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Posts Tagged ‘autism treatment’

6 Great Diets for Autistic Children

Monday, June 6th, 2011



What are the best diets for children with autism? Here are some gluten-free diet dips, plus 5 more great eating plans for kids with special needs.


Autism is a brain disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate feelings, desires, and needs. Autistic children are often referred to as “special needs,” because they require individualized attention.

One common symptom of autism is the tendency to suffer gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps and constipation. According to Livestrong, almost half of all children diagnosed with autism spectrum require a special diet, such as a gluten-free diet plan, to prevent stomach upset. Additionally, scientists have also noticed a decrease in some of the behavioral signs of autism in children who followed special diets.

Below is a list of 6 popular diets for children with autism which have been found to drastically improve their health:

1) Gluten-Free Diet (GF)

Gluten is a protein which occurs naturally in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Many individuals, in addition to children with Asperger’s syndrome or other forms of autism, have benefited greatly from removing all products which contain gluten from their diet. A wide range of bakery items, mixes, packaged snack foods and flours which are labeled gluten-free are available at most health food stores. Grains which do not have gluten are popcorn, brown rice and whole-grain corn meal.
2) Casein-Free Diet (CF)

Casein is a protein found all milk products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, cream and milk derivatives, such as whey. Many people who benefit from a dairy-free diet will often omit gluten as well.  The gluten free-casein free (GFCF) diet has helped children and adults manage allergies and promote intestinal health.

3) Body Ecology Diet (BED)

The Body Ecology Diet was developed to correct digestive flora when fungal infections occur in the gut.

Based on the theory that autism and a multitude of other health problems are caused by pathogenic organisms which escape the infected gut and attack the rest of the body, the BED diet incorporates a combination of cultured foods, healthy oils and reduced carbohydrates and sugars for generating good bacteria in the intestines.

4) Low Oxalate Diet

Oxalates are salts which occur in naturally in many vegetables, fruits and other plant-based food items, such as sweet potatoes, strawberries and chocolate. A low-oxalate diet is often prescribed for people who get kidney stones.

Many autistic children whose parents have restricted oxalates from their diets have experienced improved urinary tract health, clearer skin when eczema was a factor, better digestive health, and enhanced feelings of wellness.

5) Nutrient-Rich Diet

The inclusion of various vitamin-rich foods, supplements, healthy oils, lean proteins and dietary fiber has been used as an autism treatment for children with autism spectrum and Asperger’s, in addition to children with ADHD.

Children with autism who suffer vitamin B12 deficiency, for example, often feel fatigued, irritable and restless. Nutritionists who treat special needs children have noted a rapid improvement in mental clarity, energy levels and overall health with the addition of beneficial vitamin B12 supplements and omega-3 foods, such as salmon, flaxseed and walnuts, t0 their diet.

6) Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SC)

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was originally developed for patients of Crohn’s disease and colitis, and is based on the premise that rotted, undigested carbohydrates sit in the gut and harm our immune system. The SC diet recommends restricting certain carbohydrates, while encouraging the consumption protein foods such as meat, fish and eggs, vegetables and fruit, and healthy oils, such as nuts and seeds.

If you liked this article, you might also like:

10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children

Can a Gluten-Free Diet Ease Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Top 10 Children’s Books Which Raise Autism Awareness

Autism, B12 and Your Child

Support for Parents of Autistic Children







New Music Video Game Engages Autistic Children

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Guitar Heroes for Kids with Autism


A musical video game which uses the same technology as Guitar Heroes may be used in special-needs classrooms as an educational autism treatment.

Designed by John Steven, graduate of the University of Abertay Dundee, the newly publicized computer kids game teaches young students with autism spectrum disorder about basic colors and shapes in a visually appealing, non-intimidating atmosphere.

Music and colors soothe children with autism

In this interactive game, players are persuaded to click on keys which correspond to various geometric shapes; children are rewarded with different musical chords at each click, depending on which shape they choose. With each correct answer, a virtual flower begins to grow and eventually bloom by the end of the game. Studies have found that children with autism learn better with programs which incorporate melodies, colorful images, repetitive movements and positive reinforcement. The video game utilizes similar guidelines, followed by many popular forms of autism therapy which help children learn to relax and focus in the classroom.

In a world which is filled with many limitations and “can’t do’s,” John’s video game is a breath of fresh air for autistic children who rarely feel a sense of control in the classroom. Whether at home or at school, special needs children are able to complete each simple, progressive goals and feel a sense of accomplishment while, at the same time, learning important developmental skills.


Filling the video game void for children with autism

The video game was introduced at the university’s Creative Sound Production Graduation Ceremony.

John Steven was influenced by his mother, who has worked with special-needs children in the classrooms. He laments that similar educational video games for autistic children are practically non-existent.

But don’t expect to see his invention on the video game market just yet. “There’s so much more work to do, from testing and developing the game further to finding a company to work with to build a prototype controller. This is just the start,” he says.

For information about how autistic children can benefit from vitamin B12 supplements, please read Autism, B12 and Your Child

More good reads:

10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children

Top 10 Children’s Books Which Raise Autism Awareness

Celebrities for Autism Awareness Month






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