Autistic children caregivers’ beliefs and attitudes towards special diets efficacy in treating autism

Introduction: Dietary management of autism spectrum disorders has been designed to ensure a good nutritional status, the adequacy of nutrient intake, which will prevent or address any nutritional deficiencies and will meet or improve autistic symptoms. Αim: To investigate attitudes and beliefs of caregivers of autistic children related to diet efficacy in treating autism symptoms. Method: For this survey, a questionnaire of 21 questions was used, validated and standardized in the Greek population. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews. The sample consisted of 95 caregivers of children with autism, such as parents, special teachers, nurses, social workers and psychologists. Statistical analysis performed with SPSS 17 and included Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Wilcoxon και x2. Results: In some cases the child has quit the special diet because of allergic reaction (2.5%), stereotypes (1.6%), specialist advise (3.3%), there was no effect (63,4%) and for other reasons (34.17%), (p<0.01). In addition, 15% of the participants believed that special diets are effective in autism. Five per cent of the participants totally agreed with this point of view while 80% disagreed (p<0.01) Conclusions: These results need further investigation particularly in the area where the Greek, Mediterranean-type of diet differentiates Greece to other countries and cultures. Not only confirms the advantages of breastfeeding, but opens up new directions in autism research and treatment.

Category: Volume 52, N 3
Hits: 695 Hits
Created Date: 15-09-2013
Authors: Alexandros Argyriadis , Agathi Argyriadi , Christina Marvaki