A good number of children on the autism spectrum also suffer from various allergies and food sensitivities.
One of the more common issues related to allergies and autism can be linked to milk, or more specifically, the casein protein.
Casein is naturally produced in the milk of lactose-producing mammals, which include cows, goats and humans. It is the main phosphoprotein that makes up nearly eighty percent of proteins found cow’s milk and cheese. When a person with autism suffers from a casein or dairy allergy, often times, autism symptoms are exacerbated.
Although its effectiveness is still contested by some, many parents opt to place their children on a Gluten-Free Casein Free (GFCF) diet, to help eliminate or curb the autism symptoms caused by milk and dairy. And because gluten (found in wheat and bread) has a similar molecular structure to casein, it too is eliminated from a diet..
This diet is not easy and can often deprive children of essential proteins and nutrients. However, there have been many instances where parents claim that a GFCF diet has reduced or even eliminated the symptoms of autism. In 2000, Parents Magazine published this article written by Karyn Seroussi describing how the elimination of milk "cured" her son’s autism. A great article and well worth the read.
While it doesn’t work for everyone, the elimination of milk, dairy, and gluten from a diet can many times lead to positive results. Before you consider any dietary changes for yourself or your child, please first consult with a doctor to see if a GFCF diet may be right for you.