Tag Archives: autism

iCan Bike Lets Kids With Different Abilities Grab Life by the Handlebars

When the iCan Bike program rolled into the Wichita Ice Center last month, 40 youth with varying disabilities grabbed life by the handlebars. The week-long camp is designed to teach cycling to children with developmental disabilities to ride a bike. For many, riding a bike is entrenched as a youthful rite of passage, an expected childhood development filed in between learning to read and losing baby teeth. But even with all the worthwhile services provided to people with different abilities, the teaching of the most essential recreational activity was being overlooked. Learning to bike is a portal. It’s the intersection of sport and independence, it’s in the doorway of competition and confidence.

icanbike wichita 1

iCan Bike is under the larger iCan Shine umbrella, a national organization that “provides quality learning opportunities” for a host of recreational activities. iCan Shine sent two staffers, Donovan Bryan and John Reyes, and their custom designed bikes and equipment for the Wichita camp, hosted by the Independent Living Resource Center. (more…)

The GAPS Diet Claims You Can Eat Away Autism. But Can You Really?

With headlines like “Eat Away Autism,” heads are sure to turn and listen up. A diet called the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS) has made these tall claims that it can heal digestive disorders and consequential issues like autism, depression, and even ADHD. Is this even possible or is this pure quackery just to get desperate parents to buy books?

The creators of the GAPS diet, Sidney Haas, MD and Elaine Gottschall, MSc, would argue that the GAPS diet cured her son of autism. Again, huge claims about a diet. The diet is a derivative of what was called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which is broken into three main categories and intends to create healing for many ailments in the gut, which is claimed to lead to psychological healings, too.

The three main categories are diet, supplements, and detoxification.

The actual diet aspect of GAPS encourages fermented foods, natural fats, and fresh vegetables. Many of the most common foods include eggs, fresh meat, garlic, olive oil, nuts and seeds, fish, and shellfish. People on GAPS are told not to consume dairy.

The supplement aspect of GAPS recommends taking vitamin A, probiotics, omega-3s, digestive enzymes, along with many other minerals and vitamins.

And the final category, detoxification, is referred to as one of the most important as it’s believed to remove toxicity from the gut and allow for healing. Some of the suggested detox methods include juices, elderberry, making sure no chemicals, like cleaning products, are used in the house.

This is an abbreviated description of the GAPS diet. A thorough description can be read on their webpage GAPSDiet.com. However, this diet is supposed to work to heal and remedy serious medical and mental conditions. The GAPS site states that, “[Dr. Campbell-McBride] believes that the link between learning disabilities, the food and drink that we take, and the condition of our digestive system is absolute.” (more…)

Jenny McCarthy Comes Clean on Dr. Oz

Tune in on October 15 as Dr. Oz sits down with Jenny McCarthy to talk about her worst health habits. She confesses about her past weight problem and drug addictions, as well as her worst current habit of smoking cigarettes. McCarthy dishes on her energy-boosting secret and how she lost her baby weight. Can Dr. Oz encourage her to come clean and kick her unhealthy habits?

McCarthy began her career as a Playboy model, later turning to roles in movies and television. She became a vocal activist for autism research after her son was diagnosed, claiming that childhood MMR vaccinations caused his disease. She has written several books on the subject of pregnancy, motherhood, and autism, with six books becoming New York Times bestsellers. Her newest book, Bad Habits, chronicles her journey from a devoutly Catholic childhood to her faith today. (more…)

Specific Carb Diet Helps Autistic Children

The apparent increase of incidents of autism spectrum disorders (including Asperger’s syndrome), and the cause of this increase, have been the source of much concern and debate in recent years. Some parents hesitate or even refuse to allow their children to be given standard vaccinations, fearing mercury and other toxins. More recently the medical community is looking into dietary toxicity instead.

Sugars come in three forms – monosaccharides or “simple sugars,” disaccharides, and polysaccharides; however, our bodies can only absorb monosaccharides. When other sugars are ingested, your body must first break them down into monosaccharides.


Introduction to the Specific Carb Diet

Honey: The only sweetener allowed with the Specific Carb Diet

The Specific Carb Diet was originally created by Dr. Sidney V. Haas more than 60 years ago to treat digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is now being used to treat autism spectrum disorders, celiac disease and cystic fibrosis. It is not a low-carb diet like Atkins. Many find it very restrictive; however, those who experience the health benefits are committed to strict adherence. It is more restrictive and specific than a gluten-free diet. Because it can be overwhelming, I think it is helpful to present the “allowed” foods first.

Special Diets for Autism Unproven

autism puzzleAutism affects children by disrupting their ability to communicate and interact socially with others. Parents try alternative treatments to reduce their child’s symptoms, which includes specialized diets for autism. The gluten-free/casein-free diet has grown in popularity. And, some parents have reported improvements in their autistic children with a new dietary regimen. However, there has been little research to prove that the gluten-free/casein-free diet for autism works.

Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet: The Facts

A gluten-free/casein-free diet, also known as the GFCF Diet, is a strict elimination eating plan where all foods containing gluten and casein are removed from the child’s daily food intake. Gluten is a protein found in the seeds of grains like barley, oats, rye, and wheat. Casein is a protein that is prevalent in cow’s milk and cheese. Unfortunately, a large number of foods contain gluten and casein, which makes it hard to totally eliminate. (more…)

A Mother’s Experience with the Casein Free Diet for Autism

grilled cheeseGuest blogger Janice Ellen Wright is a former magazine editor and website editorial person, currently being the mother of 7-year-old DuckyBoy and making forays into online information marketing. Janice also blogs about her experiences with her son’s school program for students with high-functioning autism and how this experience got her sent to the principal’s office for the first time in her life. Feel free to search for controversy at Autism and Public Schools.

Part of the casein-free diet‘s success for me and my son was the amount of time I was able, and willing, to devote to preparing things that were not only CF, but also would be something DuckyBoy would eat.

It was this past Christmas that we tried going off the diet. Now, he’s in love with the grilled cheese sandwiches at the school cafeteria, and some days I find myself wondering what protein he ate on the CF diet now that I pack some combination of cheese sticks, cheese crackers, and Goldfish for his snacks or lunch almost every day. (more…)

Using the Gluten, Casein and Soy-Free Diet for Children with Autism

The week of September 20 is Autism Awareness Week at DietsInReview.com.

holly tacaGuest Blogger Holly Bortfeld is a work-at-home mom to two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ages 14 and 16. She home-schools her son and writes content for the Talk About Curing Autism (TACA ) site, including the popular series, “Autism-On-A-Budget.” Follow Holly on Twitter @TACAnow.

My son has been on the GFCF diet since 1998. Back then, there was little available as far as information, research or foods that didn’t taste like cardboard. Happily, you can now find an extensive array of mixes and pre-packaged foods now in grocery and health food stores, as well as online grocers.

Why should you do the diet? Because it works! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, at least 70% of children with ASD have gastroenterological problems and both published and anecdotal research shows diet to be the single-most effective treatment used with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) kids. (more…)

Feeding a Finicky Autistic Child

The week of September 20 is Autism Awareness Week at DietsInReview.com.

jackGuest blogger Jean is a mom to three young sons, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. She has spent many years trying to find ways to entice her autistic son to eat healthy food. She writes about her life and her kids on her blog, Stimeyland.

“C’mon, Jack, just take one bite. Please?”

You hear this a lot at my house. Jack is my autistic son, and he does not care for new food. Nor does he care for familiar food, especially if it is a fruit or vegetable. He has about 15 foods he will happily eat, and he is usually unwilling to stray outside that list.

We’ve tried many things to get him to eat: Fruit in smoothies! Vegetables hidden in spaghetti sauce! Raisins hidden in cookies! But he just takes one tiny sip of the smoothie and walks off. He cleans the sauce off of his pasta with his cup of milk. And if he finds a raisin in his cookie, he will spit it out. In fact, he’s started to avoid cookies because of the unwelcome surprises he’s found in them. (more…)

Sound-Based Intervention Offers Eating Hope for Autistic Children

The week of September 20 is Autism Awareness Week at DietsInReview.com.

Sally BrockettGuest blogger Sally Brockett, M.S., is a Berard AIT Instructor/Practitioner and the Director of the IDEA Training Center. For more information and a list of international Berard AIT practitioners, visit Berard AIT.

Berard Auditory Integration Training (AIT) is a sound-based intervention designed to reorganize or balance the auditory system when it is functioning inefficiently. One would not expect a listening program to have any effect on the self-restricted diets and feeding problems experienced by those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There are many reports and data that indicate Berard AIT may, in fact, have an effect, due to its overall impact on sensory modulation.

Berard AIT provides an intensive program of electronically modulated music filtered through the Earducator or Audiokinetron. The training requires two half-hour listening sessions for ten days. The novel stimulation, provided with intensity and repetition, provides the key components to trigger neural plasticity and reorganization of the auditory system, which is home to the sensory processing system. Sensory processing problems underlie many of the behaviors exhibited by those with ASD, including some diet and feeding issues. (more…)

Learning to Love the Casein-Free Diet for Autism

The week of September 20 is Autism Awareness Week at DietsInReview.com.

Janice Wright's son's favorite food: Oyster cracker & cream cheese

Janice Wright's son's favorite food: Oyster cracker & cream cheese

Guest blogger Janice Ellen Wright blogs about her experiences with her son’s school program for students with high-functioning autism and how this experience got her sent to the principal’s office for the first time in her life. Feel free to search for controversy at Autism and Public Schools.

When my son was about four-years old, and struggling with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), a behavioral disorder of autism, I bought a book titled Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder: A Mother’s Story of Research and Recovery, by Karyn Seroussi.

I had no idea what the GFCF diet was, nor did I want to know. But Seroussi was such a thoughtful writer, I kept on reading. When she wrote something like, “How can you not try removing dairy, for your child’s sake?” I knew I had to try. (more…)