We did the GAPS Diet for Autism (Our Success Story- Before and After)

Hi! It’s Cara from Health Home and Happiness, and I’ve never actually talked about our whole autism story all at once
I have bits and pieces all over the Internet
but I found the GAPS diet when my daughter Hannah was 3 when she was about
a year old she was showing signs of autism she wasn’t making eye contact she
wasn’t interested in her peers she wasn’t an interest in connecting she was really
just interested in nursing and later poking at eyes and opening and closing
doors and she was all the time that’s really all she cared about and but
really the eye contact and the delayed milestones were what was the most
alarming for me so when she was a year old I started kind of half-heartedly
looking into autism treatments everyone told me she was too young to be
evaluated she didn’t get evaluated until she was right around – maybe just before
she was 2 years old anyways so I was looking and I started
her on like fish oil because that’s supposed to help with brain development
I started her on methyl b12 someone and an online discussion group told me about
the specific carbohydrate diet and at that time this was back she was born in
2006 so this was in 2007 the Internet has changed a lot there’s a lot more
information on there now so they pointed me to pecanbread.com which is specific
carbohydrate diet and it just looked insane. at the time we were eating
standard American diet I had the book Nourishing Traditions and I thought it
was interesting and but I really hadn’t incorporated much of that at all
so anyways by the time she was 2 if she was missing her milestones at 2 she
still didn’t walk she was definitely delayed and she still wasn’t making an
eye contact she was showing those repetitive stimming behaviors that’s
symptomatic of autism we had her evaluated and those particular
evaluators and you’ll find this if you’re evaluating your child and getting
your child evaluated that different people have different standards of what
they will diagnose and so at that time she didn’t qualify for an autism
diagnosis she was red flagged for early intervention and she was given a
developmental delay diagnosis later on at 4 and I’m skipping ahead now but
before she did get an evaluator that did that did give her the autism diagnosis and if you look at then it was the DSMIV diagnostic criteria she definitely did
qualify as pretty much moderate to severe autism there was no there’s very
little verbal there was stimming there was not sleeping no one thought was a
big one she didn’t sleep and I thought that was that was kind of like okay
until she was two, not okay but it was somewhat normal
lots of toddlers don’t sleep well but – and she still wasn’t sleeping she’d
never slept through the night it was just starting to become really alarming
to me and so that’s when I read special needs kids eat right and she talked
about the gluten free dairy free diet and she kind of started mentioning
coconut oil and she started mentioning other dietary interventions that can
help children that have autism and so I just said okay deep breath we’re gonna
go gluten-free casein-free and it was something that was overwhelming to me I
mean I was a pretty young mom I was 23 when she was born by the time she was 2
I her brother was born when she was 2 years and 2 months excuse me
so I was and we were mere broke we were so broke and we were in this tiny
apartment I had this baby we’re on WIC which is food assistance
I’ve got like big ol belly I’m pregnant I’ve got this two-year-old that doesn’t
walk doesn’t sleep she ate really well and today I did when
I did start her on solids I started her on like nourishing traditions type stuff
but we also like let’s be honest we drive through RVs when we were in town
and we we’d buy RVs and she would definitely RVs off of my plate as well
so her diet wasn’t perfect it wasn’t perfect nursery traditions but she was
probably 80 percent organic Whole Foods once I started her on solids and that
was another thing that she was super delayed in as she didn’t eat a bite like
I I’d put food in her mouth sometimes to see if she wanted it she didn’t swallow
a bite of food till after she was a year old she just nursed so anyways that’s
her early her early autism story and that was our first trial with
gluten-free casein-free was she it was after her brother was born she
was just turned 3 that’s when we did gluten-free casein-free and two days
into it she was a new child like before she would never walk through a parking
lot she was she could walk away then she walked right around to or right after
she turned 2 but she had never just walked through a parking lot without
getting like out in la-la land just like distracted by everything and not coming
along with me not being cooperative not doing anything like she just wanted to
stim that’s all she wanted to do was open and close doors so walking through
a parking lot wasn’t happening and I remember we were going to Big Lots and
this was two days into gluten-free casein-free as she hugged my hand and
she walked into Big Lots and like as a mom with a child with autism that’s like
the most amazing life-changing thing ever she was making an eye contact like
she was sleeping through the night she was going and she still wasn’t going to
bed until like 10:00 but she was sleeping from 10:00 until 6:00 and
because she had been up for every two hours for like over an hour at a time up
until then this was just life-changing for me when she did get up she was
making eye contact and so that was just amazing and she did that for about a
week maybe four days five days and she started regressing and so it’s like I
had seen that I had seen the eye contact I had seen the sleeping I had seen her
willingness to take my hand like a typically developing child and walk
through the Big Lots parking lot and so to go back to losing that again to have
to put her I had her in the Ergo and she was three at this time when I had a
newborn on the front and her in the back in the ER go to do all of my grocery
shopping because there just she wasn’t going to stay in the car she wasn’t
going to do anything but I still had to get stuff done so to have her go back
into what I call autism land was just it was just heartbreaking
so I started googling cure autism because I didn’t know what else to do
I’m just like I’ve seen it I know she has more potential than this I know this
isn’t her life this isn’t what her life is destined to be as stemming and
screaming and screaming and not sleeping all the time so I googled her autism and
I came up with I believe I was on nourishing romaine she talked about the
gaps diet and I think they did diet for food allergies I don’t think
they did it for autism but she was one of the first blogs that talked about
caps diet and so I googled around and I found the yahoo group and I found pend a
couple of different people that had the gaps guide and then I bought the older
version of the gaps book and then we started intro I gave myself a month to
kind of prepare because it’s a huge change especially before there were the
meal plans before there was all of this information on the gaps diet like I was
pretty much like I don’t know what to feed her we ate so many scrambled eggs
and so many hamburger patties with pureed squash is I didn’t know what to
feed her it’s not nearly there it wasn’t nearly as much information now and like
I had started my black health home and Happiness at that time and I had started
posting a little bit of stuff not that she had autism but just that we were
thinking about certain in the GOP’s diet and the backlash I got was like
terrifying because I was getting it not only from her doctor who said like she
needs gluten or she’s gonna starve but also from friends that are just like oh
we’ll just let her have it like you’re too uptight and from family was just
like why are you doing this you need to go see a real doctor and so I was
getting like all these conflicting information from everybody the internet
included and telling me that I was starving my child and so anyways I put
her on the gaps diet we spent I remember we started November first and this was
right before her brother turned one so she was turning three or no she had just
turned three and her brother was just turning one cuz we had his first
birthday was just pureed butternut squash which is all I could handle at
the time because I was so focused on cooking for this child but anyways we
didn’t see the overnight change in her like I did when I started gluten-free
casein-free and we did keep her dairy-free on gaps for over a year so
she we never reintroduce gluten and casein but it was just having that
initial time where I saw such a rapid change in her and I saw the eye contact
that gave me hope that I could keep looking for something that would help
this child and so we started gaps and we started on
the introduction diet which I will link to right above some more information on
the introduction diet right now I have something that walks you through the
first 30 days just because we did it and it was so hard for us anyways I put her
on the introduction diet and I slowly saw steady progress it wasn’t like I
think it was just like her system had never been without gluten and dairy
because I had always eaten some of it and she was nursing so it was that
initial shock that showed me that first huge change and then I’m GATS she was
progressively it wasn’t as big of a shock but she was progressively getting
better day by day week by week and I was checking to see and she was tolerating a
lot more foods so yeah that was our autism story at four she was on yaps and
she was diagnosed with autism at four and then she was revalued evaluate like
every two or three years I think she was revalued at six and she had lost her
autism diagnosis she still has a global delay diagnosis but and some people will
tell me that like oh well she still has a diagnosis so why do you care I’m like
I care because she’s not screaming all the time and she sleeps and she’s happy
and she makes eye contact she makes connections and it’s just something as a
mother like it’s so much not only easier to parent her but we just get such a
better her quality of life is better and we get a better connection with her
after the gaps diet so she stayed on yacht’s diet from four and then I took
her off at I think five and a half she was we had tried different things and I
tried doing no dairy I tried to introducing derry-o try doing less
probiotics more probiotics the one thing that did worked really well for her was
going low-carb and we have a family history of silent seizures which is
seizures that like it’s not the typical tonic clonic shaking but there are
seizures that are happening in the brain but they’re not showing and physical
symptoms so I didn’t try her on a low-carb version of the gaps diet she
did really well like she hurt impulsivity went way down and then I
ended up going to a traditional Oh during the time we were doing the
gaps diet we were going kind of as often as I had money if I had five hundred
dollars to throw at an alternative treatment I would go to an alternative
treatment so we did chiropractic we did homeopathy we did traditional Chinese
medicine anyways the traditional Chinese medicine is what allowed her to start
eating carbs again she stopped having that adrenaline response he did some
acupressure on her it’s a martinet green mantis kung fu in Mesa Arizona if you
guys are curious yeah so it’s not it’s not like a magic bullet but it changed
our life so much and that’s why I have health um and happiness and I try to
help as many families as I can I am passionate about making so much stuff
that is legal for the gaps diet and helping other families I have seen other
families that had complete recovery autism recovery from from severe autism
by using the gaps diet I’ve seen some people like us that had like pretty
moderate but really helpful recovery and I’ve seen other people that have like a
change in digestive systems or a change in eye contact a change in sleeping and
really I haven’t seen a whole lot of people especially for autism that had
done the gaps diet and had done it strictly because it is something you
have to be incredibly compliant for that didn’t find something of value in it
they might have had to tweak it to go like low phenyl or they might have had
to tweak it to go low-carb like we did but in general just healing the gut is a
great way to help heal autism so that’s our gaps how we got started that’s our
autism story and due to privacy concerns I don’t talk a ton about specifics but I
am since this is so far in the past I feel comfortable sharing our story we’re
really happy with where we are and I hope that’s encouraging to you if you
found this helpful if you could subscribe over there
I would love it

62 thoughts on “We did the GAPS Diet for Autism (Our Success Story- Before and After)

  1. thanks cara!! great job !! look for kerrys rivera book " healing all the simptoms known as autism", even with the diet theres more to do to complete recover your child, chelations, hiperbaric camera, remove parasties from intestine, is not expensive.

  2. i'm gonna start this diet soon. I'm 23 years old. a guy. All my whole life i'm feeling depressed, anxiety and have symptoms of autism (pdd-nos). I've tried a lot of things, pschygologist, meditation, yoga. nothing helped. This is my last thing i'm gonna try.
    I'm excited to start.

  3. I am so sorry to hear of the resistance people gave you!!! I do not understand people who try to sabotage a parent's attempt to help and heal their child!!! I found you today while looking for videos to share with a friend who wants to help her son. I went vegan along with my daughter when she was finally diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age eleven. It helped her so much, but I got SO MUCH RESISTANCE from grandparents, school, friends, etc. It was so difficult!!! Everyone was trying to force her to eat meat but one hamburger and she was curled up in pain. Thank you for the videos.

  4. try carnivore (raw is best if possible just watch Sv3rige and read We want to live by Aajonus Vonderplant hope this help, I believe it will

  5. I am so proud of u for at least trying so hard , and caring about her. My daughter in law is still in denial with both her kids. 6 n 2yrs.

  6. I need some advice. My son is 2 years old and has amazing motor skills, but is unpredictable with eye contact and his speech is delayed. What should my first step be? Our diet is about 2/3 organic and mostly non gmo if not organic. Anyone who wants to message me, please do. I’ll look into GAPS. Thank you.

  7. Hi Sarah thank u so much for sharing your story with other moms. I was wondering if your daughter has MTHFR gene mutation and if that changes anything in her diet.. Thank u!

  8. you're a good mom. Love your dedication and how you put everyone's opinions aside to trust your mom instincts to heal your baby. I'm just starting gaps diet to hopefully put my autoimmune disease into remission.

  9. Bless your heart! You have truly had a journey! Moms try to do the best they can for their children, and thankfully – you did just that. Your daughter is a beautiful girl (looking at your photos) and she looks happy and healthy. I am so glad you were able to do what you did for her. I believe all health does start in the gut (as GAPS indicates). I agree that a body's whole exposure to the outside world is dictated by the microbes in our gut. I am working towards that myself and hope to introduce some subtle changes to my father's diet (90 years old) to help him as well for this new year. Love to you and your family! XOXOXOXO

  10. Did you give her vaccines and then more vaccines and then more vaccines? In a nutrient-rich diet sure they'll get some things that will chelate out some of these toxins that you put in but not all of them.

  11. Ur one is classical autism but 99 percent regressive autism is due to drug and vaccines before during and at first 3 to 5 years of life . If a child who was never vaccinated still has autism then it is their gut flora from uterus of their mother which was damaged

  12. Autism can be improved through diet but not cured. To truly heal autism you must remove the mercury from the child’s brain and body. Check out Medical Medium’s information on autism.

  13. This is so interesting to me thank you for posting this information. I personally do not have any children. However I have worked with individuals experiencing developmental disabilities for 13 years. In The Last 5 Years I have worked with mostly individuals experiencing autism. I would say that 95% of the individuals I work with have some kind of digestive difficulty . I really feel in my heart of hearts that treating the gut is one of the best ways of reducing autism symptoms. Your doughter is so fortunate to have you ♡

  14. Trying different stuff for autism: 1. Take a vit and min tablet. Autistic people are low on magnesium, selenium, vit d and probably other nutrients. Studies show magnesium and vit b 6 supplementation improves autistic people. Magnesium citrate is a good form of supplement . The enzyme pyridoxalkinase has low activity in in autistic. Improve it's activity by eating more phosphorus foods like seeds, nuts and beans. If you eat these foods , eat a chewable enzyme that has protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase,hemicellulase and phytase to break up the plant fibers in order to access the nutrients. Some studies have shown that gluten and casein free diets may be helpful. I think that you can avoid this by eating the chewable enzymes which will break down the gluten and casein proteins into amino acids. Studies have shown that autistic people are low in certain amino acids. Be sure to eat enough protein. There is a theory that autistic people have leaky gut syndrome. Iron deficiency can cause this, so take the multi vit and min. Also take a veg capsules that has Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential oils.

  15. Its so hard on GAPS even with all the information out there for me now because my son has so many food allergies. Dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, nuts (minus almond and coconut), nightshades, chocolate, peas, squash, and it feels like the list just grows and grows. Ugh! On top of this he's a picky 2 year old and refuses mostly all veggies. I feel like all he eats is meat and fruits. He won't eat any GAPS baked goods. Hardly get him to drink broth. I feel exhausted.

  16. Wow! I do not have autism in our family. However, I am always researching diet as it relates to health. I just wanted to write you because I am so glad that someone who is familiar with autism is getting information out there that diet is SO important to their welbeing! You are an awesome Mom to take your child's health seriously and to question those in "authority". Thank you for sharing your story 💗

  17. I am a grandmother helping my 6 year old grandson w autism. I am new to all of this but I do see how the food connection works. So thank you for having this posted

  18. This is interesting. My autistic foster sister was put on a gluten-free ketogentic diet already in 1987, so I have always believed that to be one of the primary treatments for autism.

  19. My son is 1 year on GAPS, what about detoxification? What is the best? Cutler? How long do I have be on this diet?

  20. How wonderful. I've suggested keto/ low carb for Autism in the past but ppl are just incredulous that a 'diet change' would help alleviate symptons. Good for you, this gladdens my heart. Xxx

  21. My daughter did the same. She didn't crawl until almost 2 and didn't walk until 3 1/2 and she didnt speak much at all until 3-4. She did sleep 10-12 hrs a night, both my daughters slept all night from birth thank all the gods 😄 I just left it be and now shes 5 1/2 and has completely caught up on her own. Idk if its autism, i wouldn't think so because autism isnt something you grow out of, right? Iher older sister is the exact opposite. Shes 13 and a genius haha she used a spoon and fed herself at 4 months and all her milestones were super early. Theyre 8 yrs apart amd since my oldest was super early and my youngest was late it made it seem like she was super duper late in comparison… Im so glad i didn't jump to get her diagnosed because thankfully she caught up. Not saying everyone child will catch up or that ppl shouldn't push for a diagnosis. It just worked out in my situation but i know it won't work the same way for everyone.

  22. As a 51 year old diagnosed with autism 5 years ago, I have never heard of the GAPS diet. However, 11 months ago I removed all grains, sugars (carbohydrates), and vegetable oils from my diet. The results have astonished me, alleviating the comorbidities of depression and digestive problems which I have suffered from all my life. It sounds like the GAPS diet shares the “low carb” approach, and although diet is NOT a “cure” (you can’t cure autism), there is no doubt in my mind that removing certain foods can play a huge role in aiding physical and mental health for we autistic folk. Thank you for sharing your story.

  23. My heart goes out for Mother’s of Autism children. The mothers are driven like no other mother.
    Finding a solution is outstanding. There is a connection between the gut and the brain. I think it is mast cell disorder. Most children of Autism always have diarrhea no matter what diet. I do believe in DNA of the parents somebody is carry the genes that pass it along

  24. I have a 12 yr old son on the spectrum who craves nothing but sugar, pasta and cereal. I try to get him to eat other things but i end up giving in so much of the time to avoid unpleasant situations. A lightbulb just went off in my head. Thank you so much for this information! I am going to try the Gaps diet over the summer break. I just ordered the book, and I'll let you know how it works!

  25. My question is, how did you get her to even try the food? My daughter is on the spectrum, she is 2, and she gags at everything that isn’t crunchy or a fruit. It’s so difficult!!

  26. Hi Cara, healing the gut is really important, but the most important thing to do with autism is to take vitamin D. And I mean a lot of vitamin D. Look for the Coimbra protocoll, it works really well with autism!

  27. Great story, it only shows what early intervention can do. It is so powerful. If you had not changed her diet, geez. Just awesome. I had to go carnivore as well, I tried Paleo, then Paleo Autoimmune, it did not work that well. Through Natasha Campbell McBride (reading her books) I learned, that there are certain autistic people who can't digest plant foods. That's what opened me up to try something more drastic. And I also learned about oxalates through Sally Norton and Susan Owens (Susan Owens is a scientist and has worked with a group of autistics, and they found that by removing oxalates, they had a lot of success)
    Only by removing plants too and those High Oxalate foods – that's when I finally saw the change happening and reversed many things. Thank you so much for your inspiration. Your videos are great.

  28. Watched this yesterday – think I told you – and this is very scientific approach. However I think it is both, genetics and epigenetics. You can definitely reduce autistic behaviour by eating the right way. However, I still have sensory issues, 46 years of age, but I can have seen the difference – back from when I ate dairy/gluten/high oxalate foods my autistic behaviour was way more pronounced. Your kids are lucky, that very very early intervention will save them from so much difficulties, I am sure about that. Wish I knew earlier.

  29. Hi….my son is 3 year 1 month old…he is autistic and ADHA problem…no communication and very poor eye contact and alway on his own world …and continuously hamming… music…he doesn't play with other kids….he not even ask for food also…I don't know what will do…I am so much worried about him and I crying every day….I don't know how to over come this situation….pls give me any suggestions and suppliments for him….plsss reply me… Thanks in advance….I hope you can understand my pain

  30. Wow. Great upload. Beautifully presented no ego just the story without unnecessary filler. I can't believe you went through all that with your child! I am in awe of you right now. Really dissapointed I can only give you one like 🙂 Double thumbs up!

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