Hoping to be of help to all those living gluten free in the United Arab Emirates – نأمل أن نكون عوناً لكل من يعيش حياته خالية من الجلوتين في دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة
Our son, Finnegan, was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder and Autism in late June of 2010, just before his third birthday. We left the Doctor’s office devastated with a referral for a Behavioural Therapist and not much else. It didn’t help matters that we had only just moved to Dubai the month before and that we were entering the summer months, where mostly everyone vacates until September – including therapists.
After the initial shock and upset I decided to email every person I had in my contact list (regardless of when/where/how I had met them) and asked each person to do the same, in search of treatment for Finne. My sister had been diagnosed with Ulcerated Colitis in 1999, has been on the ‘Specific Carbohydrate Diet’ ever since and has virtually cured herself so I knew how important diet was to the body. It was she who mentioned that her diet had worked for some Autistic children and I became intrigued. While researching, my mum had somehow (through the long link of emails) got in touch with a man in Australia, whose son was Austistic and was on the Gluten free/Casein free diet. We put Finne on the diet immediately.
The first two weeks were hideous. He vomitted, went to the toilet seven, sometimes eight times a day, he cried, screamed, tantrum’d and begged for milk, toast etc. We would fight him daily and collapse on the bed exhausted each night after he would eventually pass out himself. We would wake up to him screeching and the day would start again. But, on the 15th day, we woke to a little blond boy at the foot of our bed asking if “we’d had a nice sleep?”.
On the 23rd of this month, Finne will have been on the GF/CF diet for exactly 2 years and it has changed his and our lives immeasurably. Two years ago we were told Finne would never go to the cinema, have a girlfriend, have a birthday party or attend mainstream school (at least not without a shadow support). Today, he attends full time mainstream school without a shadow, can read and write, takes ski lessons and went to New Zealand to meet his cousins (the picture is of him diving into the pool in Orewa) this February! For anyone wondering ‘how’ something as simple as diet could possibly help I offer Finne as living proof.
The Robb Family
(Jennifer, David and Finnegan)