Diet Changes: Food Matters for Autism

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What we feed our kids is so important, and in the case of an ASD kid it’s often crucial for their wellbeing. Being sure that you have eliminated any food allergies or intolerances is a good place to start, but further diet changes often help ASD kids. For instance, around 65% of them have their symptoms improve on a diet that eliminates both gluten and casein (that’s the proteins found in wheat & dairy products). And according to Julie Matthews for one two-and-a-half-year-old boy with ASD it was the difference between talking and not talking. He went from saying zero words to saying 200 words after 3 months on a Gluten-Free & Casein-Free diet. So it’s a good place to start for a lot of ASD kids.

Then there’s the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which eliminates all grains and many other foods based on the type of carbohydrate they contain with the aim being to eliminate those carbs that may be increasing bad bacteria in the gut. This diet is reported to work for about 65% of ASD kids. Then there are diets like the Body Ecology Diet which focuses on eliminating yeast in the gut and encourages large amount of vegetables, or the GAPS diet which also focuses on gut health and uses a lot of bone broth and meat. Then there are further tweaks that might help your child like eliminating Phenols and Oxalates, and often these diets get mapped onto each other, so you might be doing a gluten-free casein-free diet with low phenols and low oxalates.

Just saying that out loud probably sounds daunting to some of you, but taken one step at a time you can get there. One child on a gluten-free, casein-free, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Body Ecology Diet was doing much better, but continued to rock after every meal. He added low oxalate to his already complex diet and the stimming and rocking went away immediately.

It’s stories like this and seeing improvements in your child that will help give you the confidence to keep going. And you are not alone there are thousands of people doing diets just like this — maybe not anyone you know, but look around online, there are lots of resources and support and help. It is possible.