Brief Report: Implementation of a Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Fragile X Syndrome

  • Kelly BarnhillEmail author
  • Morgan Devlin
  • Hannah Taylor Moreno
  • Amy Potts
  • Wendy Richardson
  • Claire Schutte
  • Laura Hewitson
Brief Report


This brief report examines the implementation of dietary intervention utilizing the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) for the management of gastrointestinal issues in a 4 year old boy diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). Data relating to anthropometrics, dietary intake, blood markers, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, sleep issues, and behavioral concerns were gathered at baseline and after 4 months of dietary intervention. The dietary intervention was well tolerated. Improvements in nutrient status, GI symptoms, and behavioral domains were reported. The use of the SCD protocol in children with ASD/FXS and GI symptoms warrants further investigation.


Autism spectrum disorder Fragile X syndrome Nutrition Specific carbohydrate diet 



The authors would particularly like to thank Rebeca Flores Shearer, Dr. Dane Mosher, Anissa Ryland, Meg Glausser, and all the support staff and clinicians at The Johnson Center for Child Health and Development, for assistance with implementing this study.

Author Contributions

All authors made significant contributions to this manuscript. KB and LH designed the research; KB, AP, WR, and CS conducted research; KB, MD, HTM, and CS analyzed the data, KB, HTM, and LH wrote the paper; and KB had primary responsibility for the final content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


Funding was provided by The Jane Botsford Johnson Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All of the authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from the participant’s representative according to the above-mentioned principles.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly Barnhill
    • 1
    Email author
  • Morgan Devlin
    • 1
  • Hannah Taylor Moreno
    • 1
  • Amy Potts
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wendy Richardson
    • 1
  • Claire Schutte
    • 1
  • Laura Hewitson
    • 1
  1. 1.The Johnson Center for Child Health and DevelopmentAustinUSA
  2. 2.Oklahoma City UniversityOklahoma CityUSA

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