I am truly thankful

Another day is over, my boys are asleep in their beds.  And as often happens to us all, it is a time to think of the day we have just had, and what a day.

Tonight l sat down to a wonderful dinner with my family. We started with our drinks of chicken broth with sauerkraut juice and a delicious broccoli soup followed by Lamb stew with pureed cauliflower with kale and sauerkraut, always finishing with the perennial favourite – yoghurt.

The food in itself is astounding but what is more amazing and what brings me to tears, is tonight l had a conversation with my 4 year old son. This is my boy who 2 months ago, before we started this diet could only speak about 3 words at a time and l struggled to understand what it was he was trying to say. l often found myself wondering if l would ever know his voice.Yet here l am only two months on with a son who has emerged from behind his cloud; happy, able to moderate his behaviour and talking. l just cannot express how amazing this is.

However the start was not so easy. We came to the diet with two sons thought to be autistic, my eldest who is 6 with high functioning asperger’s syndrome and my youngest who is 4 with autism with severe speech delay.

We had already been on the specific carbohydrate diet for close to 2 years. Having initial success with my eldest son then alot of regression. We started to lose hope until by chance l stumbled upon the gaps Australia website and thought this is what l needed, someone to help me re-evaluate and help me through this often confusing journey. So we began with the high hopes and commitment of desperate people , only to have that completely shattered by day 2. Here l was with my youngest son refusing everything and not even able to keep water down. My eldest fairing only slightly better was struggling with 3 mouthfuls of broth.Day 3 saw my youngest able to at least have a few sips of water but still refusing anything else .l watched as both my boys were slowly fading away. l was trying every incentive l could think of stickers, books, games, even their favourite toys but nothing was working .There were alot of tears and tantrums – screaming , hitting , scratching and biting. l was being worn down.

Day 5 and l had my babies unable to walk unassisted, it became a real mental challenge, l was starting to lose hope. Then on day 6 in absolute desperation l said “if you have a sip of broth you can have some yoghurt “, what a transformation. So 3 spoonfuls later a tablespoon of yoghurt as a reward – a breakthrough, l could breath again. From this moment on l continued to slowly increase their broth intake at every sitting. We moved onto soup shortly after and nothing now seemed to be a hurdle as they gobbled everything up knowing that as their reward they could have yoghurt. This is still the case today.

l realise yoghurt may not be everyones answer or even appropriate for them but it was our key. Once we found what would motivate my boys, the diet fell into place. This is what l would stress. l know the start is a rollercoaster ride, but keep searching for that something that will motivate them , it is there just keep looking. Do not give up, it is worth every tear and heartache at the start. By implementing the gaps diet in our lives, we have been given the children our sons are meant to be and l am truly thankful.

Tiff Davis