The Things We Do for Love

making-gingeraleMy son recently had his second appointment with Dr. Mary Lou Hulseman, whom we have known for years but later learned has very successfully treated many, many kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  One of those kids was the doctor’s own daughter.  The reason for her popularity is found in one word.  Results.  Can’t argue with that.

After our son’s Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis in February 2008, we were immediately faced with medication dilemmas because of side effects and a lack of on-going positive results.  Already thin, our son became pale and listless.. couldn’t sleep at night (which has always been a struggle for him anyway, before the meds)… and to be blunt, the bright, funny child we once knew was nowhere to be found.  He had been away for a long time, but went further away with the medicine.

We first attended Dr. Hulseman’s seminar last fall and began to take steps she recommended at that time.  Since then, we’ve had two appointments, one in June and one in early October.  To make a long story short, we have made some drastic dietary changes (incrementally) and our son is taking numerous natural vitamin & mineral supplements… and we have him back after just a few short months.  He is off all medicines and having his best year of school yet.  He isn’t 100% symptom free, but close.  He isn’t “melting down” like he used to do often – weekly, if not multiple times daily.  He IS feeling great, looking healthy and handsome, hugs us spontaneously now, laughs easily, and has gained eight pound since our June appointment (he is still thin, but it’s a great start)!  This, my friends, is a different child than the one who was diagnosed during his third unsuccessful week of an out-patient anger management program just a year-and-a-half ago.

As part of the healing diet he was prescribed for a limited time (called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet), we have completely changed the way we eat as a family.  Our home was once starch CENTRAL.  Now those aren’t allowed.  Our boy had such a ravenous sugar craving it was almost scary.  But sugar is out now.  Many foods we once took for granted now are either not an option or must be homemade to specific standards. But we’re doing it and it’s helping all of us feel great.  The learning curve (on which I am still a full-time resident) has been dotted with successes and plenty of flops as I’ve learned to make things he could eat.  This week I had a huge success.  And I needed it, because a few flops in a row had me discouraged.  My success?  Homemade Gingerale.

First, I don’t blame you if you’re dying laughing right now with thoughts of me making my own pop.  But my kid has been AMAZING at not complaining not getting to eat so many things he loves (like commercial gingerale)  SO… I tried my hand at it.  I bought ginger root for the first time in my life (it was cheaper than I EVER imagined) and went to it.  After the finished product had chilled a few hours, the moment of truth came with the taste test… And he LOVED it!  He said, “Oh my word!  It tastes just like Gingerale!”

I posted a couple tweets about the homemade gingerale on Twitter (including the photo above) and I immediately got several requests for the recipe.  So here’s how to make your own honey-sweetened gingerale.

Homemade Gingerale

You will need:  A blender, hot water, ginger root, honey, club soda.

In a blender, pour in 1-and-a-half cups of hot water (not boiling).  Add 2 tablespoons of minced ginger to the hot water.  Then add honey to taste.  The recipe I used calls for 1 cup but that seemed like a lot, so I used more like a half to three-quarters cup of honey.

Blend all that in the blender f or 1 minute.  Strain into a canning jar or other clean container.  I used a coffee filter as a strainer.  Worked great.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hrs.  Pour a small amount of the strained ginger solution (approximately a fourth of a cup or less) to an 8 ounce glass of club soda and add ice.  The ginger/soda balance will be a matter of your own personal taste.

I NEVER thought I’d know – or care – how to make homemade pop.  But I love my kid.  I love the progress he is making; and homemade gingerale is now just one of the things I do for the sake of love.  Next challenge?  Homemade yogurt!  I must really love this kid a ton.

One thought on “The Things We Do for Love

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  1. Oh Emily! I read this with tears in my eyes!!! You guys are such awesome parents and there is so much more knowledge out there now than when my David was diagnosed. I, like you, loved my “son” so much I would have done the home made – regardless of how long – if only I had known. Master “J” is so fortunate that God chose you for his parents! My prayers continue for you all!


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