Do food and autism have a connection with each other? It is widely speculated that it does. Doctors used to think that diet and behaviour didn’t affect each other, but they came around to the idea not so long ago.

Of course, everybody with autism is different and has a unique experience with it, but with growing support of evidence that has spanned out for over 30 years more and more people are inclined to change their or their family member’s diet to help ease the effects of their autism disorder.

Now with changing someone’s diet can be tough all on its own, but when someone who is on the autism spectrum it can be even more difficult. When implementing a new food menu for the person on the autism spectrum, people will have opinions on it and will voice their concerns to you.

Things like:

  • How are you going to get them to eat anything else? They just eat their favourite food! Wouldn’t that just make them have a meltdown?
  • Diets are just a temporary solution, it doesn’t cure autism.
  • Finding alternative food options is tough, expensive and time-consuming.
  • Can’t your doctor just put them on another medication to help with their diet?
  • Are they healthy enough to do a particular diet?
  • Will you know how to prepare special meals for them? What if you mess it up and they refuse to eat it?
  • How will you make sure that they’re eating the meals when you leave them in someone else’s care?
  • Do you think it’s a good idea to change their diet? Will it be a shock to their system?
  • Is there any actual evidence of this diet working for autistic people?

It is essential to have the right information before you start anything and to go over it with medical professionals. Trying it out for a short time before really committing to the new diet and deciding that it is working is a good idea to do. Not everyone with Autism is the same, so everyone’s outcomes will be different.

It will be challenging to overcome obstacles that will come with the new diet program. What kind of barriers do you ask? Things like opinionated people who think they are right about everything and thinks you should do it their way instead. Not being prepared when around others and it gets whoever you are caring for who is on the autism spectrum off of their diet. Not being careful of the hidden exposures and ingredients in things which can interfere with the diet, mixing up food sensitivities and food allergies with each other.

Putting your guard down around restaurants and grocery products, using substitutes to cut around corners, not being aware of the ingredients of medication, not wanting to interfere with the person’s on the autism spectrum diet and potentially make their condition get worse or making fast changes will overwhelm them. Making small changes is a better way to go about it then changing it all at once. Make a plan and figure out what obstacles you might face and have a solution for it. Success won’t happen overnight, but it will be worth it in the long run.