Childhood Disorders

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
12 and HoldingA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Lethal InheritanceA Mother's Courage: Talking Back to AutismA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Special EducationA Toss Of The DiceA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainABC of Eating DisordersADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeADHD Grown UpADHD in the Schools: Assessment and Intervention StrategiesADHD NationAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAlpha GirlsAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAsperger Syndrome and Your ChildAsperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and IdentityAsperger's and GirlsAssessment of Childhood DisordersAttention Deficit DisorderAttention-Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderAutism - The Eighth Colour of the RainbowAutism and MeAutism's False ProphetsAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBeen There, Done That? DO THIS!Before I DieBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBipolar ChildrenBipolar Disorder in Childhood and Early AdolescenceBipolar DisordersBipolar KidsBlackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive DevelopmentBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoy AloneBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingBullying PreventionBut I Love HimCan't Eat, Won't EatCaring for a Child with AutismCatalystChild and Adolescent PsychiatryChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChild and Adolescent PsychopathologyChild NeuropsychologyChild Well-BeingChildren and SexualityChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsChildren, Sexuality and SexualizationChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneCommunication Issues In Autism And Asperger SyndromeConcepts of NormalityConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinConsuming KidsContesting ChildhoodCount Us InCrackedCrossesCutCyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy TeensDamageDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDisconnected KidsDoing SchoolDon't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning!Don't Pick On MeDying to Be ThinEarly Intervention Programs and PoliciesEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismEight Stories UpElijah's CupEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEpilepticEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEvery Girl Tells a StoryExiting NirvanaExploiting ChildhoodEye ContactFacing BipolarFamily HistoryFast GirlsForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillFrictionGirl CultureGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlhoodGirlWiseHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and AdolescentsHandbook of Preschool Mental HealthHealing ADDHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Hyperactive KidsHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHelping Students Overcome Depression and AnxietyHelping Teens Who CutHollow KidsHope's BoyHow Infants Know MindsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHurry Down SunshineI Am Not Joey PigzaIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf Your Adolescent Has an Eating DisorderIn the Company of CraziesIncorporating Social Goals in the ClassroomIntegrated YogaIntrusive ParentingIssues for Families, Schools and CommunitiesJake RileyJoey Pigza Loses ControlJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKim: Empty InsideLearning and Behavior Problems in Asperger SyndromeLearning Disorders and Disorders of the Self in Children and AdolescentsLearning Outside the Lines Let Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLook Me in the EyeLoserLove and SexLove That DogMad at SchoolMaking ADD WorkMaking American BoysManicMastering Anger and AggressionMaverick MindMedicating ChildrenMind FieldsMind to MindMommy I'm Still in HereMore Than a LabelMy Flesh and BloodMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNew Look at ADHD: Inhibition, Time, and Self-ControlNo Child Left DifferentNo Two AlikeNon-Drug Treatments for ADHDNot Much Just Chillin'NurtureShockOdd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the WoodsOvercoming ADHDOvercoming School AnxietyParenting a Child Who Has Intense EmotionsParenting Children With ADHDParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeople with HyperactivityPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPlease Don't Label My ChildPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Problem GirlsPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy with Children and AdolescentsPurgeRaising a Moody ChildRaising BlazeRaising Generation RxRaising Resilient ChildrenReady or Not, Here Life ComesReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRemembering Our ChildhoodResilience in ChildrenRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRitalin NationRunning on RitalinRunning with ScissorsRutter's Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySeeing EzraSex and the American TeenagerSex, Therapy, and KidsSexting and Young PeopleSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShort Term 12Should I Medicate My Child?SmashedSnapshots of AutismSongs Without WordsSophie Spikey Has a Very Big ProblemSpeakStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStraight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for KidsStraight Talk about Psychological Testing for KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrange SonStudent DepressionSuicidal Behavior in Children and AdolescentsSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTemple GrandinThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe Bipolar ChildThe Boy Who Loved Too MuchThe Boy Who Loved WindowsThe Boy Who Was Raised as a DogThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully Action GuideThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Burn JournalsThe Color of AbsenceThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Evolution of ChildhoodThe Explosive ChildThe Eyes of van GoghThe Fasting GirlThe Field of the DogsThe Flight of a DoveThe Hidden Gifts of the Introverted ChildThe Horse BoyThe Identity TrapThe Inner World of a Suicidal YouthThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Kindness of StrangersThe Last Normal ChildThe Little MonsterThe Medicated ChildThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Perversion of YouthThe Philosophy of AutismThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Ride TogetherThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Science of ADHDThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Survival Guide for Kids With LD*The Unhappy ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouThings Tom LikesThrough the Glass WallThumbsuckerTotally WiredTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreating ADHD and Comorbid DisordersTreatment of Childhood DisordersTwistedUnder the Wolf, Under the DogUnhappy TeenagersUnstrange MindsWastedWe've Got IssuesWeather Reports from the Autism FrontWhat about the KidsWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Works for Whom?What Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhose America?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWill's ChoiceWinnicott On the ChildWorried All the TimeYou Hear MeYoung Minds in Social WorldsYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?

Related Topics
A User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDReview - A User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HD
by Luke Jackson
Jessica Kingsley, 2001
Review by Monique Thornton, MSW
Jan 10th 2003 (Volume 7, Issue 2)

Luke Jackson, who is 12 years old and diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, is the author of A User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HD.   He writes a short, simple book for parents, professionals, and children who are interested in the gluten and casein free diet.  Luke writes about his experiences on the GF/CF diet.   He writes surprisingly well and the book is an easy read.  It helped me as a parent to reinforce some things that I have read about in the past but forgot.

Gluten is found in most grains including rye, wheat, barely, and oats.  Casein is an animal protein found in all dairy products and many other prepackaged and prepared foods.  Some health care professionals, researchers and parents of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders have some evidence that suggests that some individuals are unable to metabolize the proteins from gluten and casein, and therefore react negatively, emotionally and physically.   This is somewhat similar to celiac disease in that those individuals are unable to digest gluten.  However, people with celiac disease have intestinal damage, and blood analysis shows an “allergy” to gluten, whereas children with gluten/casein intolerance do not necessarily have celiac disease.

            As some parents of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders are aware of, the GF/CF diet can offer some hope of improving their child’s condition.  This book provides information about the experience of being on the diet, and the benefits that the author and the rest of his family recognize from the diet. 

One of 10 appendices written by the author’s mother, Jacqui Jackson is devoted to GF/CF recipes, along with an example of a week’s food diary to help families recognize what types of foods are typical for lunch, breakfast, dinner and snacks.  There are also some good suggestions for what to pack for school lunches.  From our experience with the diet, it is important to have items that are easy to pack, tasty and that allow kids to feel as though they are similar to their peers when it comes to the food they eat.

Toward the end of the book there is a section on the “Do’s and Don’ts” of the diet.  Additionally, he includes a section on “Frequently Asked Questions” and tips for parents who are starting their child on the diet.  Luke provides some simple, obvious solutions that are helpful for those individuals who are not sure if they really want to undertake this diet.  This just reaffirms that this diet is not necessarily a cure all and that it takes a huge commitment from the entire family.  The logistics involved in making the diet work are complex, and finding the foods sometimes requires diligence, persistence, and expense.

            Appendices 7 and 8 include a distributor list of those companies that provide gluten and casein free products.  Many of the companies are mail or Internet order only, although our family has found that our local health food store stocks some of the basic items that are needed.

            I found it interesting that in the UK, if your doctor recommends being on the GF/CF diet, an individual can get a prescription for foods, and some of it may be reimbursed by insurance.  Of course that is not the situation in the U.S.

This book provides an interesting perspective because a child who is on the gluten/casein free diet wrote it.  He also indicates that the diet has helped his brother who has AD/HD.  He describes his experiences of how it changed his behaviors and mood, and how he feels about the taste of GF/CF foods.  He does not describe feeling deprived of “real “ food, as he feels physically ill with gastrointestinal distress if he ingests gluten and casein.  His book could be beneficial to other children as they may realize that they are not alone.  My six-year-old son frequently asks for reassurance that other kids are on the diet and once he hears this reassurance it seems to give him some satisfaction.  Luke also gives parents insight into what their child might be experiencing but are unable, or unwilling to share their feelings.

The author describes how things changed for him once he started the diet.  He explains that his tactile sensitivity decreased, his gastrointestinal health improved, etc.  The most difficult thing about the diet is following it strictly.  When our child is on the diet 100%, the effect is dramatic. However, with school cooking projects, birthday parties etc., we haven’t taken the stance that he can’t eat these foods at those times.   Maybe there will come a time when this becomes a necessity, but for now, we aren’t willing to deny him that experience.  It seems as though it is a balance for our son and us.  We see significant benefits from the diet at this time, and for that reason we allow breaks from the diet.  Specifically, it should be pointed out that it is extremely difficult to follow the diet while traveling.

The author provides a disclaimer that this diet will not work for everyone.  He explains that there may be varying degrees of effectiveness.  It is true that if you never try the diet, you never know what benefits it may bring.  For our child, the diet improves his ability to handle frustration, increases his ability to cope with sensory input, decreases his aggressiveness, and it completely eliminates inappropriate vocal outbursts.  Also, when he is gluten and casein free he rarely complains of gastrointestinal discomfort.  This diet has had a major impact on our lives for the better, and hopefully this book will inspire others to take a chance and see if this diet will have positive impact on theirs.

© 2003 Monique Thorton

Monique Thornton earned her MSW in 1993 from the University of Kansas, and is the mother of a 6-year-old with Asperger Syndrome.


Welcome to Metapsychology. We feature over 8200 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716