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Challenges With Starting An Autism Diet

Aug 21, 2007
Are you the parent of an autistic child? Have you been struggling with the idea of putting your child on the gluten free, casein free autism diet? If so, you are not alone. Many parents struggle with the idea of an autism diet, either because they think their children are two addicted to foods containing gluten and casein and would not stick to the diet, or because the parents just do not feel capable of eliminating all of the foods. The whole process can be a bit overwhelming, but there are some things that can help.

Autistic children are often very picky. Your child might have a very small range of foods that they like to eat and many of those foods may contain gluten or casein. In fact, many children, autistic or not, eat mainly gluten and casein-filled foods, such as pizza. In many autistic children, however, gluten and casein can actually attach to receptors in their brains that cause addiction. So, your child may actually be addicted to casein and gluten-filled foods without you even realizing it. You should be aware that, when you first put your child on the autism diet, they may act out a bit, throw tantrums or experience slight withdrawals. However, after a few weeks, you may find that your child may actually like his new diet.

Another issue with the autism diet is that you might also feel overwhelmed by the fact that there are so many foods out there that contain casein or gluten. You might not feel able to eliminate all of them from the diet of your child. If that is the case, you need to realize that gluten and casein can actually obstruct an autistic childs brain function, almost like a poison. Also, eliminating gluten from the diet has become easier in recent years because of the increased number of people with Celiac Disease (inability to process gluten). Food manufacturers have been creating more gluten-free products, so there are alternatives to gluten available.

If you still feel overwhelmed by the autism diet, you can consider easing your child into it slowly. You can eliminate casein (dairy products) from your child's diet first and see how that goes. Then, when you and your child become comfortable with that, you can begin to eliminate gluten from their diet as well.

If you use the resources available to you, such as the physician, books and support groups, you will be able to keep your child on the autism diet. Also, remember to read food labels carefully. Often, gluten and casein are disguised as something else, such as caseinate. If you have a little patience, both with your child and with the process in general, you should see improvements, although they may take a few months to appear.
About the Author
Sandra Kim Leong writes about implementing an autism diet for children with learning difficulties and delays. Get more free tips here http://www.AutismDietPlan.com.
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