Nutrients are a huge factor for ASD. There are many nutrient deficiencies at play for most ASD kids and supplementation can help a lot.
Many kids with ASD have a lack of antioxidants, which means they have low levels of Vitamin C, A & E as well as low levels of glutathione, the master antioxidant — which is required to make the other antioxident vitamins. For some, this may be due to oxalate issues as I explained in this post. But whatever the reason, a lack of glutathione which is typically seen in ASD kids creates problems with immune function, detoxification, and oxidative damage (more on the science here).
Antioxidants are essential for combating free radicals which are molecules which cause damage to cells in the body. The body needs to be able to mop-up and get rid of those free radicals to continue to function well, but without antioxidants it can't get rid of the free radicals fast enough and damage to proteins, cells, and DNA occurs (also called oxidative damage).
So supplementation with the antioxidant vitamins — like high dose Vitamin C which has been shown to be very effective for some ASD kids — or even supplementing with glutathione itself can be hugely beneficial. Susan Levin talked about using glutathione injections with her ASD son in her book Unlocked. They used many different interventions but she wrote that the glutathione injections were so helpful in bringing her son back into connection and clarity that she wished they could plant a glutathione tree in their yard so they could juice up their son everyday — this was several years ago, now there are glutathione supplements that can be taken daily. Levin’s story is very powerful, and a great example of how by doing a lot of different things — diet, supplements, behavioral programs her son went from being completely in his own world and out of reach — never saying I love you, never responding to her — to a connecting, loving, caring child who could express himself and handle social situations without difficulties.
To find out more about what nutrients your child needs, you will need to find a practitioner who has in-depth knowledge about ASD and who can help you find the right nutrients for your child.