The Autism Diet Connection
What is the best diet for an autistic child?
The connection between diet and autism is complex and not fully understood yet. Although I am not a doctor, here is what I know:
1. Food allergies and sensitivities are extremely common among individuals with autism.
2. “Leaky Gut” and other digestive issues (chronic constipation/diarrhea) are common.
3. Artificial coloring/flavorings and preservatives can have a extreme effects on behaviors.
4. Salicylates, even naturally occurring in healthy foods, can be hard to tolerate.
5. Sugar and refined carbohydrates exacerbate yeast and dysbiosis issues, which are also common.
6. Some children show remarkable improvements, even full recovery, by removing gluten/casein proteins from the diet. The Specific Carbohydrate and Body Ecology Diet also have resulted in major improvement and/or full recoveries in many children.
7. Mineral deficiencies are suspect of weakening the body’s natural de-tox system. Consequently the body’s ability to remove heavy metals and other toxins are impaired significantly.
8. Heavy metal toxicity effects cellular function and leads to issues such as calcium oxalate crystals wrecking havoc in various soft tissues of the body.
9. The overburden of toxins and heavy metals cause liver, thyroid, and adrenal stress as well as damaging the sensory and nervous system and brain functioning.
10. The damaged endocrine system leads to hormonal imbalances, auto-immune response and/or other alterations of the immune system as well as inflammation are common.
At the last DAN! conference they referred to this growing condition as “autisms” because it is only symptom/behaviorally diagnosed. The root cause is unknown (although many parents believe the growing amount of immunizations are the straw breaking the camels back).
There is no one sure strategy towards recovery. Specialized diets, vitamins, specific supplements can have an extraordinary results for some individuals and apparently little effect on others. A holistic movement towards whole foods and a cleaner environment, and awareness of what we are exposing are very young children could make a major difference for everyone involved.
Author Tara McClintick is an Early Childhood/Special Education teacher as well as a Son-Rise mom. A great deal of Tara’s 20+ years of experience has been working one on one with her youngest son, Jake, who was diagnosed with severe autism shortly after his first birthday. Jake is now 13 and together they continue the journey towards learning and recovery through nutritional and natural methods. Tara also creates fun, unique picture books for kids using real-life scenes and images www.BooksByTara.com