Autism, Family & Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. I love this time of year, and I am so excited, and almost giddy to be planning a family gathering in my own home. But like all holidays, there is just so much to do! 

 

Ordered the organic turkey…. check!

 

Purchase my gluten free pie crust mix…. check!

 

Make sure to get extra Schar rolls… check!

 

Yep, I got this “Allergy Free Thanksgiving” down to a science! =-)

 

But as I sit here, I’m reflecting on how Thanksgiving was for my family just two years ago…

 

Two years ago, we had just started Anthony’s allergy free diet. I was still pretty intimidated by it all.  So intimidated, that I had no desire what so ever to have a Thanksgiving dinner at my own home. Something I usually enjoyed doing. The idea of cooking “normal” food AND allergy free food, sounded so overwhelming. 

 

So that year, we opted to drive out to my grandmother’s house in Arizona.  I figured I would make a little meal for Anthony with all of his allergy free foods, put it in a ice chest and take it with us for the five hour long drive.  It seemed like the simplest option.  Plus I didn’t want to have to go into the long explanation to extended family, why we were having to do this diet with Anthony.  I was under the impression they wouldn’t understand.

 

But a few days later I received a surprising phone call from my aunt.  As far as I knew, she wasn’t aware of Anthony’s diagnosis (a Autism Spectrum Disorder). After all, It wasn’t something that I went around telling every one. Some how though, through the family grapevine it came out.  But what surprised me more was,  my aunt told me she had gone out and bought Anthony his very own little turkey to have on Thanksgiving.  One that they wouldn’t marinate in butter or seasonings, or stuff with stuffing.  I was taken aback when my aunt told me this. My eyes filled with tears.  The idea that they would go out of their way to make sure that Anthony could have a Thanksgiving dinner, the same as everyone else, melted my heart!  My aunt also asked about what else they could prepare to help out.

 

So there we all were, a few days later.  Sitting around a big table with my grandma, aunts, sisters, counsins, and nieces, all eating the same things.  Anthony felt included. He was eating pretty much the same things the rest of the family was eating.

 

 I was thankful for my families love and acceptance. I was thankful for my families support, and faith, they showed me that day. They didn’t doubt, or question any of the bio-medical treatments we had started with Anthony. The sounded hopeful, and happy for us.  And because of that support, I gained more confidence and learned to tackle the process of cooking allergy free. I also learned family is there to help.  I didn’t have to do it all alone. 

 

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. And when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, remember Thanksgiving can still be food allergy free and enjoyable at the same time. Family is there to help. 

 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

 

Anthony & Ashley with their Great Grandma that is 91 years old!

 

 

About the Author

Kimberly Ruckman is the author of the blog BioMed Heals which chronicles her son’s complete recovery from an autism spectrum disorder via biomedical intervention. She is married, has two children, and volunteers her time as a Grant Mentor for Generation Rescue. You can follow her on Twitter @biomedheals or Facebook/biomedheals.

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