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Celiac And Developmental Delays, Speech Delays And Autism Spectrum Disorder


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Sofire

 
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Posted 28 April 2012 - 08:21 AM

Has anyone noticed improvement in a child’s developmental delays or autism spectrum disorder symptoms after a gluten free diet?
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#2 krystynycole

 
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Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:10 AM

As a teacher of children with autism, I have noticed with some children there is a significant decrease in negative behaviors on a gluten free diet. I however have seen the opposite with others and seen no effect. From my experience over the past six years, it is a case by case basis, but more often then not in my students it seems as thought it has helped with children with more aggressive behaviors.
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Gluten Free since November 2010 and feeling fantastic!

(Mis)diagnosis with IBS in 2004
MSG and caffeine free since 2001

#3 maximoo

 
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Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:39 AM

Grab a copy of "gluten Free for Dummies" from the library. Great section on autism.
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#4 Mom2J112903

 
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Posted 30 April 2012 - 04:04 AM

If a child has a gluten intolerance, their behaviors will decrease. If a child does not have any type of gluten intolearnace, there will be no chage.
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Crystal, Stay-at-home and homeschooling Momma to a one and only little warrior man with numerous GI disorders which have lead to Elecare Jr via g-tube as soul nutrition.

#5 Skylark

 
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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:11 AM

Gluten-free/casein-free is a really standard diet to try for autism. It helped my cousin's children who have Asperger's. If you child is doing better off gluten it's well worth a trial of casein-free as well.
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#6 Kelleybean

 
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:11 PM

Has anyone noticed improvement in a child’s developmental delays or autism spectrum disorder symptoms after a gluten free diet?


My son is autistic. We started the gluten-free diet with my son in January of 2011. At first we didn't notice any change, perhaps because we made the transition VERY slowly (over the course of at least 3 months). Over 6 months, his language test scores had jumped by 20 points (from a label of "significantly delayed" to "within normal limits" in several areas). We had him in intensive therapy at the time, so hard to know what can be attributed to the diet vs. the therapy. But there is no doubt that there was a giant leap in his language.

The big indicator for us that the diet was doing something though was when we tried to add gluten back in. We got an e-mail from the teacher, who we did not tell we were gluten testing, asking what on earth was going on with Will and that he was showing behaviors at school that she had never seen before. He was defiant (which is so not him), throwing tantrums, and very "out of it". We also notice an increase in his repetitive behaviors with excessive gluten. We did discover that we could add back in dairy with no apparent affect so he is not dairy free. A relief b/c I actually found eliminating dairy harder than gluten. Through a lot of experimentation, we have also discovered that he can have occasional gluten - birthday cake or whatever - as long as we closely monitor his gluten intake the days after. Several days in a row seems to be what sets him off.

I would highly recommend trying the diet. It's the only way to know b/c blood tests won't necessarily tell you if there is an intolerance. For us, the logic was that this is an intervention with very little risk and has shown to help a lot of kids. I'm also glad that we started when he was young (3 at the time) because he was a lot less set in his ways. A good cookbook is the ADHD&Autism Cookbook. Lot of suggestions in there for dealing with picky eaters, which definitely describes my son.

Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions.
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#7 Cara in Boston

 
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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:55 AM

My son is not autistic, but he had lots of "spectrum-like behaviors" and was assessed three different times (as a toddler in EI, in preschool, and in Kindergarten) He would over-react wildly (to loud noises, smells, irritating clothing), flap his hands whenever agitated, make no eye contact, rarely initiate conversation, repeat words and phrases over and over, etc. He was never diagnosed because he didn't quite fit - he was very social with other children. He is also unusually bright and has a memory like I have never seen in a child. He taught himself to read (has an older brother to imitate) and is reading and doing math at two grade levels above what is expected. So all in all, he was just very unusual and every teacher seemed to think he may fall somewhere on the spectrum.

He was in EI for speech delays and gross motor delays (low tone) until age 3.

At age 5 he was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. The main symptom we saw was a drastic change in behavior - tantrums, meltdowns over the smallest frustration, nothing we did seemed to help, no consequences seemed to matter. He was also quiet and withdrawn and no longer enjoyed the things he had loved (doing homework, reading, legos, etc.)

Once gluten free, the behavior improved immediately and over time, we noticed that he no longer did any of the "quirky" things that had us so concerned. They just disappeared. Now, if he gets accidently glutened, his behavior is atrocious for about 3 or 4 days, then it gradually improves until he is his regular self.

Perhaps he just outgrew the other behaviors or perhaps they were related somehow to his gluten intolerance - I don't know. But there seems to be a connection.

Cara
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#8 Sofire

 
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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:36 AM

Sorry for the late response, my computer is being repaired. Thank you so much for your feedback!

I’m starting a gluten-free preschool and I’d like to incorporate “systems” that will support the full healing and cognitive development of our celiac children. Thank you for the reference. You may also like to check out these articles I’ve obtained from the U.S. Library of medicine…please spread the word!

Celiac disease presenting as autism.Genuis SJ, Bouchard TP.
Source
University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada. sgenuis@ualberta.ca
Abstract
Gluten-restricted diets have become increasingly popular among parents seeking treatment for children diagnosed with autism. Some of the reported response to celiac diets in children with autism may be related to amelioration of nutritional deficiency resulting from undiagnosed gluten sensitivity and consequent malabsorption. A case is presented of a 5-year-old boy diagnosed with severe autism at a specialty clinic for autistic spectrum disorders. After initial investigation suggested underlying celiac disease and varied nutrient deficiencies, a gluten-free diet was instituted along with dietary and supplemental measures to secure nutritional sufficiency. The patient's gastrointestinal symptoms rapidly resolved, and signs and symptoms suggestive of autism progressively abated. This case is an example of a common malabsorption syndrome associated with central nervous system dysfunction and suggests that in some contexts, nutritional deficiency may be a determinant of developmental delay. It is recommended that all children with neurodevelopmental problems be assessed for nutritional deficiency and malabsorption syndromes.
PMID:
19564647
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Association of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and celiac disease: a brief report.Niederhofer H.
Source
Department of Child Psychiatry, Psychiatric Hospital of Rodewisch, Rodewisch, Germany.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
A possible association of celiac disease with psychiatric and psychological disturbances such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been reported repeatedly. The objective of this study was to observe whether a gluten-free diet could alleviate the behavioral symptoms in patients with celiac disease and ADHD.
METHOD:
Sixty-seven subjects aged 7 to 42 years (mean = 11.4 years) with ADHD were enrolled in the study in South Tyrol, Italy, from 2004 to 2008. Hypescheme, an operational criteria checklist that incorporates DSM-IV and ICD-10 criteria, was used to assess ADHD-like symptomatology. Additionally, blood serum levels of all subjects were assessed for possible celiac disease by examining antigliadine and antiendomysium antibodies. A gluten-free diet was initiated for at least 6 months in celiac disease-positive patients with ADHD.
RESULTS:
Of the 67 patients with ADHD, 10 were positive for celiac disease. After initiation of the gluten-free diet, patients or their parents reported a significant improvement in their behavior and functioning compared to the period before celiac diagnosis and treatment, which was evident in the overall mean score on the Hypescheme questionnaire (t = 4.22, P = .023).
CONCLUSIONS:
Celiac disease is markedly overrepresented among patients presenting with ADHD. A gluten-free diet significantly improved ADHD symptoms in patients with celiac disease in this study. The results further suggest that celiac disease should be included in the ADHD symptom checklist.
PMID:
21977364
[PubMed - in process]
PMCID:
PMC3184556
Free PMC Article
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#9 maximoo

 
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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:06 PM

I asked my 17 yo son (mildly autistic) who has been gluten-free for 10 mths if he noticed any differences since going gluten-free. He said that he has better concentration. I did not lead him or anything-completely his own words.
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