What you probably don’t know about nutrition and autism spectrum disorder and should

What do you know about nutrition and autism spectrum disorder? If you are like most people, the answer is probably not enough and you may not even know anything. Despite what many people including some doctors will say, good nutrition is a must for a happy and healthy child and adult with an autism spectrum disorder. In fact, the more junk and processed food, your child with autism eats, the worse off he or she will be.  I know it’s easier said than done as many children on the autism spectrum are picky eaters and it can be challenging to get him or her to eat more vegetables and to eat healthy. That said, it really is a must and there are ways it can be done, although discussing those ways is not the purpose of this blog post. 

Good nutrition can make the difference between your child have major meltdowns every day and only having them occasionally. Yes, this really is true. Children on the autism spectrum who eat more junk food have more meltdowns, have a harder time concentrating and focusing and are just plain sicker. In fact, that’s true for all children but children on the autism spectrum are more sensitive and have an even harder time processing junk food. 

Your gut and your brain are interconnected and good nutrition is a must for feeding your gut and brain properly.  This is another thing that most doctors are not taught and yet it’s true. I’ve heard several times that your gut is your second brain and I know from experience that this is true. This is one reason why many children on the autism spectrum do better on a gluten free diet. They simply can’t digest gluten and this causes brain fog, a lack of focus among other things. 

In short nutrition and autism spectrum disorder go hand and hand and if you have a child on the autism spectrum, then you really must learn about nutrition if you don’t know about it already. Then implement what you have learned with your child, if you want to have a happy, healthy and thriving child. 

 

 

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How to do a Successful Autism Fundraiser

Do you have a child with autism who desperately needs therapies you can’t afford? What about doing an autism fundraiser? While it can be a lot of work, autism fundraisers can be very successful and can be one of the best ways to pay for autism therapies for your child. Here is the process you can use to do a successful autism fundraiser or even more than one.

1. Know your why? Why are you fundraising? What exactly will you do with the money once you have raised it?

2. Get prepared to fundraise. In most cases, the money you earn from a fundraiser for autism therapies will still be taxable unless you do a few key things. One of these things is using a separate bank account for the funds and then being very careful to spend the money only on autism therapies. Then you can claim a tax deduction under medical expenses and reduce or in some cases eliminate your taxes. Another way is to either create your own 5013c or find a way to run the fundraiser via the 5013c of someone else and then use the funds for autism therapies. You can also contact the provider or providers of the therapy or therapies you are planning to use and see if you can make arrangements for the money raised by your autism fundraiser to go directly to them. By having the money go directly to the provider and never having the funds touch your bank account you may be able to avoid taxes. However, as with all tax issues, if you think that you may be raising a large amount of money to pay for autism therapies, consult with a tax professional first.

3. Have a goal for how much money you want to raise. Then break it down and determine how much money you will use and for what purpose. You will find that some people may be more motivated to help you, if they know or are able to decide precisely what their money will pay for.
Decide what kind of fundriaser or fundraisers you will do. While you can ask for money directly via something like gofundme.com, personally I’ve found that event fundraisers or fundraisers where you sell a product or products are more successful. People prefer the idea of getting something for their contribution and they are more fun anyway.

4. If you sell a product, sell something that people actually want or need. There are too many fundraisers for cookie dough or wrapping paper that is overpriced and that no one wants. Examples of successful products include candles, food like Tastefully Simple or Wild Tree, tomato plants, essential oils, bath and body products, Tupperware, pampered chef, and other similar items. Look for something that people buy on a regular basis whether it is for a fundraiser or not. You also want to get at least 20% of the purchase price towards your fundraiser. If you need help finding someone who can help you with a product fundraiser, let me know. I have lots of connections.

5. If you do an event fundraiser, plan at least two months ahead and invite everyone. Make it fun and something the whole family will want to attend. Ask a variety of businesses to donate items for an auction or raffle. You can also do a carnival type event and sell tickets, or you could do a dinner and get the food donated.

If your goal is to raise more than $2,000 you will want to consider doing both a product fundraiser and an event fundraiser. You may even want to do 2-3 product fundraisers and more than one event.

In short, fundraising for autism therapies can be a lot of work and effort. However, it can pay off and be well worth it. You will find that more people will help you than you expect.

How to Follow the Autism ADHD Diet on a Budget

Have you ever considered following the autism adhd diet? Otherwise known as the gluten free casein free diet with your child? If so you are probably aware of the challenges it can be to follow the autism adhd diet on a budget as it can get expensive if you aren’t careful. Personally I was on this diet for a few years as a child, and now I’ve been on it again as an adult for the past 2 years. While it’s true that following the autism adhd diet on a budget can be challenging, I know it can be done. Here are some tips to help you avoid breaking the bank, while on this diet.

1. Plan ahead and then plan ahead again. I have a kindle ebook that I have put together that can help you. Advance preparation is a must for making the autism adhd diet work for you while on a budget. If you fail to plan, then you will plan to fail not only in sticking with it, but you also will overspend. Spending a lot of money while on this diet is usually because you didn’t prepare, and ended up overspending on fast food or other quick food items.

2. Cook most if not all of your food yourself. Packaged food that is gluten free and casein free and therefore, okay with this diet, costs at least double if not triple the cost of food that you make at home.

3. Buy gluten free grains, nuts and seeds and anything else you can in bulk. This will save you a lot of money.

4. Take advantage of store sales. Many stores have sales where you can buy canned goods, or gluten free items, or other things on sale for 1-2 weeks. Usually these sales only happen 1-2 times per year so you need to plan in advance and budget for when these sales happen.

5. Grow your own garden so that you can get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of the autism adhd diet on a budget anyway. If you can’t have a garden at your house, see if you can participate in a community garden, or grow a garden indoors. You can use boxes, pots and more. See my post How to pretty up your space with a healing herb garden.

6. Invest in some quality spices when they are on sale. Spices last a long time and can help add flavor without a lot of cost.

7. Take advantage of discount stores like Aldi, Sprouts and Winco if you have them in your area. Sometimes target and walmart can have inexpensive and high quality food as well.

What if your biggest challenge when it comes to following the autism adhd diet on a budget? Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.