❑ Eat a high-fiber diet consisting of 50 to 75 percent raw foods, including large amounts of fruits and vegetables plus brown rice, lentils, and potatoes. Autism Recommendations. For protein, eat beans and legumes, fish, raw nuts and seeds, skinless white turkey or white chicken breast, tofu, and low-fat yogurt.
❑ Eliminate alcohol, caffeine, canned and packaged foods, carbonated beverages, chocolate, all junk foods, refined and processed foods, salt, sugar, sweets, saturated fats, soft drinks, and white flour from the diet. Avoid foods that contain artificial colors or preservatives. Avoid fried and fatty foods such as bacon, cold cuts, gravies, ham, luncheon meats, sausage, and all dairy products except for low-fat soured products. Autism Recommendations
❑ Omit wheat and wheat products from the diet.
❑ Drink steam-distilled water.
❑ Get regular moderate exercise.
❑ Use an elimination diet to test for food allergies, which can aggravate the condition.
❑ Have a hair analysis test to rule out heavy metal poisoning. Autism Recommendations
❑ Try to improve blood oxygen supply to the brain with deep breathing exercises. Hold your breath for thirty seconds each half hour for a thirty-day period. Autism Recommendations. This promotes deeper breathing and helps to increase oxygen levels in the tissues of the brain.
❑ Do not go without food. Eating frequent small meals daily is better than eating two or three large meals.
❑ In the medical sense, there is no cure for the differences in the brain that result in ASD. However, researchers are finding better ways to understand the disorder and help people cope with the various symptoms. Some symptoms can lessen as the child ages and others disappear altogether. With appropriate intervention, many behaviors can be changed for the better, even to the point that the affected individual may, to the untrained eye, seem perfectly normal. The majority of people with ASD continue to display some symptoms throughout their lives.
❑ The onset of puberty can be a difficult time for autistic children. Many experience more frequent and severe behavioral problems. And about 25 percent of those afflicted begin to experience seizures during puberty. This is believed to be the result of hormonal changes.
❑ During adulthood, appropriate living arrangements for people with ASD vary depending on the severity of each individual case. While those who are only mildly affected may be able to live on their own, other options can include living in a group home or residential home, or living with parents. For those who are severely affected, an institutional setting may be the only choice. While some autistic adults are unable to adapt to a regular lifestyle, others graduate from college, have careers, form relationships, and marry.
❑ Allergies and food sensitivities are beginning to receive more attention than ever before, because research and case studies are beginning to suggest that they contribute to certain behaviors.
❑ Researchers have also detected the presence of abnormal protein levels in the urine of autistic individuals. It is thought this protein may be due to the body’s inability to break down certain dietary proteins into amino acids. These proteins are gluten (found in wheat, barley, oats, and other foods) and casein (found in human and cow’s milk). However, some argue that not all cow’s milk is potentially harmful. In New Zealand, milk from a certain breed of cows with a genetic makeup called A2 seems to not exacerbate symptoms of autism.
❑ Many parents of autistic children have removed these foods from their children’s diets and have. In many cases, observed positive changes in health and behavior. Research strongly suggests that many autistic people are sensitive to dairy products and certain foods eaten most often in the spring and summer. These foods include strawberries and citrus fruits, which can affect an autistic individual’s sensitive immune system. Doctors have noted that a variety of problems—including headaches, nausea, bed-wetting, appearing “spaced out,” stuttering, excessive whining and crying, aggression, and depression—can be magnified by these food products. Such a reaction can be almost immediate or appear up to thirty-six hours after the suspect food is eaten. Besides eliminating problem foods, increasing the amount of vitamins such as vitamin C may reduce allergy and sensitivity symptoms.
❑ Some children have benefited from a ketogenic diet. This is a diet that is very high in fat and nearly devoid of carbohydrate. Given that it is a tricky diet to follow, it must be done under a doctor’s supervision.
❑ In one study, after six months children between the ages of four and ten improved in the standard rating tool used, called the Childhood Autism Rating Scale.
❑ Children may benefit from taking vitamin B6 and magnesium. As well as other nutrients vital to biochemical reactions in the body. One theory is that these children may have leaky gut syndrome and are unable to absorb nutrients from their diets efficiently. In studies of autistic children, a significant number have been found to have gastrointestinal disorders. Including celiac disease and other food intolerances. Allergy induced Autism (AiA), a British support group and charity for autism. Notes that some children with autism in England are taking enzymes to help them digest food more easily. Gastrointestinal disturbances are common in autism, especially abnormal stool consistency. A group at the University of Pennsylvania found the incidence to be 54 percent in a group of children aged three to eight years. These children consumed adequate calories and carbohydrate and about twice the RDI for protein.
❑ Elevated serum and tissue copper levels may be a factor in autism and other mental problems. As may excessive exposure to lead and mercury. Even low-level lead exposure in young children has been associated with impaired intellectual development and behavior problems.
❑ Children aged five to seventeen years with autism benefited from 1.5 grams a day of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, in an equal ratio. After six weeks, behavior improved for self-injuries, aggression, and tantrums.
❑ Infants and toddlers whose diets consist largely of processed baby foods need supplemental vitamins and minerals to ensure that all of their nutritional needs are met. Nutritional deficiencies are a factor in many psychological disorders.
❑ The prognosis for autistic children is difficult to predict. There have been documented cases of apparent recovery from autism, usually after adolescence. Some children seem to progress well only to inexplicably regress. Many become marginally self-sufficient and independent. However, most autistic individuals ultimately need lifelong care of some type.