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Are there benefits to changing to GFCF diet for Aspergers kids?

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Old 09-27-2008, 04:28 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New York USA
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Liamsmom HB User
Are there benefits to changing to GFCF diet for Aspergers kids?

I know that many people here have mentioned that GFCF diet has helped their Autistic child immensely but I haven't noticed anyone mentioning if it helps their Aspergers child. My son was finally diagnosed on Sept 2nd after years of already knowing he was it's just official now. I was wondering if any parents have noticed any change from changing the diet? He's already allergic to many foods and has just made it past the 40lb mark and it seems like alot of effort, stress, and weight loss if there aren't any results.

Any input is welcome.


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Old 01-25-2010, 12:51 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2010
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bpsrsbj HB User
Re: Are there benefits to changing to GFCF diet for Aspergers kids?

Our son is 4y 5mo and recently diagnosed. I have this same question. We tried it for 1 very difficult month but he lost 6 lbs and was basically only eating fish, chicken nuggets (gfcf of coarse), fruit and gfcf cookies. I tried so many things but he is such a picky eater even when on a normal diet.

Old 01-26-2010, 09:39 PM   #3
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karensk HB User
Re: Are there benefits to changing to GFCF diet for Aspergers kids?

I tried it for three months when my son was 8 yrs old and practically tore my hair out. He has food issues to begin with and also lost weight. Back then (7 yrs ago), there also weren't as many tasty GF choices as there are now, or it might have worked a little better. Still, I noticed no improvement on this diet and discontinued it.

Old 01-27-2010, 08:51 AM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: St Petersburg, Fl US
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elujah HB User
Re: Are there benefits to changing to GFCF diet for Aspergers kids?

I don't know so much about this aspergers but my grandson was diagnosed this month (Jan 2010) and he was always ADHD, SLD, Bipolar now this. But this diagnosis describes him exactly. I'm not familiar with this diet, where did you hear about it? My grandson has been on medication most of his life, and expected this since most males and females in my family as adults are bipolar and were on anxiety meds. So what have you been doing different with your son?

Old 02-01-2010, 01:16 PM   #5
Triple Threat
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Triple Threat HB User
Re: Are there benefits to changing to GFCF diet for Aspergers kids?

My 6yo DD has Asperger's/ADHD and we have her on a strict GF/CF, preservative free, dye-free, MSG free and probably a few other things that I can't remember right now! LOL

We have done this diet for over two years now, and every time we experiment and let her eat one of the above toxins she regresses. It took about a year of eating this way for her to broaden her diet and now she eats some pretty amazing foods!! Things that she wouldn't touch a couple years ago. Things her brother and sister will not touch much less eat!

I have been told that this does not work for everyone. I have also been told that some children can handle the dairy, but not the gluten or vice versa. We have found that my DD can handle goat milk, goat cheese and other goat products just fine, but the cow's milk makes her very sick to her stomach. Once you have established that it's working, you can do some experiments by adding one thing back in for a week or so and watching for behavior changes.

As for results, for my DD, she isn't so "fluttery" from thought to thought from activity to activity. She can actually sit and concentrate. She has lost a lot of her tantrums and what we call her "quirky" "crazy" behavior. She CAN control her behavior most of the time.

For the first month when we started I remember her getting very sick. I almost stopped completely because I wanted her to eat and not throw up or have diarrhea. But the doc told me that she's experiencing a detox.

For a child that was completely constipated, she's fairly normal in that area also. A very welcome change!!

I am not saying this diet cured her, because it definitely did not. But to me, it definitely helps her with her out of control behaviors.

My biggest suggestion would be to either video or document some specific activities. Implement the diet, full boat. (I know it's hard in the beginning, but I promise it gets SO much easier over time!!) Then after a month, I would do that same activity again and watch for changes.

We can always tell when my DD has gotten something she shouldn't have, because her behavior over the next couple days is very different again.

We notice a lot of misbehaviors when the dyes have gotten into her system, so we try to avoid them as much as possible. It's all very inconvenient, but if you knew my daughter before and know her now, it's such a change that's worth any inconvenience of my part!


Old 03-21-2010, 08:55 AM   #6
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TerryJ2 HB User
Re: Are there benefits to changing to GFCF diet for Aspergers kids?

My son is an Aspie and when he eats wheat--just one cookie--we can tell.
His ears turn red, his eyes get bloodshot, his cheeks break out, and he has major meltdowns. The more wheat he eats, the worse he gets.
We removed all wheat from the house but he cheats. He'll trade w/kids at school and we have repeatedly asked the teachers not to let him do that. They separated him for a few days and that helped a bit but then he slid back into it again.
He is on Adderall, clonidine and Imiprimene. We use the clonidine when he's raging (or about to rage) and for sleep. Sometimes he needs an antihistamine to sleep.

Anyway, yes, yes, and yes. You may want to try eliminating eggs and milk products, too. Milk and wheat are hidden in everything as fillers--it's cheap, like sugar. You'll find it in vitamins, hot dogs, you name it. The key word is "gluten," when you're reading labels.

When my son has wheat, even when he takes his meds, he's on edge.
It really makes a difference, and the people I know locally who have Aspies all say the same thing.

Old 03-21-2010, 08:56 AM   #7
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TerryJ2 HB User
Re: Are there benefits to changing to GFCF diet for Aspergers kids?

Oh, I just read Triple's response ... yeah, the toilets, LOL! We used to have the plumber on speed-dial. Now it's just occasionally. What a nice difference.

Old 07-14-2010, 08:27 PM   #8
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1
Nicolemarie6 HB User
Re: Are there benefits to changing to GFCF diet for Aspergers kids?

Hello Liamsmom,

In response to your question about the GFCF diet, I have many things I can add and that I hope will help you. First of all, the GFCF does not work. Unfortunately, this is just another popular fad amongst the population that is not supported by an evidence at all. The GFCF diet has no evidence to support the fact that it helps, cures, or even alleviates symptoms of autism. The only way a gluten free diet can be helpful is if your child has an allergy to gluten. There is no relation between gluten and any symptom of autism, including stims. It is horrible that so many people are led to believe this diet can help. Of course, there are studies that claim there is a correlation between the two, but these studies all have methodological flaws. Before believing something like this, we must do research and should truly understand what works and what does not work before wasting our time and money. It is common for these fads to waste parents of children with autism and asperger's time and money. For example, the Miller method, Greenspan, and this diet are all fads that lack any form of evidence.

However, I do have a suggestion. I suggest that you seek ABA services. ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis and this is the only evidence-based treatment for children with autism. It is recognized scientifically and has endless evidence to back up its contributions. Every study conducted in the field of behavior analysis or conducted by a behavior analyst is must meet rigorous scientific standards. A website that may be helpful is:

I hope this helps and I wish you luck with you son! Please don't waste time on unproven fads when effective treatments are out there!

Last edited by moderator2; 07-15-2010 at 04:50 AM. Reason: please do not post websites except as described in the Posting Policy

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