Alternative Strategies: Looking beyond “autism” may alleviate symptoms

Many parents and caregivers of children with autism have begun to realize that an ASD diagnosis is just the tip of the iceberg, and that underlying pathologies exist that can respond to appropriate medical treatments. As the vast majority of these treatments are accepted by the medical community for conditions other than “autism” they are still considered “alternative.”

The first go-to alternative treatment for autism often involves dietary intervention. One of the most popular options is the Gluten-Free/Casein-Free (GF/CF) diet which removes wheat- and dairy-containing foods and supplements. It is thought that incomplete digestion of the proteins found in gluten and casein can produce or magnify the symptoms of autism and that eliminating them from the diet can yield significant improvement in some individuals. Other special diets include the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which eliminates hard-to-digest complex carbohydrates that feed harmful bacteria in the digestive system, and the Feingold diet which removes artificial colors and flavors and other synthetic additives from the diet. Implementing one of these diets—and there are many others getting favorable reviews—is well worth the extra effort required to see if your child will be a successful responder. Read Full Article

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