before, as I’m an organizer and my husband is an analytic fanatic. But maybe there were just too many to track.
But, since since the start of the month–which is Autism Awareness Month, by the way–I haven’t entered a single meltdown in my chart. Reports from school and daycare have all been positive, and the only tantrum we saw this weekend was probably more along the lines of a typical 4-year-old not getting his way than an all-out autistic meltdown. It was over fairly quickly.
We’ve been plugging away with the no-sugar diet, and I continue to see more and more about other people trying it, too. I’ve been reading about SCD diet and the GAPS diet, and frankly I can’t understand why there are so many versions (brands, almost) of diets that are all basically driving toward the same thing: no sugar, more veggies, and a healthy gut. And there’s other info out there, too–TACA has a ton of information about biomedical treatment, including low-sugar diets, and the blogosphere is full of people experimenting with sugar abstinence. Today a book titled Year Of No Sugar is also being released. Living without sugar is starting to seem like the biggest movement you’ve never heard of.
Which makes me wonder, why is it so unheard of? Why isn’t there more research or more public knowledge of dietary treatment of autism? The list of therapy options for people with autism is almost endless–applied behavioral analysis therapy, music therapy, speech therapy, relationship development intervention therapy, occupational therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, even horse-back riding or swimming-with-dolphins therapy … why are we overlooking what seems like should be the most basic of all of these? Short of breathing and oxygen, there’s nothing as natural as eating and nothing more essential to life than nutrients–why isn’t this more of a focus in the autism community–the medical community–all of our communities? The family in Year of No Sugar, for example, decided to forgo sugar not due to autism or other specific health concerns but simply health in general.
It’s hard, I know (sugar is a way of life, and I struggle with it every day!) And the sugar industry is a profitable one–I’m sure that has plenty to do with it, not to mention the pharmaceutical industry that benefits from widespread weakened immune systems. But especially now, as it is Autism Awareness Month, we need to not only take notice but take action. It’s spring, which means where I live, in Minnesota, the snow is melting and people are motivated to start walking and running to get healthy again. Likewise, in my house, the meltdowns have also begun to trickle away, and I’m re-motivated to continue with our sugar-free journey for our health.