Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Aspergers and Dietary/Therapeutic Considerations

"What foods/supplements and therapies have people tried (or purposely avoided) that have helped their ASD child?"

Aspergers (high functioning autism) is a neurobiological disorder that has no known cause or cure. For this reason, a number of alternative therapies have been tried to improve the symptoms of Aspergers and other autistic spectrum disorders.

Much has been made about the gluten-free and casein-free diet. This includes a diet virtually void of wheat, oat, rye and barley foods as well as any dairy foods that generally contain casein. Many parents have noted significant improvement in the behavioral symptoms of their child. Such a diet can be difficult to arrange, but there are web sites that sell products free of casein and gluten, and a few week's trial of the diet may make a difference that no medication can do.

Other alternative therapies include chelation therapy (rids the body of heavy metals which may be contributing to the symptoms), cranio-sacral therapy, auditory integration therapy, sensory integration therapy and music therapy. Some of these alternative therapies have gone past being “alternative” and have reached mainstream medical therapies.

A natural supplement found to be helpful in Aspergers is called L-Carnosine, a supplement that is a protein combination of alanine and histadine. In several studies, it has been shown to improve the auditory processing skills, socialization, speech production, fine motor skills and language skills of children with autism spectrum disorders.

Certain digestive enzymes have been developed for children with Aspergers and related disorders. It is felt that the enzymes reduce the amount of undigested food that unhealthy gut bacteria thrive on.

Some researchers believe that children with Aspergers are deficient in glutathione. Some companies now manufacture what is called liposome-enclosed glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant that also helps rid the body of toxins, including heavy metals.

Electrolyte solutions containing minerals are used to prevent dehydration and add valuable minerals to the child’s diet. In addition, phosphatidyl serine is used because it is known to regenerate damaged nerve cells and improve memory, learning and concentration.

There is much less research on dietary supplements and dietary changes in those with Aspergers and related disorders. Any research done is often done on extremely small numbers of children so they can’t be widely recommended; however, none of these therapies are harmful to the body, so they may be tried safely in families looking to optimize their child’s level of functioning.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook 


•    Anonymous said... Avoiding dyes, ESP red 40. The frustrating thing is that most kids antibiotics are pink and have red 40
•    Anonymous said... omega 3 fish oil capsules/oil of evening primrose capsules/good multi vitamin and mineral supplement,
•    Anonymous said... So, is it possible it's the GMOs that are in almost all wheat, soy and corn causing the problems and not the actual gluten? Why after thousands of years are people all of a sudden reacting to gluten? Organic foods are GMO free!
•    Anonymous said... We removed all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives and saw a HUGE difference in about a week. It's worth a try for a week to see if it will help your child. We saw huge improvements in stimming, focus, hyperactivity, and meltdowns decreased. It worked better than any medications we have tried.
On a side note, most of the colors/flavors/preservatives are banned in other countries as a known health hazard for human consumption. Yet our government allows it. I'll let you do the research if you choose
•    Anonymous said... We've been doing the GAPS diet for 4+ months. We've seen huge gains (among the most impressive have been the initiation of pretend play -- there was zero before -- vanishing of rough play, and excellent growth in social and verbal skills). GAPS (similar to and based on SCD) removes all processed foods, grains, sugars (except in fruit and honey) and starches, and is designed to heal and seal the gut lining. It's a commitment, but it has been totally worth the effort and expense. Also, it has changed my super-picky eater into the kid who asks for vegetables for snack and plain fruit as dessert!
•    Anonymous said... when we look that he GF/CF diet, there was a lot of referring to gluten and casein being changed into a type of morphine in the brain and this is why these kids crave for these foods, it's like a drug addiction. When we change our son's diet, we had it rough for about 5 weeks and it was apparently his body going thru withdraws. We have taken additives out and added omega 3,6 and 9 which contains evening primrose oil and it has worked really well, a different kid.
•    Anonymous said... With my son we have to avoid dyes and colorants along with a lot of sugar. But he craves dairy and salt. Not sure why yet.

More comments below…


Anonymous said...

I am not a firm believer in the gluten/casein free diet, but I am a huge advocate on food sensitivities affecting our ASD kids in a marked way. A friend of mine had her ASD daughter tested for allergies and sensitivities through an alternative medicine doctor. Among the MANY sensitivities there was an issue with wheat, but no issues with casein. She adjusted her child's diet to avoid as many of the foods on that list as she could and the change in her daughter's behavior was HUGE!

Anonymous said...

We've been using Natural Factors' brand "Tranquil Sleep" for our ASD son and entire family for the last month, and it has helped all of us feel more rested. Our DS15 seems to be sleeping better and uses more language since we started this. It's a combo of melatonin, 5-HTP and L-theanine. And the chewables taste really good.

Anonymous said...

We tracked my aspie son's diet for a month. Turned out it was food dyes, especially RED dyes. After doing some research, we all are avoiding the dyes as much as possible now! They are some NASTY, nasty stuff! The change in my son is remarkable. It has really changed my thinking about what causes autisim spectrum problems.

Anonymous said...

Any artificial colours, especially orange / red / yellow, MSG, aspartame and gluten. He's also better dairy free but it doesn't make a huge enough difference. There are other triggers as well (apples, almonds and other cyanides) but those aren't generally in his diet so we don't actively avoid them. He's nearly 18 now and extremely good at self-policing his diet. Just as well since he's heading off to University in the autumn.

Anonymous said...

We had my son tested for food allergies and eliminated those items as well as artificial flavors and colors. He is on fish oil, attentive child, ginko, melatonin (to sleep) and b-12 complex. Most people meet him and never have a clue he has Aspergers. It never used to be this way.
27 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

Melatonin had worked for us as well. Psychiatric sedatives do not, but Melatonin does help him sleep!

Anonymous said...

a supplement called eye Q, its specificaly recommended for adults and children on spectrum,can be got in chemists here in u,k,my doctor actualy recommends it for all on spectrum,its a mix of oil of evening primrose and omega 3 fish oils,my husband and children take it,helps keep the calmer and helps concentration,but must not be taken if the person has epilepsy,
22 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

My son has allergies so I have always been very careful with his diet - but have to admit we saw a difference when changing to GFCF (Gluten Free/Casein Free) I also supplement with Omega 3 oils - Eye Q is great but unfortunately my lo cannot handle the tablets yet as he battles to swallow them. I also avoid anything with colourants or too much added sugar ....
17 hours ago · Like

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content