It is very important to at least try the dietary interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some children have really improved from such diets as the Gluten Casein Free Diet. This is because a certain subset of the Autism population also has Celiac Disease. People who have Celiac Disease cannot digest the protein gluten, hence the need to go on a gluten- free diet. If children with Celiac Disease eat foods that contain gluten, it causes them very terrible stomach pain, including gas, bloating, even vomiting and complete inability to digest their foods.
What is a gluten- free diet? Gluten is found in many common foods. Wheat, rye, barley and oats all have gluten and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder cannot eat foods with those ingredients. Unfortunately, this rules out many common types of flour, which impacts upon the child's ability to eat most store- bought breads. Children with autism spectrum disorder who are on the gluten free diet may eat bread made of rice flour.
These days, it is pretty easy to find a cookbook with recipes for gluten- free foods.
My son has been on this diet since he was four years old (about twelve years on the diet.) Back then, when we started it, we had great difficulty discovering anything he could eat, let alone would eat. Also, the substitutions back then were fairly disgusting. The gluten- free breads at that point were so incredibly heavy; they were almost inedible. Also, he needed a non- dairy substitution for cheese as well. The soy based cheeses back then were horrible.
I am pleased and delighted by how far these foods have come in recent years. It is now fairly easy to get a good quality soy- based cheese and there are also a variety of good gluten- free breads now as well.
Based upon our experience on the diet, I would say if your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder has stomach distress or pains at all, why not try the diet? See if it works for your family.