Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Human Nutrition and Foods

Committee Chair

Cindy Fitch.


This study examined the factors that affected parent's decision for putting their autistic children on a gluten free casein free diet (gfcf diet). Parents completed a fifteen question survey relating to multiple factors affecting their lives while having their children on a gfcf diet. In addition, parents were asked to fill out a three day diet history for their child for a nutrient analysis.;Fifty three surveys (21%) and ten diet histories were returned. The majority of parents first heard of the gfcf diet either on the Internet (28%) or from Parent Magazine (32%). Desperation (25%) was the main reason parents tried the diet. Forty-seven percent of parents reported having their children on the diet for three years for greater. Ninety-two percent of parents reported removing more than just gluten and casein from their children's diets. Thirty-nine percent of parents reported the diet was hard to implement and maintain only at first, with the most difficult part being traveling/eating out (34%). Speech therapy was the number one additional therapy that the children were receiving (21%). Seventy-one percent of parents reported consulting a health care professional with help for implementing the diet. Overall, 57% of parent felt the behavioral changes that they saw in their children were due to the gluten free casein free diet.