CHILDREN WITH AUTISM HAVE MANY NUTRITIONAL NEEDS
Children with autism have many nutritional needs in their daily lives. Educators need to know what types foods they are able to have in the case that there is a holiday party or birthday in the classroom. These children also may have sensitivities to certain food textures and odors. It is good to be aware of these issues.
Understanding the autism diet is crucial to the health and healing of children with autism. “There are six main diets to consider when researching this area of science: Gluten-Free, Casein-Free (GFCF), Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), Feingold Diet, Body Ecology Diet, Low Oxalate Diet/Phenols, and Weston A. Price (Matthews, 2011). These diets have significant health benefits for children with autism.
The Gluten-Free Casein-Free diet can help children with autism find relief from “gastrointestinal tract abnormalities as well as the clearing up of rashes and eczema” (Matthews, 2011). It is important to effectively follow the diet to see improvements.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet can regulate the digestive system as well as remove bacteria that can cause “gut bugs” (Matthews, 2011).
The Feingold Diet can reduce the build up of phenols that have an affect on behavior. This diet can also reduce phenol sensitive reactions.
The Low Oxalate Diet lowers the amount of oxalate crystals in the body. Oxalate crystals can cause kidney stones and other forms of inflammation and pain. Using this diet can produce significant results in lowering the amount of crystals in the body.
Body Ecology Diet is a treatment to reduce the amount of yeast. It allows for growth of good bacteria as well as “cultivate, nourish, cleanse, and repair their impaired inner ecosystem” (Matthews, 2011).
In addition to the diets mentioned above, the Weston A. Price diet is also another diet used with children with autism. This diet is “high in omega-3, saturated fat, and cholestrol” (Matthews, 2011), that are important for a healthy brain. It also may help with digestion and lower sugar cravings.