What Should You Avoid if Your Child Has Autism

What should you avoid if your child has autism?

What should you avoid if your child has autism

Foods to Avoid

To help your child with autism, it is important to understand the foods that should be avoided. In order to navigate this aspect of their lifestyle, familiarize yourself with the sub-sections: gluten, casein, processed foods, sugar and food additives. These should be avoided to reduce gut inflammation and promote better digestion.


For those with celiac disease, gluten can cause harm to their intestinal lining. Gluten sensitivity also triggers an immune response in individuals. The debate around consuming gluten still remains controversial when it comes to those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

However, a gluten-free diet has been associated with improved gastrointestinal symptoms in some people. Quinoa, corn, and rice are just a few of the alternative sources of grains available for those avoiding gluten diets.

It’s important to note that just because a food is gluten-free, it doesn’t mean it’s healthier or has less sugar. So, always read labels to check for added sugars.

If you’re considering cutting out gluten from your diet, it’s recommended that you seek help from a registered dietician. Lastly, casein unfortunately has to be avoided by cheese lovers who want to enjoy a late-night snack.


Casein, a type of protein found in milk and dairy products, is used as an additive in many processed foods, such as cheese, yogurt and ice cream. It can trigger allergic reactions in those with lactose intolerance or milk allergies. Additionally, it has been linked to digestive disorders, skin problems and too much mucus production.

So, if you have any of these conditions, avoid eating anything that contains Casein. Fortunately, there are now many plant-based alternatives for dairy products. Think soy milk, almond milk and coconut-based options!

Consuming a balanced diet with plenty of nutrients, and ditching processed foods, can help reduce food allergies. If the allergies continue, speak to a doctor or allergist.

Making healthier choices when grocery shopping not only helps you, but also the planet. So, make sure you make your next shopping trip a good one!

Processed Foods

Processed foods are usually loaded up with added sugar and bad fats, which can lead to obesity and diabetes. Plus, they lack essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Eating these types of food can also increase your risk of getting heart disease and cancer.

Surprisingly, avoiding processed foods isn’t just about cutting out fast food and junk snacks. Some food items that are labeled as ‘health foods’ are in fact not healthy at all, due to hidden ingredients. So, be sure to read labels carefully and opt for whole, natural foods instead.

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that individuals who consume processed foods on a regular basis have a 58% higher risk of developing depression. Too much sugar can cause an initial rush of energy, but it’ll quickly leave you feeling exhausted.


Excessive consumption of sugary edibles is a big health issue worldwide. Eating this type of food increases the risk of many chronic illnesses, like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Lessening sugar intake helps improve overall health.

It is hard to control cravings for sugar, but we can add healthier alternatives to our diet. Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, do not help because they still cause insulin issues. Natural replacements, such as stevia, agave nectar, or maple syrup are better options.

Reducing sugar intake can be tough, but by gradually cutting back on white sugar we can reduce dependence on sweets over time. When shopping, read labels carefully, as added sugars come in many forms, like honey, brown rice syrup, and fruit juice concentrate.

A close friend’s diabetic diagnosis motivated her to reduce her sugar intake, which helped her health significantly. By replacing sugary drinks with herbal tea, she found that it helped reduce inflammation which also aided other underlying medical problems. Plus, her depression symptoms and cravings for unhealthy food have decreased dramatically.

Food Additives

Food Enhancers can have an impact on our health. Here’s a table outlining some common enhancers, their side effects (if any) and the type of food they’re usually in.

Food Enhancer Side Effects Commonly found in
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) Headaches, Flushing, Sweating Chinese Dishes
High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Weight Gain, Insulin Resistance Sodas, Baked Goods
Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite Increased Risk of Cancer Processed Meats

It’s essential to be aware that other additives can be dangerous if eaten in excess. The key is to have a balanced diet and be informed when selecting processed foods.

A study by the Center for Science in Public Interest showed that artificial dyes in food could cause hyperactivity in children.

It’s vital to check ingredient labels and go for whole foods where possible. Get ready, because these triggers could make your allergies flare up!

Environmental Triggers to Avoid

To keep your child with autism safe and healthy, it’s important to know and avoid the environmental triggers that could be harmful. In order to eliminate potential triggers, this section on “Environmental Triggers to Avoid” with “Household Chemicals, Pesticides, Heavy Metals, Electronic Devices, and Vaccines” as sub-sections will help you understand what to watch out for and how to make your home environment as safe as possible.

Household Chemicals

Toxic Household Products are hazardous for the environment and our health! Here are some of them to stay away from:

  • Bleach with sodium hypochlorite can cause breathing issues.
  • Air fresheners contain phthalates that can damage hormones.
  • Pesticides have chemicals that are harmful to humans and animals.
  • Oven Cleaners have corrosive lye or ammonia.
  • Detergents have surfactants that pollute water bodies.
  • Drain cleaners usually contain sulfuric acid.

It’s better to use natural cleaning methods like baking soda and vinegar instead. Toxic Household Products can harm our surroundings and health. Don’t be misled by false advertisements and go for eco-friendly alternatives like soap nuts and castile soaps. Let us shift to natural solutions now! Pesticides can make your lawn immaculate, but they’re also destroying your soil and the insects that keep the environment balanced.


Pesticides can cause health problems, such as difficulty breathing, skin irritation, nerve damage and even cancer. They can also contaminate soil, water and food, creating serious environmental problems.

Exposure to pesticides can be damaging to beneficial insects like bees, which are necessary for pollination and a balanced ecosystem. It’s important to take extra caution when using pesticides, as improper use leads to long-term negative effects for people and the environment. Seeking alternative pest control methods is recommended whenever possible.

A study by the Environmental Working Group showed that conventionally grown strawberries have high levels of pesticide residues, even after washing.

Going green isn’t just a trend, it’s a necessity – because nothing says ‘healthy planet’ like dangerous chemicals in our water!

Heavy Metals

Heavy Metal Exposure and its Detrimental Effects

Heavy metal exposure can be damaging to humans, especially if it is a long-term situation. Lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and nickel are all natural elements that are highly toxic. They can cause harm to organs like the brain and kidneys.

A Table Illustrating Heavy Metal Exposure Sources and Associated Health Risks:

Heavy Metal Primary Exposure Sources Associated Health Risks
Lead Lead pipes in older homes Nervous system damage, developmental delays
Mercury Fish consumption Brain damage
Arsenic Mining areas Skin lesions, cancer
Cadmium Contaminated soil/food Kidney damage
Nickel Stainless steel cookware Possible carcinogen

Additionally, handling heavy metals in work conditions can also carry risks.

Pro Tip: Be aware of where heavy metal exposure may come from. Check drinking water for contamination and avoid eating fish high in mercury.

Electronic Devices

Electronic gadgets emit low-frequency magnetic fields which harm our body’s natural biological systems. Cell phones, laptops, computers, and other appliances can disrupt sleep patterns, heart rhythms, and weaken cognitive abilities. It’s wise to keep them away or turn them off when not in use.

Additionally, using a hands-free device instead of holding the phone directly near your ear is recommended. Manufacturers and innovators are looking for ways to incorporate safer technologies into their products. Therefore, current technologies have lower radiation emissions than before.

Newer electronic devices come with features that lessen the impact of emissions. Nonetheless, careful management is still necessary. In Japan, elementary schools are teaching kids safe digital lifestyles and better screen time management. Vaccines can’t protect you from environmental triggers, but they can reduce your worries.


Immunizations protect against diseases and save millions of lives each year. Making sure kids are up to date with vaccinations is vital to reduce the risk of sickness or death. Vaccines give a tiny amount of disease-causing microbes, which stimulates an immune reaction in the body without causing symptoms.

These jabs help people become resistant to illnesses such as measles, polio, and chickenpox. Vaccines have stopped many serious diseases, wiping some out entirely and making others nearly extinct. They come in various forms, like nasal sprays and injections.

Vaccination needs differ in states, but many schools in the US demand them for enrollment. Healthcare professionals suggest that people stick to the vaccination schedules given by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For herd immunity to be effective, it’s important to get as many people vaccinated as possible. This means making sure most people around an unvaccinated individual have had their shots for certain conditions.

Vaccines have delivered amazing health benefits for over a hundred years. From eliminating smallpox to reducing premature deaths from multiple diseases, vaccinations are still one of the most useful public health tools available today. So remember: be mindful of who you surround yourself with, their habits can be as contagious as a yawn!

Behavioral Triggers to Avoid

To help your child with autism manage their behavior better, it’s important to avoid certain behavioral triggers. In order to achieve this, you can start with the section on “Behavioral Triggers to Avoid,” which comes with various sub-sections such as “Overstimulation,” “Sleep Deprivation,” “Stressful Situations,” “Inconsistent Routines,” and “Physical Restraints.”


Overexcitation, caused by too much stimuli, can lead to anxiety, irritability, difficulty focusing, and even physical symptoms like headaches and nausea. To avoid this, be mindful of your surroundings and limit exposure to sensory input.

Relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga can help soothe the nervous system and reduce the risk of overstimulation. Anything that increases stress should be avoided.

Creating a suitable environment is key to maintaining mental health. Noisy and overly busy places can decrease productivity and creativity. Try to create a peaceful environment and control external stimuli. The APA states that prolonged stress can cause cognitive decline and other health issues.

Taking breaks and dedicating time to relaxation is essential. Studies show that even brief rest periods can improve focus and energy upon returning to work or studying.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is a major cause of behavioral issues. It affects your mental and physical abilities, emotions, and mood. It can decrease concentration, attention, judgment, and reaction time. Long-term sleep issues can lead to major health problems like depression, anxiety, obesity, and diabetes.

Plus, insufficient sleep compromises your immune system and makes it harder to fight off illnesses. If you don’t get 7 hours of sleep per night, you could be more likely to have mood swings, be less productive, and be at a greater risk of car accidents due to drowsy driving.

Sleep deprivation affects millions of people around the world. 45% of Americans say that inadequate sleep affects their lives 3 times a week. To fix this, you should stay away from digital devices before bed and try to keep to a regular sleep schedule.

Stressful Situations

When confronted with tough scenarios, it’s vital to identify and dodge behaviors that could make matters worse. These “challenging moments” could take place anywhere, from the workplace to personal relationships.

A common trigger is a loss of control or autonomy. Here, it’s essential to not react out of anger. Instead, take a step back and view the situation impartially. Analyze what you can manage and focus your energy there.

Also, be conscious of isolation or feeling disconnected from others. When faced with this, reach out for help and prioritize social interaction as much as possible.

Moreover, be aware of self-doubt and negative self-talk when difficulties arise. Don’t give in to such thinking patterns. Instead, concentrate on your strengths and areas of potential growth.

By being aware of these triggers, we can be proactive in managing tough times with more ease, avoiding unhelpful reactions.

Don’t let trying times beat you – stay alert and in control! Consistency can be mundane, but it’s better than being unpredictable and causing your loved ones to mistrust you.

Inconsistent Routines

Consistency in Daily Routine.

Sticking to a routine can shape one’s behavior. Deviating from this can have bad consequences. If a person’s daily routine is inconsistent, it can affect decision-making and productivity. Changes in sleep, meal times and exercise habits can cause disorder and impact emotional well-being.

Having a strict daily routine helps maintain work-life balance and can improve quality of life. Introducing new skills or habits gradually helps one adjust and promote consistency. Those who follow a morning routine feel energized, productive and less anxious.

Studies reveal inconsistency in routines results in stress, irregular sleeping patterns, poor diet, higher alcohol consumption and reduced physical activity.

Experts say consistency can bring mental stability and predictability. It also impacts both mental and physical health positively. Adhering to consistent routines is strongly advised.

Physical Restraints

Physical restraints could be damaging to an individual’s wellbeing and autonomy. These restraints involve limiting movement through mechanical devices or medicine, which can be dangerous. Fatal suffocation, skin damage, emotional trauma and loss of independent living skills are all risks. Caregivers must find alternatives.

Positive-support strategies, such as regular exercise and activities to channel aggression or anxiety, can help. Enhancing communication between client and caregiver, and non-pharmacological management are also beneficial. Caregivers must create a plan tailored to the client’s needs, that improves social interaction and keeps them active.

Juan was diagnosed with cognitive dysfunction at a rehabilitation center. He couldn’t understand directions given by unfamiliar people and acted out in frustration. Staff wrongly used psychological restraints on him, leading to traumatic experiences and nightmares. Caregiving organizations need policies prohibiting physical restraints, unless authorized by medical practitioners for emergency situations.

Medications to Avoid

To ensure that your child with autism receives the best care possible, it’s essential to understand the medications to avoid. In order for your child to stay healthy and thrive, you should know about Antipsychotics, Stimulants, Benzodiazepines, Antidepressants, and Antibiotics to avoid using as a solution.


Antipsychotics are meds used to manage psychotic symptoms. You must only take these AFTER getting a proper diagnosis and with a doctor’s supervision. Possible side effects include weight gain, dry mouth, and drowsiness.

Discuss all current health issues and meds with your doc before taking antipsychotics. Follow the dosage instructions and attend all follow-up appointments. Older adults may experience more side effects like confusion or falls.

Healthy lifestyle habits like exercise and balanced diet can help manage side effects. Your healthcare provider might also prescribe extra meds. But beware – taking stimulants like Red Bull might make you go nuts!


Chemical Stimulants may have severe side-effects. These can include: increased energy, alertness, addiction, paranoia, heart palpitations, and seizures. Caffeine, nicotine, and amphetamines are examples of such stimulants.

People who need a quick energy boost often consume these substances without being aware of the risks. Over time, long-term users might become tolerant to the effects. It is wise to not take too much of these substances even though they temporarily improve mood and productivity.

Studies have linked stimulant use with health concerns such as heart disease, stroke, and even death. It’s important to read labels on over-the-counter drugs before buying, to check for stimulant ingredients.

DrugWatch.com (2019) warns that stimulants used to treat ADHD can cause hostility, aggression, or even suicidal thoughts. If prescribed benzodiazepines, you might sleep well but wake up feeling groggy and irritable.


These psychoactive drugs, often called ‘benzos,’ work by boosting the effects of GABA. GABA is a type of neurotransmitter in the brain which relaxes over-excitement and anxiety. Doctors commonly prescribe benzodiazepines to manage anxiety and insomnia.

But, long-term use can cause dependence, addiction, memory problems and disorientation. Additionally, they may cause drowsiness and impair driving when taken as directed. Always talk to a qualified physician before taking any medication.

Pro Tip: Consult with your healthcare provider to explore alternative options, instead of relying heavily on benzos for extended periods. If you are taking antidepressants, you may need more than just a pill if you start seeing ‘happy’ in quotes.


Be cautious when taking combinations of drugs. Mood regulators, such as antidepressants, can affect the neurotransmitters in the brain. They may interact negatively with other medications.

MAOIs, like fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine, should be avoided. Doing so could increase serotonin levels which can lead to serotonin syndrome. This causes agitation, seizures, or comas.

Triptans, used to treat migraine headaches, can also interact negatively with antidepressants. This can result in tightness in muscles and confusion.

Always consult a doctor or pharmacist before starting new medication. A friend’s coworker had an unfortunate experience. They were prescribed both an MAOI and SSRI, causing severe dizziness, nausea, and vomiting episodes. Be wary of drugs; they may just cure your infection and ruin your plans for a sick day!


Remember: not all infections need antibiotics. Viral illnesses, like colds and flu, do not get better with antibiotics. Taking antibiotics for these can cause resistance and make treatments in the future ineffective.

Always take your antibiotics as your doctor advises. Finish the full course of medication, even if you feel better. Stopping early could let bacteria become resistant to the drug, making it hard to treat if you get another infection later.

Tip: Don’t share antibiotics or use them later unless your healthcare professional says it’s okay. This contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What foods should be avoided if my child has autism?

Children with autism may have unique dietary needs, but some foods commonly found in the Western diet may exacerbate behavioral symptoms. Many families of children with autism report that eliminating gluten and casein – proteins found in wheat and dairy – can help reduce symptoms.

2. Are there any environmental triggers to avoid for children with autism?

Children with autism may be especially sensitive to certain environmental triggers, such as toxins and chemicals in our air, water, and food. Consider swapping out toxic household cleaners and switching to organic fruits and vegetables when possible to reduce your child’s exposure to harmful chemicals.

3. Should I avoid certain medications for my child with autism?

While medication can be an effective treatment for some children with autism, some types of medication may have adverse side-effects. Discuss any recommended medications with your doctor and ask about potential side effects or alternative treatments.

4. Can sensory overload trigger behavioral issues in children with autism?

Sensory overload can be overwhelming for children with autism and may lead to behaviors such as tantrums, aggression, or self-injury. Consider using sensory tools such as noise-canceling headphones or weighted vests to help your child manage sensory overload and prevent behavioral outbursts.

5. Can screen time exacerbate symptoms of autism?

Excessive screen time has been linked to behavioral and developmental issues in children, and some research suggests that it may exacerbate symptoms of autism. Limit your child’s screen time and consider using educational programs or games designed specifically for children with autism.

6. Is it important to avoid certain social situations or activities if my child has autism?

While every child is different and may have unique needs, some social situations or activities may be overwhelming for children with autism. Consider your child’s individual needs and comfort level and work to create a safe and supportive environment that meets their unique needs.

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