Healing Autism with the GAPS Diet (New Podcast)

by Ann Marie Michaels on August 24, 2010

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Is healing autism possible? Many people say yes.

The GAPS diet is a grain-free, sugar-free, starch-free diet designed to heal the gut. It was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a pediatrician and neurologist living in England. Her own son was diagnosed with autism, and she researched a way to help him heal — which he did. He is now fully recovered. She went on to write the book The Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

With the help of the GAPS diet, children all over the world are healing from autism, Asperger’s, and other autism spectrum disorders as well as ADD and ADHD.

Healing Autism with the GAPS Diet

Yesterday I interviewed Cara Faus of the Health, Home & Happiness blog about her daughter, Hannah, who has delays on the autistic spectrum. Cara talks about the amazing results she has seen in Hannah since she changed her diet. She also talks about why a gluten-free casein-free diet is not enough.

If you have a child on the autism spectrum, you need to listen to this podcast. If you know someone who has a child on the spectrum, please share this podcast with them. Even if you don’t know anyone who is on the spectrum, I think you’ll really enjoy and learn a lot from this interview.

Listen to the Podcast: Cara Faus on Healing Autism with the GAPS Diet

Click the PLAY button below to listen.

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To subscribe to the CHEESESLAVE podcast on iTunes, click the iTunes button on the player.

The Effect of a WAPF Diet on Children

I also wanted to share this with you. Cara posted on my Facebook page this photo of her daughter and her son. It really shows the difference in facial structure between the two children. Her daughter, the firstborn, did not get the benefits of a Weston A. Price style diet. Her son did — and you can see the dramatic difference.

Cara writes:

My daughter has the more narrow face, my son’s is nice and wide. I had found Nourishing Traditions before I got pregnant with him- and had raw milk, lots of butter, grassfed beef, and raw eggs during his pregnancy.

My daughter’s face is more narrow (I ate the standard American diet during and before her pregnancy), and she even has some crowding of her lower baby teeth- I’ll take a picture of that too some time.

She also is on the autistic spectrum- see how my son looks straight at the camera and she looks slightly away? On GAPS her eye contact has been improving, but it’s still got a little while to go. This picture was taken after she had been on GAPS for 6 months. She was nursed until she was 26 months, I’m still nursing her brother.

Enter to Win a Copy of Gut & Psychology Syndrome and a Bottle of Bio-kult Probiotics

Cara just announced a new giveaway on her Health, Home & Happiness blog. Click here for a chance to win a copy of the book, Gut & Psychology Syndrome and a bottle of Biokult probiotics (60 ct) from GAPSDiet.com — retail value $52.90!

Click here to go over to Cara’s site and enter the giveaway.

Share Your Thoughts Below

How about you? Have you noticed a change in your children since you changed to a traditional food diet?

Do you have children on the autism spectrum or with ADD or ADHD and have you noticed positive results by changing their diet?

If you are thinking of starting the GAPS diet but haven’t gotten started yet, what’s holding you back?

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracee August 24, 2010 at 10:20 AM

God bless you and a huge thank you for posting this. The word needs to get out to more families. My 40 year old brother has autism and my son came down with it as a toddler after spending a month on antibiotics. We tried the gfcf diet and got ZILCHO results, even though it turns out he and I both have huge gluten issues. Three weeks into Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), the diet GAPS is based on, he woke up one day and his motor skills were back, he could say 5 words and noticed children. Our jaws just dropped to the floor. You just can’t put a miracle into words. I felt better on his food. Turns out I have Celiacs and Crohn’s. I was always told my symptoms were “just me”, I would have never gotten diagnosed if it were not for trying the diet for my son. And the media is trying to convince everyone to not try diet for autism! I’m just so glad to see more folks getting the word out. A great book to read along with the Gut & Psycology book is “Breaking the Viscious Cycle” by Elaine Gottschall.

Thanks Again!!!

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Lovelyn August 24, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Thanks for the great podcast. I wish I had known about GAPS sooner. My stepson has Asperger’s syndrome. He was already 10 when my husband and I married. We tried the GFCF diet and saw result for the first few months, but after that he started to regress a bit. Unfortunately, he’s 16 now and just moved in with his mother who doesn’t believe that diet affects his symptoms. He has a big bread and cheese party everyday now.
.-= Lovelyn´s last blog ..There’s Something in My Eye =-.

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Dawna August 24, 2010 at 3:20 PM

My kids will not take the FCLO. You say put on their bottoms? How much? Do they absorb as much as they would ingesting?

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jamie August 24, 2010 at 3:21 PM

My 8 year old daughter had fits of rage caused by casein. We put her on the GAPS diet and in 6 months time on the diet she is able to have raw dairy products (yogurt/cheese) without the emotional outbreaks. My 12 year old started the diet to deal with her wheat sensitivity problem causing acne. The diet cleared her complexion and reduced inflammation dramatically in her abdomen, legs and feet. We stayed on the diet 10 months and have since returned to a Weston A. Price type diet minus wheat products.

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cheeseslave August 24, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Wow what a great testimonial, Jamie! Thank you for sharing.

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Emilee August 24, 2010 at 5:55 PM

I’m definitely wanting to start soon….the only thing holding me back is getting the book and getting some recipes and a meal plan. I just want to hit the reset button on our family..we’ve definitely noticed a change once we started eating less processed foods and things but I think we still need to “reset” from all the damage my husband and I have done over the years.

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Sheila August 24, 2010 at 8:06 PM

My friend sent me this link to your blog and the podcast. I am so grateful. I have a 4 year old boy who is on the autism spectrum. We also started him on the GAPS diet in December and, although I haven’t done it perfectly, as we are on a limited budget, he has been making progress. I would love to feature your blog on my own blog as I really believe in getting the word out on what can help these precious kids of ours, and ourselves! Thank you so much for all you do!

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cheeseslave August 24, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Sheila -

Please spread the word!

Keep doing what you’re doing and hang in there.

Hugs -

Ann Marie

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Vicki Kusnir August 25, 2010 at 9:45 AM

My son has been on this diet for over 3 years and we have seen truly remarkable results within the first 2 weeks. He is mainstreamed now in public schools with IQ tests at or above average. We have done a lot of in-home tutoring (ABA) to make sure he is caught up. I myself started on similar diet and I feel tons better, so I encourage give it a try and see if it works for you or your loved ones.

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Janice @ SAHMville August 25, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Loved the podcast! Cara, thank you so much for sharing your story. My 5yo son is on the autism spectrum. We’ve been consuming a WAP diet for almost a year now and recently eliminated gluten about four months ago. While we’ve seen amazing results with our son’s behavior, there’s still a lot of improvement to be had. I know that doing the GAPS diet would help, but I’m still so overwhelmed with making that change. Giving up our raw milk and cheese, pastured butter, and soaked grains is what’s making me drag my feet. You’re story is a great motivation, Cara. Thank you Ann Marie for all you do!
.-= Janice @ SAHMville´s last blog ..I Feel So Homesteader-y =-.

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Cara @ Health Home and Happiness August 25, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Janice, so glad to be an encouragement!

If you don’t do the intro right now, you can go to ‘full GAPS’ and keep the raw milk cheese. We get raw milk and I do 24-hour kefir with it, which is also GAPS legal. I especially love that with the cream off the top- yum! Butter is also fine except for in the intro part, which you don’t have to do right away.

So, pretty much all you’d need to do is culture your milk and use squash or eggplant as a substitute for your soaked grains and you’d be good to go! Here is my ‘grain free’ page with links to more recipes. http://www.healthhomehappy.com/grain-free
.-= Cara @ Health Home and Happiness´s last blog ..Banana Pancakes- Grain Free Protein Rich Crepes =-.

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Barbara August 25, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Very helpful information. Please let your guest do more (most) of the talking.

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Lorraine August 26, 2010 at 8:48 PM

If anyone is interested the yahoo group GAPSHELP is a wealth of information. These are the people doing the diet and are very receptive to difficulties with health
God Bless and Be Well,
Lorraine

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Angela Raynaud August 27, 2010 at 6:58 AM

Amazing, indeed! Our little girl (now 7) has leaned toward ADHD since the beginning. A dear soul directed me to GAPS back in March and while we have not implemented the full diet, cultured foods and soil based probiotics have been nothing short of miracle foods for us! She is sleeping through the night with no night terrors, is sitting through an entire dinner without getting up and running away, and is keeping direct eye contact during a conversation! And that is just a FEW of the miracles… Having previously been GFCF, we are reworking our diet toward a full GAPS so we can realize the full rewards of detoxing and replenishing nourishing vitamins and minerals. Our son has suffered with environmental allergies and eczema his entire life (he’s 11) and the eczema is a distant memory now and the allergies have been GREATLY reduced as evidenced by the lessening dark circles under his eyes! While the diet may seem overwhelming, my encouragement to anyone out there is… little by little. YOU CAN DO THIS! Start small and work your way into it. It is NEVER too late to start!

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Sally Troxell August 27, 2010 at 8:54 AM

I’m jumping in here after reading that you are likely to answer a post before an email, and since I’ve sent you two since Monday without a reply, here goes! I read about your Surf & Turf classes on Richard’s “Free the Animal” AFTER the closing date but I would very much like to sign up. Is it still possible? Please? My paleo cooking techniques need serious instruction and I’d hate to have to wait until next year!
Thanks, Sally T

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tina August 27, 2010 at 9:03 AM

GAPS isn’t just for children with Autism ADD ADHD etc. My boys and I have been on the diet for 8 months because failure to thrive issues. My boys have done really on it. It helps those who have food sensitivities and allergies and other issues.

Cara, I think your little girl is adorable despite not having the round chunky cheeks.

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Cara @ Health Home and Happiness August 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Thanks Tina! Yes, I think she’s adorable too- I hope I didn’t come across that I was unhappy with her. I just see that she’s more narrow. Unfortunately, since her face is narrow she’s likely to need braces, and it also means that her whole mid section is more narrow- including her birth canal. I’m basing all this out of what I’ve read in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price.

I just thought it was amazing the difference between the two, which I really attribute to diet. My son is the first baby since his grandfather (born in the 40s) in the family tree to have the round broad face.
.-= Cara @ Health Home and Happiness´s last blog ..Simple All Purpose Salve- Coconut Oil and Beeswax =-.

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cheeseslave August 27, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Sally –

I think maybe my email ended up in your junk folder because I did reply back!

I’ll try resending but in case you don’t get it, this is what I wrote:

Sure, I’ll let you in — some people are still signing up; it’s no problem.

I just posted the second lesson yesterday.

All you have to do is go to this page and sign up.

http://www.cheeseslave.com/cooking-classes/

Then you will get an email with login information. Go ahead and log in and it will take you to a page with a link to go to the Surf & Turf class. When you get to that page, you’ll see the first 2 classes posted (in chronological order). You can watch all the videos and download the materials for the past 2 weeks.

You can also participate in the online forum for Surf & Turf after you have signed up:

http://www.cheeseslave.com/forums/

The next class will be posted next Wednesday (and every Wed after that).

Let me know if you have any questions!

Best wishes,
Ann Marie

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Kristen August 27, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Cara: a photo of my daughter and son would mimic yours in a year or so. My daughter, although not on the spectrum, has a narrow face and rampant tooth decay (we have to fill all her molars!!!) My three week old son is chubby and has a nice broad face. I ate like you did for both. I tell people I prayed for a chunky cheeked baby, but I guess I should say I ATE for one :)

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tina August 27, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Oh, Cara I definitely know what you mean about the narrow faces and Dr. Weston A Price. One of my boys has the narrow face and the other has a slightly narrow face. I think both will need braces. I so wish I had known about WAPF when I was pregnant or even better before I had gotten pregnant.

I wonder if there’s any reverse in facial structure when the diet’s is changed from SAD to WAPF when children are under five.

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Cara @ Health Home and Happiness August 27, 2010 at 9:22 PM

I’m not sure. Hannah has been eating WAP mostly since she started eating around 18 months, then 100% for the 9 months or so she’s been on GAPS. Next month I’m going to order a bunch of grass fed ghee for her, and see if really pushing the grass fed fat will so anything to help her.

And I have no idea why her mainstream pediatrician thinks I’m a total quack ;) LOL
.-= Cara @ Health Home and Happiness´s last blog ..Simple All Purpose Salve- Coconut Oil and Beeswax =-.

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cheeseslave August 27, 2010 at 10:12 PM

I wonder if there’s any reverse in facial structure when the diet’s is changed from SAD to WAPF when children are under five.

Yes there is. Even children older than 5.

There were twin girls, aged TWELVE, who had different treatments. One had her teeth extracted — the other had a palate widener.

Of course if you combined palate widening with nutrition that would be the best scenario.

You can’t see the pictures very well because they are small but you can see them OK:

http://www.westonaprice.org/dentistry/1733-from-attention-deficit-to-sleep-apnea.html

Oh, wait, I found some better pics… here you go…

Here they are before:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zULJExxrW54/Sxda2OXi1OI/AAAAAAAAAn4/YQuAZTEVAjo/s400/Twins+before.jpg

And here they are after:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zULJExxrW54/SxdbPtFAC9I/AAAAAAAAAoA/iQEH4n9NRDQ/s1600/Twins%2Bafter.jpg

Here’s another good article that tells the story:

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/12/malocclusion-disease-of-civilization.html

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cheeseslave August 27, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Oh, also — our story… I ate a SAD diet when I was pregnant. I found out about WAPF when my daughter was about 5 months old.

A few weeks later, I started giving her the raw milk formula. I had to supplement because I couldn’t produce enough milk. I was drinking raw milk myself, and I started eating a WAPF diet.

When Kate was about 6 or 7 months old, I started giving her cod liver oil, and she got egg yolks and liver every day until she was about a year and a half. I fed her a whole slab of liver pate for her first birthday cake!

Now, at 3, she won’t eat liver as much anymore (she eats it once or twice a week — liverwurst) but she is still getting her cod liver oil, as well as eggs and raw milk daily. Plus lots of raw cream, and grass-fed cheese and butter.

Her teeth are noticably different from other kids her age. She has a lot of space between her teeth. I see other preschoolers whose teeth are very close together with no spaces in between.

She’s also huge! At 3 years old she’s 40 pounds and wearing a size 5.

We’ll see how it goes as she gets older. I plan to have the dentist look at her next year or the year after. If she needs it, I’ll get her a palate widener.

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cheeseslave August 27, 2010 at 10:27 PM

@ Vicki

That is wonderful.

Was your son on the spectrum? What was his diagnosis?

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Steve B August 28, 2010 at 5:53 AM

I definitely think Autism can be managed and probably healed through diet alone. The common denominator definitely seems to be a gluten free/casein free diet/sugar free diet.

It seems that the GAPS DIET Works very well for some autistic children while The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates works well for others depending on certain genetic factors.

This may be controversial but I just read an article saying that breastfeeding isn’t just about nutrition but establishing balanced gut flora, which is pertinent to a healthy gut which provide a solid barrier against Caso-Morphine and Gluten peptides from entering the blood stream…

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Cara @ Health Home and Happiness August 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Steve, I don’t think that’s controversial :) I do think that there is much more to breastfeeding than just nutrients, but it also has a psychological and gut flora and most likely many other aspects to it as well. It’s very important that the mother has good nutrition before and during breastfeeding, and good flora to pass on to the baby as well.

Both the BED and GAPS diet work to heal the gut through balancing of the gut flora. I love the BED, though I think that GAPS more closely follows SCD, which is a little more strict about not allowing starch and complex carbohydrates into the diet, which I believe starves out the bad gut flora better. I do love how much the BED focuses on healthy ferments. With all of gut flora theory diets, there are different things that work for different children. For instance, we use cocoa and are fine with it, but it’s technically not allowed on GAPS or SCD. I’m not sure about BED.

Yes, gluten and casein do impact our children very severely. I do think it goes beyond those molecules though, since my daughter still acted like she was on a morphine drip even on strict GFCF. She’s been improving as her gut has been healing, which I believe means that it wasn’t only gluten and casein that were causing the reaction, but many other foods as well.

As far as autism being healed with diet alone, that is going to vary for each situation I think. In our case, we are using GAPS to heal, but we also are using behavioral therapy (Sonrise/Floortime) to help get through to her and teach her in the most effective way *for her* while she’s still affected by ASD. Children who are affected by ASD have a really difficult time learning, so if we can also modify how we interact with them to meet them at their level, they’ll have an easier time coping in the present and they won’t have so much to catch up with as they heal.

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Dawna August 29, 2010 at 8:04 AM

I don’t know why but you never answer any of my comments/questions when I post to your site ?! Please see my other post.

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Mary August 29, 2010 at 8:11 AM

I have found all of this information very interesting, especially the part about the narrow face, etc. Has anyone ever heard of the connective tissue disorders, such as Marfan syndrome, Loewes-Dietz, and Ehlers-Danlo? The narrow face is a very common trait in these disorders. I mention them just in case your child needs to be evaluated for them. My daughter and husband both have Marfan. I know some people claim that all genetic disorders can be cured with diet, but I am not convinced. (Not that I am not open to anything that would strengthen and improve health, of course!)
Thanks for this great information.

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cheeseslave August 29, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Hi, Dawna,

Sorry I don’t always get to the comments as quickly as I would like. I have been working about 18 hours a day (not exaggerating) so I do the best I can.

Dave Wetzel, the founder of Green Pasture Products (makers of the fermented cod liver oil) is the one who told me about putting the CLO on his child’s bottom. I don’t know how much to put — maybe the same as you would give them. I don’t know how well it absorbs but I do know that it does.

I would try giving them the same you would normally give.

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Christine August 30, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Hey AM, in regards to the breastmilk comment that was made during the podcast. I think that it may be true that babies on the autistic spectrum may crave milk and the milk sugars, however, those babies not wanting to eat any other food other than breastmilk may have something else going on. I believe that a mothers milk is the *best* food for that baby as it is the most perfectly digested food there is. The body probably instinctively knows this and that is why it has no desire for solids, especially a child with damaged gut flora. For a child like this, breastmilk is probably the best food you could give them.

Cara, imagine if you hadn’t of breastfed? Your daughter would have been much worse off. What a good mom you are. She is going to thank you one day.

Now you have me thinking I should put my dd on this diet for a month or two. She tends to have dark circles under her eyes, and her speech is not as clear as it should be for 4.5 years old.
.-= Christine´s last blog ..RECIPE- Sprouted Chocolate Chip &amp Zucchini Cookies =-.

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tina August 31, 2010 at 7:53 AM

Wow, those pictures of the twins and their facial structure is amazing! I do think my boys will need the expander as it will help with their facial structure rather than braces. I did SAD with my older son until he was 4 yrs old. My younger son started raw milk at 1 yrs old.

We have been doing GAPS for the last 8 months for failure to thrive issues in both boys. In the last couple of weeks I”ve changed our diet to high protien, high animals fats and low carbs. I also do chicken broth with lots of veggies and homemade probiotics – I strain the broth so we aren’t eating the veggies just getting the minerals from the broth. Basically, our diet is very low fiber since our stools look more normal w/o fiber. My younger son’s stool were really mushy and it took my 8 months to realize that he doesn’t do well with lots of veggies – too much fiber! We all do better in many ways with lots of meat and lard!

I’m hopeful that diet alone will changed my younger son’s facial structure – he’s only two. My older son has teeny tiny teeth and no space in between. I’m not so confident that his facial structure can be changed by diet alone.

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cheeseslave August 31, 2010 at 10:29 AM

@ Christine

I think they crave the breast milk because, yes, it is good for them, but also because they cannot digest other foods.

Breast milk is the perfect food exclusively for the first 4-12 months. Anywhere from 4-12 months, the baby needs nutrients that breastmilk does not provide. Including iron. That is why it is a traditional practice in many cultures to offer liver and egg yolks as first foods to babies between 4 and 12 months. (Usually 4-6 months which is when the baby’s iron stores run out)

I started my daughter on liver and egg yolks when she was 6 months old.

If a baby continues to reject solid foods after 12 months, this is an indication that there is a problem with the baby’s gut flora that needs correcting.

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Tara August 31, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Great podcast! I’d love to try this with my 10 year old son with autism, but fear the struggle. He hates soup and I can’t imagine how I will get the broth into him.

One question – you mentioned using fermented cod liver oil topically on the skin. I have two bottles of the FCLO here that NOone can stand. I’ve been wondering how to get this into them – especially my son. So does it work about the same to rub it on the skin?

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cheeseslave August 31, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Tara –

You are signed up for my Surf & Turf cooking class, right?

It is not necessary to eat lots of soup.

We’ll be talking about all the ways to get broth into your family in future lessons. I’ll teach you how to make gravies and easy reduction sauces (including a delicious cherry sauce) that you can ladle over cooked meat. Just cooking (braising) meat in broth is also a great way to do it.

Chili and stews are also a good way to incorporate broth.

Re: the cod liver oil… According to Dave Wetzel owner of Green Pasture Products, yes it is as effective to let it absorb through the skin. I need to schedule a podcast with Dave so we can discuss this further. He is so full of great information!

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tina August 31, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Tara – go the the yahoo GAPS support group. There’s many, many helpful people that will give you the best advice regarding your son and starting him on the GAPS diet. There are quick answers and lots of support especially with getting kids to eat the broth.

The FCLO will get into the blood stream and will be beneficial if you apply it to the skin.

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cheeseslave August 31, 2010 at 11:47 AM

@ Tina

If Kate’s palate is not as wide as it should be, I plan to get her an expander. It’s neat to realize that those twins were 12 years old when they had that work done — so it’s not too late.

We have a wonderful dentist here in LA, Dr. Raymond Silkman. He is a true believer in the work of Dr. Weston Price.

When Kate is old enough, I’ll take her to Dr. Silkman and heed his advice.

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cheeseslave August 31, 2010 at 11:49 AM

I second (oops actually it’s third) the Yahoo support group for the GAPS Diet:

http://gapsdiet.com/Support.html

So many knowledgeable and extremely helpful people on that list!

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Kay October 5, 2010 at 5:25 PM

I just wanted to comment on being a “cheese slave”. My husband and I were foster parents for many years and twice we had a child who was addicted to cheese, puffy face, snuffly nose, and horrendous mental health problems which went away promptly when they didn’t eat dairy products for just a couple of days.

We were told that the first kid would be “in and out of institutions” all his life. He was also an extreme bed wetter. We asked that he go off his anti-psychotic meds for a short trial (he was impossible to communicate with – completely stoned all the time) and the psychiatrist agreed, and we also took him off dairy. The same week, he started at a new school with a new teacher. A month later, we met with the teacher who said “he’s one of the nicest kids I’ve ever had in class”. The teacher had NO idea that this kid was a huge behavior problem and had never stayed in a classroom for more than a day or two before. His bedwetting stopped, too (2nd night he was dry for the first time in his life) so that motivated him to stick with the diet.

The second kid (super hyperactive, he ran round and round and round the outside of the house for at least 16 hours a day) also became completely normal after two days off dairy. Then he talked to his psychologist and decided to prove to us that dairy was not a problem for him. He spent his juice money on milk at school. Within one day, his teacher called screaming “I can’t have him in in class. Did you put him back on dairly?” This was a special class with a very wise and experienced teacher but she couldn’t deal with him.

Next day, he attacked my husband and then ran away and the police eventually took him home to his mother. He was in care “by agreement” and so she decided she might as well keep him home. She said, “This is a mild episode; usually he is covered in blood at this point”. Next time I saw this kid he was on the street, completely manic, and told me his mother had gone to Reno and left him and he had not been in school for a year. Obviously, she had completely given up.

So, I’m just saying . . . if your child is a “cheese slave” or loves milk, etc. and has been diagnosed autistic or oppositional defiant or any other mental health problem, or is a chronic bed wetter, PLEASE CONSIDER TAKING HIM OFF DAIRY FOR A FEW DAYS. You will know right away if it works.

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cheeseslave October 5, 2010 at 5:38 PM

@ Kay

You are correct — kids who can’t digest dairy do have problems, not just physical but emotional, mental and behavioral.

The same is true for gluten and other grains, sugars, starches, and any foods that they cannot break down due to their inability to produce the enzymes that break these complex molecules down.

For many children, it is not enough to give up dairy and/or gluten, they must also get off all disaccharides and polysaccharides and work to heal the gut.

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LeahS July 20, 2011 at 10:20 PM

downloading!

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extracted & retracted July 9, 2012 at 8:05 PM

I was reading up on GAPS and came across this. I felt compelled to reply. My hope is that people will seriously consider what I am saying here.

Ann-Marie, Cara, Kristen, Tina and whoever else that is reading who has a child with a narrow face / dental crowding… I am speaking from firsthand experience here..I will try to cut a very, very long story short.

Please DO NOT WAIT until your kids are older to consider corrective treatment of their jaws. WAP nutrition is an amazing tool, but if the direction of their maxillary growth has started off in the wrong direction, you will be hard pressed to make up for this by just nutrition alone. Your kids have likely already had several years of their jaw bones not growing optimally. WAP nutrition can certainly prevent further damage, but it is still necessary to make up for the sub-optimal facial growth which has already occurred.

The YOUNGER a child is when they get PROPER orthodontics, i.e. natural growth guidance, such as orthotropics (the best form of expansion), the better their airways will develop and the more attractive and healthy their facial structure will be. Google “Dr John Mew” and the “Orthotropics” website. If you take this approach, the teeth will erupt in the correct place and there should be no need for braces at all to align teeth. This will save a huge amount of strife for your child in the future. If braces are ever necessary, make sure that ONLY self-ligating DAMON type braces are used, which allow the cranial bones to breathe, cause far less pain and friction, and do not retract the teeth.

I was a very sick GAPS child who ended up with allergies, consequent mouth breathing and a very long, narrow, asymmetrical face with sunken cheeks. My well-meaning parents happened to choose the ‘wrong’ family dentist for our regular checkups and cleans. He was money hungry and wanted a $400 kickback for extractions, so when I was at the tender prepubescent age of 10, this dentist convinced my gullible parents that it was necessary to send me to his (equally corrupt) colleague, an orthodontist.

At this stage, my jaws were narrow due to my poor health history, but my teeth were actually healthy with no cavities and quite straight, due to good lifelong dental hygiene. From age 10 yrs, my unfortunate encounter with greedy, ignorant, detrimental, conventional orthodontics ultimately cost me a painful 2+ yr ‘treatment’ of rigid braces, which involved the removal of one QUARTER of my healthy, permanent teeth in total (4 premolars aged 10, then 4 wisdom teeth surgically removed at 14, apparently for ‘preventative’ reasons, read: $$$). You have no idea the trauma physically and emotionally, the damage that stupid extraction/retraction orthodontics can do to a person. The impact it has had on me is far too excessive to even try and describe on this post. I have had TMJ disorder, chewing problems and sleep apnoea ever since. My face never looked the same again. It RUINED my facial structure. I am only in my early 20s now and trying desperately to reverse this.

Bear in mind that braces alone (with exception of Damon), even without tooth extractions can still be very harmful, just not quite to the same extent.

From the bottom of my heart I encourage you to seek proper orthodontics NOW, at an EARLY age as possible, for the best health and aesthetic results for your sweet child. WAP mentioned somewhere in his book that ortho should involve expansion of the jaws. Upper and lower jaws can both be expanded, especially in growing kids, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I am now being expanded as a young adult to try and reverse some of the damage and health issues. It has been effective so far but my treatment is still ongoing and tedious. I would give anything to undo what they did to me. If I had one wish for myself, it would be that my parents had known about WAP and the proper way to go about orthodontics, at a very early age, by moderating facial growth right from the beginning, not once a problem had already occurred. It impacts your whole life, believe it.

Please understand that I have the best intentions in sharing this information with you, and I get nothing out of it other than the satisfaction of hopefully contributing to the prevention of another innocent person’s suffering.

Bottom line: Do (proper, holistic) orthodontics, and do it ASAP.
GROW THE FACE FORWARD, slowly and naturally. Continue WAP nutrition always, but also address functional issues. Retrain oral posture. Expand the jaws to make up for previous poor development. Narrow faces are not healthy. Flat cheekbones mean compromised breathing space in the upper airways, always, every time. Please research and start early. TIMING is really key. A ‘wait and see’ approach does not serve the child in this circumstance. I am speaking from personal experience. I wish all the best for all of you on your health journey and here’s hoping that every child gets the proper ortho that they need and doesn’t need to go through what I was subjected to.

Please INTERCEPT EARLY.

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Jordan January 4, 2013 at 9:02 PM

First of all I would just like to state that this is NO CURE for autism or any of the other autism spectrum disorders. While certain diets may help to lessen the severity of some autism symptoms, nothing can or will cure it. It is not a disease. It is a personality type that is characterized by certain behaviors.
Second, attempting to cure your child of autism can have some terrible consequences for both you and your child. Though you have good intentions, by looking to cure your child you are sending a message to them that you view them as deeply flawed and need to be fixed. This could, in all likelihood, contribute life long selfesteam issues, that they are already at risk for, given their social difficulties.
As a parent, you are the most imortant and influencial person in your childs life and what he or she needs the most is ACEPTANCE. I have an autism spectrum disorder and my mothers love and support has helped me more than any diet ever could.

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Angela May 24, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Jordan,

Thanks for the insight and contribution. While I understand your emotion in this, I also know that, while I can’t speak for others, I’m not trying to change who my son is but I’m trying to take the pain he feels away. And he feels intestinal pain which comes out in his behavior, teeth grinding, lack of BMs, etc. I know he also suffers being 7 (having lost his speech at 3) and is frustrated that he cannot communicate his needs to me. Trying a diet and other measures to retrieve possible speech, healthy gut, and make him less irritable is not trying to change him, it’s trying to make him happy.

I believe in the long run this won’t hurt him that his mommy wanted to take his pain away. I give him tons of love, and love through food. I know if I couldn’t talk and my mom never tried different things for me to help me, I’d feel more flawed and have self-esteem issues that she didn’t care about me. I’m doing all I can as I would any child on the spectrum or not, to give them the best I can nutritionally, emotionally, and otherwise.

Day one into GAPS…wish us luck

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tamar December 26, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Thank you for the info. I don’t have children but just heard about this diet and am very curious. I have family members who just started it because they suffer from celiac disease very badly. I also have friends with children and siblings who are autistic. I want to help them so am reading up on the GAPS diet intensely now. My question is – does anyone know if this could help an autistic adult? I see most articles written on children.

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