Stories From the Heart: My Brother Cem

Hello, my brother Cem is 16 years old. He is 98% recovered from Autism. He has been on a gluten-free/casein-free diet since 1998.

After my mom read William Shaw’s book “Biological Treatments of Autism And Pervasive Developmental Disorders” we visited the US for a specific therapy named “sensory learning” done by Mary Bolles in Boulder Colorado. My brother had some tests, and we realized that he had Candida ,so he had to quit eating wheat and drinking milk.

As we live in Turkey, it was hard to find GF/CF food because my lovely country was unaware of the need for gluten free foods and at that time these kinds of GF/CF foods were unavailable in Izmir. My mother was ordering some cake mixes from internet but the delivery unfortunately took 2 months by shipping.

In 2002 I visited my cousin who was studying in Nice/France. Her and I both tried to find the specific gluten-free casein-free store and it was so hard to find. It was raining that day so we decided to find the address from the internet and the following day we have finally reached the store.

The store was full of people buying one or two things necessary for the next days but me and my cousin had filled the cart with many, many cakes, pastas, soy puddings, cookies, breads, and rice milk. Pretty much a lifetime supply.

And guess what had happened? All the people in the shop stopped buying and started to look directly at us like we were nuts! But we ignored their weird looks and put all the food into a suit case and carried it out and walked all the way from the GFCF store on the fancy streets of Nice to our flat.

At the airport I had to pay 150€ because of the heaviness of the suitcase. Finally, back at home my dear brother was screaming like crazy when he saw all the food he could eat without any prohibition.

By Gulser Vardarci

* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the Autism experience.