Special Diets and Autism Ranking: Unable to rate


There have been various claims for different diets as a treatment for autism including significant improvements in IQ, communication and social skills. There have also been claims of improvements in mood, appetite, alertness and some physical symptoms.


Kidd ( )

Among practitioners familiar with autism, there is strong consensus that modifying the diet and the gastrointestinal system sets the stage for the success of other treatments, and therefore should come first. Parents have found that, by closely regulating their child's diet, they can observe improvement, and that when dietary constraints are relaxed, the child often worsens. The recognition in recent years of a gut-immune-system-brain axis of pathology further supports this priority.

GFCF diet

For example, a study by Knivsberg et al (2002) reported that, according to parental report ‘Children on a gluten and casein free diet had statistically significant reductions in aloofness, routines and rituals, and improvements in responses to learning, as well as various social and emotional and communication measures. ‘

Omega 3

There have been various claims made for essential fatty acids and individuals with autism. For example, the following researchers have made the following claims

  • Amminger et al. (2007) reported that omega-3 fatty acids reduced hyperactivity and stereotypy (in 13 5-17 year olds with ASDs and severe tantrums, aggression or self injurious behaviour using 840mg EPA and 700mg DHA for 8 weeks)
  • Bell et al (2004) reported improvements in overall health, cognition, sleep patterns, social interactions and eye contact (in 18 children with autism given 372-744mg EPA and 116-332mg DHA for 6 months)
  • Johnson and Hollander (2003) reported the elimination of anxiety about everyday events (in one 10 year old given 540mg EPA for 4 weeks)


There have been many claims made for the SCD and people with autism spectrum disorders. For example, according to parental reports posted on the pecanbread.com website, the SCD has led to

Improved bladder and bowel movements Improved behaviour in a range of areas Improved communication and language skills Improved social skills, such as gaining a sense of humour Improved motor control and posture Improved sleep patterns Decrease in pain and discomfort Decreased aggression, tantrums and outbursts Decrease in frequency of seizures

According to the owners of the pecanbread.com website

'The DAN (Defeat Autism Now) clinics that are very supportive of SCD report almost 100% success! This is an astonishingly high rate of success. Dr Sidney Baker who was one of the founders of the DAN movement wrote the following about SCD: "No other among the dozens of biomedical therapies I have suggested or witnessed has met with such consistent success. None out of more than two dozen patients, have elected to abandon the treatment for good."'
31 Oct 2017
Last Review
01 Jan 2017
Next Review
01 Jan 2020