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BellaOnline's Children with Special Needs Editor

Autism, Nutrition and Special Diets

Some children with autism have been diagnosed with food allergies and digestive disorders, including celiac disease, which is to be expected because it would be at least as common among children with autism as occurs in the general population.

Many families whose children are diagnosed with a food allergy or digestive disorder report positive behavior changes, increases in skills and learning, and improved interest in interacting, when appropriate medical intervention relieves the symptoms or condition. Again, most children who are ill do show an improvement in mood, physical well-being, sociability and readiness to learn, when they receive medical treatment that relieves their symptoms or bring them back to good physical health.

Children with autism spectrum disorders should be followed closely by a competent family physician and whatever specialists are necessary to provide adequate preventive healthcare and to treat any co-existing medical conditions.

Recent interest in the use of certain diets to treat symptoms found in children with autism spectrum disorders includes the gluten free diet necessary for those who have celiac disease, a gluten free and casein free diet, a yeast free diet, the DAN Protocol, Specific Carbohydrate Diet and Body Ecology Diet.

There may be side effects of dietary therapies and interventions that have unforeseen negative outcomes for some children. If families wish to experiment with any of these diets, it is important that the child receives adequate nutrition during the trial, and that the child is followed by a doctor as well as a nutritionist.

Browse at your local bookstore, public library, or online booksellers like Amazon.com for titles on Nutrition and Autism

Mother Warriors by Jenny McCarthy

Autism Society of Canada
Biomedical Approaches to the Treatment of Autism
Dietary Therapies and Interventions
Supplements, Removing Gluten, Casein, or Yeast from the diet
DAN Protocol, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Body Ecology Diet

Autism Web - Claims about the Gluten Free Casein Free Diet for Autism and PDD

Discover Magazine Online Edition - Autism - It's Not All in the Head

Oprah - The Faces of Autism - April 5, 2007

Reviews of Discovery Magazine Article on Autism

Mothering.com Review of Discover's Autism It's Not Just in the Head

Autism Diva - Review of Discover's Autism It's Not Just in the Head

Autism-PDD.net Review of Discover's Autism It's Not Just in the Head

Autism Vox Review of Discover's Autism It's Not Just in the Head

ASW Review of Discover's Autism It's Not Just in the Head

November 2007 an alert went out warning families of children who use weighted blankets of possible lead contamination.

Medications and Herbal Treatments for ADD/ADHD

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