Condition Spotlight

Autism is a severe, sometimes lifelong behavioral disorder with no known single cause or cure. Alternative treatment programs, including diet, nutritional supplementation, environmental medicine, auditory training, craniosacral therapy, and behavior therapy have been helpful in allowing some autistic individuals to participate in society with a greater degree of success, even resulting in cures for a few

Vitamin D and Autism: The Missing Link

I first became interested in vitamin D when I learned that it is not a vitamin. Instead, it is the only known substrate of a seco-steroid neuro-hormone that functions, like all steroids, by turning genes Read More

Anxiety in Autistic Children

For 10-year-old Josh Myers, the world outside his home is a terrifying place. His severe autism makes unfamiliar situations so distressing that he often refuses to walk, preferring to ride in a youth stroller with Read More

New tests to indicate autism in children

Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASDs are defined as developmental disorders mainly affecting social interaction and they can include a wide spectrum of behavioral problems. These include speech disturbances, repetitive and/or compulsive behavior, hyperactivity, anxiety, and Read More

Improving the Symptoms of Autism

Researchers have been working to understand the link between vitamin D and autism for years. Autism now affects about one in every 68 children, according to statistics presented by Autism Speaks, which makes autism one Read More

Can autism be impacted by cats?

As a former school nurse in the Columbia Public Schools, Gretchen Carlisle would often interact with students with disabilities who took various medications or had seizures throughout the day. At some schools, the special education Read More

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, ASD affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today.

We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because it is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with ASD learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.

Some doctors recommend an autism diet. This means reducing or eliminating gluten and casein from the diet. Gluten is a protein in the seeds of wheat and other grains, such as barley and rye. Gluten is in many food products and can cause digestive problems.

Casein is a protein in milk products, and it may be another common source of digestive issues. It’s thought that both gluten and casein can be inflammatory and that reducing them from the diet can help overall health and behavior in those who have autism.

According to the Autism Society, the average American diet includes more wheat and dairy products than is necessary. These proteins can also significantly affect behavior. According to University of Florida Department of Pediatrics, this is because peptides in gluten and casein bind to opioid receptors in the brain.