My sister bought me this Jenny McCarthy book about "healing" autism through diet, along with a cookbook. Basically, Elliott can't eat any wheat or dairy. The majority of our family members, including our dog, love Goldfish crackers and pretty much every other type of cracker and/or cheese. But the explanation in the book made a lot of sense and Elliott had an acute sensitivity to casein, a milk protein, when he was a baby, so I thought, what the hell? Let's do this. So I went to the natural foods store and I bought a bunch of weird stuff (spaghetti noodles made of rice and corn, fake oatmeal, etc.) and Elliott has been on this diet for four days now. He pretty much hates it overall, but he did eat his lunch today and most of his snacks, so that is progress.
But here's the amazing news...I think it is working.
I got home from work around 2:40 this afternoon. Elliott was finishing up his snack when he started fussing. He then stopped fussing, looked at me, and said, "Juice please." He has NEVER asked me for anything before. I cheered for him and made him some juice and he watched me patiently prepare it. By now he would have been screaming usually.
Wait, it gets better.
So then Ben was putting stickers on my arm, 5 of them. Elliott walks over and says, "one, two, three, four, five" while pointing at the stickers. I am not exaggerating. He did it like three more times. Now, he has counted to 3 before, but never in reference to a number of objects.
THEN Ben went hiding and I asked Elliott to find him. He found him and they both laughed.
THEN Ben started dancing. I said, "Elliott, can you dance, too?" and he did it. He started dancing.
All of the above happened in about 20 minutes from when I walked through the door. Maybe these seem like normal things, but for us, this is HUGE progress, progress we haven't seen in months, compressed into a small portion of one day. He kissed me today. He hugged me today. He barely got upset about anything. He looked into my eyes several times. He connected with me, I could feel it. And it felt amazing.
We see the neurologist on Thursday, so we'll see what he says. And I don't want to get too excited. But we are definitely keeping him on this diet to see what will happen next. And in the meantime, I cautiously exhale a sigh I've been holding for a really long time.