Packet of Information for Parents New to Autism,
(gluten/casein free, secretin, etc)
There is a vast amount of information surging forth about a potential
gut/brain connection in autism, and many parents are using special
diets etc in an attempt to treat their childrenís possible food
If your child has frequent diarrhea (pardon my frankness, but as one
has said, whenever a group of parents of children with autism get
one of the first topics of conversation seems to be poop!) this may be
a marker that he/she may respond to a dietary intervention (although if
the child also ìstaresî or seems deaf do not rule out a
and do call Dr. Chez). In order to best determine if your child
truly a candidate for dietary treatment and/or secretin it would be
to contact Dr. Joseph Mercola, a much respected local osteopathic
based in Schaumburg. Call his office at 847-985-1777 for an
or more information. You may well have to do a six month trial of
the diet to determine if it will help your child - it is if the child
to treatment that determines - for that child - whether it is the
treatment or not.
Another great resource, if you have internet access, is
GFCF Website - (GFCF stands for gluten free casein free) a group of
400 parents have volunteered their time and effort through
to provide a comprehensive food list and diet explanation in simple
The parents have compiled many recipes, tips and links they have found
to be helpful in maintaining the diet for their children and family.
The parent/founder of this list has also written a book:
**Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental
- A Motherís Story of Research & Recovery.** Karyn
Simon & Schuster, 2000
After reading this book I sure wish my kids were "gut" kids so I
help them with this diet! But although mine arenít, many
have such ìdigestively challengedî youngunís and if
you already are
the Gluten-Free Casein- Free (GFCF) diet or are curious about it you
find this book a useful read for Seroussiís tips on how to
diet, where to get the foods, etc. Also - it makes an informative,
ìreadî to hand to doubting relatives since
vividly recounts her own sonís health history and response to
but also clearly explains the work and findings (to date) of Wakefield
and others that offer theories as to what is happening to cause
gutsî in children , how this may be messing up little brains, and
diet may remediate this situation.
This book is a "must read" for two reasons -
- - you can not decide whether or not to try this diet
all available information about it (and if you do decide to implement
diet this book will be as valuable to you as a case of Darifree)
- - if you do not want to try the diet or do not have kids
likely to benefit you should still stay informed about the theories
it so as to not only make an informed choice but also to avoid
that might make you unsupportive of those parents who are implementing
This book may do for the GFCF diet what Let Me Hear Your Voice has
done for ABA*. I give it 4 stars out of 4 and I am not even doing
* and, ABAers, note that Seroussi's son also had an ABA program.
But he was a child who had to have his medical issues addressed in
for him to fully benefit from his ABA program. ABA and medical
are not mutually exclusive in my exalted, never humble opinion. The
Mom has spoken!)
Digestive Enzymes, candida, mercury and autism
from Yahoo groups
The enzymes make a
lot of sense in several circumstances:
This is a "master" enzyme gene that controls what enzymes the
for digestion. It is damaged by organophosphate fertilizers and
pesticides. If you or your child has this damage (we do), Kirkman
makes several that contain this enzyme. Gluten persists and can
be "read" in urine testing for 6-12
months after beginning the gluten-free regime.
Enzymes aren't something that "stays around" until needed. They are
activated by contact with whatever they are designed to digest.
Protease breaks down protein, cellulase breaks down fiber, sucrase
and galactase break down sugars, etc. So, each time they are used,
they break up whatever they come in contact with, are eliminated if
they don't contact anything, or are exhausted if the quantity of
whatever needs breaking down exceeds the available enzymes so
potentially not all the food is broken down for digestion if the
body's ability to do so is impaired.
This is why enzymes need to be given with food, and are not size-of-
the-person dependant, but size-of-the- meal dependant.
Naturally produced DPPIV also acts in an immune function protein. In
this capacity it is called CD26 (but its the same thing). As CD26, it
binds to and eliminates mercuric chloride & strep. The supplemental
sources (from plants) doesn't go after the toxins, just the
food...but if the body isn't using its own to break down food,
theoretically, there is more available for detox functions. Candida
converts marcury from an inorganic form to an organic form. If there
is food in the diet that helps keep a colony of Candida thriving, the
potential for environmental mercury exposure to continue being
incorporated. This is one loop that enzymes help to break.
So, what should you see in terms of effect? Used with each meal and
snack, it should break down food irritants and stop some of the
inflammation effect. Since that is subtle and primarily internal,
regular use can produce a happier child.
Regular use can take some load off the immune system, but you might
not see that in external behaviors.
It can shorten the time it takes to clear the system of residual
gluten, but again, this is something subtle and just clearing the
gluten brings the improved behavior.
For some, there is a big improvement in bowel function (our little
guy spontaneously potty trained age 3..YIPPEE!!) , and better quality
For others with growth problems, more nutrients are absorbed, so
there is improved growth and weight gain...again, not something you
would see immediately.
Our little guy was non-verbal, so I use everything we try on him. I
can report that we ran out of the DPPIV formula and substituted
another enzyme and had nausea and a "tight" twisted stomach feeling
without it that I never noticed before going on the diet and using
We always use extra immediately following any accidental "forbidden"
food, followed by charcoal about 2 hrs later. Since our guy has gone
anaphylactic with an accidental peanut butter cheese cracker (a new
bus aide didn't know), it clearly has helped when there were
So, initially, we gave/took enzymes with every meal and snack (2 for
adults, 1 for the kids). The diet (after 2 years) is completely clean
(the whole family) and now use it just for meals. The kids get it in
juice with the meals, those who can swallow the capsules, do.