Single Blind

I’ve been very big about the fact that I’m not willing to do things without decent scientific evidence.  Our kids are vaccinated, for instance, because the overwhelming evidence is that it’s what is best for them (and that it doesn’t cause Autism).  We haven’t gone GFCF because there’s no evidence that the diet does anything to help with the symptoms of the Monster’s Autism.

But there are things where there’s a suggestion from a few decently-done studies that indicates that something might work… and you just have to try it.

A while back, there were a few studies that showed that probiotics could help with the symptoms of the Autism.  These studies were not large enough to draw definitive conclusions, but there was the suggestion of it.  Now… to me, probiotics are relatively safe.  They’re available over the counter at reputable pharmacies, and a conversation with our physician indicated that there was no real concern with putting the Monster on them.  So we tried for a month… and didn’t see any difference from the ones we were using.  We’ll swap to a different one in the next few days and see if there’s another effect, but while I’m not too hopeful, I don’t see the harm.

The difference, of course, being that there’s a reasonable assumption of “no harm” involved in all of this.  Adding probiotics are hardly on the level of subjecting the Monster to some horrible treatment that could jeopardize his health, or removing nutrients from his diet and hoping that we’re putting them back in through other means.

But this really does turn, sometimes, into the equivalent of a very poor single-blind study.  The Monster is getting these things through gummies in most circumstances… and let’s be honest.  He doesn’t know they’re not candy.  He’s happy to eat them, because they’re sweet and fruity.  So any effect that these things are going to have on him should be due to the changes we’re taking, because he’s not aware of what he should be feeling.  But on the other hand, we know what we’re looking for as a change in the outputs, and so it’s probably too easy for us to see things that aren’t there… or perhaps even to not see a change that is there (for our being skeptical).

Though, on the level of ‘new additions’ to his regime, we’re going to start with melatonin tomorrow evening as well.  The Monster’s been going to bed at 7:30 for ages, but he’s often not asleep until 8:30 or 9, thumping around in bed and talking to himself.  This is especially a problem when we’re away from home, because he goes relatively bonkers in hotels at times… and we do need to be able to get rest when we go away over weekends during the summer.  Other parents we know, with children in the same boat as us, have all vouched that it seems to work nicely, so we’ll see how that one goes…

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