A gluten-free, casein free diet is recommended for Aspergers kids – and adults. Often moms and dads feel rather overwhelmed with such a restrictive diet, and only opt to embrace it as a last resort. Results vary when using a gluten-free, casein free diet – but the keyword here is RESULT. You can expect some result.
Kids with Aspergers (high functioning autism) usually have gastrointestinal problems (e.g., reflux, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting and hiccups). It is well-known that the proteins found in wheat, rye, oats, barley and dairy products (gluten and casein) are NOT completely broken down in kids with Aspergers. These undigested proteins can leak into the bloodstream, potentially interfering with neurological processes by having an opiate-like effect upon their systems.
It's suggested that these undigested proteins (peptides) can reach toxic levels, with the Asperger youngster seeming to "crave" milk and wheat products. Symptoms of gluten/casein intolerance include red cheeks and ears, dry skin, runny nose, headaches, hyperactivity, tantrums and malformed bowel movements.
Moms and dads report a variety of outcomes, including:
- improved fine motor skills
- improved focus and attention span
- improved intestinal function
- improved personal hygiene habits
- improved sleep patterns
- improved social skills
- improved speech and communication
- increase in affection shown
- reduction of tantrums and irritability
So a gluten-free, casein-free diet is definitely worth considering for your Asperger youngster. You don't have to feel overwhelmed by the restrictive nature of the diet. I suggest simply starting slowly and eliminating one group (either gluten or casein) at a time. Once you're comfortable without wheat or dairy products, then you can tackle the next element. If you see a desirable result from eliminating one component, you may decide not to go any further.
Simply substituting gluten-free flour in all recipes I used was a simple but highly effective action. I'm a home-baker, so in any cakes, biscuits, slices and desserts I just substituted gluten-free flour in my usual recipes. I didn't add any extras like Xantham gum, and didn't have any failures.
Finding an alternative to bread was our biggest obstacle. The gluten-free varieties just weren't the same, so instead we excluded bread altogether. The gluten-free pastas on the market are excellent, but do tend to cook slightly quicker.
I suggest you email all the major distributors of snack foods, such as muesli bars and fruit slices and ask for a list of their gluten-free products. This helps with easy identification at the store. Eating out is difficult at first, but if you mention you're gluten-free most restaurant or cafe chefs will gladly prepare something gluten-free.
The gluten-free, casein-free diet finally eliminated all our grandson's known trigger foods such as peanut butter, chocolate and caffeine in sodas. We stayed on the diet strictly for 10 months before gradually reintroducing gluten. We have seen no return of the eliminated characteristics in our grandson (all of those mentioned above). We have continued to use gluten-free pasta and flour in our cooking.
I believe that the gluten-free diet had a detoxifying effect not only on our Aspergers grandson, but on all of us, and the benefits have been obvious. So be adventurous and try a gluten-free/casein-free diet for your Asperger youngster....you may be nicely surprised!
More diet tips especially for Aspergers children—
- Reduce and eliminate foods containing artificial ingredients, preservatives and coloring
- Reduce and eliminate foods with high sugar, salt and fat content
- Incorporate more fresh foods into the diet
- Always eat breakfast; this meal is key for regulating energy levels, brain power, and moods
- Have healthy go-to foods on hand, such as apples and peanut butter, carrots, and celery, granola bars, fruit and nut mixes, yogurt with fruit, hard boiled eggs, cheese and crackers
- For picky eaters not fond of vegetables or ‘healthy foods’, check out health food stores or farmers’ market for homemade sauces, herb vinegars, and dressings free of preservatives or chemicals to add flavor to meals
Supplements for Aspergers children—
Herbal and homeopathic remedies can be viable alternatives to synthetic drugs and may be just as effective, with far fewer risks and side effects. It is important that you only use natural remedies from a reliable source, as the quality of herbs used as well as methods of preparation may affect the strength and effectiveness of the remedy.
Depending on the symptoms that need treatment, certain herbal and homeopathic ingredients may be recommended as part of a holistic treatment plan, such as:
• Chamomila (6C) is used homeopathically for kids who are irritable and difficult to please, as well as for those with a low pain threshold. It is also well–known for its soothing effect on infant colic, symptoms of teething babies and its ability to promote sleepiness naturally.
• Cina (6C) is used homeopathically to relieve irritability, increase tolerance and prevent temper tantrums. Regular use of Cina is also thought to make kids less stubborn and more affectionate.
• Melissa officinalis has been studied for its beneficial effect on the nervous system, and is well-known for its soothing and calming properties.
• Passiflora is known for its soothing properties as a general nerve tonic to help naturally maintain a positive demeanor, balance emotions, settle the nerves and ease minor worries, as confirmed by clinical research.
• St. John’s Wort, which has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and research has confirmed the positive effects of this herb on mental and emotional health.
Natural remedies may often contain a combination of ingredients for best effect. A holistic treatment plan aims to address the underlying cause of the problem and does not just treat the symptoms in isolation. In this way, it provides an all-around approach to greater well-being.
• Anonymous said... gonna get him off milk and switch to almond milk. Sticking with doTerra for now too... Have a few calming blends that seem to work well for him.
• Anonymous said... How about dosage/how to give it...? Capsule or liquid? Dosage size when taking them all together? And I noticed the ratio between Omega 3 and 6. Are they bought separately and I believe hemp oil contains both. I know if I start asking our psychiatrist about it, she will dismiss it and insist on the drugs. So I wanna know ahead of time just how much of each I may want to start him on.
Thanks so much!
• Anonymous said... I did a bit more searching, and hit up Sprouts today. The woman in the vitamin area was super knowledgable and helpful too! I'm getting him started on vitamin C, B6 w/ magnesium, ground flaxseed (to mix into foods/drinks), and hemp oil... As well as a child probiotic. I have a game plan, and when we head to the psychiatrist next month, hopefully she will be supportive, but not holding my breath. Wanna start weaning him off the drugs at that time. While there, I studied the aisles, luckily much of what I buy is gluten free, but I did find a few new substitutions I can make.
• Anonymous said... I have seen too many kids with Autism. Aspergers and ADHD that have been drugged to the gills to "control" their condition. I believe that trying a holistic, heathy approach may hopefully work. Fingers crossed. If I come across anything when researching for articles, I will let you know xxoo
• Anonymous said... We all, as a family, practice Clean Eating and eat raw as much as possible. All organic, VERY little processed foods, no soda or fast food, no GMOs or anything artificial, very little sugar (but when we do, it's raw coconut sugar). We try to be as gluten free as possible, but it gets tricky. I guess I could be more diligent though. We use coconut flour rather than regular flour, and buy only gluten free organic cereals. Dairy is my big fail. Maybe a switch to almond milk is in order! With 4 kids, only 1 with AS, it will be a struggle to get the other 3 to let go of dairy milk and cheese! Thanks for all the info!!!
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