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Autism news: The Most Common Allergens... Causes of Behavior (and Learning) Problems Part 4
November 15, 2019

I’ve been dreading the thought of it for the last few months.

For health reasons I have to do a dietary “reboot” that involves giving up caffeine and sugar. You know you’re addicted when it takes you several months to gather up the courage to give up a food or beverage that you eat every day.

So I know EXACTLY how hard it is to give up the foods we love and crave.

In spite of how difficult diets can be, I would be neglecting my duty if, in this series of messages about behavior problems, I failed to mention that the most common allergens in children with autism are food and diet-related.

Eating the wrong foods can lead to inflammation, which often causes children to act out. It can even result in learning problems as well.

According to, double-blind controlled studies showed that food allergies “can cause a diverse range of symptoms including fatigue, slowed thought processes, irritability, agitation, aggressive behaviour, nervousness, anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, hyperactivity and learning disabilities.”

But as I mentioned earlier, I understand. Changing your child’s diet (or the family’s diet) can be a tough challenge.

I’ve faced the overwhelming task of eliminating gluten and dairy, as well as artificial colors, from my child’s diet. Later on, we eliminated soy, artificial preservatives and GMOs as well.

We even found out that we had to eliminate MORE foods in addition to these. That just goes to show that each child is an individual with unique needs. Some kids will have a lot of allergies while others may have only a one or two.

What motivated me to take the leap was understanding that if I didn’t try this, I could be giving my child poison—that is, poison to HIM because of the inflammation that those foods can cause.

Amy Myers, M.D., an internationally acclaimed medicine physician, states that the most accurate test for food allergies/intolerances is the elimination diet. This involves removing all the foods you suspect could be causing problems for your child. Then you add one food at a time back into her diet. If your child’s condition becomes worse, then you know she is allergic or sensitive to that food.

She also recommends removing gluten for at least 30 days before adding it back into the diet—longer if you can, since gluten can stay in your system for months or even years.

Once you commit to discovering and removing foods that are bothering your child, you’ll find that you will get used to a new way of shopping and preparing meals. It may seem challenging at first, but it gets a lot easier after a while.

And following the diet is much easier today than when our family decided to eliminate gluten and dairy several years ago. There are so many more choices of gluten free foods than ever before.

When you consider the possibility that some foods could be causing actual damage to your child’s body, leading to health, learning and behavior problems, it makes a lot of sense to give this a try and see what happens.

If you suspect that certain foods could be a source of problems for your child and you need help navigating the change, check out The Autism Community in Action (TACA) website at the link at the end of this message. You’ll find lots of tips, recipes, and information that will help you get started.

As A. P. J. Abdul Kalam once said, “Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.”

Warm Regards,

Kay Donato

Discover Autism Help, LLC Click here to learn more about starting the GFCF diet.

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