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Oh, where do I even start here? If you haven’t read Wyatt’s story you can do so here. (There are a lot of other stories there too that may be helpful).

I guess it goes back to a few months ago when I was talking to someone about the progress their child had made with a gluten-free diet. In the back of my mind I didn’t believe it, but I was curious. I remember going home and Googling it, yeah, Google. I pulled up all sorts of success stories about children with speech delays, autism, etc. who had amazing results with the diet.

So, I brought the information to William and we talked about it. We decided it was worth a shot. We  knew the switch between his normal meals to gluten-free would be rough, so we prepared ourselves to be strong and stick to it. I had talked to Wyatt’s speech therapist and she said that 50% of the students that tried the diet had amazing changes, but they varied – some improved a little, some a lot. She said to give it 8 weeks before we give up because sometimes it takes that long to see if it is actually working.

So, we went out and filled our cart with various gluten-free items (which weren’t that easy to find). Some grocery stores have gluten-free sections and some stores have everything mixed in, so finding food at first was difficult – until we knew exactly where to look.We picked up everything we thought Wyatt might like – and he ended up hating most of it. It was a lot of trial and error.

I’m not going to lie, the whole process has been really hard. One morning Wyatt was sick because he had not eaten dinner the night before. He refused to eat his meal. After helping him in the bathroom, watching him throw up 8 times, I almost gave up and threw in the towel. I am so glad I didn’t. Some mornings he had cheese puffs for breakfast because they were the only gluten-free food that he would eat. Some days were just chicken strips and cheese puffs, all day. But as time went on, he started to try more things – and his menu expanded, and it’s continuing to expand.

He eats these items:

  • Chicken Strips (from Walmart)
  • Cheese Puffs (Meijer)
  • Potato Chips – Kettle Cooked (Kroger)
  • English Muffins (Walmart)
  • Strawberries

He has always been a VERY picky eater. But switching him to gluten-free has made him eat even fewer things than he did before. BUT strawberries and english muffins are both items that he has just been recently eating – before he wouldn’t even touch them! So he is improving, even if it is little by little.

But, I’m telling you – the improvements are just amazing. He has an easier time focusing, listening, repeating, and using toys the correct way.

For example, at his Puppa’s house there is a complex shape sorter. Before he used to try and jam the shapes into the wrong holes – and he would get frustrated and mad and eventually just give up. Now he can put EVERY shape into it’s correct hole. He carefully studies the cube, finds the correct spot, and then places the shape in it. A completely different way of playing with the toy.

Another example is playing with his wooden train set. Before, we would set it up and within minutes he would destroy the tracks and trains. Now, he slowly pushes the trains along the track and does NOT destroy them. He has also started using “vroom” sounds when he pushes his cars – something he had not done before. He will go to his toy kitchen and put the cupcakes in the oven, stir in the pots, and arrange the food – and like I said with the train, before – he would just throw things and be destructive.

His speech has been improving like crazy. It seems like everyday he is making a new sound. When we sing Old MacDonald he sings “E-I-E-I-OOOO“. When I sing the alphabet he tries to sing along making “sssss” sounds and tries to hum the tune.

He is starting to say brand-new words – most recently they are “baby” and “yeah” and sometimes he combines them together, which is hilarious. But the most impressive thing to me, besides hearing his sweet little voice, is how he follows directions. He can make a cup of coffee in the keurig, put things away in the fridge, transfer the clothes from the washer to the dryer, throw away his diapers, help to pick up toys, bring me things from downstairs – upstairs, brush his hair, and brush his teeth. All of these things he needs assistance with, but for the most part he does them himself! Things I wasn’t sure if he would do at all before he was 3.

His teachers have been telling us how much improvement they see in him. How much better he is doing. And we see the differences each and every day. He’s more playful, he’s happier, and you can tell that he feels better about himself. The look on his face when he helps me complete a task is priceless.

Our gluten-free journey is just in the beginning stages. I’m not an expert, I’m not a dietitian, and I’m not a doctor or a speech therapist. I’m just a mom who wants the best for her son – and is willing to try anything to help him. And this is working for us, so I had to share our experience – and I’ll continue to do so. Because someone sharing their story helped my family and I – and I would love to be that help for someone else.

If you have any questions (like I said before, I’m no expert) but
I would love to try and help! Just leave your questions in the comments below! 
Here’s to more changes & more improvement for Wyatt!

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