The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

02 March 2012

GFCF Filipino Style… Worth the Try

By: Ms. Wilma Ligot, ASP UP-CAMP Manila Chapter Member

“From those to whom much is given, much is expected.” (Luke 12:48)
GFCF Diet for Treating Autism

It is by these teachings that I chose to share the many blessings I have… my journey with Autism being one of them. Through this journey I learned to value health, little miracles, relationships, environment, education, the future… among other things. By sharing what I learned, the journey becomes fulfilling and enjoyable. By learning from what was shared to me, the journey becomes bearable, light and sometimes fun.

Autism for me is a blessing. It is one of the most wonderful things that ever happened to our family. It is my hope that other families celebrate it the way we do and accept it with open hearts and minds. It’s a lifelong condition and will always be a part of every member of the family afflicted by it, whether one likes it or not. Having accepted this fact, we face the challenges ahead with braver hearts.

I always believed in empowering the parents by giving them an active role in the journey. It is heartbreaking to see parents feeling helpless and sometimes hopeless. Empowerment starts by making parents/caregivers realize that they can contribute something (no matter how small it may seem) in improving the quality of life of persons afflicted by Autism. Basic of which is the issue of nourishment in the family.

By sharing the purpose of the GFCF (Gluten-free, casein-free) diet to parents in PGH last 11 November 2011, I am hopeful that they use what they learned to strive for a simpler and healthier style of living. I am hopeful for a positive effect, should any of them try to give it a shot. With the limitations surrounding all of us, an option like the GFCF diet “Filipino style” should be treated as a welcome treat. It was by changing my son’s diet that we saw many improvements in his over-all health, behavior and cognitive function. Amazingly, our whole family’s health improved, too.

Many Filipino dishes are actually GFCF if one will just do away with the “bad” or “offensive” ingredients and use healthier alternatives. Going back to basic cooking is one of the key in going through this diet. Another key is learning the healthy way to prepare and cook food – steaming and boiling on top of the list while frying at the bottom of the list. Avoiding anything instant, avoiding ingredients which you can not pronounce, using natural food that are locally available, figuring out which food causes allergic reactions (highly reactive foods) are some of the other keys to healing any sick body. They are also one of the ways in improving the immune system – a major health issue among autistics.

While we accept autism as a condition we need to deal with, we must always remember that they have health issues that need to be addressed. Research has yet to unlock the many mysteries surrounding the condition but let’s not make it a reason not to face what present research found out. Present research, so far, was able to point out a connection in four major bodily systems: neurological system, immune system, gastrointestinal system and the toxicological system1. The complex interconnection of this system made researchers, medical practitioners, and educators dig deeper and find remedy to somehow put some sort of order in the “disorder”. The GFCF diet is one of the initial steps to healing the Autistic body (though other condition benefits also – ADHD, Asthma and Allergies) 2. Dr. Kenneth Bock, M.D. and Cameron Stauth’s book showed how a healing program helped so many children improve their quality of living and live an almost normal life.

A parent shared to me that her son feel better, think better and behave better when he is in the province with his grandparents. I asked what they eat there and she replied: “mga pagkain na nakikita sa bakuran o bukid, mga natural na pagkain (gulay, mais, kamote, isda, manok, baboy). Wala pong mga junk food dun.” This experience is just one example of how a change in the diet can turn one’s world around. It’s simple, cheaper and is doable. It takes time getting used to it but once you finally see what it does, it is all worth the try.

There are many more ways that might help… ways that might give parents more confidence and make them more determined to go through the diet, but time just was not on our side that day. I look forward to another session with them and my sincerest thanks for all the sharing and for simply being there to listen. To ASP UP CAMP Manila Chapter, thank you for giving me the opportunity to share. Mabuhay po tayong lahat!

- Jepson, Bryan M.D. with Jane Johnson, Chapter 14: The Autism Web – Making Sense of the Disease, Changing the Course of Autism, A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians, 2007; pp. 176-180.
- Bock, Kenneth M.D. and Cameron Stauth, Healing the New Childhood Epidemics (Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies), Ballantine Books Trade Paperback Edition 2008.

For more information, you can contact the ASP UP-CAMP Chapter President, Ms. Beth Udquin at (02) 253-9140 or (0929) 514-6801 with email add

This web site serves as a venue for information dissemination and aims to educate Filipino parents and professionals to make better decisions in lives of people with autism. The views and personal experiences below are unique to the author and don't necessarily reflect that of the views of the organization. Always consult a certified and licensed medical professional for more information.


Anonymous said...

Baka po puede rin mag post ng mga menu na puedeng pgbasehan at mga GFCF foods n abot kaya ng bulsa.Marami n kasi sa internet pero puro mga pgkaing foreigner nman.Sana ung mga locally available foods nman.thank you po and more power.

Anonymous said...

u can try potato starch. locally available po eto. f u love 2cook u can use this as a subs. even during the 90s parents of my clients were using potato starch as subs. some of them even used it as milk subs. u can try it.

Ellaine@08 said...

San po mkakabili ng milk subtitute pra sa 2yrs old na gfcf d2 sa phil..plz

Ellaine@08 said...

San po makakbili ng milk substitute pra sa 2yrs old...bwal din po kc sa knya ung my soya...gusto ko sana itry un gfcf diet d2 sa phil...plz help

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