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Is anyone else starting to think really stupid things about this food stuff?

(29 Posts)
HecateWhoopass Fri 15-Feb-13 07:02:48

I know that I am being ridiculous. I know I am. But when the kids were first diagnosed with autism, I spent YEARS blaming myself. I spent years analysing everything I'd done, everything I'd given them, how I'd raised them - everything. To try to find a 'reason'.

I finally accepted that it was probably genetic, that it was just always going to be.

But now this food thing. For god knows how long, lord knows what has been going in the food. We don't know how safe it was, we don't know what chemicals were in there, we don't know ANYTHING.

And I can't help wondering what if it's all the CRAP that's in food. People say there's been an unexplained rise in ASD in recent times. What if that's it?

And I know I am being stupid, but it's probably the only remaining way that I haven't blamed myself and I can't get it out of my head. blush

BumpingFuglies Fri 15-Feb-13 07:06:55

Could it just be that there has been a rise in diagnoses of ASD, Hecate? I've been looking at this recently, DSS1 is being assessed at the moment.

Why are you trying to blame yourself? Have you read any evidence?

Have a brew

HecateWhoopass Fri 15-Feb-13 07:17:51

No, I haven't. And I know I am being stupid. But I went through years of looking at ways it could be my fault blush from how I treated them, to where we lived, their jabs (they didn't have the MMR because - i was worried about autism! So at least I know it's not that! grin - in my defence, that was at the time the report was out but before it had been discredited) Did I interact with them enough, was it the fact I grew up within touching distance of one of the most filthy chemical plants in the UK (the coalite. Been shut god knows how many years and the place still reeks. Really badly contaminated).

I thought I had put it to bed but now I realise I never stopped looking for a reason.

Stupid, isn't it? blush

Ineedmorepatience Fri 15-Feb-13 08:18:07

Not stupid at all, hec I actually think it is human nature to try to find reasons for why things happen.

It is very worrying to think about what goes into our food. We stopped eating beef years ago when I heard on the radio that the cows were being fed with bits of other animals. The Dd's have recently started eating it again at school and college. I feel gutted that I allowed them to but they are older now so I let them make a choice! We will be chatting about it over half termhmm

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 15-Feb-13 08:19:27

I just think it's genetic and more awareness

BumpingFuglies Fri 15-Feb-13 09:24:57

Not stupid Hecate, I think I'm at the start of your journey. I don't suppose you'll ever stop looking for a reason. How old are your children now?

HecateWhoopass Fri 15-Feb-13 09:36:21

12 and 13. We're now entering scary 'thinking about their adult life' territory.

Had my eldest's annual review yesterday, which is probably why I am feeling like this.

I got told - nicely - that I'll die before them so I can't protect them for life.

And VERY scary talk of how they may be exploited and unsafe but that's ok. hmm

auntevil Fri 15-Feb-13 09:39:38

You are not going mad Hecate.
I was reading the other day a report on gluten intolerance.
The history of bread making goes that the dough was left to rise over night. This decreased the chemical structure of the gluten in the bread - making it easier to tolerate.
Even mass produced bread in the 70s had a longer proving time.
Companies now give the bare minimum of proving time and the gluten is harder to digest.
Who knew that the production time of bread had been reduced and altered its chemical structure.
Add this to the fact that many children have sandwiches/toast nearly every day - added to cereals, pasta etc, and its no wonder there is more incidence of intolerance.
Then we get on to leaky guts, and what isn't digested swamping the system and neurological system.
Who knows, there are many possible causes, but, I would put food up there as a possible antagonist.

BumpingFuglies Fri 15-Feb-13 09:42:00

Oh Hecate, I see why you are feeling so scared, sorry. What you mean about the last bit, "that's ok"?

MrsMushroom Fri 15-Feb-13 09:51:56

I read something where they did research into Autism and class...it was in the US but still relevant. Most...in fact a huge portion of the new cases of Autism were being reported in middle class families...I may be wrong but middle class families are more likely to eat good quality food, even organic....if there was a link then surely the poorest families would be suffering more.

auntevil Fri 15-Feb-13 10:02:57

I wouldn't be so sure Mrs Mushroom.
Middle class families still eat plenty of processed foods - much of it unknowingly.
It is likely that they will eat out more - who can tell where many restaurants get their produce. It's all to do with margin there as well.
A pasta sauce from M&S could still be as processed as one from ASDA. The main difference is the quantity of more expensive product to cheaper product (more meat/cream etc)
Time has a lot to do with it too. Most processed foods are for the convenience of not having to start from scratch. Already chopped salad will have more chemical treatment than if you cut up your own and washed it under the tap.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 15-Feb-13 10:09:45

I also read somewhere that older classrooms were much better suited to those with ASD due to the rigidity and structure. This along with better understanding of ASD is what I think has casused a rise in dx.

aunt your post is very interesting. My son has a gluten intolerance and when he has gluten it makes certain ASD traits and behaviours worse.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 15-Feb-13 10:10:10

*this change in classroom setting

HecateWhoopass Fri 15-Feb-13 10:17:12

re 'ok' apparently I can't protect them from the world (I know this) and they have to be out there on their own at some point and that may mean shit happens to them.

I'm paraphrasing, but that's the jist of it.

I am beginning to prepare them, but I'm not willing to throw open my doors and let them out. They aren't ready.

I don't know about the different eating habits of the different classes, but I thought we all eat far more processed 'time saving' stuff than we used to a generation or two ago. I don't know anyone who makes their own meals all the time from fresh, whole, untreated everything. Whereas my great grandparents, for example, would go daily to the butcher, greengrocer, baker etc...

The generation or so before us was the first to get the microwave oven and they went nuts with that for a bit grin My gran even had a cookbook on it. Microwave cooking, or something, it was called.

And yes, the autism/bowel problems link. My eldest in particular has really suffered with bowel problems his entire life. They both have severe gluten intolerance and have gf stuff on prescription.

And we're all getting sicker. People have never been so unwell. I can't help but think of the old saying "you are what you eat"

ouryve Fri 15-Feb-13 10:20:40

I think you're definitely over-analysing.

I've always bought the highest welfare, most traceable meat my boys will accept without me having to be wonderwoman to prepare it the way they would eat it. They still have autism.

silverfrog Fri 15-Feb-13 10:29:00

hecate, I know where you are coming from. I think it can be on your mind especially if you have children who 'react' in dietary/digestion terms - seems really close to home then, doesn't it?

dd1 was born in Kenya. there was a particular supermarket chain which always reeked of chemicals. honestly, just walking past burned the back of your throat. it was our only option for the first couple of years that we lived there, until another chain opened up.

you could tell, if you went out/to someone else's house, if food had been bought there, because you could taste it - it was a common joke that some restaurants/hosts had food that tasted of 'xxxx'.

and now I have dd1 - severely ASD, with an incredibly sensitive bowel/gut. can't help but wonder.

I know that dd1 reacts really badly to lots of different things which are routinely found in foods. sweeteners, preservatives, colourings, they all have a really bad effect on her - they 'increase' her autism and difficulties. if she drinks Coke, she loses continence, for eg. every time (not that we let it happen anymore!). And so it would not surprise me in the slightest if the crap I ate while pregnant with her contributed to how she is now.

I can't change that, and I don't blame myself in a woe-is-me kind of way - I needed to eat, otherwise neither of us would be here anyway grin.

but i do despair about what is routinely put into our foods and household substances.

I am between a rock and a har dplace at the moment, as we have discovered dd1 needs dental treatemnt - 3 fillings na done tooth out (thankfully not an adult tooth). we have to use a so-natural-its barely-worth-it toothpaste with her, because she cannot spit, and ingesting 'real' toothpaste, with sorbitol, SLS, fluoride (she reacts to this too - the list really is endless!) is not a good idea for her. but clearly strictly monitoring diet, and doing our best with teeth cleaning is not working either... <sigh> why all the absolute shit that we put in stuff? why is it so hard to find stuff to use that is not full of crap that will make her ill?

auntevil Fri 15-Feb-13 10:34:34

I don't think it's over analysing.
There has always been autism. What is being discussed is the increase in incidence being dx.
I think most agree that there is not just 1 cause of autism and that there can be multiple factors that affect the degree of behaviours.
What we eat, what enters the blood stream and ends up 'feeding' our bodies and neurological system, could be an important factor. We know that what we eat has changed significantly over the generations.
Likewise, pollution, chemical advancements in products etc have also increased, etc.
The truth is, very few people know what many manufacturers of products and food use and waste in production.

Catsdontcare Fri 15-Feb-13 10:42:31

"Microwave know How" was my mum's cook book of choice!

I've been reading a lot lately regarding gut issues and asd and it does make a compelling argument regarding the foods we eat now in comparison to past diet. Not sure I would go as far as to say it causes autism but I do think think There is some merit in avoiding highly processed foods and sugars particularly for those on the spectrum.

Ds has gut issues, always has and his diet up until recently was pretty awful but I am working towards a much better diet including GF. It has certainly helped his gut. Not sure about the ASD but its certainly not going to harm him!

LimboLil Fri 15-Feb-13 10:51:39

Hi I think it's understandable but you almost have to let it go or you will go crazy. I tell myself it is genetic, but partly because I find that easier to process. I am sure things will come out later on that we are not aware of now, but maybe not in our lifetime. I was thinking about how much Diet Coke I've consumed over the years and even wondered if that could play a part. The thing about vaccinations is, I think you have to put your trust in the medical profession. They might get it wrong sometimes but we have to go with it and if we are casualties in that process, maybe it is something we have to accept as they get nearer to the truth about things. I got quite shirty with my husband pondering about the cause. I prefer to deal with the here and now. It's happened. How are we going to deal with it. How do we move forward.

auntevil Fri 15-Feb-13 10:54:34

Diet Coke - spawn of the devil - can't get enough of the stuff grin

auntevil Fri 15-Feb-13 10:55:33

Although after reading about that woman from NZ who died, and the coroner gave diet coke as a contributory factor, I have cut down a bit blush

MrsMushroom Fri 15-Feb-13 11:19:19

It's definitely interesting. My DD had some ASD traits when she was younger but no DX. She's grown out of many of the things which had me wondering....but I eliminated all processed foods, crappy drinks and sweets when she was about 6...as we'd noticed her behaviour would worsen after red jelly for example.

There's no smoke without fire is my take on the matter.

WilsonFrickett Fri 15-Feb-13 19:34:09

It is interesting. My DS was weaned as a veggie though, all home cooked and organic from scratch. He still very rarely eats meat. Still got ASD though.

I don't mind discussing this sort of thing in terms of general population and trends but I get very sad when lovely mothers use it as another stick to beat themselves with. <gives Hec a hard stare. With love, obviously>

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 15-Feb-13 19:47:10

With the bread thing, we used a breadmaker for about 10 years, so the DSs hardly ever ate supermarket bread. DS2 is still autistic, DS3 is still quirky.

I'm sure in my own mind that their brand of ASD is mainly hereditary, as EXH's family have always been described as 'eccentric' in an Aspergers sort of way. I don't think it's healthy to analyse the whys and wherefores so much that it makes you feel guilty. It's 'interesting' for sure, but I wish we weren't so directly affected, then it could be merely 'interesting' rather than guilt inducing.

MareeyaDolores Sat 16-Feb-13 20:24:45

Many years ago, I was an agency care worker (mixture of homecare, supported group homes and bigger establishments). Very, very few of the people I looked after had an ASD diagnosis. However, between them, they had pretty much every other label, but not the one which nowadays they obviously 'should' have been given. I think the 'rise' in ASD is bunkum.

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