New Autism Study: Gluten-free Diet Does Not Help Autistic Children

Parents of autistic children are constantly seeking new treatments. Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a developmental disorder that causes problems in social interaction and communication, ranging from mild to severe. It’s an extremely challenging condition for parents, and as of today there is no cure.

However, there are plenty of websites that offer treatments for autism, many of them unproven. One of the more common claims is that autistic children will benefit from a gluten-free, casein-free diet. There has been some weakly supportive evidence for this idea, such as this 2012 report from Penn State, but that study was based entirely on interviews with parents. Interviews are notoriously unreliable for scientific data collection. 

Perhaps because so few effective treatments are available, many parents of autistic children have tried gluten-free diets for their children, in the hope that perhaps they might work. (One can find entire books dedicated to this diet.) 

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