"At the age of 18 months, our son Nicolas was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Besides having the usual sensory issues associated with PDD, he also did not speak and he had a feeding issue. Nico did not chew solid food. ALL his food had to be pureed. If it wasn’t blended, he would not eat. He would not even touch it or allow it to go anywhere near his mouth. Some believed that Nico’s speech was affected by his feeding issue. They thought that once he began to chew, it would “exercise” his muscles and allow the speech to emerge. At 3 ½ years old, Nico spoke for the first time, but he still wouldn’t chew. We tried going to a hospital that specialized with feeding disorders. We traveled daily, one hour each way, for a month. By the end of the month, Nicolas went from eating the same 4 food items every day, to now having 16 food items to choose from at mealtime. It was progress, but it was all still blended foods.
It was Dr. Nicole Gullo who proved to be instrumental in providing us with the nutritional plan that would introduce our son to a whole new world of food. We had heard about gluten-free and autism, but were never quite sure what it involved. With Dr. Gullo’s help and guidance we started Nico on a gluten-free diet. It began with the basics. Instead of his regular oatmeal, Nico would have Brown Rice cereal. Home-made pear sauce replaced applesauce. Dairy-free yogurt and almond milk replaced cow’s milk. These are just to name a few. He did not take to it immediately, but he did get used to it soon enough. Somehow these changes brought about a change in Nico. Remember, I did mention that Nicolas wouldn’t even think about allowing any solid food near him. Yet, once on the gluten-free diet, he was more open to trying new (non-blended) foods. He wasn’t fighting us anymore! HE would even take it upon himself to try something without being prompted. It WAS a miracle! Nicolas now eats turkey cold cuts on brown rice bread, Gluten-free pizza, gluten free cookies, chicken cutlets, hamburger, asparagus, gluten free fish nuggets, and bananas,(all not blended!), just to name a few. The bottom line is that ever since our son began working with Dr. Gullo and was introduced to gluten free, he is no longer “afraid” to try new foods. He is now eating very little pureed foods. This metamorphosis didn’t happen overnight. We started to see a change in his eating habits 6 months after starting his nutritional plan. He has been on the gluten- free diet for 2 ½ years. Nicolas is now 10 years old. We still have a long way to go on this journey with Nico, but we also know that HE has come a long way. We are forever grateful to Dr. Gullo for the help, guidance, and knowledge that she has given us in order to make sure that Nicolas continues to progress and reach his full potential."
Karen M., Mother