Although autism is still largely being researched, many advances and insights have been made over the years, including some insights that are still undergoing investigation. As people struggle to learn more about this condition, several schools of thought theorize that diet can have an impact on autism or its tendencies, symptoms, or effects. Unfortunately, this information is largely untested and requires a lot more research before it can be used as a proven option in autism therapy.
What Diets Have Been Suggested? Do Any of Them Work?
As of right now, there’s not enough information to determine whether dietary changes and special diets are consistently effective or have any impact on the effects of autism. Some of the common dietary changes suggested do make sense, even within the medical community, but the science just isn’t available yet. The most popular suggested changes include:
- Gluten-free diets
- Sugar-free diets
- Organic-only diets
- Casein-free diets
- GfCf Diets (Gluten-free/Casein-free)
- Specific food removal based on behavior
- Specific nutrient therapy
People need to understand and choose treatments that have been proven effective in autism therapy. Especially when it comes to dietary changes, things like malnutrition can become a bigger concern if things don’t go as planned. Many of those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders already have a tenuous relationship with food and eating, so modifying their already-limited diet is not just a bad idea, but it could be dangerous.
What About Vitamins and Supplements?
Again, most forms of alternative medicine, including vitamin and supplement therapy, have not yet been tested or have not been researched enough to determine whether or not they provide a viable therapeutic benefit for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Some common therapies that people have tried, discussed, or questioned include magnesium, calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, VItamin D, and even removal of MSG from the diet. Again, while they may or may not produce results on an individual basis, they’ve not been tested enough to be considered an effective autism therapy.
Follow the Science
Although it can be confusing to navigate, it’s important to follow the research and science that supports various therapies designed to assist with autism. The best choice is to search for professional organizations and reputable treatment providers that can help navigate the precarious path to success in finding the best therapeutic approaches for each individual, regardless of their needs.
Check out resources like the Association for Science in Autism Treatment to verify and validate information, as well as how it is validated by professional sources. It’s all in a user-friendly, easy-to-read website that can help you get a better handle on doing your own research and finding the solutions that you need. No matter where you’re at in your journey or what you think you know, it’s important to get the facts. After all, even if there are no negative physical effects, ineffective treatments are a waste of time and money at the very least.