Monday, September 29, 2008

Will is officially casein free!

There's been a lot of talk about treating kiddos with autism with a gluten-free/casein-free diet. In plain English, gluten is wheat and it's pretty much in EVERYTHING we consume. Next time you're bored and checking out labels of the food you eat, you'll find some sort of wheat in your food. And casein is dairy - milk, whey, etc. Apparently these things can be toxic for children with autism.

Many parents of children with autism swear by the GFCF diet - remove these items from a kid's diet and miraculous things can happen. The children begin to focus more, language increases, etc. Couple the diet with other interventions and the theory is that you can actually cure a child with autism.

I posted a while back that we were ready to try the diet after realizing something is causing Will's issues. Well, I finally met with a doctor last week who will be treating Will biomedically for his issues, and he gave me the go-ahead to start the casein-free part of the diet. It's a lot easier to implement since dairy-free foods are easier to come by. And casein leaves the body a lot quicker, so we could potentially see some changes in a couple of weeks (versus starting with the gluten-free part of the diet, since gluten takes months to leave the body). As of today, Will is no longer going to be consuming dairy. That means we have to get creative - for example, we've replaced his daily Pediasure with chocolate almond milk - he seems to like it just fine. We're hoping and praying this helps - I will keep you posted on any progress.

Here are some pics we took on our trip to the Dallas World Aquarium for Will's birthday. He absolutely loved it - especially when he got up close and personal with the sharks!


Angelina said...

Hi Dawn~ I am a friend of Ryan's from middle and high school and have been reading your blog for a little while. I am a special education teacher and work with many students with autism. I commend you and Ryan for finding out what has caused this in your son and doing whatever is necessary for Will and his development. I am anxious to read about the results and effects of Will's new diet... Best of luck to all of you! If there's ever anything I can help with in the special education world, please let me know...(rights as parents, education programs, etc).. Tell Ryan HI for me! ~Angie (Crowley) Hickman

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn - Since you are in the process of starting your son in the GFCF diet, I thought you might be interested in this webinar. Here is more information:


Special Diets: A Simple Piece to a Difficult Puzzle –
An educational Webinar for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder

Speaker: Judy Converse, MPH, RD, LD
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Time: 1pm EST/10am PST
Cost: Free

Many children with autism benefit from a gluten-free, casein-free diet, but implementing the diet safely and effectively isn’t always easy.

Please join Judy Converse, a licensed, registered dietitian with more than 20 years of experience, to learn:

•How the GFCF diet can improve the digestive health of many children with autism

•Steps to ensure proper nutrition for your child while following the GFCF diet

•Tips, recipes and other resources for successfully managing a special diet

To register, visit:

If you have any questions about this event or how to register please contact Alyssa Gold at or 202-296-2002, ext 102.

Suzy said...

Thinking of you and Will. I hope the days are going fine without casein.