How Lifestyle Changes Can Help Your Child with Autism

How Lifestyle Changes Can Help Your Child with Autism

At Neighborhood Pediatrics in Shenandoah, Texas, we understand your concerns and desires for your child. We’re board-certified medical professionals who have expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorder and can give you the guidance you need.

Though autistic children don’t “grow out of” their condition, there are ways to help them develop a happy, healthy life when focusing on three areas: diet, activity, and sleep.

Diet

As a parent, it’s important to understand that your child’s diet can play a role in easing their symptoms. Because inflammation is linked to autism, you want your child to stay away from high inflammatory foods, like dairy and foods that contain gluten, such as wheat, rye, and barley.

You should also limit or eliminate sugar, corn, and soy from their diet. Instead, give your child whole foods that include unsaturated fats, fish, lean poultry, fruits, and vegetables. In addition, a low carbohydrate diet can help keep their blood sugar levels balanced.

Research has also shown that your child’s mood can be affected by their gut microbiome, so giving your child probiotics can help ease their symptoms, as well.

Activity

Help your autistic children shoot for 20 minutes of exercise on a daily basis. When they exert energy for a specific period of time every day, it can decrease their aggression, hyperactivity, and other stereotypical behaviors. If you’re unsure about what exercises they should try, click here to get some ideas.

Sleep

It’s no secret that children need their sleep to function at their best. Studies have shown that about 25% of children ages 1-4 wake up throughout the night. However, that number increases to about 80% in children with special needs.

You can help your child get the sleep they need with a few actions. Give them a consistent bedtime routine every night. For example, set a bedtime, then 45 minutes before, have them brush their teeth, change into their pajamas, and then read a book to them. A plan of consistency can help them establish healthy sleep patterns. Be sure to reward them for sticking to the schedule. 

Focusing on these lifestyle improvements can help your child cope well in life and also give you peace of mind. 

For additional information and to get the assistance you need in helping your autistic child, don’t hesitate to reach out to our compassionate team. Simply call our friendly office staff today, or use the online scheduling tool to book your appointment. We’re here to help.

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