Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 747-757

Parents’ and Child Health Professionals’ Attitudes Towards Dietary Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Elizabeth WinburnAffiliated withSolent NHS Trust
  • , Jenna CharltonAffiliated withCommunication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University
  • , Helen McConachieAffiliated withInstitute of Health and Society, Sir James Spence Institute, Newcastle University
  • , Elaine McCollAffiliated withNewcastle Clinical Trials Unit, The Medical School, Newcastle University
  • , Jeremy ParrAffiliated withInstitute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University
  • , Anne O’HareAffiliated withChild Life and Health, University of Edinburgh
  • , Gillian BairdAffiliated withGuys and Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
  • , Paul GringrasAffiliated withGuys and Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
  • , David C. WilsonAffiliated withChild Life and Health, University of Edinburgh
    • , Ashley AdamsonAffiliated withInstitute of Health & Society and Human Nutrition Research Centre, Newcastle University
    • , Sandra AdamsAffiliated withDepartment of Nutrition and Dietetics, North Tyneside General Hospital
    • , Ann Le CouteurAffiliated withInstitute of Health and Society, Sir James Spence Institute, Newcastle University Email author 

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Abstract

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) use a wide range of interventions including poorly evidenced dietary interventions. To investigate parents’ and professionals’ experience of dietary interventions and attitudes towards a proposed trial to evaluate the gluten free casein free diet (GFCFD). Survey of UK parents of children with ASD, and professionals. 258 parents and 244 professionals participated. 83 % of children had received a range of dietary manipulations; three quarters of professionals have been asked for advice about GFCFD. Respondents identified an inadequate evidence base for dietary interventions in ASD and suggested modifications to a proposed trial design. Both parents and professionals supported the need for further evaluation of dietary interventions in ASD.

Keywords

Autism ASD Dietary interventions Gluten Casein