Can A Gluten Free Diet Help Children with ASD?
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are developmental disorders that affect a child’s ability to communicate and interact socially with those around them.
Some parents have found that putting their child on a gluten and casein free diet has helped to improve the behavioural problems children on the autism spectrum often have. Although some clinical studies have been done, there is not enough evidence to medically support the claim at the moment. However, going gluten and dairy free does have potential health benefits, so it may be worth a try.
As with any dietary change, we recommend speaking to your doctor or nutritionist beforehand.
What are Gluten and Casein?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat-based products like bread, pastries and other baked goods. Ingredients like barley, rye and oats contain other gluten-like substances that some people will be able to tolerate and others may not. Some people have an autoimmune condition triggered by gluten, known as coeliac disease, but there are also people who have a milder sensitivity to it. Read more
How To Help Your Child When They Start School
Starting school can be a stressful time for any child, but the combination of a change in routine, new sensory experiences and a lack of understanding from others can make the day overwhelming for a child with autism.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects how the brain develops, which means children with the condition have trouble with communication and social interaction. Intellectual disability, motor coordination difficulties, repetitive behaviours and physical health issues such as sleep disturbances are often associated with ASD.1 However, at the other end of the spectrum there are people with average to high IQs who excel in music, maths or art. This includes those with Asperger’s syndrome.2
There are a number of things you can do to help minimise the stress for your child, encourage a good relationship with the school and to ensure your little one has the support they need.
Creating a Good Relationship with the School
It’s really important to build a strong relationship with the school to ensure your child receives the best support possible. Every child is different, so everything should be tailored to their individual needs and personality.
Your child’s class teacher and SENCO (Special Educational needs Co-ordinator)3 are important people to talk to as they will have most contact with your child at school. Book regular meetings with them to discuss any problems and suggest solutions, and give them a profile of your child before their first day.