I can remember reading in the Coeliac Disease magazine that I was given in 2006 that gluten can “cause” autism. There was an example of a woman whose autistic son used to bang his head and scream and after she removed gluten, he could supposedly say, “sore tummy, Mummy.”

The reality is that gluten, casein or any other potential allergen or substance that causes intolerance is NOT a trigger for autism. People are born with autism AND a gluten, casein or any other substance intolerance and removing that may cause more calming, but not removal of autism.

Imagine this, you are a child with autism, you may or not be verbal, but you scream when food is put before you. If you have a food intolerance, the pain that the substance is causing you is what makes you scream, not your autism.

Issues such as not wanting to eat certain foods due to colour are sensory issues, not intolerances and these are best dealt with how the autistic wishes to. Intolerance to gluten or casein can only be diagnosed through medical testing and removal of this can cause a person to be calmer and come to not associate food with digestive pain.

You may have a calmer child if the intolerance is removed, but you will still have an autistic child or adult, just one who cannot eat certain foods.

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