Journal of autism and childhood schizophrenia

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 325–337 | Cite as

Disruptive behavior: A dietary approach

  • Dan O'Banion
  • Betty Armstrong
  • Ruth Ann Cummings
  • Judy Stange


The effect of particular foods on levels of hyperactivity, uncontrolled laughter, and disruptive behaviors was studied in an 8-year-old autistic boy. The floor of the child's room was taped off into six equal-sized rectangles to measure general activity level. Frequency data were recorded on screaming, biting, scratching, and object throwing. A time-sample technique was used to record data on laughing. Data were gathered during four phases. During an initial 4-day period the child was fed a normal American diet. A 6-day fasting period followed, during which time only spring water was allowed. The third phase lasted 18 days and involved the presentation of individual foods. During the final phase of the study the child was given only foods that had not provoked a reaction in the third phase. Results showed that foods such as wheat, corn, tomatoes, sugar, mushrooms, and dairy products were instrumental in producing behavioral disorders with this child.


Corn Dairy Product Disruptive Behavior Spring Water Final Phase 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan O'Banion
    • 1
  • Betty Armstrong
    • 1
  • Ruth Ann Cummings
    • 1
  • Judy Stange
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Behavioral StudiesNorth Texas State UniversityUSA

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