Malik eats a very selective diet. He is very sensitive to textures, so it makes his food choices a little difficult. He is definitely a protein boy. If he could, he would eat it all day. His diet consists of any kind of cooked turkey sausage, peanut butter and jellies, fig newtons, Z bars, some cookies, and a few other items once in while. This lack of variety makes it very difficult for him to get his vitamins and nutrients. Which makes for a weak immune system and susceptible to being sick often.
They recommend a GFCF (gluten-free, casein free) diet for kids on the spectrum. This means that the selection of allowable foods is very limited. Gluten is in more than you think and having your child on this type of diet is both time-consuming and expensive.
First I’d like to explain what gluten is and what effects it has on the brain. Gluten is the binding agent found in processed foods from wheat and related grains. It provides elasticity and allows products to rise. It’s reported that over 1% of the population suffers from a gluten intolerance, known as Celiac Disease. It is considered to be the most common human affliction, yet is very often misdiagnosed. People with a gluten intolerance, when it is introduced into the body, causes neurological dysfunction, lack of focus, memory loss, chronic headaches and developmental delays.
Casein is the main protein that is found in both milk and cheeses. It is found in mammals milk. Research shows that people with ASD have an abnormal immune response to the protein in casein.
After researching a great deal, we decided to try the GFCF diet for Malik. We had read stories about how non-verbal children after weeks, even days some times had just blurted out sentences. First week passed, and I waited. They said that if the child didn’t respond to the diet within 4-6 weeks, then there wasn’t a gluten intolerance. Unfortunately after 6 weeks of trying and no words from Malik, we took him off the diet.
Don’t let our outcome keep you from trying the GFCF diet with your child. I’ve heard of some people having amazing outcomes with their children. If you need any ideas, recipes or names of some excellent products let me know and I can steer you in the right direction.