A Gluten Free Diet to Help Autism
Late January 2010: At first I was skeptical about a gluten free diet. Yesterday I saw a post from Autism Speaks on Facebook. It addressed the issue of children who have autism, and that they often suffer from gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Tristan does not appear to have a GI disorder other than constipation every so often, but it started me to think. There were over 95 posts from other parents with kids who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Some had GI disorders and other did not. Most of the parents entirely changed their child’s diet to exclude wheat gluten altogether. I already had known about this, but until recently had not given it much consideration.
One post talked about how her son had chronic bad breath, he was not able to talk very well, but she drastically changed his diet and nothing else, his bad breath disappeared. He also started to communicate more clearly and better. She also took out all Casein in his diet, which is a milk protein commonly used as a binding agent for food. Well after reading this I was impressed with her son’s outcome, and I visited the page several times to see what others stated, and how excited they were to finally have the some improvement with speech or other developmental delays.
Last night as we lay in bed, I told Michael about what I had read, and how I thought it could possibly benefit Tristan. What if just a change in diet were enough to get him past his 15-20 word vocabulary at three years of age. Tristan had bad breath too, so maybe it would help that also, although that was a lesser concern of mine. Well, we both had a heated discussion about it, and needless to say Michael got out of bed, and he went to the computer to read abstracts from the scientific literature database. He came back several hours later and said their was not anything concrete he could find that would support diet changes and improvements for autism speech delays. He said changes in diet was one of those things you could do to see if it helps, and it would not have any ill-effects.
Two days later: So we will go gluten-free with Tristan! The developmental pediatrician agreed with Michael about a gluten free diet change. She said there have been some reports of gluten-free diets, and the positive changes in children with Autism. She said it would not hurt to try it. I need to start some serious research about gluten-free diets I know this will be a real pain in the rear, but I feel I must try anything to help Tristan and his development. From what I read, you must do it for a year to see exactly the benefits in the long run for children with autism. So this will be a huge commitment, in time, dedication, and in money. If there is a chance it will work, I will do it for Tristan.
So, I am excited, but overwhelmed because what in the world will the kid eat!