Kids With Autism Don't Need Special Diet: Docs Report calls for more research, brings relief to some parents By Harry Kimball, Newser Staff Posted Jan 4, 2010 3:37 PM CST 6 comments Comments An eight-year-old with autism. (AP Photo) (Newser) – Children with autism are not particularly prone to digestive issues, and special diets have no effect on the condition, new research shows. Digestive problems do affect kids with autism, but a specific malady called “leaky gut” or “autistic enterocolitis,” says a report out today. The findings refute claims by some parents—Jenny McCarthy in particular—who credit special diets with mitigating the effects of or even "curing" autism. About a fifth of children with autism are on gluten- or casein-free diets, Jezebel notes. The report, in the journal Pediatrics, acknowledges the phenomenon of digestive problems and autism. “The nature of their condition often prevents them from getting standard medical care,” one author tells the AP.