Recent research has revealed that the spectrum of diseases associated with celiac disease may be much wider than previously thought. A team of scientists analyzing a database of the electronic health records of 36 million people discovered potential links between celiac disease and a multitude of conditions as diverse as liver disease, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, eosinophilic esophagitis, anxiety disorder, Down syndrome, psoriasis and autism.
Classroom chalk containing casein can trigger respiratory symptoms in milk-allergic children, say researchers from the Hospital Marina Baixa in Spain. They studied a group of 12 milk-allergic children and found that all were sensitized to the chalk (allergy testing was positive). In four of the children, the chalk dust triggered wheezing, coughing and sneezing. Symptoms improved when the chalk was switched to a brand that didn’t contain casein.
Cooking instructor Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer uses her kitchen and gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) recipes to connect and communicate with her son who has autism. The cooking experience also helps him grow developmentally. Now Kaplan-Mayer shares her techniques in The Kitchen Classroom, 32 Visual GFCF Recipes to Boost Development Skills (Woodbine House). This is more than a special-diet cookbook. It’s a step-by-step instruction manual for using kid-favorite recipes to have fun with your special-needs child while teaching essential skills. Recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and treats are rated for ease of preparation and include symbols for targeted skill sets each project will enhance.
Not long ago, “Welcome to Holland” popped up on my computer while I was doing an Internet search. I had to remind myself to breathe. Seeing that story title instantly transported me back to 1992, the day my husband and I finally faced the fact that something was seriously wrong with our son Sam, 3½. The pediatrician had been discounting our fears for months as “first-time parent jitters.”
Kenneth A. Bock, MD, a leading expert on the biomedical approach to treating autism and author of Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies, talks with editor Alicia Woodward about the critical role of diet for children with autism spectrum disorder.
Food can trigger a multitude of medical concerns, even in healthy individuals. When the body is compromised due to autism spectrum disorders, certain foods can aggravate an already stressed immune system and manifest new challenges, including food intolerances, pH imbalance, yeast overgrowth, bacteria and autoimmune disorders. In addition, gluten and casein may prompt an “opioid effect,” a condition that occurs when morphine-like peptides cross the blood/brain barrier. Symptoms can include hyperactivity, moodiness, inappropriate giggling, poor memory, sleep problems, constant hunger, lack of urine/stool control, craving for only gluten- and casein-containing foods and extreme “picky eating.”
Brace yourself. Changing your child’s diet is apt to feel daunting at first—but hang in there! Let us help you transform the challenge and ease into a new way to feed your family. These changes are more unfamiliar than difficult and help is on the way. Once you learn your way around the grocery store and understand ingredient labels, this new way of cooking will become routine—the new normal. …
Anyone watching the stats on the increasing incidence of certain childhood medical conditions—allergies, autism, diabetes, obesity, ADHD—knows it makes for grim news. Take a look at the latest figures on autism from the Centers for Disease Control: 1 in 110 children. When you break it down to just boys, CDC’s rate is 1 in 70. According to new research in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal, Pediatrics, the numbers are even more alarming. One in 91 kids, 1 in 58 boys.
Mom-on-a-mission Danna Korn, well-known author of books about gluten-free living and cooking, offers updated advice on raising a child with special dietary needs in Gluten-Free Kids, Raising Happy, Healthy Children with Celiac Disease, Autism, and Other Conditions (Woodbine House). This new edition expands on Korn’s original Kids with Celiac Disease to embrace all families with youngsters who could benefit from an adjusted diet, including children with Down syndrome and those with autism spectrum disorders.
To draw attention to the plight of people with autism, Polly Tommey took her shirt off. Tommey of Hampton, U.K., and supporters launched a billboard campaign last year that grabbed the eyes of the nation, including those of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The billboards featured 43-year-old Tommey in a push-up bra with the message: “Hello Boys. Autism is worth over 6 millions votes. It’s time to talk….” The strategy worked, gaining Tommey and her group access to top politicians and pledges for government help.