Monday, April 13, 2009

Digestive health and its relationship with behavior in Autism

If you have gone to a DAN! conference then maybe this will be old hat. But, if you haven't or if you are just getting started in the world of Autism and possibly the biomedical treatment of, then this is something you must read (and see). It is a paper from Dr. Krigsman, one of the best GI doctors for kids on the spectrum. The understanding of WHY some foods with Gluten (wheat), Casein (dairy), soy and sometimes corn are bad for our kids is crucial to maintaining an allergen/inflammation free diet. These products produce inflammation in the guts of many of these children. You will read and see very graphic examples of this in his paper. But it helps you (and possibly spouses, grandparents, caregivers, etc) understand why "just one bite" of something the child has an intolerance to WILL HURT. I have said before how baffled I am that this disorder is still diagnosed SOLELY through behavioral/psychiatric characteristics. To me, once I understoond why my son behaved the way he from a physiological level, it helped me persevere through the tough time of getting acclimated to his restricted diet. When you understand that a certain food (that they may crave) does physical damage to their bodies and causes all sorts of behavioral fallout (tantrums, stims, perseverations, etc) you tend to feel better about NOT letting them have it. I have finally lost the feeling that my son is "missing out" on all the junk food in our typical American diet. I know when I don't feel good I certainly don't act my best, I can be grumpy, uncooperative and want to be left alone. Hmmm, sounds familiar.....I have said before, I would rather spend the time cooking the special foods that nourish my son rather than dealing with the meltdowns that come from eating foods that hurt his body. For me that is a no brainer. So read the link below, the photos will astound you. To think that things we normally consume can be so damaging to children with Autism is just shocking, and sad to think of SO many children who probably compensate with pain everyday because so many people overlook the critical role food plays in our health and in Autism.

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