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Old 05-14-2013, 02:22 PM   #1
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ASD/ADHD/SPD and diet

Knowledgeable Mamas, please tell me what, if anything, you have had to do for your special needs child's diet (specifically children with a combo of ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Asperger's)
I already consider our family as eating pretty healthy, and I am working at it all the time.
Recently my family has eliminated cow milk from our common intake. Mostly because it is causing me to have gallbladder and skin issues for sure! And, there are healthier alternatives.
I have noticed a positive change in my oldest's behavior, in just the last few weeks, and he still has milk at school. (I called the pedi today to ask for a note for school, to replace milk with water.)
His behavior is still challenging of course, but he is far less irritable and is more willing to engage with the rest of us, more agreeable to things asked of him too. This is HUGE to me, but now I wonder...
What other dietary help can I give him? (And the rest of us! My 3 year old has a lot of similar, soon to be evaluated issues, probably ASD as well.)

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Old 05-14-2013, 02:35 PM   #2
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Re: ASD/ADHD/SPD and diet

I found that cutting out artificial sweeteners and food dyes made a huge difference. He still gets things with sugar, molasses, honey, or maple syrup. We avoid high fructose corn syrup, as well as food dyes, and that made a huge difference in his behavior. For us, it was not enough to avoid meds (he's aspergers, ADHD, and anxiety), but it helps, quite a bit.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:45 PM   #3
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Re: ASD/ADHD/SPD and diet

My son just got diagnosed SPD a few months ago and we are trying really hard to avoid food dyes and high fructose corn syrup. He got a red popsicle yesterday after not having any food dye for over a week and even my DH noticed his behavior last night and asked what I fed him. I would cut milk, but he loves cow milk so we have found grassfed and it doesn't seem to affect him as much as conventional store bought.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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Yea, I had definitely heard about the artificial things, but we have mostly eliminated them anyway.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:58 PM   #5
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Re: ASD/ADHD/SPD and diet

I'm going to be honest here, I am not big on the diet thing. I say this as some one who has tried it all with no success. I consider us to eat a very healthy diet, we have done extreme elimination diets including the most extreme form of Feingold, they never did anything for my kids. My youngest is casein intolerant so he does not consume dairy but it does not change his behavior in the least, just stomach issues. My oldest cannot have food dyes but again no behavioral changes he just itches from head to toe. I personally cannot have dairy or gluten. So like I said we eat very healthy, mostly plant based, veggies, beans, lentils, fruit, and all home made from scratch food. There is no HFCS in our diet, no dyes, and very very little dairy (butter and the rare cheese) for my oldest son who is ASD, SPD, ADHD, and probably Bipolar. It has had no affect what-so-ever. While I believe whole heartedly that it is good for his body and I am thrilled that my child who at one time would not even consider eating anything other than plain pasta will now happily eat Brussels Sprouts, it doesn't change the fact that he needs a medication plan.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:51 AM   #6
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Re: ASD/ADHD/SPD and diet

Quote:
Originally Posted by iris0110 View Post
I'm going to be honest here, I am not big on the diet thing. I say this as some one who has tried it all with no success. I consider us to eat a very healthy diet, we have done extreme elimination diets including the most extreme form of Feingold, they never did anything for my kids. My youngest is casein intolerant so he does not consume dairy but it does not change his behavior in the least, just stomach issues. My oldest cannot have food dyes but again no behavioral changes he just itches from head to toe. I personally cannot have dairy or gluten. So like I said we eat very healthy, mostly plant based, veggies, beans, lentils, fruit, and all home made from scratch food. There is no HFCS in our diet, no dyes, and very very little dairy (butter and the rare cheese) for my oldest son who is ASD, SPD, ADHD, and probably Bipolar. It has had no affect what-so-ever. While I believe whole heartedly that it is good for his body and I am thrilled that my child who at one time would not even consider eating anything other than plain pasta will now happily eat Brussels Sprouts, it doesn't change the fact that he needs a medication plan.
Sorry it did not work for your child, but it obviously is helping mine and many others, so that doesn't mean it isn't real.
I don't disbelieve that my son may end up on at least ADHD medication later in life because, unfortunately, the public school environment requires that he behaves and has an attention span in a very specific manner. Doing anything I can to lessen the amount of medication he will need and make him a happy, healthier, and easier-going person does him the biggest favor of all.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:17 AM   #7
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Re: ASD/ADHD/SPD and diet

We had to cut out most dairy for my son with language delays. He started talking more as soon as all milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream were eliminated from my diet and his. Could be coincidence, but it helped! He seems to do okay with foods that have cooked dairy. We haven't done any formal allergy testing because this seems to be working for him.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:02 PM   #8
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Re: ASD/ADHD/SPD and diet

We are just starting magnesium. It was suggested as something that may help cut down on his anger and frustration. It did so for another child we know with ASD. DS has SPD, but has always had a difficult time with expressing emotions. Recently, he is becoming more aware of when he feels angry or frustrated, but is hitting, throwing and kicking. Not horribly, but I want to stop it before it becomes habit. I am also trying to find grass fed milk I can afford and considering cod liver oil and iodine supplements as well. Finally, I'm researching what I can do to get the fluoride out of our water or where I can get bottled water without added fluoride.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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Re: ASD/ADHD/SPD and diet

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