A few weeks ago, Deacon's therapist suggested putting Deacon on a gluten-free diet. She told us that Deacon reminds her of a couple of other children she has had in the past and they had great success after eliminating gluten from their diets.
If you know Deacon, you know feeding him is a challenge...he is extremely picky when it comes to tastes and textures, and his diet mostly revolves around breaded food. Gluten is in most food items, especially those with breading. A strong favoritism to these types of food many times is a huge indicator to a gluten sensitivity.
After asking around and doing some research, we took out all gluten from his diet three weeks ago. It hasn't been easy, but is easier than we expected. I think a lot of the ease has to do with a new trend to give more descriptive lists of ingredients and advertise foods that are gluten free.
I will say, the first two trips to the grocery store took about 3 hours due to label searching and stopping to check out the companies website from my phone. Luckily, many food production websites (and restaurants) are starting to list products they sell that are gluten free. Here are a couple of good ones, in case you are interested:
Deacon continues to improve from therapy. He will sometimes color without assistance (and without eating the crayon!!):
He responds to his name more frequently, understands a few things we say (ex: knows when we say we are going bye-bye that we are leaving and will go stand by the door), signs for "eat", claps, and makes many different sounds. He plays with a variety of toys and engages in play with others much more often. They are working on getting him to eat independently with silverware and follow more instructions.
We are so proud of the progress he is making and thankful for our friend/neighbor/babysitter, Melissa, for driving him to and from therapy each day.