There have been a variety of diets that claim to lessen the symptoms of Autism, particularly the gluten-free/casein-free diet, or GFCF diet. Many parents of children with Asperger’s Syndrome, a different but similar pervasive development disorder, have also reported beneficial results from giving their child a GFCP diet.
Those who endorse the GFCP diet believe that children with Asperger’s syndrome and Autism are extra-sensitive to Gluten, which is found is wheat, and casein, which is found in dairy. The theory is that children with these disorders are unable to properly digest these substances, and that the undigested molecules become peptides that adversely affect the brain.
According to Autism-help.org, the majority of the support for the GFCF diet is anecdotal. Some parents also say that removing artificial coloring and preservatives also lead to behavioral improvements. However, there are no clinical studies to prove if these diets are effective. WebMD reports that “a review of recent and past studies concluded there is a lack of scientific evidence to say whether this diet can be helpful or not.” A number of anecdotes from parents have reported that the restrictive was ineffective. “Controlling my son’s diet hasn’t worked at all for us,” writes Barbara Fowler, who’s son has Asperger syndrome.
However, it is possible for people with Asperger’s to also have food allergies. Having a child tested for food allergies may be beneficial.
Special Diets for Autism Unproven