American Asperger's Association Support Group

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Any ideas on how to make a gluten regression easier for both child and family?

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I recently went to my local publix and bought 2 boxes of waffles, one regular one mini waffles.... As this was the "No gluten" section, and that brand was well known for its non gluten waffles, I didn't even bother to look as I've been buying them for years now. The next morning, my son (nearly 6 and mildy autistic) requested waffles for breakfast, I asked him if he wanted big or mini (which has basically 4 mini waffles to fit into one large waffle), he replied mini. I asked him if he wanted 1 or 2. He said he wanted 2, which meant he was hungry... a rarity, so I was more than willing to give him the food. I prepared his waffles and the rest of his food (whatever it was, usually some fruit, maybe some bacon or sausage and some sort of drink).

He cleaned his plate, asked for a third waffle. Baffled, as my son never eats, much less for breakfast, I gave him another waffle. He scarfed it in 2 seconds and asked for more. This is when I got suspicious. I went and looked at the box more carefully... as it sat next to the other waffle box. The big waffle box said prominently on it WHEAT FREE, GLUTEN FREE while the minis were simply blank, other than their name. I grabbed the box out of the freezer, searching for any small print I could find saying gluten free and finally gave up and peered, through squinted eyes, knowing what I'd see, at the ingredient list. Of course the first ingredient was "UNBLEACHED ENRICHED WHOLE WHEAT"

I threw the box back in the freezer as if stung by a bee and then began to worry of the days ahead. My son has been totally gluten free for about 2 years now. We were visiting his old PK teacher the next day and had company coming that evening as well, and they were staying a couple of days. Those days were more or less OK... He had a tantrum on the last night our guests were here, but I chalk that up to a long day and him being tired more than anything else. It was the day after they left things really started to get hairy. He turned into the hulk. You know, "Don't make me angry. You don't want to see me... angry." Without provocation, he would meltdown and tantrum. At the slightest "No" when he didn't want to hear it, he'd meltdown.

And by meltdown, I mean throwing as large of an item he can get to the closest breakable item, to start. We intercept, that makes him even more upset and he takes it out on us, punching, kicking... seeming to know where to aim for the hurt. (Crotch for my husband, pulls to my hair to put me into submission and wail on my head with the other hand, Chuck Norris kicks to the gut... for both of us, head ringing smacks and blows). And I do mean Hulk strength here. My husband and I both took Karate, I was 3 degrees away from Black before I had to quit and my husband is a 3rd degree black, so you think it'd be easy to deflect blows and maneuver around a 5 3/4 year old... Yeah, not so much. He's fast and unpredictable, and fights dirty. While we're able to block most of the blows, I've got bruises and scratches that prove he can get through. All the while he's yelling at us that he hates us and he doesn't love us anymore and how he wants to hurt us so bad that we cry and are sad, which is pretty much more painful than any of the blows he can land.

When we finally get him into submission so we can calm him or at the very least, keep him from harming himself, others, or the house, it's usually me because I'm the lightest, sitting on my knees just above him so that he can't squirm away, and yet so that I'm not putting any real pressure on him unless he tries to escape and then I also control his hands by lightly touching his arms and redirecting them. My husband also helps by controlling the arms a little when necessary. There was one point we were applying this technique when he squirmed underneath me so that he had his back to me. From this point, he was able to push my entire dead weight (130 lb.) off the ground simply by doing a push-up to his hands and knees, and then easily shrugged me off. This is what I'm trying to impress upon you folks. He is superman during these meltdowns.

Thing is, this particular technique works for us because he realizes he's at a stalemate. He can't do anything until we come to an agreement. We talk it out while in submission mode, even while he's still screaming at us, usually echolallically that we're on his "list" (one from his teacher) and also at the same time, telling one or the other parent to "get us the blazes out of here!" (From Polar Express). We try and hold out as long as possible, ask him where he is going to go and what he is going to do when we let him up, and until he can reply calmly with a reasonable answer, like "to the couch to watch a show," that is the time we let him up. He usually does one last thing, like knock the coffee table over or throw one more thing on his way... Just his way of "getting in the last word" but then he does what he says. We'll get him a drink and his "blankies" and let him cool off. The process itself usually takes a good hour or more depending on his determination. He occasionally has these meltdowns even when on the diet, but not every day, 2 and 3 times a day, even at the worst of times. We don't want to hurt him, and we don't want him to hurt himself, but I also know the detox time is a long arduous one.

Is there anything we can do to make it easier? My son is huge for his age, 65 pounds and over 4 feet tall, so he's already hard to handle on a good day, but when in this mode, it's impossible. I myself have bad joints and a bad back and I cannot pick him up anymore. I'm not strong enough, first of all... and also I'm not physically able. My husband threw his back out the other day during one of these sessions and is attempting to recover as well as help wherever possible. So any advice anyone has would be absolutely wonderful.

Thanks in advance.


ah..just let it pass, it cant' be that bad! lol!

j/k, I had to!!!! I hope you get some advice other than...well..advice similar than the above hehe

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