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Special Diets for Autism Unproven

autism puzzleAutism affects children by disrupting their ability to communicate and interact socially with others. Parents try alternative treatments to reduce their child’s symptoms, which includes specialized diets for autism. The gluten-free/casein-free diet has grown in popularity. And, some parents have reported improvements in their autistic children with a new dietary regimen. However, there has been little research to prove that the gluten-free/casein-free diet for autism works.

Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet: The Facts

A gluten-free/casein-free diet, also known as the GFCF Diet, is a strict elimination eating plan where all foods containing gluten and casein are removed from the child’s daily food intake. Gluten is a protein found in the seeds of grains like barley, oats, rye, and wheat. Casein is a protein that is prevalent in cow’s milk and cheese. Unfortunately, a large number of foods contain gluten and casein, which makes it hard to totally eliminate.

Some people believe that their children are allergic or sensitive to the components found in foods that contain gluten or casein. Among the benefits reported are changes in speech and behavior.

A recent pediatrics report reaffirms the skeptics’ view about diet as a definite positive treatment for autism. Recently, an expert panel came to the conclusion that there is no “rigorous evidence” that digestive problems are more common in children with autism compared to other children, or that a special diet would work.

Actress Jenny McCarthy is one of the more famous vocal proponents of a dietary treatment for autism, as she has searched for solutions for her autistic child. Maybe her high-profile plight has contributed to the fact that nearly one in five autistic children are on a special diet. Surely, the debate will continue.

“I think we still have a lot to learn about the gut and how it contributes to behavioral symptoms,” says Lee Grossman, president of the Autism Society.

(via: momlogic.com & WebMD)

Also read:

Autism Awareness Week – a series of articles by moms and experts related to the diet and fitness role in autism treatment.

January 14th, 2010

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GFCF saved my son and me

Tens of thousands of people don't keep their kids on a special diet for years for no reason. Period. GFCF diet saved my son's life. The week we started - quit trying to get out of the house, wandering into traffic - impulse control issues down. We take him off it once a year to make sure he is still sensitive and guess what happens - it all comes back. I know the diet works because as an adult with a condition similar to Aspergers (Non Verbal Learning Disorder) the gfcf diet changed my life - life long brain fog - gone, poor short term memory - gone, being too literal and not getting jokes - gone. If I go off the diet all that comes back. And, by the way, we started the diet years before Jenny McCarthy. Parents have been using the diet for decades. Bernie Rimland spread it, Jenny just increased awareness outside the Autism community about how it helps in SOME Autistic individuals.

Regarding the studies - would you be referring to the one that exluded Autistic kids with GI issues then determined that special diet don't help in Autism. Really? Parents of Autistic kids without GI problems weren't even ever the ones that reported seeing benefits in their kids to begin with.....it was the parents whose kids have GI problems who did. Researchers who start with poor hypothesises then say their finding speak for all of Autism, need to be held to account....and that is what I am doing now.

posted Oct 19th, 2010 11:01 am



   
 

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