Ok, everything I write about gluten free diets is going to be a layperson’s perspective; that’s just how it goes when one is a layperson. That’s ok. I still haven’t done my homework about much of it, so no rant yet. HOWEVER, I have found two basic ways that people approach the gluten-free idea.
Way the First: People on the autism spectrum have a tendency to be hyper-sensitive in a number of different ways. Sensitive hearing, sensitive sense of smell, sensitive sense of touch, on and on and on. Along with this is the fact that many people with ASD have a sensitive digestive system. When one is having painful GI issues, that can exacerbate behavioral issues, or cause/worsen learning delays since it can be difficult to learn when one is in pain. So IF a person on the spectrum has GI issues, and IF those issues can be fixed by gluten-free or other special diets, then it can really help to do them. It is not a matter of a special diet fixing autism, it is a matter of a special diet removing an additional issue.
Way the Second: Apparently there are people who think that the sensitive digestive system, instead of being yet another symptom of ASD, is the cause. The idea seems to be that since a mucked-up digestive system is what causes ASD, then a special diet will cause the ASD to go away and be fixed.
I kind of like the first way of thinking. It makes a great deal of sense to me and seems logical and put-together. I do not believe that it applies to me, because while it’s true that my digestive system can be sensitive in ways, I have never noticed it being sensitive to processed wheat products. It’s primarily sensitive to heavy foods, and to stress. Still, I can see how a special diet could help some people.
I think the second way of thinking is the height of idiocy. It involves talk about toxins in the bloodstream and such, and I have never heard of any substantial research showing any causative link between digestive issues and ASD. This is why I need to go research it – so I can put together a really good argument as to why it’s incredibly stupid. I suppose it’s possible that looking into things would make me change my mind and I’ll decide that a faulty gut can create a developmental neurological issue, but it seems exceedingly unlikely.