Over the years, I’ve learned things regarding diet and children with autism, ADHD, ADD, etc. Having a son who is on the spectrum, this piqued my interest.
Since my son doesn’t have major tummy troubles or other significant symptoms of Celiac Disease, and reading articles stating that there’s no definitive evidence to link gluten intolerance with autism or other behavioral problems, I moved on.
But according to Lisa Lewis, author of Special Diets for Special Kids,”Studies have shown that many children on the autism spectrum lack the enzyme responsible for effectively breaking down gluten and casein (DPP-IV).” (pg. 20). She also goes on to explain how mercury can play a role in this problem.
After reading the introduction of Special Diets for Special Kids and speaking with several friends who saw great results with their own children, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.
Before our school day, I made sure that my son’s diet was gluten-free. It was amazing what a difference we saw. He seems to take a long while to organize his thoughts, and I witnessed quicker responses and improvements in his spelling assignments.
Later I learned that Ginger root, Astragalus, and Gingko are considered beneficial to children on the spectrum. And we can’t leave out chiropractic–another modality of care which many parents say has helped their child.
We enjoy using Essential Oils every day in our home, and since we focus on revving up his cognitive processing, we diffuse lemon, peppermint, and a couple of other energizing blends. For those looking for a calming effect, Gernanium, Bergamot, Lavender, and Frankincense are thought to be excellent soothing scents.
Important note: I’ve read in several places not to use these oils if there are serious negative emotions at the time. Aromatherapy is a powerful tool, and the child may start to associate the fragrance with the negativity.
And don’t leave out physical activity! Since our young man needs input, we’ll sometimes have him hop on one foot, or simply run around the back yard. He’ll return ready to work!
New books and discoveries come out frequently, as new information is available, so continue reading and doing your own research. The above are just a few things we use as a whole-person approach and what works in our family.
Each child is an individual, so please contact a Naturopath or Holistic Health Practitioner for specific tools and ideas that will work with your current plan-of-action.
This post is written by the mom of special needs children, including one on the autism spectrum and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice.
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