8 Recommendations for Autism

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder thirst for information to help their kids. I understand. I would too, in their shoes. So, I want to tell you what I personally would recommend to parents of children with autism. I’ll keep this information fairly basic.

a photograph of a small child’s wrist with a bracelet saying I have autism

In this article, I’ll cover:

First, let’s take a look at some common characteristics of children who have autism.


Common Characteristics Of Kids With Autism

There are differences between the brain of someone with autism compared to the brain of a child who isn’t on the spectrum.

First of all, there’s a defect in what’s called autophagy, a process by which your cells clean up old, damaged proteins and other parts of the cells. Thus, if there’s a defect in the body’s ability to repair damaged brain tissue, or clean up waste products in the brain, it can leave the brain overly excited, or lead to cognitive problems.

Autistic children tend to have low levels of vitamin D, as well as folate. Folate helps protect cellular DNA from damage. When someone has too little folate, it leads to oxidative stress and free radical damage.

With autism, there’s often what’s called dysmyelination - dysfunction in the myelin sheath that covers the nerves and neurons in the brain, leaving them unable to function as intended.

As well, about ninety percent of autistic children have intestinal problems, often marked by a large, swollen belly. In fact, there’s actually a direct connection between the digestive system and the brain, by way of the vagus nerve. Ninety percent of the total communication via the vagus nerve happens from the gut to the brain; only ten percent happens from the brain to the gut. If that ninety percent communication is disrupted or impaired, I believe this could be a contributing factor for autism.

Interestingly, children are sometimes diagnosed with autism soon after being switched to formula from breastfeeding. (Then again, many children are diagnosed around age 4, so the link isn’t entirely clear.)

However, formulas often contain common allergens such as soy and milk casein. Not to mention, the formula is often loaded with chemicals and sugars. This leads directly to the first of my eight recommendations:


#1 Breastfeed As Long As Possible

I’m advocating that you breastfeed for a few years, if you possibly can.

a photograph of a young mom who is breastfeeding her baby

#2 Eliminate Gluten

You must get rid of gluten, a protein found in grains, from your child’s diet. (And ideally from yours, if you’re still breastfeeding.) You’ve probably already taken your child off gluten, which is good. Gluten tears up the gut of autistic children, creating inflammatory responses that can affect brain chemistry.

In other words, take grain products such as bread, cookies, cereals, and cake out of your child’s diet.

#3 Eliminate Casein

Casein is one of the proteins found in dairy products, and is a common allergen. Thus, avoid giving your child mild products.

You may discover that simply eliminating gluten and casein may make a tremendous difference in your child’s health.

#4 Detoxification Of Heavy Metals

Although an overall detox of heavy metals is advisable, I specifically want to ensure that you get rid of any mercury in your child. The remedy I recommend is silica. There are numerous products you can find online or in most health food stores.

#5 Consume Selenium And Zinc

Selenium is a trace mineral, which means your body requires it but doesn’t make it - so you must get it from your diet. Selenium will bind to a particular protein, acting as a powerful antioxidant. Combine it with zinc, another trace mineral. Selenium and zinc together act to counter the effects of heavy metals. You can find these minerals as supplements online or in most health food stores.

#6 Put Your Child On Healthy KetoTM

Putting your child on the Healthy KetoTM diet plan will help to repair some of the damage to the brain, by switching to using ketones as fuel instead of carbohydrates. Ketones are a type of fatty acid produced by your body when you’re in ketosis. Your body actually prefers to use ketones as fuel.

a picture of healthy keto foods such as salmon and olive oil

I further recommend using what are called exogenous ketones; that is, consuming ketones in addition to the ones made by your body when you’re on the keto diet. MCT oil is an excellent source of exogenous ketones.

Being on a low-carbohydrate keto diet will allow the neurons in your child’s brain to be fed directly by ketones, which can bypass the damaged part of the brain. Glucose can’t provide the same direct nourishment to the neurons.

Even if you make just this one change, you’ll probably see tremendous improvement,

#7 Adopt Intermittent Fasting

Ideally, you could encourage your child to adopt intermittent fasting. I know it’s difficult to ask a small child to fast. Perhaps at least limit them to three meals per day, with no snacking in between. Fasting’s benefits to the brain are substantial; you can actually grow new neurons, for example.

Another alternative for fasting is to try two large meals that are very nutrient-dense, and see if that is acceptable to your child.

#8 Consume Vitamins D And C

Whatever your child eats, please ensure the food is rich in nutrients. You may have to supplement with a powdered green drink, because some children really dislike vegetables. But they need folate and vitamin D.

Vitamin D is not only critical for brain health, but it’s also essential for the immune system

And vitamin C is also important. I’m not talking about the synthetic ascorbic acid kind of this vitamin. Rather, I mean the full vitamin C complex from fresh fruits and vegetables. The full complex is so much more beneficial for your child.


Try These Recommendations To Help Your Autistic Child

I crafted these eight alternative recommendations to give you additional steps to consider for your child who has autism. I know it’s not an easy path for you, and I want to give you information to consider that could help your child because their well-being, and yours, are of utmost importance.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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