February 2021
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Gluten-Free Diets for Children with Autism

A growing number of individuals are believing that their autistic childrens behavior and symptoms improve when they avoid gluten in their diet. Many of these proponents claim that switching a child with autism to a gluten-free diet can have a significant, positive impact on the child’s life. But the question is, are these two things related and what benefits can a gluten-free diet have for a child?

How Does Gluten Affect an Autistic Child?

Proponents claim that children with autism often have trouble digesting gluten, and that a gluten-free diet can alleviate some of their gastrointestinal problems. Some studies and many theories suggest that autistic children with a diet that contains gluten will have worse symptoms that those who avoid gluten. This means that it may be possible to improve a child’s health and behavior by eating a gluten-free diet.

What Happens When Gluten is Removed from the Diet?

There are several doctors and parents who say they have seen dramatic improvements in an autistic child’s progress once they have switched to a gluten-free diet. Some of the improvements in the behavior include social skills and better grades in school. Such improvements are big accomplishments and can mean a big improvement in the overall quality of life for the child. Furthermore, removing gluten from the diet has often alleviated the gastrointestinal problems experienced by many children with autism. This can help to improve the childs overall health and quality of life. Some children will experience improvements in weeks of being on a gluten-free diet and for others it may take up to 6 months.

Where Can I Find Gluten-Free Foods?

For certain gluten-free specialty foods, there may be some higher costs. Luckily, the popularity of gluten-free foods is on the rise which means a greater variety of foods and the price is starting to go down. The best way to find gluten-free products is a gluten-free shopping guide. This can help parents navigate the many choices at their grocery store and find the products that will be the best for their child. There are also lots of gluten-free cookbooks that can help parents find ways to create meals for the whole family which contain no gluten.

Parents should be careful to ensure their child is still receiving adequate nutrition while on a gluten-free diet. A gluten-free grocery shopping guide will help to walk parents through the process.

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