June 18, 2014 | Posted in Our Stories

By the time X was three, his parents could tell that there was something that was not quite right with their son. He needed to be constantly moving, constantly engaging with others. He slept poorly, waking a few times a night.He was unusually irritable, easily frustrated and had frequent tantrums. Family life was constantly challenging.

Once at school, it became clear that concentrating on schoolwork was very difficult for him. A bright boy, it seemed that he lacked mental stamina, unable to focus on his work for more than five minutes. His Waldorf teacher was concerned about his difficulty focusing and the resultant behavior problems. She encouraged his parents to seek help for him. Many different therapies were tried, all were a little helpful but none had dramatic results. The most successful intervention involved changing his diet to remove gluten, dairy and concentrated sugar. This reduced the tantrums and allowed him to function well enough to stay in his class.

At the beginning of 7th grade he worked with the HANDLE (Holistic Approach to Neuro Development Learning Efficiency) program for six months. After the first month he began to read on his own for the first time in his life, at times for up to a half hour. His tantrums stopped. He never had another tantrum or incident of uncontrolled anger again.

In the 8th grade, at age 14, he found what appeared to be a spider bite on his forearm. Within a few days he had a fever. He had never had a fever of over 100.5 before. His mother did not like to use antipyretics for fever so the family treated him with natural therapies. The fever went up to 104 at 4:00 AM, then at again at 4:00 PM. The family took him to the emergency room where he was given a shot of antibiotics. The antibiotics did not seem to have any effect. The fever continued spiking like this, every twelve hours for a total of two and a half days., The parents were very scared and did not know what was going on. This was before the knowledge of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) was widespread. Finally the fever passed and the young man was well.

Immediately the family could see that his personality was different. His facial expression changed from grumpiness to kindness.The irritability was completely gone and he was much more warm and friendly. For the first time in his life he seemed happy. His concentration improved, he went on to play in a band, and on a High School Varsity sports team.  He got a B average in High School and graduated from college. It is now eleven years later, he is doing well as a professional firefighter.

Pam, California

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