Last Fall 2014, we designed a cause awareness print to spread awareness about Autism and donated monies from the sale of our Autism Awareness White scrub prints to a designated charity. This Spring, we are continuing to spread awareness , through our Dance for Autism White scrub prints because it affects so many children, 1 in 68. $1 from the sale of each Dance for Autism White scrub top and scrub jacket will be donated to Generation Rescue, making our total contribution to over $2,600. This gift will go towards the funding of a medical treatment for one individual.
There is no cure for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) at this time but early detection and treatment at a very young age can help improve a child’s life overall, starting with their diet. Generation Rescue was created because the founding partners and husband and wife, JB and Lisa Handley were affected by their son, Jamison’s journey with Autism. They both also co-produced a documentary film entitled “Autism Yesterday.” Julie Matthews, an autism nutrition specialist said “the road to autism recovery begins with a diet.” Specific foods that have gluten and casein are known to cause serious issues for children affected with Autism and should not be consumed. Julie says a diet without them will “help balance a child’s biochemistry, affect systemic healing and provide relief of autism symptoms.”
Autism was proposed solely as a brain disorder, demonstrating that it begins and ends in the brain. Per Julie, “Through the array of common physical symptoms observed and the breakthrough work of the Autism Research Institute, a more appropriate “whole body disorder” (the brain is affected by the biochemistry generated in the body) perspective of autism has emerged.” Children with autism experienced physical symptoms like bloating, GI pain, constipation, diarrhea, recurring infections, not sleeping properly and inflammation and pain. Autism displayed physical as well as behavioral symptoms and proved that it could not be diagnosed as only a brain disorder. When autism is classified as a whole body disorder, then the bigger picture emerges of how a child’s body and cells affects his or her brain and how it is connected to their diet and biochemistry. Our gut breaks down our food so we can have the necessary nutrients needed to support biochemistry and allow the brain to function as it should. Our gut is an essential piece in understanding and managing autism.
On Generation Rescue’s site, they have posted a detailed nutrition/how to begin guide that will help parents not be overwhelmed. They are shown the tools here and can prepare a game plan on where to start in managing their kids’ gluten-free/casein-free (GFCF) diets. Below is an excerpt and you can click here for more information:
Sources of GLUTEN to Avoid
GF oats are available
Gluten Containing Ingredients and Foods:
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Proteins *
Dextrin and maltodextrin *
Artificial flavors & coloring *
Soy sauce (unless wheat-free) *
Potato chips/fries *
Sauces and gravies *
Bologna and hot dogs *
* May contain gluten, unless specified gluten-free
Sources of CASEIN to Avoid
Casein is found in all animal milk products (cow, goat, sheep milk, etc.), such as:
Yogurt and kefir
Casein Containing Ingredients and Foods:
Lactose in seasoning
Lactalbumin, as natural flavor Artificial butter flavor
Lactic acid *
Canned tuna *
Seasoned potato chips *
Hot dogs and bologna (may contain) *
* May contain casein
Here Are Some Initial Steps for Implementing GFCF:
1. Experiment. Before removing anything, introduce GFCF alternatives such as rice pasta, GF waffles, and other GFCF foods and snacks-this will support the elimination portion later. Try some prepared foods and mixes. Find options you child likes and that you can substitute later during implementation.
2. Explore GFCF resources (books, cookbooks, videos, autism websites) to become familiar with the diet and learn helpful ideas, what to expect, and what foods are allowed. Watch instructional videos – many available at YouTube.
3. Create a meal plan—a list of gluten-free and casein-free foods, meals, and snacks your child will eat or that you would like to make on GFCF.
4. Shop for foods according to meal plan, as well as purchasing GFCF flours, milks, and other cooking staples.
5. Then, begin eliminating one at a time:
Start with the elimination of casein—for two weeks, then…
Remove gluten and continue both (gluten-free and casein-free) for three to six months.
About Generation Rescue
Generation Rescue is a national non-profit organization providing immediate treatment assistance, information and hope to families affected by autism spectrum disorders. Their vision is to provide families with a better quality of life and help stop autism in future generations. Generation Rescue was founded in 2005 by JB and Lisa Handley, parents of an autistic child who were looking for autism support resources. The information they learned from other parents about how to treat the underlying symptoms of autism, in order to improve a child’s quality of life, became the inspiration for Generation Rescue. Generation Rescue educates, supports, advocates and truly empowers families affected by autism to achieve a better quality of life today and encourages healthy choices for future generations. Generation Rescue currently helps more than 25,000 families yearly affected by autism spectrum disorders – offering programs nationwide that provide services on a local level and providing mentors in 39 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://generationrescue.org/.
It is estimated to cost at least $17,000 more per year to care for a child with Autism compared to a child without it. Let’s band together and spread the word more to help manage this incurable condition!