Rita Beathard

Apr 11, 2017
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Small Town In Texas
I have been a Vegan for almost 3 years now. I love my lifestyle and want to share it with everyone especially my family. My father has been a vegetarian for over a year because it's better for his obesity and diabetes (I'm so happy he is a vegetarian now he has been hunting and trapping from a very young age but not anymore!). My mom also is trying to become a vegetarian.

To get to my point.

My parents are separated I live with my dad (I'm almost 18), and my ten year old brother lives with my mother.
My brother is severely special needs he had 4 strokes when he was born and has cerebral palsy. Also, when he was 3 he developed childhood disintegrative disorder (a form of autism). My brother cannot walk with out assistance, and his muscles are constantly tense. He doesn't talk and uses noise to communicate. He takes many different types of medications for behavior (I believe it's adhd or anti psychotic medications?), muscle relaxers, and lots of laxatives.

My father is gaining custody of my brother, (finally! :) ) and we both want him to be vegan and gluten free (we aren't gluten free).

I need advice from anyone who can give it. Especially on how to deal with doctors arguing about his diet. Recipes that are high fiber high protein (most of his food has to be puréed). Or anyone who has raised vegan children or taken care of special needs children.

Thank you
(Sorry if this sounds like a scattered rant) :)

Mark Mywordz

Apr 16, 2017
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Vegan newbie
Hi Rita
That wasn't a scattered rant at all. You have explained your situation very clearly. It's not an easy situation. So your Dad is getting custody of your brother and he (and you) want him to have a vegan diet. That makes perfect sense to me if you are both in agreement with it. It would also make catering for the family a whole lot easier.
Is there any reason why you expect the doctors to disagree? Why do you even have to discuss with doctors how your brother is fed? Your dad has custody, which means that he decides what you all will have for each meal and obviously he will consult you, as you are (very soon) another adult living in the family home. Who will do the shopping and the cooking? If you are the cook, then you should have a large say in what is eaten because the family can only eat what the cook can prepare.
The important thing is that you and your dad agree with one another when talking to the doctors. If there is any disagreement, sort it out before you two meet the doctors and, if you cannot agree, you must accept your dad's decision, because he has custody. So be nice to dad!
Be nice to the doctors too. Don't go to them expecting disagreement. If you are polite and know the reasons for what you are proposing, the doctors would be foolish to put any obstacles in your way. From the doctors' point of view, you and dad are the solution, not the problem! Listen to what they say and nod your head in agreement. Thank them for their advice - that is what it is, it's advice. They are not going to order you to do anything. That is not their job.
I wouldn't mention the word "vegan". Is beans on toast and a salad a vegan meal, a vegetarian meal or just a meal?
To me you sound very mature for your years. I am sure the doctors will think the same.
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