Dana’s Story: GFCF has removed the “FOG”

February 6th, 2011

My daughter, Dana, is my 17-year-old Autistic child. She is my inspiration to appreciate and stay focused on the true blessings of our great world.

I have been a single parent, raising Dana alone, since three months into the pregnancy. When Dana was 8 years old, she was labeled, after several attempts, as mild retardation, PDD and Asperger's. She and I have heard dozens of evaluations and opinions on what to do to help her with her cognitive learning & social skills.

In December 2008, I learned of TACA, through an e-mail from another special needs parent in my home area. I called and inquired about the Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program, offering gifts to Autistic children. I was pleasantly shocked when a package came with gift cards, and food samples to start Dana on the GFCFSF diet. I cried. It gave me a new boost to try one more time to go back to the "drawing board" and redirect Dana's life style for the better. It was a recharge for HOPE... her adolescent years and hormones had brought another layer of fog over her behavior and I was weary, slowly giving up.

I had heard of the GFCFSF diet many, many times in the past. I always passed it by as an unattainable, expensive, and exhausting  way to go for her. (Hot Pockets, Del Taco, Mac and Cheese were in my budget or available time frame.) The Holiday package and the Autism Journey Guide dropped all the needed tools literally at my door step... like a Guardian Angel Mailman.!LOL!!!

The GFCF has become our new song and dance in and out of the home. I reflect on her toddler years of: throwing up often, watering red eyes from our meals, that glazed/fog look in her eyes.!!! I had some silent clues from her (she has never liked milk) on this GFCFSF diet need, yet I was ignorant.

Dana and I have a new and exciting chapter... the GFCFSF diet. My two older children have move out, so Dana and I make it a fun game to eat and cook GFCF together. We laugh, read labels, and explore all food stores (the internet too) for food products we need... Her favorite eating out is In-n-Out Burger for protein burgers (no bun or cheese, just wrapped in lettuce) and fries. It is actually cheaper to eat. I buy less junk foods and only casein-free ice cream. We do sneak some chocolate!

The true change and miracle is Dana. She talks much more: tells me that she can or cannot eat things, laughs, more helpful at home, gets 100% on her spelling tests at High School, openly talks to almost everyone, and tells me her opinion about something without me prompting her! Wow!!!

It's never too late for hope and new changes.

Warm smiles,
DeDe Deschenes, Dana's Mom

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