by Darren Pai
KAILUA (KHNL) - Four-year-olds like Kainoa Chorman should be able to speak in complete sentences. But just six months ago, he knew only 40 words.
"He couldn't say I want milk," said Tina Chorman, Kainoa's mother. "That's all he drank was milk, but he couldn't actually say it."
Kainoa is autistic. The disorder disrupts his ability to communicate and socialize with others.
"It's just hard when its your own child," said Tommy Chorman, Kainoa's father. "People stare at you in the malls."
Conventional treatments weren't helping leaving Kainoa's parents desperate to help their son.
"It's frustrating that it has to be like, it's frustrating that we had to search," Tina said. "I was on the phone on the internet, I would talk to anybody to find out what they were doing."
"We thought about moving, going to the mainland, selling our house," Tommy said. "Because we didn't know where to go."
But Kainoa's recently shown improvement. His parents says its because of a change in diet.
Kainoa drinks powered milk free of casein, a protein found in dairy products. His food is free of gluten, a protein found in wheat. In autistic children, the proteins may cause behavioral and developmental problems.
"To them, to the kids that have this allergy, it's like a drug," They say it's like a heroin addiction."
The syringes hold a battery of vitamins and other dietary supplements. After six months on this treatment plan Kainoa's parents say they've seen results.
"He's now making eye contact, or playing with his brother, or seeing him play with other kids with the toys," Tommy said. "He's learning that now."
"He now says sentences," Tina said. "Just in the last two months he's put together sentences. He hardly ever tantrums anymore."
Today, the family can enjoy moments together and dare to hope for the future.
"He doesn't have to be a world champ surfer, pro anything," Tommy said. "I mean, just day to day be able to function in society. Have a job. Have a family."