and after seeing this people were always asking whether I would consider marijuana to treat Kyle's autism.
and asking why we don't try medical marijuana for Kyle's seizures.
Autism Is Like A Cough....What I mean by that is, there's probably 20 things that make you cough (cold, flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc). And each of those 20 things have a different treatment, a different way to make that cough disappear.
In the same vein I think there may be 20+ things that bring on autism, or autistic symptoms or whatever you want to call it. And there may be 20 different ways of treating that autism.
And we spent the better part of 4 years trying to find the right treatment to "unlock" my son Kyle and help him make some improvements.
We tried the GFCF diet for over a year (close to 18 months according to the wife's recollection) and saw no improvements. So our kid doesn't have the Gluten / Casein kind of autism. We crossed that off the list.
So after 18 months on the diet it was obvious that Kyle was not the kind of kid who's cough can be helped by the diet. And before you go there… yes, we were strict. For those 18 grueling, expensive months the king was completely Gluten Free & Casein Free and zip, zilch, nada, no improvements whatsoever. Plus it was around the end of the GFCF experiment that Kyle starting losing weight and having feeding issues (read). So GFCF Diet? Been There, Done That, Bought the Tshirt…. Not going back there again.
The Ketogenic Diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures.
Basically it is an extremely restrictive diet that helps reduce seizures in about half of the epilepsy patients who try it.
And I know what you're thinking and many have asked. "Have you tried the Ketogenic diet?" "Wouldn't you try the diet before opting for surgery?"
And my answer is no, not for Kyle. If you've been reading my page for awhile you'll know that Kyle had major eating issues. He stayed the same weight for almost 3 years and his diet was extremely limited. And we had to force him to eat every day and it was excruciating.
But since November 2012 he's put on over 25 pounds, probably mostly due to a side effect of one of the anti seizure meds he's on (depakote).
This is a side effect we welcomed with open arms! The king now has an appetite! He's trying new foods! He looks the healthiest he's looked in years!
To put him on the Ketogenic diet, which is one of the most restrictive diets out there (kinda like a much much stricter, modified Atkins diet) would be tough.
If my kid was verbal and understood why I was denying him all the foods he loved it would be extremely difficult. To deny my nonverbal autistic kid the foods he loves and he doesn't grasp the reason why is (in my opinion) virtually impossible and kinda cruel.
So in the wife and my opinions, the diet is off the table. You may not agree with us, but we stand by that.
I have no problem whatsoever with using marijuana to treat autism or epilepsy.
And I know that many people are afraid to go the prescription drug route. They are more worried about side effects or long term effects when it comes to prescription drugs. But just because some thing's natural doesn't mean it can mess you up just as much as a prescription med. Do a google search for any of the DAN dr supplements (GABA, 5-HTP) & side effects or even St Johns Wort & side effects or long term effects and the stuff you'll read is just as scary as the prescription stuff.
I'm not saying I'm against that stuff. It may work for you. But just don't tell me that it's safer than my prescription because it's "natural" or a "vitamin"
My son Kyle does not have that type of epilepsy. Yes, he kinda has seizures every day, but only a few... and they do not mess with his quality of life that much.
So long story short, we would definitely consider medical marijuana for autism & epilepsy, but we are not rushing into anything or moving to Colorado tomorrow. If our situation with Kyle's agression due to his autism was more desperate or if he were having 100s of seizures a day, who knows, we might be living in Denver right now...
That's about it. That's about all I have to say about the diets & marijuana.
And if you're looking for my stance on other DAN Doctor / Bio-medical Treatments for Autism you can peruse the following old blog posts of mine.
Autism Is Like A Cough
Biomedical / DAN Dr Treatments We Tried On Kyle With No Success... in no particular order...
The Hardest Thing To Write About -- my son's initial autism diagnosis & late regression
Should I Be More In Touch With My ASD Son? -- misadventures in biomedical
If you're gonna shop Amazon anyway, can I ask that you enter Amazon by using the search box above? This way I can make a little money. This blogging thing has been awesome & life changing for me... but I must admit that it's taking up a lot more time than I ever thought... so if I can make a few bucks it'll make it easier for me to justify....Love you all! Thanks!!