Normally, I'm not a big detractor of mothers trying special diets for their children's neurological differences. Unless it gets into real weirdo nonsense junk science with children dying from chelation treatments, it does no harm and may do a little good. Most importantly, it gives a parent who feels powerless something to do.
God knows, I spent my entire childhood on super-holistic health diets, and it didn't cause me harm. My mother found a doctor who was an early proponent of such things in the 80s... I was the weirdo kid who couldn't eat the birthday cake, but since I was also the autistic kid, I had bigger social problems to worry about. Still, I'm sure I was less hyper and touchy than kids on a standard American junk diet.
However, my mother says that it didn't really affect my autism one way or another.
As a much more high-functioning teenage autist
: , I went on a two-year junkfood binge. Taco Bell, slushies and sweet-tarts were my major food groups. Luckily, I was a skinny little thing with a cast-iron stomach. Looking back now, I shudder.
But my autism was unaffected.
As a you twentysomething (eating healthier now), I developed a skin problem and decided to try a very limited/holistic diet. I cut out all wheat, dairy, gluten--oh, tons of things, ate no processed food, took enzymes. I felt wonderful, and it helped my skin, but it was a bit too high-maintenance.
My autism, however, was unaffected.
As a married and parenting adult, I feed my family a largely traditional, slow-food, unprocessed, organic diet BUT I don't avoid any food groups. Eggs, dairy, we eat it all, with the stipulation that it be organic (we NEVER eat conventional meat or dairy) and the exception of corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.
My autism continues to be unaffected.
Why did I post all of this? Just to annoy/upset all the lovely mamas on this board who will now post "Well, missy, that may be true for you but you don't know jack about my family's situation, so zip your lip!" And, okay, fair enough. No.
I posted this because, OP, you are beating yourself up all over the place for something that is not your fault and that, very likely, you cannot control. You sound like a deeply loving and caring mama, and I'm sorry that people have made you believe you hurt your child. This is alarmist nonsense, and needs to stop. It doesn't help people with autism, it doesn't help their parents.
This nice woman believes she damaged her child's brain with fillings and soy formula. For the record, I'm against this way of thinking. It's creepy and cultish.
And I'm sorry if it gets me kicked off the boards, but I'm going to continue protesting when I hear children with autism described as "sick" and "disabled." It's unbelievably offensive, and completely discriminatory, and if you want to talk like that in your living room that's your own business but you have absolutely no business posting such things in a public forum. 50 years ago, homosexuality was a "disease," but guess what? We now live in 2006, and whatever you personally believe, it's not OK to go on like that in public. Adults with autism exist, read these boards and, despite what nonsense you may have read about autism conferring a soulless lack of emotion, we are capable of hurt feelings and insult.
Hopefully the world will be a slightly better place for your autistic children because I made a fuss now. Attitudes need to change.