View Full Version : I'm sure this has been discussed before

Mary FL
03-20-2012, 08:44 AM
but I'm "new" here. :) Bear with me. If you know me from the other sections on these message boards, you know I'm thorough and analytical. :lol:

Gluten. Let's talk gluten. My dh and I are gluten free by choice. Wondering if ds' behaviors would improve if we went GF for him.

Any advice? Links?

Jennifer in VA
03-20-2012, 10:53 AM
Mary -

Let me ask a couple local friends what they might have in the way of links to GF. The results they've experienced, individually, or witnessed in their children is remarkable and a wide variety of things have been GREATLY reduced or doesn't happen any more.

03-20-2012, 10:54 AM
Some people have reported great sucess with going gluten free. My son was gluten, dairy and soy free due to allergies for several years and was alway "hyper" during that time. He has remained dairy free and I tried going gluten free with him again more recently and didn't see any changes. But I did not go dye and artificial flavor free at the same time.

I share only because I know a lot of people have seen such great results that they are convinced that everyone can achieve the same. I don't believe that would be the case for us given our past experience. So while it is definitely something to consider, I wouldn't count on it being a save all for every child. KWIM?

I think if *I* were to try anything we'd have to do it all at once- dye free, etc. and see if there was a change and then slowly add things back into the diet. A full elimniation diet basically. I'm not ready to do that yet due to the turmoil it would cause for DS and the people other than me that have to feed him. ;)

03-20-2012, 11:25 AM
I have not gone gluten free, but we have had great success with the Feingold program. It eliminates artificial things like food dye, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives (BHA, BHT, TBHQ). Our oldest ds has a huge reaction to these items and our middle ds has a more moderate reaction.

Gluten free has helped many and might not be a big deal for your family, but before I made that step, I would keep a food/behavior journal for a week to 10 days.

Write down briefly what your ds eats and make a note of his behavior. Look at the foods he normally eats each day and see if there is any correlation between bad behavior and bad foods. And frankly, bad for some might be ok for others. I don't think this is a one size fits all thing either, unfortunately.

For my ds, he can eat completely 100% on the program and be just perfect... One slip with food dye and he has issues...sleeplessness, extreme mood swings, upset stomach, and extreme hyperactivity.

Feingold membership gives you a shopping list and recipes and a very active message board for help and questions.

My best advice is to cook real, whole food for a week and see how your kids react. Also, know that some natural foods are eliminated in the first stage of feingold, so fruits like apples and berries are off limits the first 6 weeks. My kids don't react badly to any real food, but ds reacts to things like apple juice and grape juice, not the whole fruit.

Does your ds eat a lot do boxed or processed foods? Candy?

Mary FL
03-21-2012, 09:34 AM
Thank you! I'll write more soon. :)

03-21-2012, 10:19 AM
I'm not sure what your reasons are for being GF, but if you're already doing it for yourself, would it be that much more trouble to try it with your son?

Just eliminate the gluten for a time,and keep a journal of his behaviors during that time (and maybe even before the GF period) and see if there is a difference.

That said, I don't know enough about GF to tell you how long of a period it would be before you saw changes. I am curious about this though,since I have heard many people talk about the benefits of being GF for children with autism. The rest of our family eats normally,so it would be a huge undertaking for me to cut out gluten from his diet.

Mary FL
03-28-2012, 07:59 PM
It's funny how life can be so busy you forget an important question you asked over a week ago and the answers given until it comes up again in conversation with someone IRL. We are going to try this GF for the kids.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Esther, he eats a lot of bread, bagels, pizza, cereal (although we've switched to GF brand) and some candy, but not all that much. Definitely flour products and lots of 'em.