Oh, Soy.

After being inundated with what feels like an encyclopedia’s worth of information on Autism over the past two weeks, I was wondering about the GFCF diet (aka no gluten, no dairy) for Knox. Some people swear by it, though most doctors/ professionals I speak with have only seen a handful of kids respond to it. I decided to start slowly and switch Knox from cow’s milk to soy milk, just to see. Well, if ever there was a horrible plan, that would be it.

Knox LOVES milk. He drinks it three times a day, and will always request it with a happy “PWEEE!” (please). I made the switch and started giving him Silk Fruit & Protein last week. He really liked it and drank it with no complaints. A few days in, I noticed a change for the worse in him. He was completely out of it all week last week. He barely made eye contact, very uninterested in interaction, he was making a noise in the back of his throat (he does this when his throat hurts) and kept scratching at his eyes. It finally hit me that the soy milk was bothering him. He was even starting to cry for no reason randomly throughout the day. He obviously did not feel well. Then, I noticed the tell-tale food allergy diaper rash, and knew my suspicions were correct.

I immediately switched him back to normal milk and saw a difference right away. I talked to our pediatrician, and he agreed that it sounds like a food allergy. Trevor is also allergic to soy, though as an adult, he does not have to avoid it, but he is technically allergic to it, so Knox does have a predisposition to this particular allergy. I have decided to take Knox off of soy completely, and man alive, there is soy in EVERYTHING! Many of his favorites, including his organic cereal bars that are a breakfast staple, have soy in them.

Just one day into his soy-free diet, he seems so much happier. It seems that some of his Autism symptoms were worsened when on an increased level of soy, so I am hoping that some will decrease when it’s eliminated totally. This morning, I was greeted with lots of direct eye contact and a much happier boy. We plan on having Knox allergy tested sometime soon, but we’re focusing on getting him in with the developmental pediatrician (who is not accepting new patients… until I call them 500 times a day and beg, perhaps) before doing something invasive and stressful to him.

He was feeling much better yesterday and even chose to interact with Brody several times- this is a rarity, and we were loving watch them play together. Brody acted like he’d won the lottery- he adores Knox and was even permitted to touch Knox’s hand several times, ha ha! Here is photographic evidence that Knox does, in fact, love his brother (and me… he’s pulling my shirt to get me to lay with them!):

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12 thoughts on “Oh, Soy.

  1. Lauren

    Barbara’s brand fruit bars are soy and dairy free! I found them when I had to go on a dairy-and-soy-free diet while I was breastfeeding. I used to be able to get them at Whole Foods, but now I have to order them from Amazon (by the case!). But they are tasty and convenient. I agree–soy is hidden in almost every processed food. I have only been able to find dairy and soy-free sandwich bread at WF, too. Good luck! I hope that Knox will continue to respond positively to this change in his diet!

    1. Jessica Post author

      Awesome, Lauren, thanks! We actually have Barbara’s items at our Publix (it’s the best Publix ever, I am convinced), so I will try those for him! Yes, bread is a pain in the neck, but I discovered some of the Publix bakery bread is soy free, thankfully, so I will be using that for his favorite grilled cheese sandwiches!

  2. Kelli G

    They are beyond sweet! I love when my boys play together too, but I must admit there wasn’t much interaction til the twins hit 10-ish months. Before that, Brennan didn’t really care if they existed. Glad that you got the soy thing figured out. Continued prayers for you all!

  3. Isha

    If you still wanted to try going dairy free, almond milk and coconut milk are great substitutes. Maybe you could try those for Knox? There is also rice and hemp milk, and all are very tasty.

  4. Shara

    I will second the almond milk recommendation…I have developed a milk allergy in my 20s and do not like soy milk so I use it all the time. I also just found out about Tasterie which for $20/month will send you a box full of allergy free products to try – it might be a nice way to find some new products while you are transitioning.

  5. Jessica

    If you are really interested in changing a diet, I would go towards the Paleo Diet. I would go for the Almond or coconut milk for substitutes. Soy is not safe ( I know that this is super controversial. I don’t want to start a debate on it but I whole-heartily believe after doing two years of research that soy is dangerous).

    When I changed my diet to the Primal diet (a similar version to the Paleo diet), my entire world changed… I felt so much better. I could focus easily, anxieties disappeared, and all my dark clouds were gone. My blood sugar was completely under control for the first time in my life and I dropped all the extra weight without even trying. In my children, after a few days, I noticed a huge change in their behavior, calmer and more flexible children, less tantrums, and a stronger focus.

    I don’t know if it will work or help… but I encourage you to give it a try. I know if I were in your situation, I would start there. I thought about writing something a couple of weeks ago but wasn’t sure how it would be taken. As some people think that we are NUTS (BTW, our drs have given us full support). If you would like more information or a good starting point, feel free to email me.

  6. Rachel

    I third the almond milk and coconut milk suggestions. We have eliminated dairy in our house, as well, and I won’t be introducing it to William. We are going to do some Goat’s Milk which he loves, and well also do the almond and coconut milk when he’s a little bit older. It’s made a world of different for Weston. Good Luck! And yes, soy is in everything! My husband is also allergic to it! And we also LOVE Barbara’s cereal bars. Weston can’t get enough!

  7. Corinn

    I teach first and second grade and have had a student who falls on the spectrum almost every year in the 6 years I have been teaching. The most common diet that I see that works is eliminating all dyes & high fructose corn syrup from their diet. I have two boys (3 and 16 months) and a third boy due any day now and we follow this diet in our household as well, just because I see how amazing it works within my students. Also, my boys both have dairy allergies and are on Rice and Almond milk. Too much Soy isn’t good for you, especially boys, and it {despite what most people think} has very little nutritional value. Rice and Almond based products are much better for them in all aspects {based on my own research, talking with my ped, and also the boys nutritionist.}

    Good for you for looking into all aspects to help Knox. I am a firm believer that it takes a very strong Momma to raise a healthy, happy and successful wee one who is on the spectrum and I have NO DOUBT you will do just that!

  8. Courtney

    You are such a terrific momma. I love how willing you are to try anything that will help your babies. Great job and I hope the allergy awareness helps!
    Good luck!

  9. Brandy

    I still can’t have soy, dairy, or eggs because Joey reacts to them all when I have them in my diet (he is 6months old and breast feeding). Our GI doctor gave us a handout that lists all the different names for each of these. Interestingly, he told us (and it’s on the handouts) that kids with soy allergies do not react to soybean oil or soy lecithin because there are no proteins in them and the proteins in the soy are what causes the allergies. It may be worth looking into because I found that a ton of things that day they contain soy actually just contain soy lecithin.
    I also second the almond milk (lots of calcium) and the coconut milk (lots of MCFAs which are super good for a growing brain). Enjoy Life brand if dairy and soy free. Good luck.

  10. Kelly

    One of my friend’s sons has terrible allergies and is on rice milk. I believe it has a lot less calories though so she makes sure he is eating a lot during the day to make up for it.


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