our journey of hope and healing through autism

How to start the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a child with autism- Part 2

I recently gave a presentation on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and thought I’d share here more details about how it works.


Of the different types of carbohydrates, monosaccharides are the only ones allowed on SCD.  These simple carbohydrates don’t need further digesting before being absorbed into the blood stream.


Dr Haas and Elaine Gotschall who pioneered the diet about 60 years ago spent years and years figuring out which foods are most easily digested and absorbed and why.


To check if ingredients in your supplements are allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate diet visit:



For a handy chart with a complete listing of allowed foods by stage, see http://pecanbread.com/p/how/stages.html


Although Hannah had basic verbal skills when she started the diet, we figured out that she couldn’t verbalize that she was hungry.  Instead, she got grumpy and hyper focused on things.  Feeding her more often really helped with this!


Many kids with autism have  very limited diets, often consisting mostly refined carbs.  The white rice that Hannah was so fond of eating before she started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet had 27 grams of carbs  per half cup.  Switching to SCD foods often means the child is eating food that is more nutrient dense, but less carbohydrate dense, so the volume of food they’ll need to eat may be a lot larger.


You can make really yummy food with almond flour or coconut flour-muffins, pancakes & more.


You want your child to be  comfortable.  When we moved too fast with introducing probiotic, Hannah would get diarrhea.




You can read more, and find recipes here: http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/broth-is-beautiful


It’s estimated that the average adult has 1.2 kilograms of bacteria in their digestive tract.  If the balance of beneficial bacteria is off kilter, it would be hard to start to tip this balance using probiotic capsules alone.  Consuming fermented foods on a regular basis provides high enough quantities of beneficial bacteria to make a significant impact on gut flora balance.

Interestingly, one study found that beneficial bacteria found in kimchee breaks down pesticides.  This serves as a reminder that the beneficial bacteria in fermented foods provide a wide range of benefits to us, when they are part of our digestive flora.



In the early stages of the diet, when introducing a juice, you’ll want to strain the juice through cheesecloth or a reuseable coffee filter to remove ALL the fiber.  You should be able to see through the juice.



We started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet during Easter break, and let our kids have a free for all with videos.  For kids who don’t get much screen time, it was a great distraction from the monotony of the food in the intro diet.


Die off can also manifest as flu-like symptoms, as well.


Epsom Salt baths can also help with die off.


3 comments on “How to start the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a child with autism- Part 2

  1. Pingback: Why would a diet help autism? Specific Carbohydrate Diet- Part 1 | holdingtomorrow

  2. Pingback: Raw Guernsey Milk Recovery for ASD / ADHD / Behavioral Problems/ Learning Disabilities

  3. Pingback: Raw Guernsey Milk Recovery for ASD / ADHD / behavioral problems/ learning disabilities | Darkspace TV

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2013 by in autism, Specific Carbohydrate Diet and tagged , .
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