My name is Serena, I am Type A mom to my 6 year old son with Autism and my 4 year old “typical” daughter. While I sometimes think that I should refer to myself as an Autism Mom, I don’t for fear that I may lose my “typical” daughter to this life.
I am not a trained professional in the Autism world, nor am I a doctor, nutritionist, chef, baker, or anything of the sort. I am however a self proclaimed “mom expert” in all of those fields as related to Autism. When my son was diagnosed with Autism 5 years ago we were given the diagnosis by the developmental pediatrician and sent on our way to figure it all out. We were given no guidance, no helping hand, nothing pretty much other than of course the diagnosis. We were left to our own devices with nothing more than an unwavering devotion and undying love for this child. Not only does my son have Autism, he also has numerous food allergies and intolerance’s. My son is currently gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, sugar free, in addition to a salicylate allergy. He has also acquired a new series of allergies, that we are in the process of discovering. We have had good experiences, really bad experiences and a lot of learning experiences.
Although the journey hasn’t been easy there have been more challenges that have been more difficult than others. As a mom the hardest part for me was constantly telling Daniel he couldn’t eat this, couldn’t have that, couldn’t get any treats. When we had to remove all processed sugar from Daniel’s diet that was the most difficult. What do we do at Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Valentines? I started to search online for alternatives and couldn’t find any. What I did find was a sweetener on the market called Xylitol. It seemed like a perfect alternative for us and Daniel’s dietary restrictions. The problem was that we couldn’t find a gluten free, dairy free, sugar free or soy free chocolate sweetened with xylitol.
Being a chocolate lover himself, my husband couldn’t fathom Daniel not having any of his favourite treat again. We decided that we would make chocolate for him. Couldn’t be that hard, could it?? Well we certainly did find out that it wasn’t a walk in the park. There was special equipment you needed to buy, products you needed to source and purchase, never mind attempting to perfect the recipe. Could we do it?? For a special and deserving little boy there was no question – we were going to do it.
After many equipment purchases, supplier researches, long hours testing recipes and lots of sampling we developed the recipe for the Bear Bar. The smile on a little boys face every time he gets a piece makes it all worth it!