Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2016

Faculty Advisor(s)

Steven Schandler


In the United States, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) had a prevalence of 1 in 150 children in 2000. In the year 2012, the prevalence of ASD in the United States jumped to 1 in 68 children (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). Due to the increase in diagnoses of ASD, researchers have sought out different ways to help decrease maladaptive symptoms associated with ASD’s. Many parents of children diagnosed with ASD administer a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) diet to their children in hopes of reducing their maladaptive symptoms. The project hypothesis states that if a child under the age of 16, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder after the age of 2, is administered a gluten-free and casein-free diet, then the child will show a reduction in maladaptive symptoms compared to a child under the age of 16 who was diagnosed with ASD after the age of 2 who does not following a gluten-free and casein-free diet. Through this literature review, findings show a wide range of results both supporting and refuting the dietary intervention of a GFCF diet for children with ASD. Important dependent variables include age of children, severity of symptoms and length of time following the GFCF diet. In conclusion, administering a GFCF diet to children diagnosed with ASD tends to help decrease symptoms of hyperactivity, non-verbal communication and inattention in children aged 2-16 years.


Presented at the Spring 2016 Student Research Day at Chapman University.