Well.. I said a while ago that I would talk some more about food, and last weekend we had a couple come to dinner who has an Autistic child themselves, and we ate as well as discussed food :)
For a lot of kids with Autism, diet is looked at with the recomendation of Gluten and Dairy free being good as theit bodies cannot cope with certain things in those foods, and the nutrients don't get digested as well and blocked from being sent to the brain, so brain function is more difficult.
For us... they make a BIG difference.
When he was 2 and 1/2 we went to a Hungry Jacks (aka Burger King) with some friends... we had just recently reduced his diet, except we still let him have cheese, coz he just loved it so. It was HARD, he couldn't sit in his own chair, tried to steal food off other tables, and wouldn't play in the playground.. I think we lasted 35 minutes before giving up and going home.
We decided then to take him off cheese and just see. Two weeks later we were at the same HJ's, and he sat in his chair, ate his food, and played happily. So... we gave him an icecream as a treat, we were so pleased. He spent the next 4 days under his bed... quite literally - he just could not be with us or be at our level.
Then we have gluten. At day care last year he had a bunch of specific 'free' foods just for him, which was wonderful. However, one of them thought we were wanting wheat free and preserrvative free.. so got a rye bread especially for him (GLUTEN!!!). We were not aware, and in the two weeks they gave it to him (only 1-2 pieces every other day) he regressed massively in multiple areas of his life. Socially he stinted, words dropped off, and he stopped going to the toilet in the toilet... we were back to him doing poo's in the back yard, as he could not cope with sitting on the toilet... it had been 6 months since he had done that! Once we found the culprit and stopped it.. it was about 2 months before he was back to the stage he was prevoiusly at.
Mind you - being completely GF and CF free these days is possible, there are so many foods available - soy products, tofu cheeses, goats, rice.. etc. But we find it hard still - with 3 kids, parties, friends... so we aim for 80% plus.. and then don't get stressed if he has something he shouldn't... coz if we were too focused on it, it would truly be a burden.
So... if any of you have heard of these things for your child... please try them.. just give it 2 weeks and measure for yourself, then make you own decisions about continue... coz habits are hard to break, and good habits can be a challenge to get into :)
(Says me who hasn't been to the gym in 5 days ... ooops!)