The gluten free casein free diet was a hard thing to start at first. Gluten which is found in wheat, rye, and barley seemed to be in everything and coupled with Sierra's picky eating habits made it extremely hard to find something that she would eat. At the time we started the diet Sierra was crazy about pretzels and I had read that she would have withdrawal symptoms when we took her off of gluten and casein. Well let me tell you that is true, because she had the biggest meltdown when she couldn't have the pretzels and they continued for three days. She refused things she normally did eat along with anything new. The only thing I was able to feed her was her bottle, so I loaded her non dairy milk with vitamins and I even snuck in some cod liver oil. She finally calmed down and began too eat again.
I chose to go cold turkey on the diet and stopped all gluten and casein, some people choose to stop one thing at a time to see if anything changes with either one. I wanted her to get better as fast as possible so I just took it all out. I fed her Vances Darifree milk which is made from potatoes, Perkios cereal, peanut butter balls (a recipe from Karyn Seroussi's book), pears, apples, and baked chicken. I gave her potato chips to compensate for the pretzels, she liked stuff that was salty and crunchy, I tried to use nuts but she wouldn't eat them. There was so much more I could have given her but she was extremely picky and she also would throw up with certain textures of food like mashed potatoes, applesauce, green beans, etc anything mushy. I also gave her Carlson cod liver oil and vitamins from Brainchild Nutrients.
Within two week of starting the diet she started to come out of her fog and she entered our world again. Sierra started to respond to us talking to her. She would answer questions by pointing or using gestures. She started to show us stuff she wanted us to see. Her eye contact improved greatly. I was able to quiz her to see what she knew and I found out that she knew all her ABCs and she could count to ten and she knew all her basic shapes, and she could point to all her body parts. I did not think she knew all that stuff, when I would quiz her before, she would just stare off and not respond or she would just do something else as if she didn't hear me. We were amazed and we took her over to my parent's house without telling them what we had done to see if they noticed anything. My parents could not believe how much she had changed in a few weeks. Sierra actually was making eye contact with them and she was starting to interact with them. We were so excited and could not wait to take her to a DAN (defeat autism now) doctor to find out how to help our precious little girl.