Hi, I’m Craig Kendall, the author of The Asperger’s Syndrome Survival Guide. In today’s issue we will discuss…
Will a Gluten and Casein Free Diet Help Your Child’s Asperger’s Syndrome / Autism Symptoms?
As a parent of a child with Asperger’s syndrome, does this picture sound familiar to you?
- Your Asperger’s syndrome child has wild mood swings and their behavior can change very rapidly.
- There is a lot of hyperactivity, or sometimes your child can just seem really spaced out and hard to reach.
- Perhaps your child hasn’t slept through the night in years, waking you up each and every night.
- Your son or daughter with Asperger’s syndrome seems to be addicted to things with wheat or dairy in it, such as cheese pizza.
- Finally, your child has gastrointestinal disturbances, such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and abdominal distension.
- Asthma and allergies may also be in the picture.
Would you be surprised if I said you might be able to clear up the majority of those symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome simply with a gluten and casein free diet?
You might have heard about other parents who went gluten free before but weren’t really sure what it was all about. Well, what is gluten and casein?
- Gluten is a protein found in wheat products and many other food products that a lot of kids on the autism spectrum have trouble digesting.
- Casein is found in dairy products.
Gastrointestinal Problems and Asperger’s Syndrome / Autism Kids
For some reason, many kids on the autism spectrum (either with Asperger’s syndrome or autism) lack the enzymes to process these ingredients in the proper way, and it can lead to an awful lot of problems.
You can do a gluten intolerance test for your child, but they are not always accurate. If you really want to see if your child’s Asperger’s syndrome symptoms will improve on this diet, you need to try it for several months. Not all kids will benefit from this diet, and not all will benefit in the same way.
Everyone with autism responds to treatments in a different way. But it’s worth it to try, because you may end up with a substantially different, and improved, child then what you started with.
Five Success Tips for Gluten Casein Free Diet
- If you are going to do the diet, make sure you can do it all the way. It’s really important to be able to do the diet 100%. So that means that if you are divorced and share custody, you’ll want to get your ex-spouse on board. You’ll want to make sure all members of your family will follow it for your child with Asperger’s syndrome.
- Doing a gluten and casein free diet does not have to be as frighteningly expensive. Some think these diets cost a fortune. By buying foods from local farms, and making a lot of foods yourself out of basic ingredients, you can save a lot of money. Not everything has to come out of package.
- When doing this diet, don’t just think in terms of gluten and casein free. Think in terms of how you can be nutritious across the food spectrum. You are aiming to take as many toxins out of their diet as you can. So this means trying to eat organic if you can, eat lots of fresh produce, and don’t eat very many artificial ingredients or processed food. You may also need to treat other digestive problems common with autism at the same time.
- Don’t try to do this all at once. Try to do it in stages. If you try to do it too fast, it will be overwhelming and you will be more likely to fail. Introduce new foods into the diet gradually. Once you’re comfortable with the diet, you can go 100%, but allow yourself a warm up period. And remember, children with Asperger’s syndrome and autism do not like a change in their routine. Inform your child in advance that their diet will be changing and don’t surprise your child with rapid changes.
- Try a variety of foods…don’t get stuck in a rut always preparing the same meals. There are a lot more alternatives to gluten and casein than there used to be. Your child will not want for alternatives!
For More Information to Help Your Child with Asperger’s/Autism
For information on how exactly to do a gluten and casein free diet, there is plenty of information on the Internet about that. There are lists of foods to avoid and lists of foods that are safe, as well as lots of recipes by parents that have come before you. Do not be afraid, try out this diet if your child is exhibiting any of the symptoms mentioned above, and see if works for you.