Sunday, July 3, 2016

Looking Back

It's been two years since I started this blog, and almost that long since posting; once I get past the guilt of starting a blog and then almost immediately dropping it again it's interesting to compare where we were then vs now.

The biggest and most wonderful change is that we've added another hobbit to the family! Little Bella is almost 5 months now and me from two years ago would be surprised at the thought of having a daughter. I'd always had this mental picture of myself as a mom of boys, but it's a beautiful change. She's absolutely wonderful and the boys adore her; Merry in particular amazes me by being an attentive, affectionate, and (mostly) gentle big brother.

The gluten free dairy/caesin free diet ended up being unnecessary, yay! After about a year on the GFCF diet we were seeing great improvement, but couldn't be sure whether it was the diet, the therapy, or simple mental/emotional development. After a few tests to reintroduce gluten we decided that it wasn't having a negative effect, and gratefully went back to tasty baked goods.

Dairy was a different story though; we noticed more aggressive, explosive and self-harming behavior on days after Merry had dairy. Bummer. Then we tried a probiotic, since I'd seen several promising studies about the gut-brain connection and how it might be linked to autism. It wasn't a fancy probiotic, just an off-the-shelf gummy and I wasn't expecting much. But we soon noticed that when he was on the probiotic, dairy didn't seem to bother Merry as it had before. So we ended up keeping the probiotic and reintroducing dairy, much to everyone's relief.

Pippin is two and a half now and blowing us all away with his quick grasp of language and social development. He's a super-happy and cheerful little guy and between the three of them I'm constantly swinging between brain-fogged exhaustion and crazy joy.

Two years ago we were just getting into Merry's diagnosis and now I can see how much progress he's made. We still have plenty of work to do, but we were so blessed to have an amazing preschool and good ABA program for him. Looking forward to kindergarten in the fall!

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