and author of
December 1, 2007
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Why is this so very important to you and your child?
OK, we all know that nutrition is important, but many of us eat food that are not good for us anyway (myself included). Here is why this is such a bigger deal for our kids (a short, really simple explanation of a tiny bit of biochemistry of a typical autistic child):
Many people (not just Autistic Spectrum Disorder [ASD] kids) have an inability to break down two complex proteins found in wheat and dairy - casein and gluten. For most of us this is not a problem, these compounds leave our body through our regular intestinal system. However in many ASD people, due to their particular biochemistry, these incompletely broken down proteins (peptides) are converted to Gliadinomophins and Caseomorphins. When gluten and casein are not properly broken down, these peptides have opiate-like effects on the brain and body, often creating foggy thinking, slow bowel function, and weakened immune function.
Another common problem with ASD people is a yeast overgrowth in the intestines. Yeast creates toxins including alcohol that can create a spacey, drunk-like effect on the brain, and can tax the immune system.
Take a look at some of our children and you may be able to understand their behavior a little more if you consider that they are under the influence of chemicals (produced in their own body) as a result of a specific diet that they crave. No wonder some of our kids are not interested in eating anything else (picky eater syndrome partially explained?).
DAN (Defeat Autism Now - a leading organization of parents and practitioners in the United States with 40 years of experience working with all available therapies for ASD people) states that of all the interventions that you can do with your child, therapies, drugs, supplements, etc., there is no greater potential for change, for the greatest number of ASD children then an intervention in the area of diet. (see www.autism.com)
There are many similar ways diet will influence your children's behavior, but here in Ontario, you will find it very difficult to learn about any of them. Your doctor is probably not trained in this special area of biochemistry, and probably does not even know about it. There are few Nutritionists trained in this in Ontario. However, this is something that we as parents can learn and implement in our own homes, that can have a tremendous impact on your life, the life of your child, and the rest of your family.
A Gluten and casein free diet caused significant improvement in 81% of patients with autism within 3 months.
R Cade et al. Autism and schizophrenia: Intestinal Disorders. Nutritional Neuroscience 3: 57-72, 2000 University of Florida
NEW Follow-up Information: Article on CBC's web site: click here.
Julie Matthews, Certified Nutritional Consultant specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a DAN Practitioner for the past five years, consults with Families all over the World, and Hosts a Radio Show in San Francisco. Julie is also the author of Nourishing Hope a book dedicated to information and insights on nutrition & dietary intervention and approaches for autism spectrum disorders. Julie is coming to Toronto Saturday, December 1st to speak to parents and caregivers about the profound impact changes in diet can have on our ASD children - and how to get started, or for those of us already intervening - where to go next - and why. Please click here for more information, or here to register.
Don't miss this. This stuff does work for many many of our kids. For those of you who are already on a special diet, Julie will address where do you go from here. "Do I look at other diets for even more impact?" "When can I go off a diet?" Please see our son Jordyn's story about what happened for us when we implemented a casein gluten free diet. Click here
This site was last updated 10/18/07