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Chang Gung Med J. 2009 Jul-Aug;32(4):459-65.

The effects of a gluten and casein-free diet in children with autism: a case report.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


A boy with autism, growth and developmental retardation was brought to our clinic. He was diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome. Subsequently, various therapies were introduced when he was 5 months old yet the developmental delays persisted. Gastrointestinal problems such as frequent post-prandial vomiting and severe constipation were noted as well. At the age of 42 months, the boy was subjected to a gluten and casein-free diet. Soybean milk and rice were substituted for cow's milk, bread and noodles. After 2.5 months, interpersonal relations including eye to eye contact and verbal communication improved. At 5.5 months the boy was capable of playing and sharing toys with his sibling and other children, behavior noted to be closer to that of an unaffected child. In addition, the decreased frequency of postprandial vomiting led to a significant increment in body weight, body height (from below the third percentile to the tenth percentile) and vitality after 11 months on the diet. In view of the lack of consensus on the benefits of dietary intervention in patients with autism, we are suggesting an adjuvant therapy that is simple, safe and economical. In addition, the therapy may be more feasible in Taiwan as opposed to western countries because of cultural factors such as dietary preference and product availability.

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