Blog on Special Educational Needs - Asian College of Teachers

The Strong Relationship Between Autism and Food Allergies

7th November 2022

Studies and research have found a strong connection between autism and food allergies. Autism spectrum disorder is a special need that affects brain development in children and adults. The condition creates difficulties with social interaction and communication skills. It also creates limitations in behaviour patterns.

Casein and gluten are two commonly reported culprits in children and adults with autism. About 11.25% of children with autism had a reported food allergy.

Possible Reasons For Autism

Why Autism happens is still not very clear. It could stem from problems in several parts of your brain that interprets sensory inputs and process language. Autism is four times extremely more common in boys than in girls. For its ethnicity, race or social background does not matter. Studies also show that autism runs in the family too. So, the certain obvious trait of it is impeccably noticed. There are certain combinations of genes that may increase the risk of autism.

Pregnant women who are exposed to certain drugs or chemicals like alcohol or anti-seizure medications are more likely to have autistic children. Other risk factors include maternal metabolic risk factors such as diabetes and obesity. There is a sad truth about Autism, that till now there is no evidence of vaccination eradicating it totally.

Complementary treatments may help boost learning and communication skills in some people with autism. Complementary therapy includes and is actually a list of very interesting therapies for this clinical condition. Balancing therapies include music, art, and animal therapies like swimming with dolphins, horseback riding, and even much more. Behavioural and communication therapy alongside medications are there to handle & manage hyperactivity or anxiety.

Occupational therapy and sensory integration therapy are also two such major therapies that are considered for ‘Autism’. Parents with ‘Autistic’ children or ‘Autistic’ adults, in general, have a great deal of pain to deal with. Alongside the condition one is dealing with speech therapy is also one such solution for Autism.

Speech therapy is said to be perfect and beyond for great communication skills to get developed. Vitamin B and magnesium are two different supplements that are taken to keep autism in check.

The Association Between Autism and Food Allergies

Early food allergy as well as other allergic conditions exposed an association with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Interesting to note that food allergies and autistic children are as twice as related as chalk and cheese. Food allergies are said to worsen autism. They aggravate behavioural changes a lot. Names of a certain food that has in the past made ‘Autism’ in adults and children worse are eggs, tomatoes, egg plant, avocadoes, red peppers, soy and corns.

Autism is actually proven to have occurred from a loss of regulation of the immune system. It is felt that certain chemicals like cytokines may be responsible for neurological abnormalities seen in children.

Autism and Food Allergies

Some symptoms of food behaviours are

  • Irritability
  • Hyper active
  • Falling into a repetitive behavioural pattern
  • Difficulty focusing or paying attention
  • Trouble sleeping and hyper active beyond words

Food intolerance can increasingly create a lot of disturbance in children or adults with autism.

Also, it is interesting to know, that animal models have shown that the gut microbiomes can trigger autism-like symptoms. The studies that have found this suggest an intimate relationship with gut health, immune system health and brain system.

Nutrition Strategies For A Child With ASD

If you have a kid with ASD, try these nutrition approaches ---

You will find that your child avoids some specific foods or even entire food groups. Visit the supermarket with your child to choose a new food and this can ultimately will help your child become a more flexible feeder.

It is also significant to understand that a child with ASD will have to work harder at mealtimes. Therefore, try to make meals as probable and structured as possible will help. Serving meals at the same structured time daily is one of the effective ways to reduce stress for your child.

Additionally, try to think about what other things that can affect your child. If your kid is sensitive to lights, try dimming them or you can consider using lamps or candlelight with adult supervision. Let your child pick a favorite food to consist of at every meal or, let your child choose a favorite seat at the table.

We suggest a gluten- or casein-free diet as it improves symptoms of ASD. Consult with a professional and certified dietitian nutritionist before making any radical changes to your child's meal plan.

To End With

Certainly, we can see that there are solid links between allergies, digestive health, and autism. Some scientific findings suggest that food allergies and sensitivities can make autism symptoms much more pronounced in children who are on the spectrum. Autism Courses Online will help you in managing autistic children effectively.

Also working with a behavior therapist can help one understand whether some behaviors like feeding problems have a brain-based cause or if they are based instead on physical discomfort when the child has difficulty communicating.  One’s child’s pediatrician can help one determine if food allergies are actually present and nutritional specialists can design an eating plan that does ensure that a child is getting appropriate nutrition while accounting for any specific food allergies.

Want to earn special education teacher training certificate? Or want to pursue your other higher ambitions regarding autism online courses from our prestigious institute? Give us a call at 1- 213 – 233 9490 or dial +6621055721.

Written By : Victoria Lewis

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