Hello! I’m Ciara and this is my little boy Finn. We live in a small village in Kent in the UK along with my husband and Finn’s older sister Aoife. Finn is three years old and loves all kind of trains, riding his scooter and playing outside on trampolines and in parks.
Around the time of Finn’s 2nd birthday we slowly started to become concerned about his lack of speech and general poor communication. Autism was eventually mentioned as a possibility by his paediatrician in September last year. Finn was placed on the ASD pathway but due to extremely long waiting lists in our area we are still awaiting a formal diagnosis.
Throughout all this time we saw little to no improvement in Finn’s speech and communication and his frustration as a result of this was becoming worse. Finn also struggled with sleep issues and had almost continuous diarrhoea that resulted in five, sometimes six dirty nappies a day.
I began to read a lot on the internet about the “Autism Diet” (aka the GFCF Diet) which essential suggests excluding gluten and casein (a protein found in dairy) from the diet to reduce the incidents or severity of the issues or symptoms. I have to admit that for a while I resisted trying this diet, maybe from a selfish point of view I didn’t want to have to deal with the difficulty of a limited diet. But faced with little to no help from while we waited for a diagnosis, I eventually realised we had little to lose.
On 27th December 2016 we started Finn on the Autistic Diet. We immediately cut out all gluten and dairy from his diet. Within a week we began to see an improvement in his stomach issues, going from an average of five dirty nappies a day to one or two. Within another couple of weeks we began to see a change in Fintan’s speech, communication and general temperament. Prior to this he was pretty much non-verbal but slowly he began to say a few words and more recently (March 2017) even attempting to repeat colours and numbers.
Finn’s behaviour has also drastically improved. He can now follow simple instructions, is less likely to run off in public, is making a lot of eye contact and has had less issues with biting other children. During this time Finn has had one course of speech therapy and I have no doubt that this has contributed to the fantastic improvements we have seen. However I cannot ignore the fact that the exclusion diet must be having a positive effect too.
Our Autism Diet Blog
Whilst researching the Autism Diet I came across lots of information, research and guidance (both for and against!) the GFCF Diet but there was little in the way of practical resources – actual recipes that were both gluten and dairy free and made with autistic children in mind. My background is in food blogging. For the past three years I have been running My Fussy Eater, a recipe resource for parents with easy and healthy recipes that the whole family can enjoy along with tips and tricks for dealing with picky eating.
I decided to use my experience of running a recipe blog to set up Our Autism Diet, to provide a useful resource of gluten and dairy free recipes to parents in the same position as us.
I think it’s important to point out that our experiences of this diet are our own personal experiences only. I am in no way suggesting that this diet will in any way improve your child’s ASD symptoms. As always you should consult your GP or pediatrician before making any changes to your child’s diet. If however you have decided to follow this diet on your own accord then I hope you find this site useful in creating tasty, easy and delicious meals and snacks for your child.