Sunday, 4 September 2011

Be brave, try the gluten and casein free diet on your child for behavior!

Firstly I would like to apologise to my readers to my lack of posts this week, my health (read accident post if you want more info), this week hasn't been the best and life has been hectic. I will do my best to ensure that post are put up more frequently!

As promised this isn't a review as I will alternate between review and the standard post, but I do want to say to the lovely new friends I met at the expo, fingers crossed I'll be able to get more blogging, and more reviewing quicker than I have been!

I have been doing research both the traditional and face to face with people who work with children, one a experienced psychologist and the other a child care worker and obviously as a teacher I have an educated and experienced opinion about the benefits of a gluten and casein free diet on behavior. Most people focus on this diet as for the autism spectrum alone, but it has a profound positive impact on children with various behavior issues!

What amazes me is this research and success has been around for many years! I have a good friend with a 19 year old son who suffers from, ADD and dyslexia, he doesn't suffer the hyperactivity and it was more a challenge concentrating on one thing at a time, his behavior is excellent (though when he was younger it was a little challenging), his other skills are excellent and he is extremely intelligent. I am qualified to make that claim as I have not only known him for several years but used to tutor him, in English, his knowledge of Mathematics is light years ahead of me! Despite how he is now, as a 3 year old his health and behaviour and development was causing some concern, thus his mother was recommended to remove a large number of things from his diet, gluten and casein was one of the main things! Unfortunately 16 years ago the access to gf products was nothing like it is today, leaving my friend no option but to travel great lengths into small health food stores into the city, over an hours drive, to get some gf pricey things. She's also of
Russian and polish background and her dear mother who was still with us then, baked potato
bread, from only a list of ingredients her grandson could eat and she created a lovely bread! I think it is important to acknowledge this amazing women was very versatile, probably from
surviving a pow camp in WW2! (To create a bread from scratch with limited ingredients and the fundamental ones of making bread removed, clearly demonstrates someone who know what to do to survive, to work with whatever you are give). Thus, he was on this diet for many years and whenever he altered  the diet by eating gluten, there were noticeable changes to his behaviour and other aspects of himself. So being the wonderful mother she is, she kept her son on the diet for several years, despite the difficulties to provide food for him. She is also an avid and fantastic cook (the one who made me the schnitzels), so that made comparably easier, than for someone who didn't cook. But still the point is, she saw improvements in her son and she did whatever she could to keep him on that diet, for as long as recommended!

Now thankfully we live in a world or country at least that provides an increasing amount of gf food, most of which is readily available at a majority of  supermarkets, no trekking across towns and cities anymore (in most cases), just buy the goods in your local shopping! Cook or no cook, you can very easily put your child on the gluten and casein free diet relatively stress free and if you are prepared to cook a bit, either from the large variety of packaged food, or you do the cooking for yourself, you will see the massive benefits in your child in the long run.

My strong advice to you us if you have a child who us on the autism spectrum or has some behaviour problems, try this diet, even for a month and see the difference.
Trial this, diet and observe your child, if in a month or 6 weeks you cant notice any positive behavior and interaction and engagement changes, go back to their normal diet, ultimately you have lost nothing and potentially gained alot! I have prepared tables that are basically a tick a box, which focuses on some individual areas of concern with your child and you give a rating out of 10 based on their daily progress. As it is difficulty to put tables up on the blog, please email me and I will send you the word file. This table is important, as changes generally happen gradually and everyone soon adapts to their child, forgetting how they were one or two weeks prior!

 If you are trialling this diet, please remember that although sugar and caffeine filled drinks like coke a cola, all soft drinks and sports/energy drinks will impact your child's behavior even though they may be gluten free! As will lollies,anything filled with copious amounts of sugar and preservatives is guaranteed to impact your child's behavior. For example; you can't claim the diet is not working if your child has drank a massive amount of sugar filled drinks and eaten lollies! I understand there are times like birthday parties where avoiding gluten and casein is almost impossible, perhaps let them try some food and watch their behavior, is it different? I will write a post later as to how to cater for a child's birthday party totally gluten and casein free!

One last point if you do start your child on this diet, tell their teacher or day care teacher. I have, and most teachers will be willing to do a communication book with you, letting you know how your child's behavior is going on a daily basis, also teachers are the best source to find out if your child is eating gluten filled food from the canteen, or other children! If your school canteen doesn't sell gf food ie; pop corn, a variety of Mammee snacks,gf bread, salads etc, I would strongly recommend talking to the canteen manager, or school principal if you get no progress with the canteen supervisor, about providing some healthy gf options at the canteen!

Please don't hesitate to contact me via comments or email if you have any questions, but take that chance and give it a go, you have nothing too lose and a huge amount to gain. Don't forget to email me if you are trying this diet to get the table, it will help!

Good luck and please let me know how it goes for you.


Don't forget in the next few weeks keep watching the recipe page, I will put up quick snd easy recipes the entire family can enjoy fuss free and time efficient!