The Butcher, the Baker and the Yeast-Maker

It’s been an eventful week. We had found out that Josiah had some yeast overgrowth and a strain of bacteria in his gut (comes with the territory with autism and can effect concentration, behavior, etc.), so he was prescribed Diflucan to take care of the problem. We saw some changes almost immediately.

Josiah’s therapists walk around with these little counters hanging from their belt loops to track every spontaneous request, etc., and they said their clickers were sparking. Thirty spontaneous requests in one session with a lot of variety! Jump! Music! Bouncy! Sing! Train!… That continued all week long. Not bad, since about a month ago we were so concerned because his requests and responses had taken a nosedive. Plus, all of the sudden his dad was his new buddy. A lot of times Josiah has preferred and chosen me to go play with him. It has so delighted his dad that Josiah has taken Joe’s hand and wanted Daddy to bounce him on the big exercise ball, grinning from ear to ear. He has come out with these belly laughs of enjoyment with a tone and a depth that I have never heard from him before. He just seemed more loving, so huggy, more flexible, more “on.” What a boost that was to us.

On the other hand, we were taken down a notch from the celebration. On Saturday night, Josiah woke up at 12:30 am and didn’t fall back asleep until 5:30 am. His bedroom is right next to ours and we just kept hearing him jumping accompanied by this laugh that sounds like it’s being fired off like a machine gun. Very unsettling. Joe and I have some interesting conversations during those wee hours in the morning. For some reason, around 1 am, we’re reflective, supportive, even hopeful. At around 3 am, we’re rueing the day we ever decided to have a child. If we were bored back then, why didn’t we just take a cooking class!?! How did it all go so wrong?

The other issue is that Josiah has self-limited his diet even more. The only protein meat the kid would eat is chicken. Now he’s snubbing chicken and trying to survive on fillers. Try feeding a kid that won’t respond to bribing, cajoling, rewarding, or demanding. It’s nearly impossible to force food into him. It kills me to see his muscle tone in his upper body sag like an aging man’s. His ribs are starting to show. His BMs are not regular. We’re scared and worried. There’s got to be someone who can help, and we’re determined to lick this problem. We’ve also noticed that his pupils are looking dilated in the light again. We wonder what’s going on inside of him.

In the meantime, I’ve been given a new resolve to try to figure out the nutrition side of things for Josiah because I know it will play a huge card on the chances of recovery. Sure, he’s on the Gluten/Dairy-Free diet, but he’s not getting the good stuff he needs. He needs to eat meats and vegetables and nuts. He eats the fruits that feed yeast, no meat these days, no vegetables except for the powder I mix in to his drink and potatoes. We’re pumping him full of vitamins, but where’s the substance? There’s got to be a better way.

One fellow Mother Warrior surprised me Friday with a very interesting link to a series of videos I highly recommend. They feature Donna Gates & Dr. Campbell-McBride and it takes about 30 minutes to get through all six on YouTube. As we are dealing with yeast issues, these videos offered much info and hope. The logic made so much sense to me, and made me more determined to check out the benefits of implementing a yeast-reducing diet for Josiah. I’m curious if any of you readers have done anything like this for your kids.

So few weeks are smooth sailing with this autism challenge, but we press on. In the devotional Streams in the Desert that one sweet mom recently sent to me, I was reminded:

It matters not how the battle goes,

The day how long;

Faint not! Fight on!

Tomorrow comes the song.


5 Responses

  1. Sounds like Josiah and Rhema have been conspiring together to drive their parents crazy! I cannot believe! Same middle-of-the-night antics including jumping, crashing, banging, yelling, laughing… all night long. Along with this was the self-imposed fast – 5 days of nothing but potato chips! I’ve learned not to get too upset about the food strikes – once she went for 11 days. Last night she finally began eating some of her old foods again. Never a dull moment, right? There always seems to be some good with the… well… not-so-good. We’ll keep clinging to their Maker through the ups and downs.

  2. I’m glad to hear that the Diflucan is helping Josiah. We know all about the food issues here, too. Sometimes it seems like Joseph would live on baked Lays and Veggie Booty if we let him. Hope the sleep issues calm down soon. I’ve heard melatonin helps, but since Joseph usually sleeps pretty well we haven’t tried it.

  3. You might want to check out the Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Elaine Gottschall. My autistic son (who had lots of intestinal issues and bad behaviors) has been doing very well on it for over 3 years (he’s 6 now). He does the dairy-free version. It has no grain at all, so is more restrictive than Gluten free.

    In our experience, those manical night time fits of laughter or night terrors were related to yeast, so I hope that clears up for Josiah soon. Our son sometimes also took Flagyl when he was on Diflucan. He also takes Lactobacillus acidofillus as a probiotic to help balance the gut situation.

    Also, the night time waking (or any regressions) may be from him making big gains in his language lately. In my son, we always see some regression when there’s big language gains. Almost like the brain can’t do it all, so the language part “steals” from the behavior part for awhile, then things level out again!

    Good luck. And feel free to email me if you have any questions about the SCDiet.

  4. Yay for Josiah! I have been following your blog for awhile now; I also have an autistic daughter who is five now and we have been doing biomedical for four months now. We saw big improvements with B-6 (tantrums literally ground to a halt the day we started it and have never returned) and our DAN is going to have us treat for yeast as well. I am going to wait until after the holidays so she does not suffer through the yeast die-off during Christmas.

    Hang in there, the sleep problems are the worst. My daughter didn’t sleep worth a lick either when she was Josiah’s age; it was enough to just about drive me over the edge. That is the one thing about autism that I just cannot hardly stomach is the sleep issues. Fortunately she has somewhat improved with age in that department although we still struggle.

    Keep fighting the good fight to free our children from autism!

  5. Hi,

    I am friends with Judy Rotach. We have been on our autism fight for 1.5 years now. I know life is crazy and any spare moment is hard to find, but I would love to get coffee sometime. Our autism fight is mostly a yeast battle, I would love to talk strategy with you!

    Hoping in Christ with you.


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