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How does a gluten-free diet help autistic kids? I'm a teacher at a pre-school and one of my boys (autistic) just started eating only gluten free foods. His mom said G.F. products made a difference in her autistic nephew and now wants to try it with her son. I haven't noticed any difference in him.

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:55 AM on Mar. 26, 2011 in Kids' Health

Answers (7)
  • I don't know how, but it made a difference in my niece too. It doesn't cure anything, but it can help. After she was on it for a while she started having eye contact with people.

    Answer by mompam at 8:59 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • The difference was night and Day for the kid's of parents I know. You can google the advantages of GF life and find tons of sites that explain it in no frills ways so we can understand Google "Advantages of a gluten free diet in autism"

    Answer by vbruno at 9:00 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • I don't know much about a gluten free diet, but I do have a son that I thought might be autistic, and was diagnosed ADHD, a diagnosis I disagreed with. I tried the feingold diet, for him, and did find that dairy products and artificial ingredients greatly affected his mental state and behavior.

    So, food can have a great affect. It may or may not help, but I believe it's worth trying.

    Answer by ohwrite at 9:00 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • It doesnt help. My son has had Autism and is 17 now. Nothing helps. Behavioral therapy and alot of love and understanding is what helps. I have noticed over the years people trying all kinds of things to help, when in reality they are looking for a cure.

    Answer by gemgem at 9:03 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • Some autistic kids have a gut that doesn't digest gluten well causing them pain and discomfort which results in behavioral issues and inattention.
    Imagine feeling full and gassy all the time and you can't explain how you feel

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 9:05 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • It doesn't work for every child, but for for those it does help, it can make a significant difference in their quality of life. For scome children w/an ASD, they are also missing specific enzymes in their guts that allow them to properly digest gluten &/or casein proteins. The improperly broken down proteins are called peptides & they can be very irritating to the gut wall, to the point that, over time, they cause microscopic perforations in the gut, thus allowing the peptides to escape into the bloodstream. The peptides are casomorphine & gluteomorphin, which are opiods that are able to pass through the blood/brain barrier. The hypothesis is that this effect is what causes many of the behaviors seen in persons with an ASD. Casein, or dairy protein, exits the body within 2 weeks, but gluten can take upwards of 6 months. Some children are also sensitive to corn & changes aren't seen until the corn is removed, too.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 9:34 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • Autistic children often have sensitivities to gluten & casein proteins. A simple blood test for IgG antibodies can determine this.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 6:14 AM on Mar. 29, 2011

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