Dietary risk factors associated with autism – a review

Seema Siddiqi and Asna Urooj

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder that affects children particularly prior to the age of three in the areas of verbal & non-verbal communication, social interaction & cognitive function. Autism prevalence statistics are growing rapidly in India affecting 1 in 68 children & among boys, it is 1 in 42(30% rise). The etiology of autism is unknown as there is no single cause for the development of autism, but it is expected that both environment and genetics play a crucial role. Currently there is no known cure to treat autism, however children with the disorder do progress & the diverse symptoms related to it can be improved with primary intervention & treatments. Professionals researching on autism have clearly indicated that early diagnosis &intervention programs including the pharmacological & non-conventional methods viz; occupational, pragmatic skills along with dietary modifications may lead to significant improvement outcomes & better levels of functioning for children with autism, as they reach adulthood. The present review summarizes on the findings of the dietary related risk factors & how food plays a major role in reducing the symptoms of autism.

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