Coping with #Autism and Food Allergies

      9 Comments on Coping with #Autism and Food Allergies

The Lost and Tired family isn’t new to food allergies.  However, past food allergies weren’t as serious as what we are now dealing with.

In the advent of Elliott‘s newly diagnosed tree nut allergy, I trying to figure out what the best approach is to eliminate those things from his diet

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I guess my question is, if your child has a tree nut allergy, do you simply remove it from their diet or the entire house?



In our case, Elliott is the only one with this allergy and trying to find a balance between food he can eat and food everyone else can eat has been difficult.

Many times, Elliott simply refuses to eat because he either can’t eat what everyone else is eating or he is afraid that his food will make him sick.

As a child with aspergers and high levels of anxiety, he has a very difficult time with change. 

I’m wondering if we should move the whole family away from tree nuts.

To me, it seems like it would be easier to adjust the meals for everyone than it is to make two of everything.  I also think it might help Elliott to feel safer because he would know that everything in the house was safe to eat.

The school has already made sure that the lunch menu is allergen free and it is. 
We will be meeting with a nutritionist in the near future to further fine tune things. 

I just wanted to know what you folks thought. It’s one thing to hear something from someone who likely doesn’t live with or deal with the same struggles.  It’s another thing entirely to hear from people who are dealing with the same thing, day in and day out. 

Read This  Received 2 absolute blessings today

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Also feel free to pose your own questions as well.  This is a very important topic and let’s cover this thoroughly.

Thanks



  • estrellaSMC says:

    I don’t have allergies, but I do have gallstones, which means I have to avoid fatty foods. What we have done is to keep the fatty things limited to things I don’t like so I’m not tempted by them.

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  • LarissaKlymenko says:

    My son is diagnosed with classic autism, and has many food allergies as well.  He is allergic to ALL NUTS (tree and peanuts), citrus, apples, all outdoor allergens (grass, tree pollen, animal dander, etc.), so it can be tough. He also shows a mild response to wheat and soy, so we have removed soy from his diet.  We have yet to go wheat – free ( and his allergist agrees that he probably is not allergic to it ).  We tried the gluten – free diet for a few months some years ago with very poor results – he had behavior issues which previously were very mild. He was also lactose intolerant for a number of years (though this year, I started giving him organic milk and he seems to tolerate it well).  With a child that has difficulty communicating physical symptoms, it has always been a challenge –  does that cough mean his throat is swelling, why are his eyes itching, etc,  And there is always that high anxiety level… so I would err on the side of caution.  It is better for the whole family to be on the same page regarding diet, at least as much as possible.  Also, keep Benadryl and an Epi-pen on Hand.  I now carry the rapid melts everywhere I go, and have had to use them on occasion.  I realize now that some situations where it was considered a behavior issue was merely an attempt by my son to communicate his discomfort.  Try to simplify your life as much as possible.  Even if you find yourself eating less of a variety.  That can come later.  My son is now willing to try new foods… Sometimes even likes them and they enter our diet.

  • dotdash says:

    Has he ever had an actual reaction to a nut or is it just that he’s got the antibodies when they tested at the doctors?  (Those tests have a lot of false positives.)

    • lostandtired says:

      @dotdash he has a physical reaction to almonds. The test showed his numbers were pretty high. Whenever he has something with almonds in it, even if he’s doesn’t know they are there, his throat begins to hurt and he begins coughing.
      As far as the other nuts go, because his number are high and the fact that it’s a tree nut, he can’t have any of then at all.

  • chefaimee says:

    I would do whatever makes him the least anxious. Idk if you read my post the other day or not, but I also suffer from Anaphylaxis. I am deathly allergic to aspirin, ALL NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, motrin, etc.), Aloe Vera, and strawberries among other weird things. It begins with my eyes swelling shut, then my tongue swells, then my throat closes. I carry an Epipen and benadryl everywhere, and have them stashed in places I might not have a purse with me. Examples: taped under my desk where I used to work, in a drawer in the kitchen, in the storage under the seat of my motorcycle. I’m certain the school has SOPs for children with allergies, at this point honestly I would try to ease his anxiety by letting him know that you have this covered. My brother has a daughter with celiac. You would think this child has brain cancer. He has her convinced she’s an invalid – she only goes to school an hour or two a day (if they bother at all), it got to the point where DFS became involved because he was so ridiculous about the whole thing. As a Chef, I am certified in Nutrition as well as Safety and sanitation. I am authorized by the National Restaurant Association to TEACH the bloody Servesafe course and he still spazzed at Christmas when I made dinner at his house because of the ‘Wheat Dust’. Yet they eat at Restaurants.????? Including scarfing down Nachos (with the day glow orange cheese sauce) at a snack bar. In. Sane. By reassuring him and using common sense, I’m certain that this is just another obstacle on the course that seems to be your life. *^_^* I And if you ever need any recipes or substitution ideas, you know who you can email.

    • lostandtired says:

      @chefaimee thanks. I will do just that. Also, my wife has a niece that has celiac so bad that they can’t even keep flour in the house. She is severely affected by the airborne particles. My mom has Celiac really bad as well but not as bad as that.

      • chefaimee says:

        @lostandtired I definitely understand the problems that celiac can cause, however there is a long and sordid history whereby if he himself can’t be a ‘victim’ of some mysterious ailment, his children are. As a Chef, I can assure you that teenagers working in a snack bar (where this girl gorges herself like a farm animal) are far less cautious than I am. It’s very frustrating for any family gathering, because that is the ONLY issue that can matter. Ever. They keep other food in the house for the other family members (bread, pasta, etc.) or I would have never brought it. I have UC, I am VERY aware of dietary restrictions. Because sometimes I have to leave the house. I mean bathroom. Lol!

  • agenthner says:

    We have removed all gluten from the house … slowly.  Everyone by my husband is now diagnosed (myself and 3 kids) but when two of the kids became diagnosed it was too difficult to differentiate.  My middle has Asperger’s and both older have severe anxiety, so I understand where you’re coming from.  The girls are much more comfortable knowing that all food in the house is safe. 
     
    My youngest is allergic to dairy, too, but we have substitution dairy for him and simply cook with coconut or almond milks and use oil-based margerines instead of butter.
     
    I would note that nut allergies can become worse as more exposures happen and even having the nuts in the house could pose an actual danger to your son, so I’d vote on removing nuts from the house entirely to avoid possible serious responses in the future and also give him a sense of belonging and well-being.  Even with dairy and gluten that has been a best-practice for us and has helped everyone keep a sense of normalcy in the home.