February 23, 2020
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Why My  Child  is on the Keto Diet- 6 month update (special needs and cognitive benefits)

so it’s time for an update I put my
daughter on the ketogenic diet she has
special needs and she’s 12 years old now
I put her on the ketogenic diet last
June and it’s now if you can see the
Christmas behind me it’s now almost
Christmas and so it’s been about six
months and I thought I’d do an update
I was just trying it for a
month and I did it with all three of my
kids cuz she hasn’t been on a restricted
diet in a while and I didn’t want her to
feel super left out so I did it with all
three of my kids for the month of June
or actually no is like June 15th to July
15th because it was right after they get
out of school so you can go back and see
like we went camping during that time
you can see her camping menu I had been
on the ketogenic diet again we’ve all
done it before but I had been on it
again since February and I was seeing so
much benefit in my mental health and my
mood and my brain health that like
memory and stuff that I thought it was
worth trying for my daughter again so I
did amazing results and so this is all
just me it’s called like N=1
which means and this is my sample size
of four people and the four people in my
family and so my boys they did it they
did fine
my oldest my older son my middle child
has been fat-adapted because he weaned
pretty much directly on to the gaps diet
and low carbs, we were doing low carb gaps
gaps diet which you can see in a
different video
my daughter transitioned right onto keto
just fine
because again like she has been fat
adopted which means that like you’re
either a sugar burner or you’re a fat
burner and ideally our bodies can go
between the two but in the United States
with our food pyramid with that huge
thing of grains and then like fruits and
then sugars all of that is going to
cause your body to only want to burn
sugar so some people can have a hard
time transitioning and onto keto but really
keto and brain being able to burn fat is
our natural state so anyways she had no
problem my littlest guy had never been
low carb before and has he had like a
little bit more of a rocky transition
where he was just a little bit tired and
like kind of cranky for the first couple
days from my older two kids had already
done this so their bodies kind of like
really excellent at being able to burn
fat and not sugar and so they did just
fine so anyways after the 30 days I
didn’t see much of a difference in the
health or really behavior or anything of
my two boys but my daughter who has
special needs and she her biggest
problem prior to keto is processing and
so like you tell her something and it
would take her like Oh a few seconds
which doesn’t sound like a lot but it
really is a lot to take a few seconds to
process everything that’s said to you so
in her IEP which is our individual
education plan that kind of helps her
teachers and aides and like substitutes
that come in to be able to teach her I
had very specifically said you need to
only give her one direction at a time
and you need to allow her like 10 or 15
seconds to process it before you give
her another direction or you need to
allow her to complete that because a lot
of times it’ll look like she’s just not
able to understand she is you just had
to give her time to process and so that
was the biggest difference that I saw is
as soon as she was in ketosis which
again and I can go into this in a
different video but when your body’s
used to being running on fat she was in
ketosis in probably 24 hours even though
she didn’t do a fast or anything cuz
she’s 12 so she was in ketosis and
immediately it’s just like I would say
hey can you go get that for me and she
would just go do it where before it’d be
like wait what and it was just it seems
like a little thing but it’s something
that it allows her to respond in normal
conversation so we’d go to the park and
other people would talk to her and she
would very well be able to carry a
conversation on with strangers that
didn’t know to allow for that processing
time so her processing speed went way up
to the point where we just had our AP
this past month and I took that off I’m
like you don’t need to allow extra time
like you can just talk to her I’m kind
of in a normal conversational tone and
so that was our biggest like brain boost
health and just that alone would be
enough for me to keep her on keto but
there was more benefits and so I’m gonna
keep telling you about those and
I’m the second one the kind of all of
this is going for quality of life I’m
not looking for a complete cure we’ve
already done the gaps diet and I have a
lot of videos about that so her gut is
pretty good so right now we’re just
looking for that brain boost and that
cognition boost and so keto has really
done a lot for us so the next thing that
I saw that made the biggest like impact
in her quality of life and our family
life is impulse control and this is
where I was taking her off keto once a
month just to kinda do a check and see
do you still need to be on it is it
still having benefits for you and again
within like 24 to 48 hours of being off
keto her impulse control was just hard
and so when you like see something and
you want to touch it it’s almost like a
toddler and she’s 12 and so she can
reach a lot more things and so I really
need that impulse control to be there
and so that’s like the impulse control
and frustration kind of go hand in hand
and so if she can control her impulses
to touch things she shouldn’t she’s also
able to not be frustrated by just like
life circumstances like it takes too
long in the car to get to the park she
wants to get to you or and before maybe
like her impulse would be to scream
about it and this is just like deep
breath and we’re just gonna sit in the
car nicely and as a parent this just
allowed me to do so much more with my
kids we traveled through like four
different states we went camping I super
appreciate having her higher functioning
and I know this is controversial and I
usually get some comments that aren’t
too happy with me but I do I want her to
be as high-functioning as possible and
she is happier and better able to like
fit in to the people around us the
higher functioning that she is and so
I’m very thrilled that Kido can give
this to her and then the third thing
that he did for her which is why six
months later she’s still on it is that
her balance is so much improved she was
something we live in Montana and so it’s
I see like it starts getting and I see
in like September or something
ridiculous and so it’s I see and I just
took her off like I said I take her off
about every month
and I took her off for her brother’s
birthday which is mid-november and then
I went ahead and just kept her off for
that following week because then it was
Thanksgiving and I just been like I’m
just gonna like let you have a break
from this and you can kind of eat what
everyone else is eating and she’s not
really isolated because I’m on keto I
just don’t mind it like to her she’s
missing out on a lot to me I just don’t
care like not being able to eat candy
canes really does nothing for me but for
her it’s more about being included thing
and so it was important so I thought
like well we’ll just go ahead and try it
I mean the worst thing that can happen
is that I am putting you back on Peto
after Thanksgiving and so I did and then
this is where that popped up as it was I
see because I’m Montana it’s always I
see and there’s just a little bit of ice
and her balance is off like she’s
slipping on ice and then this if it’s
the difference between me being able to
like have her right next to me so I like
she can grab my hand if she’s about to
fall or when she’s off of Quito like she
was just like grabbing on to my arm and
just like terrified of falling and then
also she has an eye that kind of wanders
and her teacher texted me she’s just
like what is going on there I am FML
it’s from the sugar and so I did I put
her after Thanksgiving I did put her
back on keto and the I it took about
it’s because it’s a muscle thing it’s
like she has a low tone diagnosis and
again I’m like I’m only comfortable
going into this so much her diagnosis is
in her medical history on YouTube so I
try to balance between what’s helpful
for you guys and what still respects her
privacy so she does have a I I have I
that wanders also if I’m super tired or
stressed she has an eye that’ll wander
and so it was to the point that her
teacher noticed and texted me about it
and I’m and then it’s back since we’ve
been on keto for I think like two weeks
now its back tracking how it should be
she’s back to being able to walk across
ice without just being terrified and
like grabbing on to me for dear life and
so that just little boost and balance is
especially when it’s icy here or when
she wants to play sports like we have to
typically developing boys as well and so
when she wants to play sports that is
that was super helpful that she can
balance and she’s able to better keep up
with her peers and all of that is why
we’ve chosen to continue on the
ketogenic diet I’m making some choices
which I’ll go into some of the
supplements that I use I’m making some
choices with her that I typically don’t
think is best like when we did the gaps
diet I feel like our diet was perfect
like there was no artificial anything
sneaking in like everything that I could
buy was organic it was just like no
molecule of bad food got in and that’s
kind of way that ketogenic diet is after
we filled her gut her gut should be
pretty well healed we’re on the gaps
diet for over two years so after the
gaps diet the ketogenic diet I do find
easier for her which I’ll go into in a
different video so that is our update
six months on the gaps diet my
typically-developing boys I did for one
month on the gaps diet again didn’t see
a huge thing for her for them but my
daughter and I and she has a brain
injury diagnosis I’ll link to a lot of
this down below and then also I have a
symptom tracker which is what I use in
my own family when I’m trying different
supplements which I want to talk about
in a few more videos or I’m trying
different dietary protocols is I track
symptoms pretty meticulously just
because I don’t want to put all this
work in or unnecessarily restrict their
diet for something that really isn’t
having that much benefit or it’s not
having as much benefit as what I
consider it to be kind of a pain in the
butt to do because none of us parents
are doing anything with our kids because
we’re bored we’re all doing this because
we want them to have the best health
possible and so we always have to be
weighing those risks and benefits so if
you click down below I would love to
share with you my symptom tracker chart
and then I’ll link to a few more YouTube
videos and blog posts so that you can
kind of see more of what we’re doing and
why and I’ll be back soon with more
information on the supplements that I
use and more information on why we
choose keto instead of keto and gaps at
this point in our life

Randall Smitham



  1. Whole Picture Home Posted on December 17, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    I SO appreciate all that you shared in this video. I absolutely want my autistic children as highly functional and independent as possible. I can't find any consistent answers though pertaining to-if and how the physical growth of a child is impacted if on a keto diet. Have you come across any helpful info on that? Do you use keto friendly sweet treats to keep your daughter on the plan? It's so hard with kids who loves sweets, even though they may crave less on keto, our low dopamine situations still "need" the boost they provide. ♥️

  2. canadian girl Posted on February 18, 2019 at 1:00 am

    In this day and age we have to brave to not give our kids sugar and processed foods. It's sad that we are looked at poorly for wanting great health for our children.

  3. Decio Alves Posted on February 18, 2019 at 3:42 am

    Hello Cara I'm a fellow carnivore too! My godson is autistic and I've been trying to find a way to tell his father, my best friend, about the benefits that a keto diet would have on his son. Even though we are close it's difficult because you never want to tell someone how to raise their child, but I know it would help him so much. When did you first decide that you were going to put your kids on a keto diet? Also, how did you respond when people in your life, your husband, relatives, or friends, reacted possibly in a negative way? Any insight you can share is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much! God bless!

  4. Mariana Lodi Posted on February 19, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Have you tried exogenous ketones? If so, were you successful?

  5. Fern Forest Posted on February 19, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I’m so glad you shared this, and I shared it on Facebook. Hopefully the benefits your daughter experiences will inspire more parents to give it a try for their kids. ❤️

  6. Gabrielle Geleta Posted on February 23, 2019 at 1:45 am

    and people say meat is bad lol

  7. RedBearAK Posted on April 2, 2019 at 9:35 am

    If there were that many visible benefits from just a regular "keto" diet, one is forced to wonder what kind of benefits could possibly come from implementing the original keto diet that has been used to treat children with severe epileptic seizures. But from what I recall that involves an extremely high fat diet (90% or more) very strictly adhered to for 18 months to 2 years straight, to give the brain the time needed to recover and repair neurons. It's not easy, but maybe she would be up to the challenge. Maybe she would even want to do it, if it presented a possibility of retaining those positive benefits of higher functioning more reliably for the rest of her life. Perhaps you've already looked into this option.

  8. mrash vlogs Posted on April 11, 2019 at 6:20 am

    My son is also autistic and it is hard to feed him any real food. He loves sweets. How can i do keto foe him? I myself am doing keto for the health benefits.

  9. reality check Posted on April 26, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    You are an idiot !!

  10. bonds88 Posted on May 1, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Do you do any dietary restrictions for your kids while feeding them keto? ie no dairy, gluten, grains etc

  11. thaddeusc44 Posted on May 9, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    And this is why special needs families are broke.

  12. 1 1 Posted on June 4, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Hello glad I found your video! I also have problems with processing information along with an attention disorder. Not being able to process information and constantly being distracted makes for a hard life. I'm 25 years old right now and will soon try the Keto diet. My GUT is telling me that there will be improvements in my cognitive function. Thanks for making this video and I will give an update if the diet helped!

  13. Tori Cehand Posted on June 6, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    I think you are doing an amazing job!!! I think anyone who doesn't support you in trying to improve the quality of life for your child is wrong and has no clue what they are speaking of. Thank you for sharing your story know that you are encouraging to others

  14. Tanya Fuentes Posted on June 16, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Can I ask you if your kids are taking any supplements? I give my boys a multivitamin but I’m wondering if they need anything else while in Keto.

  15. Adrienne Jeffers Posted on June 28, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    How exciting! So happy for your sweet girl! 💕

  16. Sommer Sonne Posted on July 7, 2019 at 9:29 am

    This is fascinating. I HAVE A WONDERING EYE. Our son (with autism) also has the eye thing. Have you tried vision therapy? We have done GAPS but our son still does struggle with balance, impulse control and gets really muddled up and confused quickly, finds it hard to remember to carry out tasks and even talking he needs his time to get the words right. I'm really into trying Keto now…. though the idea of Keto seems a scary one….

  17. WizardofRaw Posted on July 13, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Now if you can just improve the keto diet with more Plant Based fat sources, like nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut, and oils and eliminating more Animal Protein, because DESPITE the toxcitity and damaging effect of animal protein, the keto diet is getting benefits, but our plant based keto plan is getting way better results than all the animal keto eaters.

  18. Shara Posted on July 14, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Cara I have been looking all over the internet for an electrolyte supplement for children with no success. How do you monitor their electrolytes?

    Might I say that I am impressed and heart warmed with how dedicated you are to investing in your children's overall well-being from both the mental and physical angles. Wonderful mothering!

  19. vsoho soho Posted on July 15, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Wow great video. It should inspire many parents.