Here is a mother’s experience with a gluten-sensitive child who has Asperger syndrome and one way to deal with it.
Different children may react to gluten in different ways, so find out what works best in your case.
Christine left this long and helpful comment which deserves to be an article in its own right.
If your childrens’ test shows they don’t have celiac, then how strict you want to be depends on what you observe. This is the case in our family. I have celiac but my children don’t. Youppi !
At first, we were doing low-gluten diet for my Aspie [Asperger syndrome, in autism spectrum] son, then we realized that once a week was still too much and decided instead of having the so-so pizza at school lunch once a week, we would go to a resto with real good pizza once every other month.
Basically, an exception once a month is OK. However, last week it was my son’s birthday, he wanted to go to Outback and have the bread. I didn’t go because I couldn’t risk accidental gluten exposure (it puts me do bed for 3 days) because of an important meeting the following day. My husband, who finds me annoying at times, was in charge of controlling the amount of gluten for the night.
Well, the following day, my husband saw our son trying to speak to his teacher and he could not look at her in the eyes, kept looking everywhere but at her, was stuttering, basically a very autistic behavior. My husband was so angry with himself.
Our son was better the next day. But the question is: is there permanent brain damage done, since our children’s brains are still growing?
So my advice is before birthday parties, feed your kids so they are not hungry, let them have a tiny bit of everything, the cake the ice cream. Avoid food coloring (I was underestimating this until last Halloween, see Dr Feingold diet for more info or see Wikipedia to know what goes in the colors, I dont get why it is allowed in our food).
Make sure your kids know that these foods (gluten and dairy) make them act weird and that is how they can lose their friends. My 11-year old daughter with ADHD did not want to stop gluten and dairy until I was able to show her the connection between her depression crises and what she had eaten during playdates. Now she’s sold.
So it is easier, they know if they eat the bad stuff at the bday party, they may start acting in a way that will not go well with their friends, or be sad, be mean, or as my son was told: weird.
What is your experience with Asperger or autism and a gluten free diet? Leave a comment!