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World Autism Awareness Day: Indian Diet Plan For Autism

Today on World Autism Awareness Day 2018, we will be writing about what is autism and the foods to eat and avoid during autism. The World Autism Awareness Day 2018 throws a spotlight on the hurdles that people with autism face every day. It's a growing health issue that expresses concern towards people with disabilities.

What Is Autism?

Autism is a neurological disorder which is characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and non-verbal communication. Autism affects the growth and development of the brain and the central nervous system.

what is autism

The signs of autism appear in children aged between 2 and 3 years. It also can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. It is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects more than 1 million people in India.

What Causes Autism?

Experts are still uncertain about the causes of autism. However, it appears to be that a number of environmental, biological and genetic factors set the stage for autism and make a child more likely to have the disorder. It has been found that identical twins are more likely to get autism at birth. Research has also found that a few emotional disorders such as manic depression occur often in families of a child with autism.

Other causes of autism can be due to Rubella (German measles) in the pregnant mother. Tuberous sclerosis autism is a rare genetic disorder that causes benign tumours to develop in the brain and in other vital organs; fragile x syndrome, and encephalitis, a brain inflammation.

Symptoms Of Autism

The symptoms of autism and the severity may vary. According to the National Institute Of Mental Health (NIMH), the symptoms are social symptoms which include gazing at faces, turning towards voices and difficulty in engaging with everyday human interactions.

Children with autism have communication difficulties which include delay in babbling, speaking and learning to use gestures. Unusual repetitive behaviours is another symptom of autism which involves hand-flipping, rocking, jumping and twirling, etc.

According to a recent study, researchers at the Mass General Hospital for Children (MGHFC) and the John Hopkins University School of Medicine have found a chemical in broccoli sprouts. This may help improve some social and behavioural problems that affect people with autism.

Given below is the Indian diet for autism

  • Milk Substitutes

Most of the children drink milk for bone development. However, the gluten-free/casein-free diet is known to be effective for autism. This diet consists of two basic eliminations wheat and dairy foods. Cow's milk is not allowed and instead you can provide almond milk, rice milk, soy milk and hemp milk. It is better that you make it at home.

  • Gluten-free Bread

Gluten-free breads are made from brown rice flour, sorghum, potato flour, and flax seeds. The taste and texture is different from regular bread because the different flours used to make the gluten-free breads gives the bread its density.

  • Cheese Substitutes

Cheese is a favourite food among children and eliminating it completely from their diet can be difficult. You could opt for alternative cheese products or cheese substitutes like nutritional yeast, which has a nutty and cheesy flavour. Nutritional yeast is a good substitute for cheese because it's rich in B vitamins and protein.

  • Meat

Minimally processed meat and unflavoured meat is generally considered gluten-free. Avoid frozen meat and packaged meat like chicken nuggets which may contain spices that are not gluten-free.

Facts About Autism

  • According to the estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism's prevalence is 1 in 68 children.
  • An estimated 50,000 teenagers with autism become adults.
  • Around one-third of people with autism remain non-verbal and have intellectual disability.

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