Date of Graduation

Spring 2008

Degree

Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Ronald Netsell

Keywords

autism spectrum disorder, gluten-free diet, expressive language, receptive language, CELF-4

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Abstract

This investigation was designed to measure any differences in expressive and receptive language skills, and any behavior changes before, during, and after implementation of a gluten-free diet. A case-series design was used. Two participants with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorders were placed on a gluten-free diet for three months. The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Fourth Edition (CELF-4) receptive and expressive language subtests were administered. Dietetic records were maintained daily to document the diet and noted behavior changes from the caregivers' perspective. Feedback was obtained with the dietary intake form, weekly contacts, and the CELF-4 Pragmatic Profile and Observational Rating Scale. The pre-post testing revealed significant improvement in receptive language for one of the participants. The caregiver observations reported progress in receptive and expressive language skills, fewer tantrums, increase attention span, and less irritability. The participants' performance during the three-month study improved in social and behavioral areas of communication according to the caregivers' feedback. Providing resources to adapt to a gluten-free diet is essential for a smooth transition and to decrease the anxiety of the people involved. Caregivers reported that they would continue to implement the gluten-free dietary intervention.

Copyright

© Melanie C. Ogden

Campus Only

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