Have you ever lost something and not noticed that it was gone?
Well, that is kind of the situation with me regarding TJ's autism. He used to do things that he doesn't anymore, but you remember that he did them at some time and just hasn't lately; it slips you mind--no big deal, right? Wrong. Really big deal.
Sometimes you don't remember something was lost until you find it again. I feel really lucky because I "found" some things today. Today I found kisses. I hadn't realized TJ hasn't kissed Mommy for probably at least year now. He's been very affectionate, huggy, and hand-holding--but no kisses. We were rough-housing on the floor this morning and I get his version of "kisses." They are a little toothy but friendly and exactly as they were as I last remember them. I didn't know how much I missed them. Ten-month old JW also decided kisses for Mommy were the way to go so I got lots from him too. It was so sweet.
Other amazing (to me) events happened in my day: I got up this morning with TJ, groggy from a busy teething night with JW. We go to the bathroom and I tell TJ we'll go get a diaper. He's half changed, grabs the new diaper and says "diaper!" proudly. The thing is, for a long time now, I've really had to pull words from him, and he's never said "diaper" before. He also said a few other words that I had either never heard from him at all or haven't heard for almost a year. The greatest thing is that twice today JW took his toys. The first time TJ yanked it back with an irritated "no." The next time he yanked it back with an irritated "mine."
Not to rejoice in TJ's bad manners, but this is the first time he has acknowledged his little brother. When toys were taken previously, he either screamed or ignored it. He has been ignoring him in expert fashion. I'm overjoyed. Of course, I will eventually need to work on those manners!
They may seem like little things but they are huge to me. You may think I am still wallowing in denial and I am hallucinating or something, but no.
Almost a week ago I decided to try the GFCF (gluten and casein free) diet. I was hoping for the best and expecting the worst. I read the success stories about it but wasn't sure if they were real (you can read success stories at gfcfdiet.com). In the last three days TJ has had two normal bowel movements. Sorry if that's TMI but it is a first in at least six months and maybe a year. I credit the diet for his increased interest in people and interest in words. He's also more active and into more things, getting into trouble. He's also more temperamental. Could be the terrible two's or it could be withdrawal from gluten and casein--apparently that can last from one to three weeks.
So here's a very basic version of the theory of the diet. Some people cannot tolerate the proteins in milk and many grains so it goes undigested. Chemicals are released that can stay in the body and be toxic to some people. They cause celiac disease in some people. The chemicals act as opiates in the brains of people predisposed to autism, in effect, slowing poisoning them. It's like they are on morphine all the time. Casein comes out of the body fairly quickly, within a week or two. It can take months for gluten to get out.
So the diet is here to stay. I hope that with the diet and therapy, things will improve quickly. It certainly looks promising for now.