I am a Registered Dietitian who specializes in nutrition therapy for children with autism. I work with parents to help improve their child’s health, behavior and quality of life through diet.
How is nutrition related to autism? So glad you asked. Have you noticed that your child’s autism affects what or how they eat? Perhaps your child is super selective, refusing any foods with a certain look or texture. Maybe your child doesn’t eat enough, grazing on small snacks all day rather than sitting down for a complete meal. Your child’s body is sustained by the nutrients in the foods they eat. This food impacts their ability to grow and move. It affects their brain, their mood and emotions, their ability to think and speak. It enables them to fight off illness and detoxify. We want to nourish our beloved children with optimal nutrition – everything their bodies need, so they can be at their best!
Meeting the nutritional needs for those with autism can be difficult. It’s a bit like handling an onion, peeling back one layer only to find another. Let me explain. Children with autism often have anxiety and neurochemical imbalance, inflammation throughout the body and especially in the brain, impaired digestion and nutrient deficiencies. Eating is a very sensory-rich experience and it may be stressful for those with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) . Children with autism are prone to bacterial or yeast overgrowth and food sensitivities, which can cause pain, diarrhea, constipation, trouble sleeping or even skin issues. Certain foods, even nutritious ones, can have compounds within them that cause irritability or hyperactivity. Talk about complex and overwhelming! But there is always hope. Believe it or not, diet can have an impact on every one of these symptoms. And you don’t have to take this on alone.
My goal is to provide nutrition care that is tailor-made, just for your child. My approach is centered on using food and supplements strategically and therapeutically. For a child with autism, a poor diet can cause new issues or bring existing symptoms from bad to worse. The right diet can alleviate the stress of damaging foods, unburden the body, pave the way for healing and allow the child to feel more comfortable, think more clearly and learn more easily. So let’s make food work for us, not against us. I can work with you to find the right diet for your child and use food to your advantage in the management of autism.
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Holistic, Therapeutic Diets
I can help you navigate even the most selective diets, including:
Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
Body Ecology Diet
Autoimmune Paleo Diet
Existing diets like these can work very well for some people. But that may not always be the case.
Sometimes it’s not about finding the right diet, it’s about creating it – and we can do that too!
Because the diet that is best for your child, will be as unique as your child!
Diets can be combined and changed to best fit the person. This is the beauty of working with a professional. Understanding food and nutrients – that’s my job. And you know your child better than anyone. Working together, we can determine your child’s nutritional needs and design a diet that is just the right fit.