Here at the Autism Treatment Center of America we believe that your child’s diet is incredibly important to their overall health and well being. Food effects how our body and brain develop and function, thus effecting how able we are to focus and interact with the world around us.
Just as we created the distraction free controllable environment of The Son-Rise Program Playroom to help interaction flourish, we suggest that you examine your child’s diet to make sure that their internal environment is also helping their interaction flourish and not working against them. You can do this by getting your child tested for possible allergens such as gluten, casein, corn, rice, and soy. We also believe that it is important to be careful about how much sugar and caffeine your child has in their daily diet.
Many children on the autism spectrum can be very picky eaters. If your child’s diet consists mainly of the above named allergensand sugar then this may be a sign that your child has a potential intolerance to the very things they are eating. If your child has an extended stomach, dark circles under their eyes, or chronic diarrhea or constipation, these could also be signs that they are having reactions to the above mentioned allergens.
The following diets are among the top autism diets of our time, Gluten and Casein Free Diet, The Carbohydrate Diet, The Body Ecology Diet and The Gap Diet, to learn about these and other diets visit nourishinghope.
If you are wanting to change your child’s diet, by eliminating either, gluten, casein, corn, soy or sugar, or want to begin one of the Autism Diets, below are a couple of pointers that may help the transition go smoother.

1.Start only when you are completely ready, if you have doubts, your child will sense this, and wait until you give in and give them that chocolate cookie you know they love so much. It is important that you are prepared to go the distance. One way to this is through your brain; thoroughly educate yourself about the diet, or allergens you are eliminating.  Why it is good for your child?  How are they adversely affecting your child?  What are the positive benefits of changing their diet are. It will be easier to go the distance if you know why you are placing your child on this diet and that it is in their best interest.  A place to start with this is the website listed above which will also give you many other resources.
2. Educate yourself about other foods you can offer your child, there are many online resourcessuch as gluten and casein free recipesyou can access. Since your child may have been restricting their diet for so long, you may have forgotten that there are more food group out there! There are numerous vegetables, meats, fish, and gluten free grains. Reacquaint yourself with these, as well as different ways to cook and season the food to make it super tasty.

3. Make sure that the food you do not want your child to eat is nowhere to be found in your house. Remember your child is very intelligent, if it is in your house they will find it. Clean out all your cupboards.

4. Explain to your child why you are changing their diet and how it will help them. Do this even if your child has yet to begin to talk to you, we believe without a doubt that your child can understand a lot of what you are saying, even if they cannot or do not verbally respond to it. You really want to explain all the whys around why you are changing your child’s diet in a loving and excited way. Then they will know that this change is a good thing and that you are assisting and helping them feel well.
5. Have plenty of the new foods easily available to your child in bowls around the house, so that they can get used to new smells and the new look of their food, and can easily try it when they are hungry.

6. Love the food you are offering your child. If you do not like or love this new food why would your child want to try it?
7. Start one at a time. If there are three allergens you want to eliminate, for instance, gluten, casein and sugar. Start with the one you think will be the easiest to remove, and then two weeks later remove the second one and so forth.

Website Comments

  1. Shannon
    Reply

    I found it easier to just list the foods we ate rather than study boxes/packages to figure out what we could eat. We stuck with good oils, organic vegetables, organic and grassfed proteins, local eggs, plant based proteins, sour fruits like berries/green apples, and lots of cultured vegetables. If it comes in a box, bag, and if you child wants it….my vote is take it away. They are addicted and these foods are feeding infections. Often parents will serve "healthy options", but when you take a closer option it's raisins, GF processed foods, bananas and essentially healthier versions of SUGAR. We cleared out our home and hugged each other through the screaming. We believed in what we were doing. 100 years ago mothers didn't cry at the table wondering why their child didn't eat a blue berry or steamed carrot. We have to get back to primitive foods that the body can digest and use. If toxins can switch genes off, I said to myself "well then I'm gonna turn my son's genes back ON."

  2. Anonymous
    Reply

    Es tan cierto lo que dicen! Y ustedes lo enfocan de una manera tan cariñosa, tan armoniosa, tan bella!!! Que no puede ser tan difícil ponerlo en práctica!
    Un cariñoso saludo desde Chile.

    Paola

  3. April's Miscellany
    Reply

    I've heard that autistic children will starve themselves rather than eat what they don't want to eat. If this is true, then how can any of these suggestions work? My 8 year old nephew is severely autistic, and my family won't switch his diet because they are afraid of him starving himself. I want to help, but don't know what to tell them.

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