Over time it has become apparent that being gluten and casein-free really isn’t just a diet. There are so many elements in our now highly-polluted and genetically-altered environment that the parent of a child that needs to be kept away from gluten and casein has a much bigger job on their hands than merely dealing with food and drink. The second biggest concern with the regime is misunderstanding. Parents time and again report that they tried a modified version of gfcf living. Unfortunately this is not possible. What research there is shows that the gfcf diet – for want of a better term – is an all or nothing deal. You either do it or you don’t. There are no half measures. Ingesting one goldfish cracker can make an autistic child stim for three days. However, the good news is that once you can incorporate these ideas into your own thinking and lifestyle, it can become second nature – like anything else. And the results can be immediate and drastic.
Another parental biggie is the notion that we are running out of time. We are always racing the clock to find ways to unlock our child from their world, to help them make connections to talk and laugh and make normal social conversation. To some extent, it is important to let go of this feeling of urgency. A lot of research states that you have a window of opportunity to break through to your child, and we are all desperately trying different techniques, diets and therapies to achieve this. The nature of autism of course, means that one family’s success may be another family’s failure. But one thing is for sure: it is vital that we throw out the labels, we rid ourselves of the time frame, and we work with what we know and we go with what works for our own child. To that end, gluten and casein will not be a factor in every child’s autism, but it will be in some. There is no harm in trying the lifestyle, and if it works, it brings a whole new quality and purpose to the life of the child and the family that loves them.