Dr. David Clark, DC blows off some steam about how some people don't understand the issue of gluten and the autistic spectrum.
Some Parents Don't Get It--Gluten and the Autistic Spectrum
Some parents of kids on the autistic spectrum just don’t get it. They just don’t get that gluten is literally poison for their child.
Now, the reason I’m telling you this, just a few moments ago I got through a meeting with a family of a child named Jack.
I haven’t even told you Jack’s story, but let me just put it this way: When I first saw Jack, the week before he came here, about a year ago, he tried to like kill another kid. He literally had a temper tantrum and physically went after this kid. I’ve got video of him destroying his house because he can’t transition out of an activity because he’s stimming on TV and he’s asked to stop watching TV and come to dinner.
Before I started working with him...
- not mainstreamed in any classes.
- He has no friends. He’s a hermit.
- He lives inside the house.
- He can’t take a shower by himself.
- He doesn’t know how to ride a bike.
And over the course of a year of following our program, of making all the necessary changes that I asked...
- He is now a tae kwon do champion.
- He’s going to be competing in an adult tae kwon do tournament.
- He has sleepovers.
- He has friends.
- He’s mainstreamed in all classes.
- He can ride a bike.
- He actually has gone around the neighborhood looking for chores so that he can earn some money.
Over the last year, Jack has blossomed.
That’s the back story. Now, here’s what I mean when I say some parent's don’t get it.
So I’m talking to Jack’s mom and his stepdad before they leave our appointent, and Mom says,
“Hey, remember to tell Dr. Clark that your dad [separated] let you have a bagel.” (!!!!!!)
Of course, I basically shouted "a bagel, he can’t do that." I mean, the kid’s totally gluten-intolerant. He’s got the genes for it. Gluten is out--forever.
That’s one of the things that we’ve been working with him over the last year is following a totally gluten-free diet----
...the payoff has been amazing.
But---- even though this wilting little flower of a child has now blossomed into this towering, beautiful kid--it’s as if the parent's forgot exactly how they got there.
And so I said, "You can’t do a bagel. That’s poison for you, Jack. You can’t do that."
And then his stepdad said, “Yeah, but sometimes – but he has pizza every month at school, too,”
Stepdad: “Well, you know, well, he has pizza and we give him the little digesting enzymes you give us.”
Me: "Yeah, but that’s not a hall pass."
Stepdad: “Well, you know, if he used to be eating four grilled cheese sandwiches and two peanut butter sandwiches, at least he’s eating less.”
Me: "No, I’m never gonna tell you that’s okay. I’m never gonna tell you it’s okay for this kid to have any gluten because you know it’s poisonous for him. You know what it does to his behavior."
It amazes me...they were desperate parents. And they’ve witnessed and enjoyed first-hand, this massive transformation and wakening of their child---and part of it was removing gluten....
And they still think a little bit is okay.
Boggles my mind. It tells me that I have a lot of education I still need to be doing for these people. I still need to be letting them know that this is not acceptable.
So I guess I can add that to another group, the other groups that don’t get it, some doctors – in fact a lot of doctors. I’ve told you about that post a long time ago, about how this doctor got up at this continuing education seminar and basically said that, you know, “our products only have a little bit of gluten in them and it’s not enough to make a difference,” and how that was just total crap.
And then I told you about how there was another group of people, particularly daycares, that just don’t get it because my own child was in a daycare, and they just don’t get it. I mean, they literally have no idea what it means to be intolerant to gluten.
Now I have another group of people, which I never thought I would would make the list.
I never thought I would say that a parent of a child who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s, right, on the autistic spectrum, who removed gluten from their diet along with the rest of our program. They saw massive, positive changes and are still seeing them today...they still don’t get it.
I've got more work to do.
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Dr. David Clark
Diplomate College of Clinical Nutrition
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Vestibular Rehab Specialist