Saturday, 20 August 2011

Some facts about autism and why the gf casein free diet works

Ok I've done the first testimonial page, so now I decided its time for the facts page. Firstly I would like to clarify to my readers that I'm not a medical practitioner, I am a school teacher and have taught children on the autism spectrum both diagnosed and undiagnosed and I'm also doing alot of research as there are a few people close to me with children on the spectrum! If after reading everything I have to say and you have concerns about your child or someones close to you child's, speak up in a polite way,you will either immediately get the the response that they had the same concerns as you,but not many parents want to admit that, so be mindful! And don't take it to heart, they will come round, even if they do get a bit defiance to start with. It's a hard choice to make!

Now I know all the readers with children who have autism are well aware of what it is, symptoms etc, unfortunately it's something the general public have very little knowledge about and sadly as a teacher, I definitely believe that to be true! So I am on an endeavor to empower as many people with knowledge about the signs and symptoms of autism.

Warning Signs and symptoms of autism

1. If a child isn't babbling or cooing by 12months of age.
2. If a child doesn't gesture by 12 months ie; point,wave etc
3. If child doesn't say single words by 16 months
4. If a child cannot repeat a two word phrase by 24 months.
5. If a child has any loss of language or social skill at any age

The next possible symptoms are things that I notice most as a teacher, I am also getting this information predominately from Autism web, I'll provide a direct link later but if you want to look up more symptoms check out their very informative website! So here is my shortened list of symptoms;
a) the child doesn't respond to their name
b) the child has problems with expressive and receptive language what they say and how to
explain what they are wanting to say to others.
c) The child demonstrates intense and violent tantrums, which can be misunderstood as just a
naughty child who needs discipline (parents, turn your ears off to that talk)
d)The child can be hyperactive, oppositional and uncooperative
e) The child has poor eye contact and often won't respond to smiles.
f) the child often becomes fixated in one object or thing and generally prefers to play alone.
g) the child often appears to be in their own world and they often aren't interested in other
h) the child often lines objects up and walks around on their toes.
I) the child does not like to be touched even hugged by their parents at times (this is a hard
one but important to be aware of, a slight touch could result in a massive tantrum).
j)1 in 160 Australians are on the autism spectrum,with the larger number being boys
k) repetitive use of an object or repetitive use of a bodily action such as flapping or
L) an inability to cope with a slight variation of routine ie; going a different way to school
due to road works etc, could result in a massive meltdown from the child.

Unfortunately with autism, early intervention and diagnose is best for the child, but often
hardest on the parent. I'm not yet a parent but one day soon, I hope to be and I can only
empathise with people how hard it must be to admit that your gorgeous baby isn't reaching the
same milestones as other children (particularly with social media and most parents brag/share about
their child's achievements, which must be hard knowing that those achievements may never be
possible for your child!)

I know I have explained briefly some of the signs of autism. I must stress that early
diagnose, is essential! A child can be diagnosed via a series of tests from 18 months to 3
years. Although it might be hard to do, a child who goes to school without a diagnose, will
still show signs, but they cannot get any additional funding or assistance, despite it being very obvious! Thus making learning almost impossible and a high change of numerous calls from the teacher regarding your child's behaviour. The child may also be in constant trouble, as they have meltdowns (at any change of routine, they wont understand social cues and directions from the teacher, they may find friends hard to get or keep, also some teachers if the child doesn't have a customer can respond in a manner which will make a bad situation worse. Your child may decline intellectually as they don't understand what their teacher is saying! The teachers will eventually pick up on it, but your child may be in their 2nd or 3rd year or more of school before they are diagnosed or simply slip through the system. All the research suggests early intervention is the key,along with  finding a theory of practice that works best for you and your child to best equip them for school.

Now the final part of this post is about why a gf casein free diet would and does work for
children on the autism spectrum and also ADHD. Now for some basic medical facts (I did do 6 months of nursing at university so I understand a small amount of medical lingo), basically gluten is broken down in the intensines into to several by products. These by products are much more prominent in the urine of children with autism than those without! Some scientist believe that there is a leakage from the intestine's of children with autism, thus causing lots of gastrointestinal problems in autistic children. The scientific belief is that this leakage causes behavior problems in autistic children. As mentioned in the previous post regarding autism, my friend from Stranger Than Fiction, notice behavioural changes when she had Master 2 on the gf casein free diet.

Casein is a protein found in milk based products, which has been found to affect behavior of autistic children. Studies have proven that a combination of the gf and casein free diet shows improvements on behavior, with some patents reporting a dramatic decrease in autistic traits and behavior! I have only recently heard of casein but was informed when diagnosed with coeliac, that some people may need to remove dairy products for the first few months, thankfully I didn't.

Now I believe that firstly if you notice several of the autistic traits I've mentioned, take the plunge and take yourself to the pediatrician and if you aren't happy with the answers you get,seek another opinion, follow your gut instinct and don't take no for an answer. Do everything to get your child tested, remember without a diagnose,no assistance can be given to your child at school, or preschool! And their life at school will be very difficulty, academically and socially, trust me, this is a teacher speaking and I taught many students who I believed were on the autism spectrum but hadn't been tested and they were so far behind in so many ways.

I hope this post has helped in some way to give you a better understanding and why the gf and casein free diet is easy and very worthwhile trying! But please, if your have any concerns regarding your child, please seek medical advice.

Here is the list of fantastic websites which helped me write and research this post: (this website provides what looks like a quick and easy alternative to making a non dairy free cheese)

Keep an eye on my blog for quick and easy gf recipes for busy parents, so this diet doesn't cost you a fortune! I am hoping to have a separate link with autism post, having a few problems setting it up but will be up soon.

Also the next post will be a non autism post just a traditional post, I don't won't to overhwhelm people and also don't forget the Gluten Free Expo in Sydney next Fri afternoon and Saturday, I will be there Saturday.

Hope this information has helped.