The Importance of a
Gluten and Casein-Free Diet

What is it and why try it?

  • Many autistic children have problems breaking down the proteins that are found in dairy, wheat, oats, barley, rye and spelt. These proteins are more commonly refered to as caseins (in dairy products) and glutens (in grains).
  • The incomplete breakdown results in small peptide chains which pass from the intestines into the bloodstream and eventually wind up in the brain as caso-morphines and gluto-morphines.
  • The morphines interfere with the transmission of the nerve impulses in the brain affecting behavior and development.
  • Research shows that putting your autistic child on a gluten and casein-free diet may be the most effective action you can take to help combat autism.

Do I need it?

There are several ways you can determine if a diet like this will help:
  • Test your child's blood and urine for specific indicators.
  • Monitor your child's eating habits, looking for a self-limited diet that focuses on only a few foods. (Usually rich in dairy or glutens). These cravings are an indicator.
  • Look for both skin and bowel problems.
  • Many children who can benefit from this diet show an inability to feel pain. (This is caused by the morphines that enter the body after the incomplete breakdown of glutens and caseins).

Will it be hard to do?

DON'T PANIC! You may think it is an impossible thing to do, but once you get some basic information, you'll see that it really isn't that hard.
  • Some parents  are afraid that if they take away the few foods that their child will eat, that he or she will starve. NOT TRUE. Your child's selection of foods will actually increase.
  • All of your childs favorite foods will still be availabe in gluten and casein-free versions. Ex: pizza, chicken nuggets, cake, ice-cream and so much MORE.

How can I start?

  • First learn as much as you can about the diet!
  • Understand why the diet is important, and know what to expect when your child goes on it.
  • It is not uncommon for the behavior of your child to get worse for a short period of time after going on the diet. Don't be alarmed. It is actually a good sign.