What is the role of proper diet and nutrition in Autism?
Often, the nutritional status in Children with autism remains compromised. It is seen that they usually have vitamin or other mineral deficiencies, such as, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency. This could be a result of swallowing difficulties, sensory problems like food preferences, or gut related issues such as, diarrhoea, constipation, frequent infections, bloating and gastrointestinal (GI) pain. Issues such as not being able to sit in one place during meal times, could also be one of the reasons.
When things go awry in the "gut," negative behavioral changes and cognitive problems could occur or can get exacerbated. Hence, an autism diet plan with an alteration in the diet with respect to the nutritional requirement after assessing the other aspects like the swallowing and digestive ability is necessary so as to improve the quality of life of the patient.
Just like with other children, it could be challenging for a parent of child with autism, to ensure their child is receiving all the right nutrients in the right proportions. Hence, a healthy, nutritious and balanced, diet plan for autism needs can make a world of difference in their ability to learn, how they manage their emotions and how they process information.
Normally, diets such as the the Gluten-Free and Casein-Free Diet (GFCF), Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), Body Ecology Diet (BED), and Lutein-Free Diet (Sara's Diet) are followed to help children on the autism spectrum.