Many parents are realizing the importance of controlling their childs diet when dealing with autism. It is often true that autistic children are sensitive to certain foods. One type of food to which many autistic children are sensitive is dairy products, which contain a substance known as Casein. It may seem difficult, at first, to remove all dairy products from your childs diet. Most kids love milk, cheese and ice cream.
Casein is the ingredient in dairy products that is thought to cause problems. Casein is a protein found in milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, and, surprisingly, some hotdogs. Reading the labels on all of the foods the child will eat is very important.
When you try the putting your child on a dairy free diet, make sure they continue to get enough calcium. You can use vitamin supplements or milk substitutes to do this. Calcium is included in many types of food.
It is believed that the Casein reacts in the Autistic childs body causing the unwanted behaviors. Removing the dairy products will eliminate, or reduce, some of the unwanted behaviors. It will probably take a few months to determine whether or not the diet is working for your child.
If you are also considering removing Gluten from the child’s diet, it best to try removing the dairy products first. The Casein in dairy products is eliminated from the body much faster than Gluten. It can take up to ten months or more for Gluten to be completely eliminated from the body.
Trying to follow a Casein free diet can be expensive. Milk substitutes generally cost a great deal more than regular milk. Many stores do not carry dairy free products. You can usually find them at specialty stores, or health food stores. You can find Casein free products on the internet, as well. There also are a lot of Casein free recipes available online. Many families have found that they can save on the cost of Casein free foods by finding another family in their area that also uses a similar diet. They can share the cost of ingredients by buying in bulk quantities and splitting the foods.
If you decide to try a dairy free (Casein free) diet with your Autistic child, remember to allow enough time to learn if the diet is helping. You may find it helpful to keep a journal while testing the diet. Keeping a record of your autistic child’s behaviors will allow you to determine if the behaviors are changing.
If you have not removed Gluten from your childs diet you may want to consider this if your child is not improving from the dairy free diet.
You can find out if your Autistic child is sensitive to dairy products (Casein) by having them tested for allergies. This will also help you to know if you should remove any other foods from the child’s diet. If you want more information about Casein free diets, you can visit your local library or check the internet. There are many books that deal with dairy free living.
A Casein free diet may be helpful in treating your childs Autism. It is not a cure for Autism, but it definitely may help to treat some of the symptoms.