Re: gfcf diet , how strict does it have to be
Just wanted to add that your child may show different sensitivities that another child may not. That, to me, is what makes this diet so puzzling to those (including doctors) not dealing firsthand with a child on the spectrum. There's not one correct answer to your question.
Some children CAN handle dairy, but not gluten and vice versa. For what it's worth, we have my daughter GF/CF but she can handle goat products like goat cheese and goat milk.
We have stopped going to all fast food restaurants because I found that too many of them change their recipes from time to time and I wasn't able to keep up. Plus, things that APPEAR to be gluten free, really are not, and MOST of the companies really don't understand it all either.
One of my favorite examples of this is how most the Chex cereals have become gluten free, and now that company feels that it has become an expert on advice and recipes. Sounds great right? NOPE, because some of the ingredients that they added contained gluten. I sent them a lengthy email explaining it, and it took them a year to update their recipes! Things like colored sprinkles and vanilla both contain gluten, most don't know that, apparently neither did Chex!!!
Not to mention all the food colorings that are in all their recipes, etc!
It's so frustrating, but we have been very successful making our own food because it's been the only way to control all the different components!
I would eliminate as much as possible and once you have that steady, try adding in those things that might have possible cross contaminants and see what happens.