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Diet Treatments Questionable for Autism

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Approximately 20 percent of autistic children are on a gluten- and/or casein-free diet to treat a digestive problem referred to as "leaky gut" or "autistic enterocolitis," in hopes it will lessen their pain and abate their symptoms.

boy clutching stomach

Vivian Manning-Schaffel: But, according to a recent Pediatrics report discovered by the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog, an expert panel has found: "There's no rigorous evidence that digestive problems are more common in children with autism compared to other children, or that special diets work, contrary to claims by celebrities and vaccine naysayers." The study goes on to say, after 25 medical expert panelists gathered in Boston to review research, the existence of leaky gut "has not been established."

The article says: "Painful digestive problems can trigger problem behavior in children with autism and should be treated medically." It says more research is required to establish an autistic predisposition toward digestive problems, and confirm if these diets really work on some kids.

The post provides a response from Lee Grossman, president of the Autism Society: "I think we still have a lot to learn about the gut and how it contributes to behavioral symptoms."

It would be so amazing if something as simple as a modified diet could help children with autism. Actress Jenny McCarthy is a huge advocate of this modified diet. She wrote Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism, about her autistic son Evan and how this modified diet helped him. She also established Generation Rescue, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a biomedical treatment for autism.

What about you guys? Have any of you seen or heard of these diets working?

We'd love to hear your story!


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