1002 N. Country Club Road | Tucson, AZ | 85716     Phone 520.319.5857

Tucson Alliance

for Autism


  • How does nutrition affect autism?

There is a lot of disagreement among “experts” about how nutrition affects autism.  Many kids on the spectrum exhibit signs of food sensitivities and gut problems.  Doctors and parents following a biomedical approach believe that at least some of the causes of Autism are biological in nature.  These causes include nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities and environmental pollutants.  These doctors and parents have found that by combating the nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities and environmental pollutants with special diets, their children have shown vast improvements.  One of the more popular diets is the gluten free, casein free (GFCF) diet.

  • What is the GFCF diet?

Simply put, the Gluten free Casein free diet is exactly what the name says: a diet free of gluten and casein.  Gluten is the protein found in wheat products, while casein is the protein found in dairy products.  Removal from the diet of these similar proteins has led to improvements in some children with autism.  For further information, please see the resources below.

  • Should I talk to my child’s pediatrician or a nutrition specialist prior to implementing a biomedical or specialized diet for my child?

It is always a good idea to speak to your child’s doctor or specialist before implementing any treatment.  Also, remember that, like any treatment, specialized diets have been effective for some, but not for all.  It is important to weigh your child’s specific situation.  To help in your decision making process, some great resources are, “Special Diets for Special Kids” by Lisa Lewis and “Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder” by Karyn Seroussi.  An additional list of recommended books is included on this web page (click on the heading “Books”).