Have you seen those autism cookbooks, the ones that claim to improve an autistic child by implementing a set of strict recipes? Autistic people are not a one-size-fits-all community. Some of us love and hate certain textures, tastes, and meal plans. Personally, I have followed the gluten-free, casein free diet before, but now I eat gluten. I’m mostly vegan. I cut out sugar. I avoid oils. I am intolerant to dairy and avocadoes. Is that every autistics’ individuals story? Not by a long shot.
Our relationship to food is unique, and a healthy diet looks different for every person and changes throughout a person’s life–neurodivergents included. Those cookbooks are a ploy to make a buck off the pervasive fear that autism will ruin a family’s life. The autism person diet is a myth. It is based on the harmful idea that autistic people need a cure. Feed an autistic person XYZ, and poof! They’ll be a neurotypical. We don’t want a cure. We want supports. We need acceptance.
Finding out our nutrition needs helps autistic people, because a self-tailored diet is good for all people. A healthy diet won’t cure autism, but when our personal needs are met, of course our coping abilities increase.