Thursday, February 28, 2013

Article # 346. Beginner Workout Schedule

Beginner Workout Schedule
A beginner workout schedule should be a light one with a minimal possibility of injuries and a well-balanced workout that focuses on all the major muscle sets. Keep reading to know about the details of the workout schedule for beginners.
A beginner can start a workout, without buying any expensive fitness equipment. However, if you wish to hire an instructor then it is best to join a gym, where you will be provided with a fitness instructor. But if you wish to form a workout routine yourself, then you need to include the 5 components of physical fitness which are cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition. Here are the guidelines for a beginner workout schedule with a sample chart for you to follow.

Guidelines for Workout Schedule for Beginners

When starting a workout, it is important that you monitor your body mass and use exercises which best suit your body composition. Here are some important guidelines you need to follow when starting on an exercise routine for beginners.

Measuring Your Body

Before starting a beginner workout routine, it is important that you design the workout schedule according to your needs. For example, the workout can be aimed at weight loss, muscle gain, or simply for fitness. The first thing you need to do is to weigh yourself, and using a measuring tape, measure in inches, your different body parts like hips, butts, chest, thighs, calves, shoulders, biceps, triceps etc. Note down these measurements in a diary or enter it in a excel sheet in your personal computer.

Cardio Workout/Full body Workout

If you wish to opt for weight loss, then focus on cardiovascular exercises which burn maximum amount of calories. Some of the best options are skipping, running and cross-training on an elliptical machine. For muscle gain, opt for boxing workouts (to build muscles fast), swimming (to build lean muscles) or simply jogging and running. If you wish to enter a beginner workout plan to be in good shape, then opt for simply jogging and running. It is very important that you perform a warm-up session of 10 minutes, before starting on cardio. A warm-up can also be mild jogging.

Muscle Training

For muscle training, the best exercises are weight training and floor exercises. However, people aiming at weight loss, who have fat mass in specific body parts, need to concentrate on that part particularly. People who want to gain muscles need to follow weight training exercises for all the muscle sets equally. People looking to just tone-up their body, should stick to light weight exercises. Some examples of muscle training exercises are calf raises, leg extensions, back extensions, etc.

Stretching for Flexibility

Another important aspect of a beginner workout plan is to perform stretching after a workout. Stretching helps to improve flexibility and is necessary to establish the full range-of-motion for your body joints. These range-of-motion exercises are especially advised for people who have undergone a surgery. While stretching, focus on relaxing and breathing slowly.

Improvising Your Workout

Keep checking your weight on the first date of every month, and again measure your body parts, to check if you have lost weight in inches or gained muscle mass. After a month, you can add a bit more of weight to your exercises and some more repetitions of weight training exercise.
After two months, you can include some advanced weight training exercises. If you are not reducing weight or slowly reducing weight from a specific body area, then consider adding more weight to your workout. For weight loss, make sure you burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis.
For muscle building, eat more protein rich foods as they are the building blocks of our body and help develop muscles. People who want to maintain their shape should follow a balanced diet. Here is a sample chart which you can follow to start a beginner workout program.


1st WeekA cardio session of 45 minutes½ an hour of cardio followed by 15 minutes of shoulder exercisesA cardio session of 45 minutes½ an hour of cardio followed by 15 minutes of chest exercisesA cardio session of 45 minutes½ an hour of cardio followed by 15 minutes of Biceps exercises or can even Rest this dayRest
2nd Week½ an hour of cardio followed by 15 minutes of abdominal exercises½ an hour of cardio followed by 15 minutes of lower body exercises
3rd Week½ an hour of cardio followed by 15 minutes of triceps and biceps exercises½ an hour of cardio followed by 15 minutes of back exercises

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Article # 345. Rett Syndrome

Rett Syndrome

Rett syndrome is a rare, severe, "girls only" form of autism. It's usually discovered in the first two years of life, and a child's diagnosis with Rett syndrome can feel overwhelming. Although there's no cure, early identification and treatment may help girls and families who are affected by Rett syndrome.
Who Gets Rett Syndrome?
Rett syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder that affects girls almost exclusively. It's rare -- only about one in 10,000 to 15,000 girls will develop the condition.
In most cases of Rett syndrome, a child develops normally in early life. Between 6 and 18 months of age, though, changes in the normal patterns of mental and social development begin.
What Are the Symptoms of Rett Syndrome?
Although it's not always detected, a slowing of head growth is one of the first events in Rett syndrome. Loss of muscle tone is also an initial symptom. Soon, the child loses any purposeful use of her hands. Instead, she habitually wrings or rubs her hands together.
Around 1 to 4 years of age, social and language skills deteriorate in girls with Rett syndrome. She stops talking and develops extreme social anxiety and withdrawal or disinterest in other people.
Rett syndrome also causes problems with muscles and coordination. Walking becomes awkward as girls develop a jerky, stiff-legged gait. A girl with Rett syndrome may also have uncoordinated breathing and seizures.
What Causes Rett Syndrome?
Most children with Rett syndrome have a mutation in a particular gene on the X chromosome. Exactly what this gene does, or how its mutation leads to Rett syndrome, isn't clear. It's believed that the single gene may influence many other genes involved in development.
Although Rett syndrome seems to be genetic, the faulty gene is almost never inherited from the parents. Rather, it's a chance mutation that happens in the girl's own DNA. No Rett syndrome risk factors have been identified, other than being female. There is no known method for preventing Rett syndrome.
When boys develop the Rett syndrome mutation, they die shortly after birth. Because boys have only one X chromosome (instead of the two girls have), the disease is more serious, and quickly fatal.
How Is Rett Syndrome Diagnosed?
A diagnosis of Rett syndrome is based on a girl's pattern of symptoms and behavior. The diagnosis can be made on these observations alone. Discussions between a doctor and a girl's parents will help determine important details, such as when symptoms started.
Genetic testing can help confirm the diagnosis in 80% of girls with suspected Rett syndrome. It's possible that genetic testing can help predict severity.
Treatments for Rett Syndrome
There are treatments available for Rett syndrome that focus on helping a girl live the best life she can with the condition. Physical therapy can help improve mobility; speech therapy may help somewhat with language problems; and occupational therapy helps girls perform daily activities -- like bathing and dressing -- independently.
Experts believe that therapy can help girls with Rett syndrome and their parents. Although a "normal" life may not be possible, some improvement can be expected with therapy. Participating in activities -- including school -- and improved social interaction are sometimes possible.
Medicines can treat some of the problems with movement in Rett syndrome. Medication can also help control seizures. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Rett syndrome.
What to Expect With Rett Syndrome
Many girls with Rett syndrome can be expected to live at least into middle age. Researchers are still following women with the disease, which was only widely recognized in the past 20 years.
Symptoms in Rett syndrome don't usually improve over time. It is a lifelong condition. Often, there is a very slow worsening of symptoms, or symptoms remain stable. Girls and women with Rett syndrome will rarely be able to live independently.

Article # 344. The Genetics of Autism


The Genetics of Autism

Many researchers believe that autism may be a result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The identification of specific genes which may be responsible for the development of autism remains a major research focus with the objective of developing an understanding of the role genetics play in the underlying pathophysiology of the disorder.

The role of genetics in autism is supported by studies of monozygotic (identical) twins which have shown a concordance rate of 60 to 90% for autism.  The incidence of autism in children who have an older sibling diagnosed with autism has also been shown to be 25 times higher than in the general population.

While researchers have identified a number of genes which may likely play a role in the development of autism, most genes which have been shown to be associated with autism are represented in less than 1% of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

While autism is not typically the result of a single-gene mutation or a single chromosome abnormality, there are single gene disorders like Fragile X and Rett Syndrome which are associated with developmental delays in children.

While numerous studies have demonstrated a strong genetic basis for autism spectrum disorders, the identification of numerous genetic markers shown to be associated with autism demonstrate a complex inheritance pattern. Although genetic testing for autism is utilized to identify copy number variants (CNVs) having a strong association with autism, these CNVs are found in less than 10% of affected individuals. Adding de novo rare mutations to such CNVs or other chromosomal rearrangements only explain 10 to 20% of autism cases. 

Recently a number of common genetic variants or SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) have been strongly linked to autism. While individual SNPs are not on their own sufficient to be causal, recent studies have shown that the combination of autism associated SNPs may increase the risk of autism in siblings of affected children. 

Article # 343. Overview of Autism

Overview of Autism
What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of developmental disorders, often manifested in early childhood, that are characterized by impaired social interactions, difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communication, and behavioral challenges including repetitive or obsessive activities.
While individuals affected with autism often have similar symptoms, the severity of these symptoms and when they begin to exhibit these symptoms varies from individual to individual.

There are three types of autism spectrum disorders. This includes:
  • Autistic Disorder (also called “classic” autism). Individuals with this disorder typically have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests.

  • Asperger Syndrome Individuals with this syndrome typically have a milder form of autism primarily associated with social challenges and unusual behavior but without impairment in language development.

  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PPD-NOS; also called “atypical autism”). Individuals with this disorder do not meet the diagnostic criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome and typically have fewer and milder symptoms compared to “classic” autism.
Autism is one of the most frequent childhood disorders affecting approximately 1 in 88 children, with boys affected almost five times more frequently than girls.
The cause of autism is poorly understood with many researchers believing that autism may be a result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Many experts believe that diagnosis can be established when a child is approximately 18 months of age, unfortunately, many children are not diagnosed until they are 4 years or older, limiting the opportunity for behavior modifying therapy early in life. 
Several recent studies have reported improved developmental outcomes associated with early intervention therapies for children with autism. Based on these studies, early identification of children at risk of autism is essential because it allows for earlier intervention.
Identifying methods to detect autism in children when they are much younger may make it possible to provide interventional care much earlier.

Article # 342. How might a parent or an affected adult recognize PDD-NOS?

How might a parent or an affected adult recognize PDD-NOS?
PDD-NOS is characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Parents may notice associated behaviour’s as early as infancy. These may include delays in using and understanding language, difficulty relating to people, unusual play with toys and other objects, difficulty with changes in routine or surroundings and repetitive body movements or behaviour patterns.
How should PDD-NOS be treated?
As with all autism spectrum disorders, early diagnosis and intervention offer the best chance for optimizing outcomes – including success in mainstream classrooms and the achievement of independence and a high quality of life in adulthood. However, it is never too late to begin behavioral therapy.
As previously mentioned, no two individuals with PDD-NOS are alike. Indeed, they can have completely different strengths and challenges. As a result, treatments and interventions should be highly individualized based on a thorough assessment by a qualified developmental specialist. The evaluation should consider such factors as behavioral history, current symptoms, communication patterns, social competence and neuropsychological functioning.
Parents of children diagnosed with PDD-NOS should pursue an Early Intervention Program (EIP) for a young child and an Individual Education Program (IEP) for a school-age child

Article # 341. What is PDD-NOS?

What is PDD-NOS?
PDD-NOS stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. Psychologists and psychiatrists sometimes use the term “pervasive developmental disorders” and “autism spectrum disorders” (ASD) interchangeably. As such, PDD-NOS became the diagnosis applied to children or adults who are on the autism spectrum but do not fully meet the criteria for another ASD such as autistic disorder (sometimes called “classic” autism) or Asperger Syndrome.
Like all forms of autism, PDD-NOS can occur in conjunction with a wide spectrum of intellectual ability. Its defining features are significant challenges in social and language development.
Some developmental health professionals refer to PDD-NOS as “subthreshold autism." In other words, it’s the diagnosis they use for someone who has some but not all characteristics of autism or who has relatively mild symptoms. For instance, a person may have significant autism symptoms in one core area such as social deficits, but mild or no symptoms in another core area such as restricted, repetitive behaviors.

As a diagnosis, PDD-NOS remains relatively new, dating back only 15 years or so. As a result, some physicians and educators may not be familiar with the term or may use it incorrectly.
The current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) spells out the criteria for a diagnosis of PDD-NOS. Unfortunately, this description consists of a single paragraph, which mainly asserts what it is not:
"This category should be used when there is severe and pervasive impairment in the development of reciprocal social interaction associated with impairment in either verbal or nonverbal communication skills or with the presence of stereotyped behavior, interests, and activities, but the criteria are not met for a specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, or Avoidant Personality Disorder. For example, this category includes “atypical autism” – presentations that do not meet the criteria for Autistic Disorder because of late age at onset, atypical symptomatology, or subthreshold symptomatology, or all of these."
More helpful, perhaps, are studies suggesting that persons with PDD-NOS can be placed in one of three very different subgroups:
• A high-functioning group (around 25 percent) whose symptoms largely overlap with that of Asperger syndrome, but who differ in terms of having a lag in language development and mild cognitive impairment. (Asperger syndrome does not generally involve speech delay or cognitive impairment).
• A second group (around 25 percent) whose symptoms more closely resemble those of autistic disorder, but do not fully meet all its diagnostic signs and symptoms.
• A third group (around 50 percent) who meet all the diagnostic criteria for autistic disorder, but whose stereotypical and repetitive behaviors are noticeably mild.
As these findings suggest, individuals with PDD-NOS vary widely in their strengths and challenges.

"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not"

We focus on the negatives. We think about how hard it will be and all that we will be missing. But the real joy and benefit of good health comes from focusing on the positives of health, what we gain through living well.

"Without health, life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering"
I am glad to have 500 subscribers with in a span of few months! Thanks to "PATU" This success and energy is only because of my PATU who left me alone to fight for life!  God bless you wherever you are! I will achieve the desires as you wished! 

Guru Shankar
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Article # 340. The Problem Of Obesity

The health consequences of having a BMI greater than 30kg/m2 (the standard measurement of obesity) are not merely cosmetic, but linked to severe coronary heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, forms of cancer, hypertension, stroke, liver and gall bladders diseases. Also being over-weight can detrimentally impact a person’s quality of life, advocating for an urgent national call on healthy weight-loss and prioritizing the issue for all of us. Especially considering that obesity rates amongst our children have more than tripled in the last 30 years, further escalating obesity related diseases like Diabetes, which were previously relatively unheard of in such a young population.
Obesity currently costs the world more than some billion dollars annually, contributing to an already over inflated debt, which does not even include total costs to employers for time off and insurance co-pay related issues of being overweight.
In this day and age, so many of us feel disconnected from our government and resign to stay on the sidelines, watching the headlines instead of actively participating in possible solutions to collectively take our country back in a positive direction.
I know people who read this post that, are already on the path of healthy living, so forge ahead! Start a lunchtime walking group at your office, organize a community sports team for kids in your neighbourhood, and spread the news.
Avoid Obesity and stay Healthy.
Guru Fitness Planet

Article # 339. Eating Healthy On A Budget

The healthy diet ideals that are based on eating more fresh produce, organic foods and ethically treated animal products, can weight down your pocket. Below are some cost-saving advice that will let you eat a nutritionally sound diet all year long without breaking the bank. Here they are:
De-meat Your Diet: Emphasize on grains and legumes that are less expensive as compared to meat but pack a solid protein packed nutritional punch. For under few money spent can kidney or canellini beans or a serving of legumes can keep you feeling full for really long. Branch out to new grains like quinoa, barley and couscous to add variety and depth to your meals. (You can get these stuffs from Dhanyam – Organic store – If you are in Chennai - Tnagar)
Cook Your Own: Get out of the lazy mode of living that makes you reach out for the corner deli fried chicken or dial a pizza. Instead stock up your pantry with essential grocery for the week so that you can mix and match meals throughout the week. A few pantry essential, for less than Rs 1500 all put together, can take you through a week of dinner for your family. What do you really need then? A little bit of imagination. Weeks’ worth of essentials are: mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, garlic, mixed greens, herbs, roasting chicken, 1% milk, cheese, brown rice, whole wheat couscous and pita, canned beans, frozen veggie mix, olive oil and seasonings.
Power Of Bulking Up: Buying in bulk can save a lot of money. You can purchase grains, pastas, dried fruits, nuts and flours in the bulk isles of your grocery or natural foods store. You can choose the amount that works for you (bulk doesn’t mean you need 25 pounds of rice at a time!), and bulk food sections give a lower price per quantity ratio while saving on packaging.
Buy locally and eat seasonally: Don’t forget to scout out your nearest farmer’s markets for fresh produce which mostly sell stuff grown organically. Not only is fresh produce a lot healthier and better tasting but a lot cheaper as well since they are not carried half-way across the world. Get creative with your diet and experiment with season appropriate recipes like a hearty winter minestrone soup with dark greens or an arugula and cherry tomato summer salad. The bursts of fresh flavours keep you from wanting more seasonings.
Forgo processed foods: While processed foods apparently appear to be cheap, these empty calories leave us feeling hungry soon after or spike our blood sugar levels which lead to more expenditure on food and a drain on our health. Eat a reasonably priced whole food based diet to stave of unnecessary hunger pangs that has you munching meaninglessly.

Article # 338. 5 Tips To Uncomplicate Your Weight-Loss Journey

Loosing weight is treading the difficult journey towards self-discipline but you can make the road less bumpy by simplifying your ride down the weight-loss lane. A simple diet plan with fewer rules, no-frills and everyday mini goals is far more achievable than complicated fad diets and lofty weight loss marks that turn your life around 360 degrees. So its been recommend making simple changes to your daily habits for the long haul and these basic 5 tips that will glide you over all the daily potholes as you cruise down the weight-loss highway and keep you on the diet wagon for life:
Tip#1 Make friends with your weight –loss tools: Treat the weighing scales, diet supplements and calorie apps as your friends rather than foes. Remember half the battle is in your mind so the more positively you embrace the means, the better will be the outcome. So instead of dreading the weighing scale, make it the first thing you do after you get out of bed every morning. And don’t wrinkle your nose at the protein bars, steamed veggies and meal replacement shakes…find ways to make them palatable to your taste buds.
Tip#2: Make never skip breakfast your mantra for life- You have heard it time and again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast kickstarts your metabolism to a healthy start and fuels you up for your daily activities, but make sure that your choice of foods is low in glycemic index to avoid spiking your sugar levels and hunger cravings. Stick to whole-grain cereals, barley, oatmeal, egg whites, fruits and whole-grain bread. According to data from National Weight Control Registry, majority of people who maintained a weight loss of around 30 pounds annually reported eating breakfast every day.
Tip#3: Attend to your snacking- Talking about mini changes… it’s not just the big meals you eat but your snacking as well that needs a rehaul for weight-loss results. Planning ahead is everything- whether you load up your fridge with low-fat and fat-free yogurts, nuts and seeds, or string cheese and fruits. Fix timings for your little treats to keep from straying and aim to have one 3 to 4 hours after lunch to keep your metabolism and energy revved.
Tip#4: Prolong your dinnertime- If you’re starving you are more likely to wolf down your winner so chew your food slowly which also lets your body absorb more nutrients. I like to start with a light soup or a salad and eat it slowly before I get to the proteins, etc in my meal. If nothing else drink some water. To be more in tune with you hunger signals, concentrate on taste and texture and eat with company or using fine cutlery and chopsticks to make the meal an experience rather a quick fix gulp down.
Tip#5: Tracking what you eat on a regular basis-This has lead to more weigh-loss success so jotting down your meals, in-between nibbles and beverages go a long-way in weight-loss world. But don’t beat yourself up if you find it frustrating to do it everyday. I usually just try to be mindful about my daily calorie intake or some people do it for a couple of days a week. Do whatever works for you but its important to think about your daily calorie consumption.
The less complicated your weight-loss plan is, the higher are the chances of success and after that you are more likely to stick to simple changes in your life for the long haul. So get started here on un-complicating the everyday process…

Article # 337. The Best and the Worst Habits For Weight-Loss

Inspite of your best efforts, you may feel like there is something missing in your current weight-loss regime, which keeps you from reaching your ideal weight goals or deviously tips the weighing scale upward without you realizing why. Studies have found that there are certain food groups and habits that stealthily add about one pound a year to your frame and goes unnoticed until you find yourselves seriously over-weight or experience related health conditions such as diabetes and blood pressure. While there is no magic bullet for weight control, here are some of the best and the worst choices that will determine whether you make it or break it in the weight-loss world:
Top Break-it Choices:
Potatoes: The most common snacking habits in America include potato chips and french fries, which spell disaster for those trying to maintain or loose weight. Studies have found that potato consumption alone can be responsible for 1.69 pounds increase over four years or half the increase in a person’s body weight over a period of time, much worse than soda and sweets put together. Next time you crave your fast-food fix or see the “you can’t eat just one” advertisement, think again.
Alcohol: An alcoholic drink a day contributes to 0.41 lbs increase over a period of four years. In the general digestion process, your body views alcohol as a toxin demanding immediate attention and when the body is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to break down foods containing carbohydrates and starch that are then converted to fats and stored in your body.
Sweetened beverages: Loaded with refined sugars, sugar sweetened beverages make you pile on calories and play havoc on your bloodstream by spiking the insulin levels that eventually leads to conditions such as diabetes. Regular intake of sodas and juices is responsible for 7% of America’s calorie intake, and can be very easily eliminated from the diet by replacing these with unsweetened beverages, water and naturally sweetened juices.
T.V. watching: This warning is not only for couch potatoes but every two hours spent in front of the T.V. can increase your chances of obesity by 23 percent. Why? T.V. watching is linked to lowering metabolic rates, mindless snacking, external stimulus and brainwashing from food commercials, and increase in appetite. With average American households watching eight hours of T.V. everyday, this habit is a serious obesity threat.
Top Make-it Choices:
Yogurt: This easily tops the good-things list to burn tummy fat, increase metabolism and preserve lean muscle. Obese adults who ate three servings of fat-free yogurt a day as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat than those who simply cut calories. Packed with calcium and protein to promote weight-loss, opt for a low-fat and no sugar variety like Greek or Icelandic yogurt.
Probiotics: Ingested as supplements like the Lichi Lactospore Probiotic or added to your yogurt, the healthy bacteria promotes weight-friendly hormones and balances the digestion and the calorie ingestion process in the body which is responsible for regulating body fat and weight loss.
Non-smoking: You know that smoking has several health hazards but did you know that those who quit smoking gain an average of five-plus pounds over a 4 year period. So if you don’t want to fight weight battles later on, lay off the cigarettes.
Fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables: The plate symbol that replaces the old Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid, rightly gives equal weightage to these in your diet. For a healthy body weight and to prevent health problems, eat these in every color of the rainbow to ensure that all essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are available to you. Including more of these foods in your diet over time might not result in dramatic weight loss, but is responsible in the long run for a slimmer waistline and decreasing your risk for significant diseases.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Article # 336. Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diets for Autism

Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diets for Autism

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are developmental disorders that affect children by disrupting their ability to communicate and interact socially. To reduce a child's symptoms of autism, parents often try alternative treatments such as specialized diets. Lately, the gluten-free/casein-free diet has grown in popularity. Some parents report improvements in autism symptoms with this dietary regimen.
Little research has been done, though, on the gluten-free/casein-free diet for autism. Consequently, many parents wonder whether this diet really does, in fact, make a difference in the symptoms of children with autism.

What is a gluten-free/casein-free diet for autism?
A gluten-free/casein-free diet is also known as the GFCF diet. It is one of several alternative treatments for children with autism. When following this strict elimination diet, all foods containing gluten ( found in wheat, barley and rye) and casein ( found in milk and dairy products) are removed from the child's daily food intake. 
Some parents of children with autism believe their children are allergic or sensitive to the components found in these foods. Some seek allergy testing for confirmation. Yet, even when no allergy is confirmed, many parents of autistic children still choose to offer the GFCF diet. Among the benefits they report are changes in speech and behavior.
How does a gluten-free/casein-free diet for autism work?
The benefit of a gluten-free/casein-free diet is based on the theory that children with autism may have an allergy or high sensitivity to  foods containing gluten or casein.  Children with autism, according to the theory, process peptides and proteins in foods containing gluten and casein differently than other people do. Hypothetically, this difference in processing may exacerbate autistic symptoms. Some believe that the brain treats these proteins like false opiate-like chemicals. The reaction to these chemicals, they say, leads a child to act in a certain way. The idea behind the use of the diet is to reduce symptoms and improve social and cognitive behaviors and speech.
There may be some scientific merit to the reasoning behind a gluten-free/casein-free diet. Researchers have found abnormal levels of peptides in bodily fluids of some people who have symptoms of autism. Still, the effectiveness of a GFCF diet for autism has not been supported by medical research; in fact, a review of recent and past studies concluded there is a lack of scientific evidence to say whether this diet can be helpful or not.
Unfortunately, eliminating all sources of gluten and casein is so difficult that conducting randomized clinical trials in children may prove to be very difficult.

Which foods contain gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in the seeds of several grains such as barley, rye, and wheat. A huge number of foods contain gluten. Gluten provides structure or binding to baked products. While it's quite difficult to avoid gluten, many stores, particularly natural food stores, display foods in a gluten-free area of the store. Still, it's important to read nutrition labels to see if there are additives containing gluten.
When someone is on a gluten-free diet, most bread and grain products are forbidden. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the child (or other person) receives ample fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Supplementation can help make up for the lack of these nutrients when foods containing gluten are eliminated.
Which foods contain casein?
Casein is a protein found in dairy products and other foods containing dairy or lactose. Even foods proclaiming to be dairy-free or lactose-free contain casein. Because many soy products and imitation dairy products also contain casein, it's important to read labels carefully when following a strict casein free diet.
Because the GFCF diet for autism restricts dairy products, you'll need to make sure the child's diet has other good sources of calcium and vitamin D. Both are necessary for strong bones and teeth. Talk with your child's doctor about fortified foods and/or supplementation to avoid any nutritional deficiencies.
Are there tips for eating at home or eating out on a gluten-free/casein-free diet?
There are a large number of online retailers who specialize in food products for people following the GFCF diet. Some parents make GFCF food in large quantities and freeze portions for a later meal.
Before making the change to a GFCF diet, consult your child's doctor. A licensed dietitian can educate you about the GFCF diet and help you tailor the diet to your child's health needs and taste preferences.
In addition, before starting a child with autism on a gluten-free/casein-free diet, beware the hidden sources of gluten. Gluten can be found in fried foods that are dusted in flour and even in cosmetics. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts may be safe. But avoid using packaged mixes because there may be traces of foods containing gluten that are not listed on the nutrition label.
Some restaurants are now categorized as GFCF-friendly. If you are concerned, ask the manager or server to show you a list of ingredients used in the establishment to make sure its dishes are gluten- and casein-free. Vegetarian/vegan restaurants are accustomed to serving people on special diets and may be more willing to prepare dishes that adhere to the restrictions of a strict GFCF diet.