Jump to content
  • Sign Up
  • Join Our Community!

    Get help in our celiac / gluten-free forum.

  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    How Effective is a Gluten-free, Casein-free Diet for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 04/11/2012 - Studies on the gluten-free and/or casein-free (Gluten-free Casein-free) dietary intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) suggest that some children may positively respond to implementation of the dietary intervention.

    Photo: Jefferson AdamsOther studies support the idea of using various factors, including gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities and immune function to classify children diagnosed with ASDs

    Medical researchers Christine M. Pennesi, and Laura Cousino recently examined the effectiveness of the gluten-free, casein-free diet for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. They are affiliated with the Department of Biobehavioral Health at the Pennsylvania State University in Pennsylvania, USA.

    For their study, Pennesi and Cousino presented a 90-question online survey to parents or primary caregivers of children diagnosed with ASD. The survey asked about the efficacy of the Gluten-free Casein-free diet. The survey included questions about the children's GI symptoms, food allergy diagnoses, and suspected food sensitivities, as well as the degree and length of their dietary regime. In all, they received 387 responses.

    Parents who reported GI symptoms, food allergy diagnoses, and suspected food sensitivities also reported greater improvement in ASD behaviors, physiological symptoms, and social behaviors, compared with parents who reported symptoms, diagnoses, or sensitivities in their children (P < 0.05).

    Parents who reported strict diet adherence, full gluten/casein elimination and infrequent diet errors during and outside of parental care, also reported improvement in ASD behaviors, physiological symptoms, and social behaviors, compared with parents who reported less strict adherence, incomplete gluten/casein elimination, and more frequent diet errors during and outside of parental care (P < 0.05).

    The full report appears in Nutritional Neuroscience. There, the authors write that findings suggest that diet adherence and GI and immune factors may help to differentiate diet responders from diet non-responders. They also suggest that the findings support the importance of further investigations into the various factors that influence efficacy of treatment in children with ASDs.

    Source:


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Am I misunderstanding something here? It looks to me like they're trying to suggest the results of an online survey have some kind of scientific relevance?

     

    An online survey? Really?!

     

    The people who voluntarily filled out this survey will very likely be among the passionate parents desperate for results... parents who have for years willfully ignored the lack of scientific evidence to support the use of a GFCS diet for treating autism.

     

    There's nothing "scientific" about such an online survey.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I did not fill out the survey but I can speak from experience. My son has mild aspergers. He was not diagnosed until age 17, however this has been a very long journey. He has been an extremely difficult child since about age 1. As parents we were told to be firmer with him, force him to sleep with drugs, and that we must be exaggerating his behavior problems. At age 11 we discovered that he had celiac disease after going on an allergen free diet. The difference in his behavior was a miracle. He still has some issues but they are night and day. Whenever he eats gluten the behaviors come back. He can actually describe the sensations to me now that he is 17 and much more aware of his body. Trust me he is 6'4" tall and pure muscle and eating 4000 calories a day. Feeding him a gluten free diet is very expensive and I wouldn't be doing it if it didn't help.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    I did not fill out the survey but I can speak from experience. My son has mild aspergers. He was not diagnosed until age 17, however this has been a very long journey. He has been an extremely difficult child since about age 1. As parents we were told to be firmer with him, force him to sleep with drugs, and that we must be exaggerating his behavior problems. At age 11 we discovered that he had celiac disease after going on an allergen free diet. The difference in his behavior was a miracle. He still has some issues but they are night and day. Whenever he eats gluten the behaviors come back. He can actually describe the sensations to me now that he is 17 and much more aware of his body. Trust me he is 6'4" tall and pure muscle and eating 4000 calories a day. Feeding him a gluten free diet is very expensive and I wouldn't be doing it if it didn't help.

    May I ask, Laura, how did you get your son to change his diet? Our son is 13 and is very phobic when it comes to foods. We encourage him all the time to try new foods (same foods encouraged several times) and he simply will not budge. Just trying to get him to try one bite of a new food has begun WWIII in our house. Have any suggestions?

     

    Son's dxs:

    Aspergers

    ADHD

    Anxiety

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    I did not fill out the survey but I can speak from experience. My son has mild aspergers. He was not diagnosed until age 17, however this has been a very long journey. He has been an extremely difficult child since about age 1. As parents we were told to be firmer with him, force him to sleep with drugs, and that we must be exaggerating his behavior problems. At age 11 we discovered that he had celiac disease after going on an allergen free diet. The difference in his behavior was a miracle. He still has some issues but they are night and day. Whenever he eats gluten the behaviors come back. He can actually describe the sensations to me now that he is 17 and much more aware of his body. Trust me he is 6'4" tall and pure muscle and eating 4000 calories a day. Feeding him a gluten free diet is very expensive and I wouldn't be doing it if it didn't help.

    Yeah I know. My son is in his 30's now. I have celiac and now I know he has it. I had a hell of a time with him since he was a baby. He cried all the time and I mean all the time.

     

    If I had known this things would be different today. We both had these issues with this and did not know it. Now his life is a mess and he is still eating gluten. He has no money for nothing now as he don't have a job.

     

    I think it is sad. I still get sick. He still eats gluten and does not stop as he can't afford an other foods.

     

    Sad If I had known it could have been different for him at least.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    This article is very subjective. Parents of kids with PDD may perceive all kinds of changes when they try different treatments that can be caused by many factors. I work with a physician who did a small study (randomized controlled trial) on the GFD in kids with autism and found no change in behavior. In these situations, randomized controlled trials are what is needed to show if the GFD truly has benefit for these patients.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    We too have had very positive results by using the gluten-free diet for our son now 17 with an ASD. The positive results were so pronounced that they were noticed by teachers, family and friends. Anyone that has seen the difference in him is a believer. I find it sad when one feels we have to wait for science to give us the assurance to pursue something that is so harmless and may have such a strong impact.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    I did not fill out the survey but I can speak from experience. My son has mild aspergers. He was not diagnosed until age 17, however this has been a very long journey. He has been an extremely difficult child since about age 1. As parents we were told to be firmer with him, force him to sleep with drugs, and that we must be exaggerating his behavior problems. At age 11 we discovered that he had celiac disease after going on an allergen free diet. The difference in his behavior was a miracle. He still has some issues but they are night and day. Whenever he eats gluten the behaviors come back. He can actually describe the sensations to me now that he is 17 and much more aware of his body. Trust me he is 6'4" tall and pure muscle and eating 4000 calories a day. Feeding him a gluten free diet is very expensive and I wouldn't be doing it if it didn't help.

    My son is 24 and was diagnosed with aspergers at 15. He is also deaf. He has always had stomach issues and now I am wondering if this isn't the reason. His behaviors are worse some days than others. Can this diet help to change behaviors after all of this time?

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Join the conversation

    You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

×
×
  • Create New...