Autism TodayTV Highlights “GFCF Chef Tom Dickinson”

Individuals on the autism spectrum have shown minimum to dramatic improvements in communication, behavior and social interactions after they began gluten free casein free (GFCF) diet. The GFCF diet is based on the theory that individuals on the spectrum have sensitivity or allergy to gluten or caseins which form peptides. These peptides can then alter how an individual responds to their environment and exacerbate autistic symptoms.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, grains, vegetable proteins, starches and other flavorings & artificial colors. Casein is the protein found in milk and milk products such as cheese, ice cream and butter.

Some research studies have suggested that a GFCF diet can improve behavior and GI symptoms in some children on the autism spectrum. A recent study in 2010 published in Nutritional Neuroscience shows that a GFCF does have benefits for some kids with autism. “Our results suggest that dietary intervention may positively affect developmental outcome for some children diagnosed with ASD,” according to the study.

Changing a child’s eating habits can seem like a lot of work not to mention the added expense of “specialized food.” Fortunately we have Chef Tom Dickinson who is determined to make the GFCF diet affordable and accessible to all individuals on the spectrum. Chef Tom aims to redefine the public’s perception of a gluten and casein free diet from boring and bland to a cuisine that he calls GFCF-Fusion.

See chef Tom create wonderful meals for your family that are affordable in a minimal amount of time on Autism TodayTV. Chef Tom also has two cookbooks available “Where There’s A Meal, There’s A Way” & “Cooking With Class” with a third on the way “Affordable Eats.”

GFCF Salami and Basil Pizza

Chef Tom Dickinson on Autism Today TV

Here is a recipe from one of Chef Tom’s cookbooks. It was featured on Episode 2 of Autism TodayTV. Everything you need to make this wonderful pizza is listed here, and if you’d like, you can watch Chef Tom make it first and then give it a try yourself. I have personally tasted the pizza, the sauce is just fabulous. It’s a great tasting fast dish everyone will love.

“My firm belief is that every child on the Autism spectrum should not have to be deprived of the simple pleasures in life like being able to have a slice of pizza like any normal kid, so what I did is created this wonderful recipe and the key to this pizza isn’t the toppings or the sauce, but the technique and the use of a cast iron pizza pan to make this pizza from good, to awesome. Hope you enjoy.” -chef Tom

For The Sauce

  • 3 Roma or San Marzano tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of sundried tomatoes
  • Half of a red onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • One tablespoon of agave nectar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For The Crust

  • 2 cups of pre mixed gluten free all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon of guar gum
  • 1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tablespoon of aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of water

For The Toppings

  • 1 package of daiya mozzarella cheese
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 1 package of Applegate farms uncured salami
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Using some oil that is safe for your child and your own preference, drizzle some oil onto your cast iron pizza pan and place in the oven to get it nice and hot.
  2. For the sauce, place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and puree on high speed. The sauce should be a little bit chunky, but that’s okay.
  3. For the pizza dough, place all the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk together so everything is incorporated. Add the one cup of water and begin to mix together with a rubber spatula. IF the dough is too dry, add water to it one tablespoon at a time. Mix well until the dough is moist but not sticky.
  4. One a floured cutting board, floured with gf flour of course, roll out your pizza dough with a rolling pin to desired shape and width. Now it’s time for toppings.
  5. Place the sauce on your pizza, followed by half the daiya cheese, then the salami, and the rest of the cheese on top.
  6. Take your basil leaves, stack them on top of each other, and then roll them into a roll. Using your knife, cut the basil into fine ribbons, this is called chiffonading the basil, a classic cutting technique.
  7. Place the ribbons of basil on top of your pizza and slide the pizza of the cutting board onto your cast iron pizza pan. Bake in the oven until the cheese has melted and the crust is fully cooked. About twenty minutes.

Makes 4-5 servings
*See Chef Tom Create Delicious, Mouthwatering and Affordable Dishes on each Episode of Autism TodayTV

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Autism? There’s an App for That!

Buy Now Apps for Autism

Actually, there are more than 200 apps for autism, and this book will guide you through them so you can confidently utilize today’s technology to maximize your child or student’s success!

Speech Language Pathologist Lois Jean Brady wrote this book in order to educate parents, teachers, and other professionals about the breakthrough method she calls “iTherapy”—which is the use of Apple products (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and various apps (computer applications) in meeting students’ individual educational goals.

Lois believes that all persons on the spectrum can learn how to use technology in a way that is relevant to them. She shares important tips on how to use apps responsibly and effectively by maintaining a child-centered, team approach to teaching and learning, taking into account the individual’s interests, strengths/challenges, vision, motor planning, attention, sensory processing, memory, cognitive ability, environment, and access to tools. Lois also coaches adults on how they can use prompting and reinforcement techniques to help establish and generalize skills learned, until students are able to consistently demonstrate the skills in various environments (home, school, etc.).

For those who are new to the wonderful world of apps, worry not! Lois provides helpful sections on how to get started, including: Choosing an iDevice, Basic iDevice Operations, Opening an Account, How to Download an App from iTunes, and more!

You will be astonished and excited by the number of apps available, and the vast variety of issues they can address:

  • Voice Output
  • Sign Language
  • One-Touch Switch
  • Articulation
  • Encouragement
  • Listening and Auditory Processing
  • Language Comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Concept Development
  • Video Modeling
  • Social Skills Group Activities
  • Eye Contact and Body Language
  • Hygiene and Pre-Vocational
  • Grphic Organizers & Visual Supports
  • Visual Timers
  • Sound Masking
  • Handwriting
  • Bilateral Coordination
  • Motor Planning
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Reading
  • Spelling
  • Math
  • Preschool
  • Dysphagia
  • Aphasia, Apraxia & Dysarthria
  • Stuttering
  • Music, Songs & Creativity
  • Information about Autism
  • Eating Gluten Free
  • And More!

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VAST Autism 1- core gets a mirror feature

NEW Mirror feature promotes oral motor sequencing and self-monitoring

Using a mirror while practicing speech sounds provides crucial visual feedback to help individuals improve their muscle coordination and sequencing for speech.

Virtually all research has found that visual input is the most important source of feedback for individuals with apraxia of speech. This means that individuals should focus on how to produce the target sounds/words from a model and then observe and monitor their own attempts by using a mirror.

Within the VAST Autism app, a mirror icon is given that allows either the educator/therapist or individual to access this feature at appropriate times for self-monitoring and/or reinforcement. Results from clinical trials using the mirror feature after students have completed watching a VAST video have shown – students will intuitively practice what has just been modeled on the iPad and make an attempt to duplicate the target word(s).

Furthermore, clinical trials have shown that students are highly interested in the mirror and motivated to complete the task and gain access to this exciting new feature.

VAST Autism 1-core is available on the App Store

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VAST Autism Core Testimonials

 VAST Autism Core icon

VAST Autism Core

Since its release several months ago, VAST Autism Core has yielded better than expected results with students and patients across a wide variety of settings in particular individuals who have profound challenges and have had limited success with traditional modes of therapy; it has become a tremendous asset to educators and therapists alike

Listen to first hand testimonials from educators and therapists on the amazing results they’ve experienced using VAST Autism Core.

If you have a story or testimonial to share—We would love to hear it and share it with our readers.

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