Special Needs Kids EAT RIGHT by Judy Converse

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amanda NC
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Special Needs Kids EAT RIGHT by Judy Converse

Postby amanda NC » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:39 am

I'm not over on this forum much, but I've been doing diet and biomed for about 9 years, and this is the first diet book in a long time that I've felt like writing about. Judy converse is a speaker at many autism conferences. The biggest plus she brings to the autism discussion is, IMO, that she is a nutritionist and not a "regular" doctor, so she is looking at the autism picture from a different perspective. And it is this perspective--the nutrition perspective--that I feel was missing in our autism journey until I began researching it myself a few years ago. I feel that the doctors are sometimes so focused on the minutia in our kids' body chemistry that they miss big picture issues.

My son was SO skinny for so many years, but because he has a husky kind of build naturally, this was overlooked by the doctors, even though I brought it up repeatedly. At one point, my son's cheeks felt like rocks--and my doctor thought it was interesting, but did nothing. A neighbor asked her dermatologist about it for me at a visit, and he said that the "rocks" were my son's fat pads, and he must not have ANY fat on him for them to feel like that. I'm betting that because of severe malabsorption, my son was on the verge of starving to death for many years.

And that's what I'd like to plug about this book as I weigh it against others I've seen. Judy goes over all the diets, but what she is very clear about is that if your child is not getting enough calories and overall nutrition from any particular diet, you need to try something else. Period. If you're doing, say, the BED, and your child loses an appreciable amount of weight, she feels you need to add more foods back in even if they are not allowed on the special diet. She outlines a very strong case for why overall nutrition is KEY--and if your child's choices are very narrow to begin with, and then you take out more with any special diet, then your child cannot thrive, cannot heal and cannot grow--and the mental processes will be compromised as well. She talks about many kids that she's seen that did well on the SCD for a time, but then began losing ground; she feels that, at that point, you need to move on to something else rather than "doing the SCD harder." She talks of many kids who were failing physically on a special diet, but the parents were such die-hard believers in the merits of that particular diet that they would not budge and add in any additional foods.

She says the children she has seen who have recovered have all done chelation alongside a special diet.

This is a big hot point with me as we have, over the years, done all the diets--and I mean really done them, and worked them hard. The SCD was the one that I look back at with most regret about my handling of it. My son did GREAT for about two months on the SCD, and his very horrible diarrhea was fixed. So naturally I thought, "This is the diet for us forever!" Then he began to have terrible constipation, stooling only every 5 days or longer sometimes without supports. And he began to really lose weight. We did everything I could think of, and the online people I "talked" to who were SCD die-hards insisted I must be doing something wrong. We were not using the nut flours, so I added them in--I was hesitant to do that as I have kidney issues and nuts are, of course, high oxalate (I did not know anything about oxalate and autism at that time, though.) I would give him a big bowl of rice every now and again just to get some food in and put on weight--and he did great with this!! But boy, did I take heat from all the people on the boards for breaking the diet rules. It turns out that my son did not tolerate meat well, and in later years he has thrived on the Feast Without Yeast diet, which is low meat but high in well-cooked grains.

So I was excited when I read this book and found someone who is up front about adding common sense into our choices for our kids' diets. It is easy to get myopic about the diet thing, and to lose objectivity. I know of so many kids who are literally living on three foods and have been for a long time. She talks about why this is just unacceptable--and also about what to do about it, and what testing you might do that will guide you in how to proceed if any given diet isn't working out for you.

So that's my vent!! Gosh, if I only had it all to do over...I just didn't know a thing about nutrition when I started all this, and there was a long learning curve for me. I feel this book fills in an important gap in the autism diet book world, and strongly recommend it for people who are venturing into autism diets, especially if their child is not thriving (like mine wasn't.) Or if their child's diet is extremely limited. Two thumbs up from me!
Amanda, mom of 3

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Re: Special Needs Kids EAT RIGHT by Judy Converse

Postby FuzzyOne » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:25 pm

this is by far one of the BEST books regarding ASD treatments i have read in a long time. such a good comprehensive book on diet. LOVED it. i recommend it to everyone :) i thought i reviewed it on here before? maybe not - my memory is shot anymore :lol:

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Re: Special Needs Kids EAT RIGHT by Judy Converse

Postby Dani » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:23 pm

I like this book too. It's a good resource for parents who are baffled by the variety of diets for children on the spectrum.
I didn't know how strong I could be until I had to be.

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Re: Special Needs Kids EAT RIGHT by Judy Converse

Postby Brookeluvsofia » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:29 pm

I felt the same.I didnt feel guilty about not trying SCD.I realized maybe not the best choice for us.GFCF low sugar is enough.

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Re: Special Needs Kids EAT RIGHT by Judy Converse

Postby strings » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:29 am

Where can I get this book? I tried searching amazon but it doesn't show any results :(

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Re: Special Needs Kids EAT RIGHT by Judy Converse

Postby jejst » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:01 pm

strings wrote:Where can I get this book? I tried searching amazon but it doesn't show any results :(

http://www.amazon.com/Special-Needs-Kid ... /039953488

I might buy it.
ASD son 5 years old

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