There is a diet that is pretending to be SCD and fooling many parents. Many parents think that they are doing SCD and are not aware that they are actually implementing the Nut Diet instead of SCD, confusing the Nut Diet with the real SCD.
Many parents begin SCD by replacing the breads and cookies of other diets with nut flours. They also feed their children any food that is SCD legal without first going through the introductory diet and making sure that their child can tolerate that food. This is done because most parents think that the rules of SCD and GFCF are the same. When parents start out with GFCF,they are allowed to use all the GFCF legal foods. It is important for parents to realize that the rules for SCD are different. While the goal of GFCF is the elimination of foods that contain gluten and casein, the goal of SCD is to avoid foods that cannot be digested. A certain food can be OK for one child but not for another. Also, a food can be difficult to digest for a child during the first months on SCD but fine at a later time when more gut healing has happened.
The important idea behind SCD is that "We must never forget that what the patient takes beyond his ability to digest does harm." Undigested foods become great nourishment for the gut microorganisms that have an excellent ability to digest carbohydrates. These parasites then emit toxins that destroy our children's gut and brains.
Certain foods that are fine for advanced SCDers are not OK for beginners and might harm them. The most famous example is the nut flour. Many children cannot tolerate nut flours in the beginning stages of the diet. It is advised to start out with the intro diet and gradually introduce new foods. The "stages section" on www.pecanbread provide inspiration but there are no hard rules because our children are all different. The idea is to introduce new foods gradually and watch carefully for reactions. That is how you implement the "Real SCD". If you just feed your child any food that is legal SCD food without taking into consideration that some foods might be difficult to digest during the first months then you are doing the "Nut Diet".
As we see,there are two different ways to implement the legal SCD food list: the nut diet and the real SCD.
Is the Nut Diet better than GFCF? Of course! Despite its shortcomings, it is a lot easier to digest than the starches that are allowed in GFCF and other diets. I will give examples that might clarify this confusion and show us that our children are unique and have different outcomes with the Nut Diet.
Sue R-F had a 2 year old child who was extremely picky. Katie only ate goat yogurt, banana, meat and nut muffins. She had constipation but recovered with SCD and almost no other intervention (just a few sessions of Tomatis and a couple of hours a week of speech therapy). While this nut diet was not optimal, it did recover a child from autism.
Another mother, ST, had 2 children, she started with the nut diet and got improvements for both children. After about half a year later, she went back to the intro diet and introducing foods gradually. She reported that she got EVEN better results after reintroducing the foods gradually.
Jen Young reported that her child was only able to eat a few foods during his first months of SCD. He could not tolerate nuts during his first 3 months on SCD. After starting the goat yogurt, Jen was able to feed her child more foods and enable him to recover from Autism. Jen was only able to get results if she gave foods that were tolerated. If Jen had just followed the legal/illegal list, then her son would have made no progress.
Andrew L is a brilliant man who is very talented in science. He has written that SCD, supplements, and enzymes have helped his autism spectrum issues. He has stated that he does better without any nuts, despite the fact that he has been doing SCD for over a year.
The advantage of the Real SCD is that it allows the parent to design a diet that is custom made for that child and just right for each particular child. The Nut Diet is not optimal for a child who might have difficulties digesting nuts and other SCD legal foods during the first months( or with extreme cases,during the first year) of the diet.
I have read on other lists the posts of parents who assert with great authority that SCD did not help their child's GI issues. In their post, they list the foods that they gave their child; there is always an advanced food on that list. I want to shout: "you cannot feed lentils to a child who has constipation,your kid's gut was not ready to digest this food and the undigested food fed the gut bugs."
I completely understand that it is hard for parents to do the real SCD, many children see other kids eating junk foods and feel deprived...some children are very picky.... I understand these difficulties and that is why we started a special list for children and SCD to help parents with these issues. What I ask of you is that you be fair to other parents when you are evaluating your child's outcome with our diet. If you cannot do the real SCD but are doing the nut diet and not getting results,then please explain it to other parents. It is not fair to discourage other parents from doing SCD if one did not do it correctly.
Before reporting about your child's SCD experience on other autism lists, please make sure that you implemented the diet correctly. When I used to do SCD counseling for free some time ago (I no longer have the time to do that), I found out that some parents asserted that they were following the diet 100% and not getting results. After talking to me,the parents quickly became aware that they were not implementing SCD correctly. After the mistakes were corrected, the child progressed with SCD. I no longer have the time to do SCD counseling but there are excellent ways to transform failures into success with this wonderful diet.
If you are not happy with your SCD results, then please seek the help of the list, websites, SCD pals and SCD counselors. It will be the best investment for your child :you will save lots of money because doing SCD correctly will shorten dramatically the amount of time that your child need to do ABA or other ASD interventions.
Most parents of ASD children understand that a parent who implemented ABA,VB or RDI without the supervision of an expert might not get good results. ABA,VB and RDI are powerful tools for improving our children but they are complex and mistakes can easily be made by an untrained parent. We need to understand that this situation might also occur with SCD for children with extremely difficult GI systems.
We have been very lucky that we have been able to help so many children without private counseling but some children did fall betweeen the cracks when their parents stopped SCD without getting private counseling. This is a tragedy because a few sessions of SCD counseling can usually fix the problem and are so much more economical than other ASD interventions.
Please do not give up on this wonderful diet without seeking help from this list,SCD counselors or experienced parents!!