Early Childhood Intervention
This website is a place for families who are facing
challenges pertaining to their child's development and
It is a place to find answers and practical
suggestions. That's what Early Intervention Support is all
Whether a family has a child with a challenging behavior,
a disability or developmental issue, childhood is short - it
should be savored and enjoyed.
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We understand developmental milestones and the challenges
of Special Needs children. We spend a great deal of time
with families understanding the inner workings of childhood
routines and interactions. Ask us about your child today!
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What is the Gluten Free Casein Free Diet?
The Gluten Free Casein Free Diet (GFCF Diet) is currently
used as a dietary intervention treatment for children and adults
with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, PDD-NOS, Celiac Disease and
Gluten & Dairy Allergies or Intolerance. The GFCF Diet
eliminates the intake of the naturally-occurring proteins gluten
(found naturally in wheat, barley, spelt, triticale, kamut, rye
and possibly oats) and casein (found in milk).
You can find studies that show evidence that the diet is often
helpful in lessening autistic symptoms such as impulsive
behaviors, lack of focus, and even speech problems. Conversely,
the diet also has many critics who say there is no real
scientific evidence that the diet works, however, many parents
of young children with autism swear by it.
Certainly wheat and dairy are a part of almost everything we
serve & eat in the United States and keeping a child away from
things such as ice cream, pizza, milk, and most snack foods and
cereals is not always easy. The diet does not simply involve
removing bread and milk from a childï¿½s diet because gluten can
be found even in products that can be absorbed through the skin
such as Playdoh, adhesive stickers, hygiene products, etc. The
key is to read every label thoroughly.
Nutritionists advise that you can start the diet slowly, by
eliminating foods and beverages that contain wheat & casein and
then replace them with GFCF items one at a time or opt to go
cold turkey and begin a strict regimen of GFCF right off the
bat. Children can eat a wide variety of meat, chicken, eggs,
fruits and vegetables while on this diet. Most local
supermarkets (Giant Eagle in the Pittsburgh area) now stock many
gluten free and casein free items due to dietary needs of people
with Celiac Disease or food allergies. If your local supermarket
does not carry certain foods, there are several online stores
you can order from such as :
Many autism support groups are recommending that parents give
the GFCF diet a try for a 3 month period. It may not benefit all
children, but those that it does benefit have been shown to make
great improvements and some parents report changes in behavior
right away after starting the new diet. If you search the
internet you can find parents making statements such as:
"...what a lifesaver it is to us since our autistic 3 year old
began the GFCF diet! We are seeing AMAZING results--after only 6
months, our little one who never had met an IEP goal, has now
met all his speech and occupational goals and we have to do
another meeting with his therapists! Wow! :-D Thanks so much!"
You can find many web sites dedicated to the GFCF Diet, along
with many recipes to try at home. Also, many books have been
written recently on the GFCF Diet including:
Diet Intervention and Autism by Marilyn Le Breton and A User
Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperberger Syndrome and
ADHD by Luke Jackson.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story on the GFCF Diet in
Tamara Guo, M. Ed. Developmental Specialist
More Tips for Children with Special Needs
Parenting Tips in Other Areas Include
Learn More About Early Intervention
Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with childhood developmental
delays and behaviors. These include in-home services, outpatient (you take
your child to a clinic), inpatient (following injury or surgery) and school
based services. Which type of therapy should you choose?
Visit our Therapy Options
area to learn more.
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