Sunday, March 27, 2011

Residual Autism

We had conferences for Doodle this week with her Kindergarten teacher. Doodle is in the midst of being tested through the school to see if she continues to qualify for special education. We will have that update in another month, but I wanted to see how she was doing in the classroom, prior to getting the test results back. Doodle has just the nicest, kindest, sweetest Kindergarten teacher you can imagine. She is very loving and patient - at least as far as I can see. I was very impressed with how far Doodle has come, as was her teacher. Doodle keeps up with her class academically and has made terrific progress in both reading and math. We just need to work on forming numbers correctly and in the right order all of the time.

One area of concern continues to be her ability to pay attention. Her teacher expressed concern again about being easily distracted. She can stay on task during an assignment at her table, but has difficulty focusing when doing other things like tying her shoes or getting ready to go outside for recess. She also mentioned that Doodle has a hard time making eye contact. She will initially look you in the eye, but turns away quickly. She also has difficulty approaching someone to play with her. She will play near other kids and wait for them to address her. I'm calling this residual autism. Once the kids notice her, they will invite her to play, but she rarely asks other children at school to play with her. It's hard for me to see this, as she constantly is asking other children in the neighborhood to play with her. She's best friends with our neighbor's daughter and they are constantly running between the two houses. I'm thinking she takes a long time to warm up to kids, but once she does, she is comfortable asking kids to play with her. Hopefully she will learn to overcome this trait.

As a result of the conferences, my husband and I have decided to try to eliminate more from her diet. Seems daunting to eliminate even more than dairy and gluten. I recently read an article where the researchers found that diet is equally effective in treating ADHD as medication.  The researches had children follow the Restricted Elimination Diet where they eliminated milk, gluten, eggs, and tomatoes from the children's diet. Since we are already gluten and dairy free, we've decided to eliminate eggs and tomatoes. Just like when we eliminated milk and gluten, I didn't really realize how often we use eggs and tomatoes. Eggs, in fact, are a staple in our house and it won't be easy finding a substitute for our morning breakfast routine. If you have any tips, let me know - I'm sure I will be fumbling around with this diet change for the next few weeks until we get it right.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pizza Quesadilla's

A few weeks ago we were given some gluten free products to sample. I'm normally skeptical, as most commercial gluten free products don't compare to our own homemade versions. However, this time we were given some gluten free tortilla's from French Meadow Bakery in Minneapolis to try from a friend. Doodle was so excited to try them as Quesadilla's with her Daiya dairy free cheese. She has been hooked ever since!  The other day she took it upon herself to make her Quesadilla's while her dad was in another room. She pulled the tortilla's out of the freezer, added her dairy free cheese, and topped the whole thing with pepperoni. Then she hunted down her dad to cook the whole thing on the stove top. Their super easy to make and Doodle LOVES them.  The tortilla's are soft and taste just like the regular gluten filled version. I'm going to have to pick some up next time I'm in the Minneapolis area.

Pizza Quesadilla's

2 Gluten Free Tortilla's
1/4 Cup Daiya Dairy Free Cheese
6-10 slices pepperoni
Dairy free butter or Olive Oil

1. On one of the tortilla's spread the dairy free cheese and pepperoni. Top with the second tortilla.
2. Heat frying pan and butter or olive oil over medium high heat. Place tortilla's in pan and let fry for 1-2 minutes or until slightly brown.
3. With a spatula, flip the tortilla's and brown the other side. Remove and enjoy!

If you haven't tried French Meadow Bakery gluten free products - I encourage you to do so. They are delicious! Become a fan on Facebook, too...It's wonderful to have great gluten free food, so nearby. A rare find!