Autism: Diet, Nutrition and Supplementation

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(Excerpted from Nourishing Hope)

We believe that autism diet, nutrition and supplementation are fundamental to the health and healing of children with autism. Diets and other autism-specific nutrition essentials are applied as a complement to physician recommended medical treatments, behavioral and cognitive therapies. The most successful recovery stories as told by parents always include diet intervention and imrovements in nutrition intake. Generation Rescue, a biomedical web site designed to support parents, has many true parent accounts of the benefits of diet as does Autism Research Institute. There are five main diets to consider when researching this area of science: Gluten-free Casein-free (GFCF), Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), Feingold Diet, Body Ecology Diet, Low Oxalate Diet/Phenols and Weston A. Price.

For the parent helping their child, autism diet and nutrition is a powerful avenue of healing!

While there are a number of effective “autism diet” options to choose from, beginning nutritional intervention need not be overwhelming. Ten years ago, the diet choice was simple ? do diet! And, “do diet” meant do the Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet (GFCF). Eliminating gluten (the protein in wheat) and casein (the protein in dairy) was the primary focus of diet for autism for many years and this diet has proven to be very beneficial for many children on the spectrum.

Today, additional advances in nutrition research and parent-centric anecdotal data have resulted in broader dietary strategies: Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), Body Ecology Diet, Feingold Diet, Low Oxalate Diet, and others. Significant scientific data and overwhelming anecdotal analysis indicate a link between autism symptoms and diet. As reported by Autism Research Institute (ARI) in a survey of thousands of parents; The Gluten- (wheat) and Casein- (dairy) free diet has a 69% improvement rating, and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet has a 71% improvement rating. That is, most parents who diligently apply diet and nutrition intervention report some positive affect on behavior, cognition, general health, or well being.

The common symptoms reported by parents to improve with diet are: stimming, language, attention, hyperactivity, learning, fatigue, aggression, self-injurious behavior, rashes, digestion, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and more. Several dietary options exist for children and adults on the autistic spectrum. The best for a particular individual depends on many factors such as digestive capacity, bio-individuality, family history, symptoms and more. Currently, the two most common diets are the GFCF Diet and SCD.

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