The dairy free/casein free diet

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aaandreaaa
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29 Jan 2008, 4:57 pm

Hi,
I have a 13 year old bother with asperger. He has been on the dairy free/casein free fiet since august now, but I don't see any changes in him at all. What exactly is this diet supposed to do? He seems exactly the same to me. What are your experiences with the diet?

He spends most of his time by the computer, and hates doing his homework. Any ideas on what we could do to? Should we limit hs time by the computer or not? He is very creative, and he makes animated movies and upload them on Youtube. To me that seems like a good thing, but is it?

Any ideas on how to make him do his homework without us having to force him to do them? He spends hours with simple tasks just because he is complaining about how hard they are. It's very draining for my mother and I to have to sit with him for hours without getting any work done. He gets less homework than the rest of his class - should we ask the teacher to give him even less?

Thanks :)



KimJ
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29 Jan 2008, 5:28 pm

There seem to be a lot of myths going on about the GF/CF diet. Many autistics have allergies, some autistics have food allergies, some of these are Gluten and Casein allergies (proteins found in wheat and dairy). Some people have gluten allergies only (causing Celiac disease), which injure the bowels and cause them to be temporarily lactose intolerant.

Some people try the gluten free diet before confirming a gluten allergy. This isn't really good, a lot of people think "trying anything" is okay. The problem is that abstaining from gluten (wheat products) creates a subsequent sensitivity to it. So, the person (or parent of person) becomes convinced that the person indeed had an allergy to gluten.

Allergies seem to exacerbate "autistic traits" like irritability, language deficits, lack of organized thoughts. Once you remove the allergen, you should see a difference. My son has cat and grass allergies. It's pretty easy to see when he's been exposed or not.



jaydog
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29 Jan 2008, 9:55 pm

hmm you need alot more then that diet... checkout these threads...

if your child is on a dairy-free,casein free diet, read this

also you may want to checkout this thread too, since you need to focus more on the gut... as this thread below has some interesting videos and information.

Nutrition and information on Autism-gut,stomach problems??



ster
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30 Jan 2008, 6:35 am

the diet won't help with tthings like task avoidance ( not wanting to do homework and chores). i'd get some books, if you haven't already, that would help you figure out what to do..............exactly how long does he take doing simple chores ?



laplantain
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31 Jan 2008, 2:39 am

We have seen great improvements on the diet. I don't know if it is psychological or not, but my son is only 4, so I don't know if that would affect him. I do know that we do a gluten, casein, and sugar free diet with no preservatives, additives, or artificial food colors, plus limit the amt of soy because that protein is also not that easily digestible. He drinks enriched rice milk and oj with calcium, which I heard is not as absorbable as the calcium in dairy, but he's a great eater and will eat spinach, etc by the handfuls so I don't really worry about that.

I didn't believe in the diet myself until he tested positive for a lot of environmental allergies, which I was unaware of, and an allergist recommended the diet to us 2 months ago.
The way he explained it, there is a difference between an allergy and a sensitivity or intolerance to something, and these have a way of building up on each other. Because my husband also tested positive for environmental allergies but negative for food allergies, had the same physical delays as our son when he was a child, and has more gut issues than our son.

Anyway, every single therapist and teacher who works with our son has been raving about the progress he has made since returning to school after winter break, which was one month after being on the diet and even having gone off of it for a few days during the holidays. The OT's eyes are glowing when she talks about him. The supervisor for his behavior therapy was practically speechless and said he was a different child. His adaptive p.e. teacher said his balance and coordination have sudddenly improved. His teachers say he started talking and participating in class. He even stands up straighter like his nervous system got a little tune up. He even had two moms who know us very well in tears when they saw him talking and playing with them and their kids. One of them had never heard him speak a word. The other had heard him speak to me but had never gotten him to respond to anything she said or did, and she's known him since he was 3 months old.

The newest and biggest thing for me right now is that he started asking about the behavior of other children on the playground and at the park. He wants to know about the little baby girl following people with a stick yesterday and wanting to role play what happened, saying "it was her fault", I guess because she didn't get in trouble but his friend got in trouble for trying to poke her back. Today he also asked about the boy who tried to push him off the rock. He said, "Why did he do that? That wasn't right." And "why did that kid take off his shirt?"

Granted his play skills are still not typical. He still spends a lot of his time lying in the sand or on the bench, but he does get up and play with certain kids. Maybe I'm making this out to be more than it is, but until now he didn't seem to care at all what anyone else was doing, let alone bother asking about them. When he looked at other kids, it seemed more to see if they were going to get too close to him rather than out of any kind of interest in their actions or motivations.

Of course, I was seeing great results with only his therapies, which he has been receiving for a year and a half now. But he made the most visible leap in the last 2 months on the diet.

Now for my husband. My husband now introduces himself to people he doesn't know- walks right up to them and shakes their hand. He reminded me to take my medicine, said I needed a new cell phone, did the dishes when I got sick last week, and said, "I think we should go to the beach tonight and watch the sunset," something we have never ever done together, and we live a block from the beach. May not sound like a big deal to anybody who doesn't know him, but to me it is HUGE. More than huge. It has literally saved our marriage. Because before this, I thought I was married to the walking dead. He says he can now feel when his mind is going into a fog every few days, but at least he is aware of it, and he is more lucid now than ever in this life.
Even our son's doctor noticed it and said to him, "I am glad you are participating in this discussion now. Usually I am trying to pull you into the conversation and your wife does all the talking. Now you are coming up with your own ideas and taking part."

So is it the diet? I can't say for sure, but we have definitely seen a major shift in our home since being on it. Timing, coincidence, accumulation of events, I can't be sure. But I am going to stick to it. I do know this, that soy, wheat, or dairy is in practically everything we can buy at our local grocery store. I can see how some people's systems can be overloaded, because they put it in almost everything now. Just read the labels in your kitchen. I saw a dr on CNN say that something like 10? years ago, there was no soy in America's food products. Now you will see it in lots of stuff. If people weren't born sensitive to it, maybe eating so much of it might create a sensitivity to it. Same for preservatives, etc. Luckily, we live near enough to a large Whole Foods that we can go to once a week.

So here is one vote for the GFCF (and sugar, additive, preservative, and artifical coloring free) diet.