The Autism File

Food For Thought
Sarah Jane Gaitely
Aidan’s Mother

Early in 1999 my son Aidan, aged four, was diagnosed with a Social and Communication Disorder. He has been attending a Child Development Centre in Bracknell, Berkshire and has been seen by a whole host of professionals. Over this last year Aidan has made significant progress in his speech and behavioural problems

After reading an article about Dr Michael Tettenborn, work with dairy free diets at the Frimley Children’s Centre, we decided to get a referral from our GP. At this time Aidan had severely delayed speech, general developmental delay, hyperactivity, poor eye contact, poor concentration and lack of imaginary play. He walked or mostly ran on his toes and was always bumping into objects. Consequently his forehead was covered in bumps and bruises. Aidan’s behaviour revolved around chewing paper – especially toilet paper. He would wet it, chew it into a ball and discard it, usually all over the house and then start again. This activity caused untold problems for the rest of the family, especially when we had to hide the toilet rolls!

Another favourite activity was watching videos and looking at books, magazines and leaflets about trains. Aidan also loves bags, he collects his prized possessions and puts them in carrier bags.
He would only eat certain items of food, namely, thin crispy chips, bread, yoghurt and lots of sweet things, cakes, biscuits, sweets and he would shovel teaspoons of sugar into his mouth. After suffering from diarrhoea since a baby, Aidan was well and truly constipated now. On our first visit to see Dr Tettenborn, he put Aidan on a dairy free diet. Aidan detested the change to soya milk, but we persevered. After the first ten days, Aidan stopped chewing paper and lost interest in his bags. He even started to pedal his bicycle really well. This all took place at Easter 1999.

Also at this time I was really fed up with Aidan stealing and eating great quantities of sugar and sugary items. So I got rid of all the sugar in the house and wow did we see a change in Aidan over the next four weeks. At first Aidan’s behaviour got a lot worse, lots of crying and tantrums, and we couldn’t take him near a shop that sold sweets without having a major ‘I want’ screaming session. This did get better over the following weeks after the withdrawal symptoms settled down. The most amazing aspect was the onset of speech – it came on in leaps and bounds. He went from ten sounds and words to 50 words and indeed putting two and three words together. His eye contact got better and the hyperactivity decreased. These changes were apparent to everyone concerned. We updated Dr Tettenborn and explained that we had also cut out sugar from Aidan’s diet with dramatic results. Dr Tettenborn then explained about an anti-fungal treatment for Candida Albicans Syndrome (thrush) in the gut, a symptom of which is a craving for sugar. Dr Tettenborn suggested a low sugar, low yeast diet. To control any candida that may be present in the gut we could start Aidan on nystatin.

After a four-week trial on this, Aidan’s mood swings were still unpredictable, but the speech continued to improve. At the next appointment we relayed our experiences and Dr Tettenborn suggested another drug, called diflucan to be used in conjunction with the nystatin. Diflucan is absorbed into the bloodstream, unlike Nystatin, which coats the lining of the mouth and digestive tract but is not absorbed by the body.
We saw a slight improvement with this combination, especially with mood swings and concentration. All during this time we still stuck to the dairy free diet and Aidan’s language skills improved. We have since found that a course of diflucan alone works best for Aidan. He is much more compliant and less likely to switch off.

Unfortunately, the use of this medication has not helped with Aidan’s bowel problems and he is still on medication for constipation. We have now been referred to the Royal Free Hospital in London and have seen a Dr Simon Murch. He ordered an X-ray of Aidan’s intestines and bowel, which were totally blocked and we were given a prescription for Liquid Paraffin and Sodium Picosulphate. This cleared Aidan’s system in next to no time and we found this helped his appetite and behaviour. Dr Murch also advised us to get the Urinary Peptide Test done through Sunderland University.

The test showed a high IAG level, which suggests a permeability of the intestinal wall and peaks, which suggest peptides derived from gluten. We will be discussing these results with Dr Murch at our next appointment. Over the last eight months we have seen many good changes in Aidan which we feel have helped him to take up his place at our local primary school. He has the help of a support assistant and inclusion in the Schools Speech and Language Resource. Aidan still has behavioural issues that fluctuate daily but he has made significant progress, although there are problems still to be addressed.

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In issue 2
Winter 1999 …
Jonathan Tommey reports
Our Diagnostic Testing for Billy
Fear of Flying
From Despair to Detox
Psionic Medicine
Testing, Testing,
1 - 2 - 3
Report from the 5th Annual Defeat Autism Now Conference
An Injection of Hope?
Diet and Nutrition
Gluten and Casein Free Recipes

Conference Report
Autism: An Allergic Disease?

Food for Thought
Autism File Letters
Secretin Test Results
The Son-Rise Program
Organisations and Contacts
Readers Page