This handout was created by Lori Kornblum, a Wisconsin Attorney who is the parent of an adolescent with autism. It was first presented at the Autism Society of Wisconsin annual meeting in April, 2002. We hope that this is helpful information for children with special needs who are on special diets. This information is not intended to be specific legal advice, because we do not know you or your child, nor is it intended to create an attorney/client relationship. If you need particular legal assistance, please contact an attorney in your state, or call Ms. Kornblum at 1-877-332-7899. This information is reprinted in our book, An Extraordinary Power to Heal (2003).
An IEP is an Individualized Education Plan, for education of children who qualify for special education under federal law. If your child has an IEP and is following a specialized diet, I recommend that the IEP contain information that makes the entire school aware of the dietary restrictions. In the IEP, designate in the appropriate place that the child is on a special diet for his or her condition that necessitates the IEP. For example, if the child has Autism, specify that the child is on a special diet for treating his or her autism. State that specific information is attached, then YOU write the attachment.
OPTION A [the safest strategy]
“[Child] is on a special diet to treat [his/her__________.] [Child] may eat only the following foods:
1. Child may eat only foods that are sent from home.
2. If other foods are available in school as treats or snacks, child may eat the following: [list all of the foods the child CAN eat]
3. Staff may not supplement the child’s diet in any way, as treats, incentives or for any other reasons, without first obtaining parental consent, unless the food is listed above.
OPTION B [risky because you are dependent on people being as vigilant as you are]
[Child] is on a special diet to treat [his/her___________]. [Child] may not eat any foods containing the following ingredients: [list those foods]
OPTION C: [risky for the same reason as Option B]
[Child] is following Stage [I, II, III, IV] of Feast Without Yeast: 4 Stages to Better Healthand An Extraordinary Power to Heal. Attached are the pages of the books that explain the diet. School must follow this plan.
After choosing Option A, B, or C, all IEP’s should contain this information:
Staff shall inform parent as much as possible about upcoming parties, treats, school projects, etc., involving food, so parent can send in appropriate treats for [child].
[Child]may not share or trade food. Staff must supervise child during snack and meals to ensure that child eats safely. Any deviation from [child’s] diet will likely result in severe behavioral symptoms, which may include:
Kicking, hitting, biting, head banging, pinching, scratching, grabbing, stomach pain, head pain, lack of cooperation, hyperactivity, lack of concentration [list any other that you have experienced].
Staff shall be trained and made aware of the dietary restrictions and the child’s diet. If [child] eats something that he/she is not supposed to eat, which results in one or more of the behavioral problems listed above, the school, will not suspend or expel the child, because such behavioral problems are a direct manifestation of [child’s] condition of _______________.
[End of IEP information]
copyright 2003, Wisconsin Institute of Nutrition.
Please feel free to use this information for personal use, and to copy and distribute it. This page may be reprinted as an entire page on any other website, as long as the website properly credits the author and links back to https://www.nutritioninstitute.com. This page may be copied for other publication with the author’s permission. Please contact us at 1-877-332-7899 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on how to implement a special diet, complete with recipes, we recommend our books. An Extraordinary Power to Heal (2003) gives you detailed instructions, day by day and week by week, about how to eliminate toxic foods from your diets. We give you the recipes and menus to do this in Extraordinary Foods for the Everyday Kitchen (2003) and Feast Without Yeast(1999). Extraordinary Foods is completely yeast free, gluten free and casein free. Feast Without Yeast is completely yeast free, and has 190 gluten and casein free recipes.