Friday, April 24, 2009

Walk Now for Autism - Unless You Follow the Gluten Free Diet

Return to Eden, where I work as a GF Product Specialist, has participated in the local Walk for Autism for the last two years. We are consistently the only company who brings gluten free/casein free samples. The food area offers wheat bagels and muffins, while fruit is put out only after the walk is over. We were all set to participate this year, when we were told that we didn't have enough samples to hand out, so we were unceremoniously uninvited.

Now I have to admit that there is no direct link showing a benefit from being Autistic and following the gluten free/casein free diet, but there is a definitely a group (think Jenny McCarthy) who believe following the diet is the key to managing Autism, whether you have a gluten sensitivity or not.

I can't for the life of me understand why the organizers of this event consistently do not take into consideration the dietary needs of their walkers. I also don't see why they wouldn't want someone like me handing out literature, coupons and other pertinent information that will help parents manage the gluten diet and show them where they can shop (personal tour) for gluten free products.

This event should be more about providing options to the parents of Autistic children and less about how many samples I am bringing.

I sincerely hope the organizers of this event are not as restrictive in the future and take into account not only the dietary restrictions of the participants, but their informative needs as well.


  1. That doesn't make any sense! ur right alot of people do believe there is a connection between autism and gluten and there should be someone at there for those people! oh well, it's the Walk's loss.

  2. I had another conversation with the organizers of this walk and was told we would have to provide 1,000 samples or make a $1,000 donation. We are but one store, so we do not have the budget to make this type of donation. If we had been advised of the samples quantities more than 4 business days before the event, we would have been able to comply.

    This event has become all about the money and not about providing services/products to their walkers.

    What a shame.

  3. Wow i want to think there hearts r in the right place but expecting so much money and then kicking out someone who has soooooo much great information just doesn't make sense.