Improving Autistic Behaviours with a ketogenic Diet…. Kerrie Campbell Keto Cure Me Coach
Here is another fabulous post from Keto Cure Me…. this time it’s all about the amazing results my friend, nursing colleague and Keto Cure Me wellness coach Kerrie Campbell has had with her son since he commenced on a Ketogenic Diet.
Kerrie is my closest friend on this planet and is an amazing person to be around.
I have known Kerrie for a while now and during the time we have been friends I have seen her weather some terrific storms in her personal life. She has always come out the other side with her head held high! Kerrie is an amazing Mother, a caring nurse & healer and a friend who is always there for everyone around her. Expecially me…
Kerrie and I share a close bond as we both have a child with a disability. My 23 year old son has Cerebral Palsy and Kerrie’s son is Autistic.
Kerrie and I didn’t meet because of our childrens needs. We met when we worked as nurses together in the same medical facility.
Kerrie and I supported each other as nurses to get through our heavy days in the hospital. This is a huge place full of people, but still a very lonely place if you dont have someone to share your day and thoughts with.
Kerrie has penned some thoughts to share with you about her own journey on a Ketogenic diet.
Keto has not only helped her and daughter to lose weight and feel so much better, but the ketogenic diet is making profound changes to her sons life as well.
Here is Kerrie story.
Hello to all of Keto Cure Me’s readers.
I thought I’d share some of my journey with you about my own experience with Ketogenic diets as it relates to what we put in our mouths and the impact that it can have on our mental state.
As Michelle has mentioned I have an Autistic son now aged sixteen.
My son has in the past displayed aggressive behaviours at times. He would have angry outbursts for no apparent reason that would last for hours, often causing damage to property and injury to me and himself.
For those of you who are not familiar with Autism, I state here that autistic individuals are not inherently aggressive. I can’t speak for every autistic individual, but for my son it was more to do with his frustration at being in an overstimulated world where all of his senses are overloaded – from an auditory and tactile perspective.
Most of us are able to block out incidental noise like a plane flying in the distance, people talking in the background or simply the radio in the car as we drive. These background noises were too much for my son to cope with at times.
Further to this he had great difficulty in the past with tactile hypersensitivity.
Tactile hypersensitivity means that even the clothing touching his skin created such a high level of discomfort. When he was very young he would strip down naked just get rid of the feeling the clothes had on him.
Brushing his teeth was an ordeal, which resulted in screaming, head-banging, and so much distress, that it was as though I was brushing his teeth with an angle grinder. Bathing him as an infant resulted in hours of screaming and distress. Needless to say bathing him was an ordeal for him and for our household and often required the assistance of another adult.
During his pre-school years he used to bang his head and I learned over time that he was simply expressing his frustration at the overstimulation he experienced.
As it turned out, many foods played a major role in his behaviour.
Over time I came to recognise and ultimately avoid giving him certain foods. This resulted in a dramatic decline in his outbursts.
These days after much therapy and the elimination of some foods from his diet we no longer see such aggressive outbursts from him.
When younger my son was an extremely fussy eater and would only eat one type of food for weeks at a time. For instance, I can remember when he was about six or seven he would only eat Vita Brits for every meal, or vegemite on toast for weeks and sometimes months on end.
I discovered his unwanted aggressive behaviour escalated when he ate foods containing certain preservatives or food colouring. Cordials and fruit juice were discovered early on as a culprit. Within an hour of consuming these things his behaviour was uncontrollable.
At one stage when he was about eight years old he literally picked up a treadmill and threw it at me after drinking cordial. He would take the windows out of their frames and throw them over the balcony of our two –storey-home.
His bedroom became his safe place where the windows were screwed shut and the only item in his room was a mattress on the floor. It was safer for him and for our family.
I learnt to eliminate one food at a time, only to find that another one caused similar undesirable behaviour.
Someone gave him those yellow banana lollies which produced such aggressive behaviour in him, I was forced sit on the floor of our dinning room with my back against a wall and cradle him in a bear hug for hours.
After this outburst I sustained several cracked ribs, bruising to my upper body and face and scratches all over my arms, neck and shoulders. Suffice to say he has never eaten one of these lollies again nor have I ever given him any food with any artificial or yellow food colouring.
These days he is very aware of the impact of certain foods on his mood and behaviour and often jokes with me saying: “how about I have some yellow bananas Mum” with a smirk and a giggle.
Since commencing on the Ketogenic journey, which my twenty-year-old daughter and I follow and now my son, we have ceased buying breads and grain based products and have been experimenting with recipes and low carb foods.
My son is not strictly involved in this removal of grain based foods but he has eliminated breads and other high carb foods like cereals from his diet and we have all noticed a remarkable change in him.
My son has not displayed aggressive behaviour for several years now, but up he has never been very social or forward in initiating social interactions with others. This is highly common in many autistic individuals.
However, in the past weeks, since the removal of most of the high carb foods from his diet, he has been initiating social interactions much more consistently.
On a daily basis, several times a day he approaches me and commences conversations. He also now approaches visitors to our home and initiates conversations with them.
My son has always been, what I describe as oppositional, in that getting him to do things (household chores) this has always been a huge problem.
I could ask him numerous times throughout the day to empty the dishwasher (one of his assigned chores) and regardless of my repeated requests to do this at the end of the day the dishwasher remained full of clean dishes waiting to be put away.
In the past two weeks, not only have I seen this oppositional behaviour disappear, the dishwasher and several other daily chores are being completed by without anyone asking him to help. In addition, when I ask him to do other things for me, he does them immediately without the bat of an eyelid.
This is a remarkable change in his behaviour and although it is early days, the only change in our household is has been his change in diet.
Now like all teenage boys it is extremely difficult if not impossible to eliminate all high carb foods from his diet, (or get them to empty the dishwasher) but he is slowly making better diet choices and it is my hope that this will continue.
In the past where he would have toast or cereal for breakfast he now asks for bacon and eggs. He no longer wants the snack biscuits during the day and has replaced them with a fresh mango. Two days ago he found a packet of his once favourite snack savoury biscuits and told me that he doesn’t like them any more.
It is early days for my son but as we find more appropriate foods and recipes it is my hope that he will continue follow the Ketogenic diet and display the amazing changes that we have recently seen in him in recent weeks. I can only imagine that life for my son will only get better in the future.
I hope you found my story helpful and informative. If you or someone in your family has significant health issues or a disability like autism or epilepsy, try looking at food as your first starting point to helping them to improve.
Take Care, Kerrie Campbell.
Keto Cure Me Coach.
Note from Michelle: I hope you found Kerrie’s story about better health via a Ketogenic diet interesting and thought provoking. I know there are so many people who will benefit from a low carb high fat approach to eating. There’s nothing to lose and everything to be gained if you give it a try.
Take care of yourselves and your family
Michelle Keto Cure Me.