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Diet for Autism

Not so long ago there was a theory doing the rounds that the macabre Virginia Tech killings were carried out by an autistic individual. This theory was not well received and was quickly disclaimed when health reports proved otherwise. But what prompted the proponents of the theory to associate the schemingly silent killer Cho Seung Hui with autism?

Autism is a developmental disability that affects the central nervous system at a very early age and is characterized by impaired social interaction, communication, cognitive skills, restricted imagination and repetitive behavior. Autistic children experience the world differently from their contemporaries. They have difficulty in effectively expressing themselves and display a tendency to shun company. Autistic patients display a spectrum of dysfunction - from those who are physically and mentally challenged to those who look innocuously normal.

Although there are several factors such as genetics, that are implicated in autism,little is known about the disease itself or its real cause(s). Gastrointestinal abnormalities are common in autistic children causing abnormally high quantities of by-products to be leaked into the body resulting in the leaky gut syndrome. According to one hypothetical theory, the by- products of gluten and casein metabolism modify the activity of opioids, a brain chemical, thereby, rupturing brain function. Another theory postulates that the leaky gut activates a negative immune response.

Surveys reveal that nearly all the autistic children are placed on a diet, at some stage or the other of their life, with the fervent hope that selective abstinence will do them good.

There are validations from various quarters that a diet free of gluten (plant protein found mostly in wheat, rye and barley) and casein (protein found in dairy products), induced symptomati
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