For family reasons this is a particular interest of mine. I picked up the potential benefits of kefir whilst I studied the BSD course and my daughter’s regime now incorporates that. There is also some mention to it in Clever Guts Diet. If anyone has an interest in this you may be interested in this article
“ASD is yet another neurodevelopmental disorder in which the role of microbiota is key and another neurodevelopmental disorder at the forefront of neuroscience and child psychiatry research. ASD encompasses neurodevelopmental disorders that are defined by behavioral observations, in particular dysfunctions in social interaction and communication skills.53 The underlying causes of ASD are not yet elucidated, but it is understood that both genetic and environmental factors play a role.53 A recent review paper considering the role of gut microbiota in the etiology of ASD found that many studies have indeed identified the microbiota composition in ASD subjects to differ from those in healthy controls.67 For instance, Clostridium bacteria has been found consistently to be significantly elevated in those with ASD.68–70 On the other hand, there are some conflicting trends found with regard to some other strains of gut microbiota findings. For instance, Bacteroidetes have been found both to be higher71 and lower72 in ASD subjects. Other possible markers suggesting a role for gut microbiota have been found in a study that reported higher fecal bacteria fermentation product, higher ammonia conhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4370913/centrations, and higher short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) levels in 23 children with ASD as compared to the 9 controls.73 Further evidence of the role of the microbiota in ASD is presented by the observation that interventions with antibiotics and probiotics have led to an improvement of behavior and communication in ASD subjects.74 Looking forward, interventions that target the microbial balance may be effective in the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions.”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4370913/ (I think we are now encouraged to talk about autisms, rather than autism or ASD, suits me since I spent years saying this is a spectrum not a continuum).
My own daughter is now in her thirties, she is Down syndrome as well as severely autistic. I am hopeful this will be useful, good signs. I am going to try the potato starch as well. Sleep is of course a crucial factor in care (for both parent and child). I had cause to read a few years ago studies that purported to show that parents ‘often misrecord’ their children’s sleep patterns – actually 27% got them pretty much right, which seemed to me a normal distribution, but even if they do misrecord so what? What matters is getting more, and better, sleep.
I am optimistic about these developments. I know the stresses and it is important not to give false hope. Yet, and yet – small progresses give hope that confidence can be built on.