Special Needs

Can we talk Autism & Poop?

This is your fair warning - if you can't stomach bathroom talk, just quit reading this now.  It may be grotesque, but I want answers.
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Re: Can we talk Autism & Poop?

  • LOL..  YES.  My son's poop was terrible.  He either always had diarrhea or constipation.

    We changed him to the GFCF diet and things are better.  He still has problems every once and awhile but not like before.

    We have noticed that he leans on his stomach a lot though.  For instance he hangs his belly over the end of the couch a lot.
  • DS has really bad eating habits. Some days are better than others, but on a consistant basis he eats Oatmeal, Yogurt, Milk, Juice, Bread, and Chicken Nuggets.  There are other things he is willing to eat, and we are also working really hard to try to get him to try new things again.

    Anyway, he turned 2 in July.  He is my first, so I don't really know when poop is supposed to be less runny and more solid - like adult's, but I assume it was a long time ago.  It continues to be very much all over the place in the diaper, very liquidy, and I am actually quite embarrased to send him somewhere that someone else has to change a dirty diaper.  Quite frequently it leaks out - that's how loose it is.

    I hesitate to call it 'chronic diarrhea' to the pedi, I don't really know why... but up until recently, I guess it was denial.  I keep asking questions hoping he'll have a suggestion for me, but it hasn't worked thusfar.

    I have read some about the GFCF diet.  We haven't tried it yet. I have limited sugars, limited chocolate milk, limited juice (which he requests anytime you ask him what he wants), he doesn't snack.  He won't eat most things that arent a carb/fat/or sugar.  Then, when he DOES decide to eat something new - like the recent addition of Bananas, raisins, and peanuts - he wants them all the time... so that's not good either.

    I just don't know what to think. 

    I KNOW the poop thing is associated with his eating, but I don't know how much. Im NOT sure how well we can do on GFCF until we get him to eat a bit more variety.  I don't know what poop is NORMAL (except the pedi says, as long as its between these many and these many a day/week, you're ok..blah...blah..).

    Anyone in a similar boat?
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  • Hmm...thats interesting... I've never associated the 2 things, but DS also hangs his belly over the sofa a lot.
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  • Ok. This might sound crazy to you, but I'm telling you my experience before and after the diet.  Honestly, I know I shove the GFCF diet down peoples throats but you should see my kid before and after.  The changes in his behavior and eating habits are incredible. 

    My son was like yours.  Not willing to try anything new, craved sugars, milk, wheat.  He had very loose stools also and then other days constipation.  He couldn't win either way.  I decided basically, what the hell do I have to lose trying this diet.  If people were claiming that this diet would change some of the autistic behaviors it was worth a shot. 

    I stressed so much the first couple of days.  I thought I was going to lose it.  I made chicken nuggets, bought waffles, rolls, soy yogurt, panda puffs cereal.  I tried to give him pizza and that was a no no at first.  It tastes ok, but it's not as good as REAL pizza.  So I didn't try that again for awhile.

    We noticed a change with Mason within about 3 days.  His stimming worsened.  I was terrified.  He became a bear.  I swear if his head could have spun, it would have.  He was terrible to deal with and any little thing; sometimes nothing, set him off. 

    This is when I realized the diet was starting to work.  About probably two weeks into the diet things calmed down, for the better.  His stools were looking more normal.  Not so runny and he was having a bm every day.  His stimming went back down, and his eye contact started to get better.  He actually looked at us when we said his name a couple of times.  He didn't care before.

    He did well with the changes in the diet.  Then I started to worry about the yeast.  So I started not giving him as much juice.  I also ordered threelac.  A probiotic.

    Once again, the stimming picked up and he became Monster Mason again.  My husband and I worried.  Day two of the threelac was the worst.  Day three got a little better, and by day 4 he was doing ok.  Some people claim to see yeast in their kids poop, but I never did.  But, by about day four his speech started improving.

    Now I do have him on the diet still, I have him on Brainchildnutritionals (vitamin and mineral supplement) DMG with Folic acid and B12, threelac, and cod liver oil.  I know it sounds like a lot, but you should see this kid.  He's a whole different person.  He is about a year behind in speech (conversation) and social play, but He is on the upswing of autism.  I really believe it.  His therapists are amazed at how well he is doing.

    I really honestly believe that the diet was one of the best things I could ever do for him.  He is more willing to try new foods now too.  I do have a great OT so I'm sure it's not all the diet changing things, but I bet at least 80% has been because of diet change.

  • I am very grateful for all that information - i needed to hear it.  We are actually in the process of getting SSI approved so we can afford the diet.  I am feeling just like you did - what's there to lose???

    On OT... I like mine OK, but what do you think is so great about yours?  We've only had 4 appts with ours. 

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  • She was really knowledgeable about autism and if she doesn't know, she goes home and researches.  We could always find a way to work around his eating issues.  We do still struggle with it though.  Veggies are a battle.  He'll eat stage 3 baby food, but freaks at veggies on his plate.  So the diet isn't a fix all but it's helped!
  • I should add, we have to watch his bath soap, Johnsons baby wash is ok, and my son can't have playdough.  Playdough has wheat (gluten) and it made him crazy for a week until I figured out what was going on with him.  I have a recipe for gluten free playdough that is easy to make.  Gluten can be absorbed by the body.
  • That is crazy! I never would have thought about Playdoh and Soap. I thought for a min there that you meant he ate those things. 

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  • LOL.. no.  I have always used the johnsons shampoo on him.  I put him in the shower with me the one night and within 20 minutes he was flapping and shaking his head and he also does this lovely thing where he almost stands on his head, like he wants to do a somersault.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong.  I looked at my shampoo and it had wheat in it.  I knew instantly that I couldn't put him in the shower with me again!

    As for the playdough, His OT had asked if I had any.  Mason hadn't played with it for a long time.  No reason why, he just wasn't into it before.  So I got it out for the OT and him to play with.  Well, that's all he wanted to do for a week straight.  His speech kinda slipped and like the shampoo he was back to doing autistic behaviors more than normal.  I looked on the package and it has wheat in it.  My OT told me not to give it to him anymore.  LOL  Needless to say, she believes the diet works.  By the next week she came, he was back to his normal self.
  • Beau has the opposite problem he is constantly backed up and has what we call pebble poop. He has little pebbles almost at every bm or he is just like your ds and has the runs.

    We noticed that Beau can NOT have raisians, this makes him extremely runny. When we began to decrease milk from his diet he has begun to have mor of a normal stool. We still give Beau cheese, yogurt, pudding or other milk based items, but we took out drinking milk or juice. He has days where he craves one or the other and those days are hard. I am still new and cave, but those are the days he acts out. When he has no milk or juice he eats more and trys new foods.

    The developmental pediatrician we saw said to put him on a multi vitamin asap and NO milk and NO juice. My jaw dropped when I heard this but it has made some notable improvements.

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