Thinking about how I wanted to approach the review of this book, I thought I’d see if I could find any other resources for doing the SCD dairy free. To my surprise, I was unable to find any. That fact alone is a good reason to get a copy of SCD-DF, but even if it was a crowded market I still think I’d be telling you that this is the one you want to start with.
Pam and Raman lay out the science and practical experiences of treating Autism and ADHD in a way that is both compelling and approachable. Written in a clear, concise, but conversational voice, they guide the reader through a myriad of issues that a parent or patient might experience. Raman has been doing the SCD practically forever and has authored three other SCD books. Pam has been in her practice for more than a decade and treated hundreds of children with the SCD-DF. In an environment where it must be nearly impossible to fund a large scale dietary study her experiences are absolute gold. On top of her expertise as the cofounder and a practitioner at Hopewell Associates, Pam has the first hand experience as a parent of a child affected by autism. Pam not only can give you good practical advice, she can feel for you too. Perhaps this is best reflected in part 3 of the book in the chapters entitled, “Building Your Support Network”, and “Caring for Mom”.
In addition to the scientifically substantive nature of the book, it is liberally interspersed with parent’s accounts of how their children improved on the SCD-DF. Also, no opportunities are lost to use a diagram when explaining a concept to help you understand. A book like this could be very dense and dry, but Pam, Raman, and Nilou have managed to make it an illuminating experience though a well crafted use of diagrams, sidebars, personal stories, and excellent food photography.
One of the potential hurdles when attempting a diet change like this can be convincing yourself our your partner it’s worth the effort. Some are swayed by the stories of improvement from other parents, but others may need more objective sources. Thankfully this book is exhaustively cited with more medical articles and studies than you could read in a year.
Not only is the the theory of this diet well documented, the practice of living the SCD-DF is covered with guides for setting up your kitchen, grocery shopping, meal planning and even how to deal with your child’s school and kid’s parties. Fully half the book is recipes. This really is an all encompassing book.
If I could add anything to this book it would be this one thing: keep a journal. Track everything you can think of; food intakes and times, moods, test results, behaviors, sleeping, bathroom habits, etc. I found a journal to be most useful for uncovering why I might be having a bad day or more importantly how far I had come. When you are in the midst of changing a lifestyle and living that life, it can be difficult to have a long view of the arc of recovery. The journal allows you to look into the past and see all the little improvements that have come. It can be really help you or your partner’s conviction if you’re feeling progress is too slow or you are just really tired.
In conclusion, this is an awesome, empowering book that anyone wanting to try dietary intervention for their autistic or ADHD child should have in their arsenal.
You need this book.