Might the behavior of your children improve after removing gluten from their diet?
Gluten is not the cause of all misbehavior in children, however it can play a major role in some cases.
To put it another way, gluten may have nothing to do with your child’s behavioral problems. But if your child has a gluten allergy or has celiac disease, going on a gluten free diet will have a profound effect on their health, and most likely their behavior as well.
This makes me think of my niece, who was really a piece of work from day one, through to when she was about six or seven years old.
When I say she was a piece of work, there were quite a few issues. She was hard to put to bed. My sister used to spend an hour or two with her every night by her bedside, until she fell asleep. Leave her before then, and she yelled and screamed and carried on. She needed to have everything her way, wouldn’t listen, wouldn’t behave herself, and did not socialize well with adults or children.
She almost seemed autistic, but not quite. Mostly she just had bad behavior.
Also, she was always getting sick.
For some reason, my sister decided to take her off gluten.
The results were dramatic. She became a normal child, with above average intelligence and creativity. The intelligence and creativity were always there, but now they were packaged in a child who behaved about normal – as in certainly she is bad sometimes (I’d worry about any child who is never bad!), but over all she is fairly well behaved, socialized normally, goes to bed properly, and has much more patience than she ever did before.
While age has something to do with it, there is no doubt that her character changed quite remarkably once she went on a gluten free diet. The behavioral problems lasted for years, and stopped suddenly as soon as she went off gluten.
You may feel that maintaining a gluten free diet for your child is a chore. You’re right.
The benefits if a gluten free diet far outweigh the effort of maintaining it for those with a gluten allergy or celiac disease. For children (and adults) with these conditions, the benefits of a gluten free diet go far beyond behavior. They reach into every aspect of mental and physical health.
Avoiding gluten is well worth the effort.