Individuals with Autism receive Autism treatments and Autism therapy to improve the quality of life. Occupational, speech and physical therapy are a few examples the many therapy modalities available. Non-medical treatments include behavioral and educational. Medical interventions may include medication and diet. One form of diet intervention is the Casein free diet.
As the name of the diet indicates, casein intake is the focus of the child’s diet. The center of attention is to eliminated from the child’s diet. Casein is milk protein. Obvious foodstuffs containing casein include milk, ice cream, yogurt and cheese. Casein is not always as apparent is found as an ingredient. For those choosing to use the casein free diet, it is necessary that not only the shopper be educated on the products that may contain casein as an ingredient, but also carefully read labels for hidden ingredients.
Those who favor the use of a casein free diet point to the gastrointestinal difficulties experience by many people with Autism as a result of having digesting milk proteins. The accumulation of the proteins theoretically could act like a drug. Those families finding positive results while using the casein free diet report a decrease in behavioral difficulties.
Many times the casein free diet is used in combination with the gluten free diet. The gluten free diet eliminated the use of all wheat and all wheat bi-products. In conjunction it has been reported to further decrease the incidents of behavioral issues. Although utilizing the gluten free, casein free diet requires discipline in food purchases, the caregivers of those with Autism prefer the results over the difficulties both the individual and family experience.