Experience, not research, is often the best
I feel another rant coming on so I apologise in advance, but this is something I feel very strongly about.
Once again I feel the knowledge and skills of parents is being squashed and undermined by ‘autism professionals’. Right or wrong, this is how I feel.
This is in relation to the Wall Street Journal article that reads, ‘Gluten-Free Diet Has No Benefit for Children With Autism, Study Finds.’
The ‘rigorously conducted study’ only focused on 14 children between the ages of three and five, and they were put on the diet for all of 30 weeks. The study found that ,by eliminating gluten and dairy from the diet, autism symptoms were not improved. Well, perhaps not in the 14 children who were involved in the study, but in the case of my child and thousands of others who are on the gluten free and casein free diet (GFCF), the diet does improve symptoms.
My son was placed on a dairy free diet at the age of three and then we gradually made his diet gluten free. We instantly saw positive results from this change.
His bowel movements became less frequent and, more importantly, he no longer had stomach cramps. He could also concentrate on tasks for longer periods and generally seemed happier. Now could we ‘prove’ his diet was responsible? No, we could not, but not everything needs proof, the evidence was right before our eyes.
We decided to start our son on a GFCF diet with the recommendation from a paediatric dietician, who told us that if it works, then do it! He agreed that, although there is no scientific evidence to back it up, many parents have told of how their child seems much happier, more able to concentrate and have more regular and ‘normal’ bowel movements as a result of being on it.
Stating the biggest worry about this diet is that children may not be getting the required amount of calcium and vitamin D is also inaccurate. This can come from alternative food groups in the diet. Parents are informed on such matters and many, such as myself, will have taken advice from a professional. My son’s diet is not perfect, but we do the best that we can, and he is healthy and growing.