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Children with autism may limit their food intake or have food preferences. They may also break down fat differently. As a result, autistic children are sometimes low in certain nutrients. Some of these nutrients have been studied to see if giving children supplements of these nutrients may help with autism symptoms.

However, more research is needed. Before giving your child any of the following supplements, speak with your child’s physician or a dietitian first. Vitamins and Minerals Multivitamins: Some results have shown a multivitamin may help improve sleep and digestive problems in autistic children. Note that a multivitamin with iron may cause some digestive problems.

Giving your child a multivitamin is not harmful and may be helpful, especially if your child is not eating a balanced diet. Iron: Children with autism are often lxow in iron, usually because many are picky eaters. Ask your child's doctor to check iron levels regularly. Do not give an iron supplement unless your child’s iron level has been confirmed as low by a health care provider. An iron supplement may help bring iron levels back to normal. Vitamin B6 and magnesium: Vitamin B6 and magnesium supplements have been linked to improving behavior in autistic children.

However, the research is not strong and more research is needed before these supplements are recommended for autistic children. Omega-3 Fats Some research has shown that many children with autism have low levels of omega-3 fats. Omega-3 supplements may help with hyperactivity in autistic children. However, more research is needed before omega-3 supplements can be recommended for children with autism.

The Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet is a diet free of gluten and casein. Gluten is the main protein in wheat and other grains such as rye, barley, triticale, kamut and spelt. Casein is the main protein in dairy products such as cow’s milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream. This diet may be recommended to help improve behavior in autistic children. Some children with autism have a short term decrease in autistic behaviors when following this diet.

However, the research is limited and more research is needed before this diet is recommended for autistic children.

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