Laura:  I am the exasperated, exhausted, frustrated, angry and all the while loving mother to a boy named Matt (name has been changed).  Matt is 9 years old and has been officially diagnosed as ADHD this past week, although we have known that he would get this diagnosis for years, we just have chosen to ignore that label and try to raise a BOY!

Laura:  I just want to let you know that I have read your book and totally commend you! I had this feeling of options and hope while reading it. I was relating to a lot of it and thinking about the next steps I’ll take to figure out what is affecting my son.  My son is 15 and, in all honesty, I AM bribing him to get him to comply with the elimination diet so we might be able to figure some things out.
The recipes are great too!

Laura:  We decided to put our 6 yr old on meds because there are so many factors that trigger ADHD. We couldn’t put him in a bubble and expect any level of happiness for anybody that way.  We found a wonderful doctor who is not afraid to find the appropriate dose that helps our son. We started in April and have finally found a very good level in the last three weeks. He is having good days at school, better mornings beforehand, and getting invited to parties and such.  We have not ruled out any nutrition options. We still watch sugar contents more than anything. Thank you for your newsletter. You are teaching us so much, even if we have chosen medication.
Hello. I have been reading your site and am amazed at the things i have learned.  My son is now 9 1/2 years old.  He was first diagnosed with ADHD at age 6.  We put him on Adderal which made him extremely violent so we stopped it. Then we kept him off of meds for a while until his behavior at school became a real problem.  Then he went on Concerta, it seemed to be the answer to our prayers until, after about 7 months on the medicine, we noticed him blinking, a lot.  He had to get glasses and it continued still and was affecting his daily life.  He doctor said it was not medicine related, but proceeded to take him off of it and put him on Strattera.  After only 2 weeks on this he developed diarrhea so bad he couldn’t attend school.  It continued for 3 weeks, after week 2 i stopped the medicine even though the doctor said not to.  He wound up in the hospital because he could hardly walk and was ghost white by week three.  They ran tests and said the Strattera had destroyed the good enzymes in his intestines and he wasn’t processing and absorbing his food.  He was dehydrated and anemic because of this.
They sent him for numerous sleep studies and psychological tests and then sent us to a pediatric neurologist.  He still had these tics that had started while on the Concerta.  The neurologist said that he had developed advanced tourettes syndrome and put him on Clonodine.  The tics began to go away and he was doing better.  Now they have started him back on the Concerta 3 months ago and 6 months into the Clonodine treatment and the tics have returned.  They keep wanting to up one thing to control another and have even recommended replacing the Concerta and Clonodine mix with and anti-psychotic drug.
I want to be done with the drugs and try to control the diet.  I stopped his Concerta a week ago and would like to wean him off of the Clonodine as well.  I can handle him being hyperactive and he doesn’t have the attention problem of the ADHD.  What i have trouble dealing with is the horrible mood swings he has, and that’s why i had agreed to try medication.  I have three other children at home, he is my oldest.  And i know this will be difficult and challenging, but i know that in the long run it will be better for all of them.

Laura:  Hi, my name is Avery Zuleger.  I am ten years old and I have ADHD.  Because of my ADHD, I can be hyper, sometimes I do things before thinking, I forget things and I’m not real organized.  But there are a lot of great things too.  ADHD is not annoying – it can be fun.  It gives me an advantage because I’m faster.  And it makes me unique, creative and smart.  I am a good friend.
Two years ago, people were not always nice to me at my old school.  They would bully me and tease me.  I wanted to do something good so I thought about helping other children with ADHD.  It can be a positive thing.  It’s not bad.  ADHD helps you be creative, smart and kind.  You should be proud of ADHD.
I started a nonprofit charity organization called Avery’s Smile Company.  I sell bracelets to raise money for ADHD.  I designed everything including the logo, color, and font.  They are blue and white swirled.  And because ADHD can be a gift, the bracelets say “ADHD ROCKS.”  They are $2 each.  I also have keychains.  I am giving all of my profits to CHADD, research, schools, and camps.  CHADD is a great non-profit organization that helps families with ADHD.  My parents go to CHADD every month.
I just starting selling ADHD gift boxes too.  People can put their name on the gift box.  Inside, they put three good things about themselves.  I will send these boxes to important people who can help make laws, research about ADHD (President, governors, CHADD).  My goal is to sell 2000 boxes.  The boxes are only $1.
I made a website to tell others about ADHD and to sell my stuff.  Please look at my website at www.smileco.org .  I sold bracelets and got emails from all over the world like Beijing, China and Australia.  Some really important people are supporting me like Dr. Harvey Parker who started CHADD, Dr. Amen who is so famous for his books, ADHD coaches from all over the United States, and my family and friends.
In September 2007, I was the guest speaker at ADHD Alive in McHenry, IL.  I told people about the positives of ADHD and about my goals.  I even got to do two magic tricks.
In November 2007, the Appleton newspaper did a story on me and ADHD.  Later in the month, I spoke at an Appleton ADHD conference in front of 700 people.  I was really lucky to meet Dr. Russell Barkley there.  He is so famous and very nice.  He even took a picture with me.
In April 2008, I was a finalist in the Build-A-Bear Huggable Hero Contest.  I didn’t win but was one of 24 kids picked from four countries.  That’s awesome.
My other goals are to go to Harvard University to study math and to meet the President of the United States.  I want to meet him to talk about ADHD.  I read President George Bush may have ADHD too.
In 11 months, I raised over $2200.
Thank you for reading this.
Avery

Laura:  My wife and I are proud parents of three great boys.  Jimmy is our oldest. He is 10 this year.  When he was in kindergarten his teacher dropped a bomb on us at the first parent teacher conference.  She advised that Jimmy was the most severe case of AD/HD that she had experienced in her 30 years of teaching and she encouraged us to “have him evaluated by a Doctor”.  Jimmy was very active.  He loved to talk and was easily distracted. Basically, a high energy kid.  Much like I was at that age.  He also had a tendency to make annoying “chirping” sounds with his voice and facial “ticks”.  Almost like he couldn’t control it.  I won’t go into detail explaining the range of emotions and worry we went through (and continue to some extent).  Least to say it’s been a hard row.
My wife and I did have him evaluated (after we did our own extensive research on AD/HD that left me with the hollow feeling that the science lacked objectivity).  We waited a year to get into a pediatric neuro-psychologist.  It was just about the same time frame that Jimmy had his evaluation that we found your website.  By that time we had decided that meds would be the last avenue we would consider and only than if his grades were failing and/or he was being socially ostracized by his peers.  We let the Dr. know our views and he came back with a diagnosis that reflected our views…basically that Jimmy was “borderline AD/HD” and that behavior mod should be the course of “treatment.”
We brought this diagnosis back to the school and went about the job of building a bridge with each teacher each year and doing our best to get through each day.
About the time he was entering his 2nd semester of 1st grade we started utilizing some of the information we found on your website. Currently, we give all our kids fish oil, flax oil, multi vitamins (w/o artificial colors flavors), magnesium and being cognizant of artificial colors/flavors in general.  We also switched his typical breakfast of one built around carbs to one built around protein.  Finally, we prayed.
We didn’t start all of these at once.  It was a learning process.  We actually started with the flax oil.  My wife and I still marvel at the immediate effect it had.  We gave him the flax oil after dinner one evening.  The next day neither of us observed any chirping or ticks.  We both continued to observe for the next several days without discussing it with each other.  Later, we confirmed that we both feared the disappointment should the other confirm noticing no improvement.
Well since than it has been a steady curve of improvement. Jimmy is still an active kid.  He still has a tendency to daydream and talk and goof around when he shouldn’t but he is a solid A/B+ student with the A’s coming in the reading, writing, arithmetic and math areas.  He has a great personality and good friendships.  He loves to read.  We still remain vigilant to give him the nutrition and behavior modification incentives.  We still worry if “the next year/teacher” will bring back the heavy challenges, frustrations and worry but that’s parenting.
I just wanted you to know that what you are doing is appreciated, valued and needed.

Laura:  Your website has great information for parents.  I had my son on 3 different kinds of ADD medication.  He had every negative side effect including losing 8 lbs. in one year, paranoia, anorexia, insomnia and tics.  I took him off meds and I’m thankful I did.  I don’t believe meds are treating the root cause of the problem only the symptoms.
My son was diagnosed with ADD in 3rd grade.  He was unable to focus on school work and had many symptoms of inattentive ADD.
He is currently in 7th grade and last Fall we discovered he has visual problems and is currently seeing a behavioral optometrist who found that my son could not focus near/far, eye teaming problems, binocular vision problems, tracking and convergence.  Due to visual stress his left eye was shutting off every 9 seconds and his right eye became dominant.   He also has laterality, directionality, visual perception, and visual discrimination problems.  No wonder he couldn’t learn or at best it was inconsistent.  We are beginning to see improvement, especially in the area of sports.  He’s able to hit the ball consistently and field balls as well.  I truly believe the academics will follow.  He is reading more fluently and visual motor is improving.
School could not find LD in the beginning of 3rd grade but by the time he was in the middle of 4th he had fallen way behind and through consistent argument we were able to obtain an IEP.  The IEP I thought would be the answer, but little progress was made.  We took him to a dyslexia specialist and she said it was more of a processing issue, she said my son was probably the slowest processing kid she had worked with.
When I began to sift through all of the testing we had done in the past I began to see red flags and all were vision related.  I had taken Grant for eye check up and they said he had 20/20.  They did not check for visual processing.   In my search for answers I found vision related learning problems and Grant had most of the symptoms including motion sickness related to vestibular weakness. I learned that vision is a learned process beginning in infancy and that if the child does not pass through milestones it can effect learning in school and cause great stress. If Primitive reflexes are not inhibited or mature to postural reflexes it can cause stress and vision related problems, among others.  Grant did meet milestones within normal limits, but there were signs at birth I was not aware of.
The optometrist said that many, many children diagnosed with ADD (inattention) actually have vision related problems that can be treated with vision therapy.  The earlier these problems are detected the better.  The test they gave my son to diagnose ADD was a VISUAL computer test.
I think it would benefit many parents if you could write an article on vision related problems that of which symptoms mimic ADD.  I’ve spoken to several moms who found help before I did and their children are now learning without help in school and back on track.  Best of all… no medication!

Laura:  I have recently stumbled upon your website and I am thrilled.  I have learned so much!  However, I have some problems I don’t know how to cope with about my son.  He is 13 and on Concerta, Wellbutrin and another antidepressant.  Last night we were driving home from our amusement park on a busy highway—lots of 18 wheelers.  My husband who has Menier’s disease went on too many rides and was not feeling well and continued to vomit.  My 10 year old daughter is crying about daddy and how she has to pee and my 13 year old son is just tormenting her to no end.  I keep telling him to please stop talking that it is just upsetting everyone.  It is all about attention, I know.  Taking away privileges has no effect and in confined quarters like last night there is nothing else I can do.  I thought about just driving the car off a bridge (just kidding) but we desperately need a way to stop the turmoil.  We are all in counseling, but I just wanted your opinion.  I also needed to vent!  By the way, my son is a sugar-holic.  He has even stolen candy to get his “fix”!

Laura:  I took your advice and eliminated all the artificial colors and flavors in my child’s diet.  This was no easy task!  I was amazed to discover how many foods contained these chemicals—all Jim’s favorites! However, we managed to keep him off those chemicals for a week.  We couldn’t believe the change!  He was like a different child—calm, reasonable and attentive!  Then we decided to let him drink a glass of juice with a couple of drops of each artificial dye (red, blue, yellow, green) you buy to dye Easter eggs.  We couldn’t believe the response.  He was so hyperactive—just all over the place.  He couldn’t to sit down for two seconds.  His temper tantrums were especially a trial for us to handle.  It took a whole day for him to recover!  It was a nightmare!  Now he is doing well again on his dye-free, artificial flavor-free and preservative-free diet.

Laura:  I completely agree that nutrition is so important.  Many people think it’s silly of me for making eggs and hash browns and meat for breakfast for my children.  My son, John, is 6 years old and in the first grade and he suffers from ADD.  It runs in the family because so do I.  However, with the elimination of dairy out of our diet, we are doing much better.  When John was born, he projectile vomited and as soon as I took the diary out of my diet, it began to stop.  It took 2 weeks for the vomiting to completely stop.  Anytime we eat dairy we get congested and hyper!  It’s almost like a switch has been flipped.

Laura:  My son Jake has Hyperactivity and Anxiety problems.  He is five years old and is classified with communication impairment and ADHD.  His attention and anxiety has increased since he entered kindergarten this year.  The teachers have hinted so to speak about medication, but we are just not ready.  Jake is only 36 pounds and does not eat well to begin with.  I bought your book, 12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child, and have been reading it.  I have already switched  many of the items in his diet to lower sugar/sugar-free and natural alternatives.  Thanks!

Laura:  Thanks to your last newsletter on Celebrating Happy Holidays, our family had a delightful Christmas.  We have an 8-year old daughter with ADHD who always experiences melt-downs at holiday time.  This year we cut way back on sugar and didn’t allow her foods or beverages with any artificial colors and flavors.  We also enforced a bed time so that she got enough sleep.  Her dad and I also got more sleep than usual and we all felt great!

Laura:  Thanks you for your newsletter.  I can endorse the findings of artificial colours and hyperactivity in children.  My son is 8 years old and his behavior deteriorates almost immediately when he has artificial colors.  We’ve also found that he seems to have ODD symptoms whenever he eats monosodium glutamate.  I don’t have to be a scientist to observe the alterations in behaviour that these additives cause.  I just need to be observant to the foods he eats, something that require diligence

Laura:  I have recently stumbled upon your website and I am thrilled.  I have learned so much!…By the way, my 13-year-old son he is a sugar-holic.  He once drank 3 bottles of maple syrup you get at Cracker Barrel that he snuck from the cabinet.  Yuck!

Laura: I was amazed by how much sugar was in my child’s diet: 12 teaspoons in a fruit drink, 9 teaspoons in a chocolate shake, 31/2 teaspoons in Apple Jacks and Fruit Loops, 51/2 teaspoons in chocolate milk, 4 teaspoons in Nutri-Grain Strawberry Cereal Bars, etc.  I’ve severely reduced the sugar in his diet, and his behavior is much better!

Laura:  I am a parent of a 9-year old boy who has ADHD.  He has tried all of the stimulant medications.  My concern is his weight and height.  He is 54 inches and 60 pounds.  We are seeing a group of doctors who specialize in treatment of ADD and ADHD.  My son’s diet stinks (that’s being nice), and it’s our fault!  He won’t try any food except pasta and meat.  We have tried all the nutritional drinks and bars in an effort to boost his calorie intake, and he won’t eat them!  He does eat snacks once in a while.  He won’t drink milk, won’t take vitamins and will not drink healthy liquids.  We have no idea ourselves what good nutrition is, but I know we need to break the cycle so we can teach our son!  I just got your book, “12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child” and I can see already that it’s going to give me lots of help and suggestions!

Laura:  I wrote in early June that I had begun supplementing my 5-year-old daughter’s diet with omega-3 fatty acids, and was going to do an elimination diet for her and myself.  We have seen GREAT improvement this summer with the identification of some food triggers, and the addition of fish oil and a magnesium supplement, but are still not 100% where I would like to be.  In the process of the elimination diet we identified cocoa and processed meats as triggers for our daughter’s hyperactivity, and I am now keeping a symptom/exposure diary to see if we identify other, less common, food or environmental triggers. Although I don’t think she reacted obviously to sugar, we also now avoid added sugar wherever possible.  When I did the diet, I also reacted to cocoa, and oranges. Giving up chocolate is hard, and I am not 100% successful, but I feel guilty if I sneak some, when I don’t allow my daughter to have some, so that is good incentive!
Both my daughter and I now take way less allergy medications than we used to.  My daughter is much less hyperactive and aggressive, and can sit quietly engaged in coloring or drawing for long stretches, and colors in the lines, and even learned to write/spell her name – things she could never do before.  Due to a behavioral relapse at gymnastics camp recently I decided to go ahead and get her screened for ADHD before she starts kindergarten, but I am still optimistic that her behavior can be controlled through the diet and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation only.

Laura:  When my daughter turned the age two and acted as she was a teenager, I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me!  What I didn’t know was the journey to solving so many of her issues would be so long but worthwhile…You see my daughter was diagnosed as ADD/ADHD.   One thing we changed was her diet…I still get resistance from even close friends saying, “What could one bite do if you eat dairy?”  As long as my daughter follows her diet of no corn, chocolate or dairy and takes grapefruit seed extract [for the yeast problem]  she has no wetting, concentration or mood swing problems…I so want people to know you don’t have to medicate children for ADD/ADHD as there are alternatives.

Laura:  I came across your work this week through a reference from a friend.  I am suspecting my 5-year-old daughter is ADHD, and am reading about the diet connection.  I have already started the chewable fish oil supplements and am planning to do Dr. Crook’s elimination diet with her as soon as we get back from vacation in a couple of weeks.  I am even going to do it on myself (a lifetime allergy SUFFERER, with a capital S).  If we can control her symptoms through diet—yea!  Dealing with her drains all my energy some days, and it is very frustrating because she was such an easy baby and toddler.  I appreciate what I have read so far, and may have questions as I travel this path.

Laura:  I have had Restless Leg Syndrome for many years and didn’t know it.  Originally, I was told to drink quinine water, which helped a little.  Then I decided to take my Calcium-Magnesium-Zinc supplement in the evenings before bed.  It was amazing!  The problems with RLS have stopped almost completely.  I have read in the literature about minerals that magnesium works on the nervous system to help calm people.  I just thought this might help someone else with RLS.

Laura:  I have a 12 year old daughter who from the moment she could walk and talk has been more than a handful.  At 2 years of age she spray painted our kitchen and herself!   A friend of mine suggested we take her off all artificial colors and flavors from her diet.  After a few weeks we noticed a huge change in her behaviors and went to see doctors.  We were told after months of going to CHADS (Child Health and Development) that our daughter didn’t have ADHD but she did have heightened senses and impulsiveness and that the removal of such foods was a good starting point!

Laura:  Congratulations on the recent recognition from the American Psychiatric Association [see last newsletter] that omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for normal mental health.  I see they mentioned your research at Purdue.  Frankly, I don’t know what took them so long!  This must be gratifying professionally to you.  I don’t know if you have had any personal experience with the affects of omega-3 fatty acids.  Since I first read about your research on the Internet, I have pursued it in any way I could.  It was a tremendous help to my son who has taken Coromega supplements since last summer.  You’re fortunate to live to see your research accepted!

Laura:  I was reading your book about children with ADHD and the symptoms.  My child suffered lead poisoning.  It was discovered at the age of two and he held at very high levels ranging from 22 to 9.  My son has had MANY problems, some of which may be related to the lead.  He has had speech problems, asthma, and encopresis. (lack of control of his bowels).  He doesn’t have any sensation when he needs to use the bathroom.  His teachers complain that he doesn’t focus and is very disorganized.  Now I’ve read that even very low lead levels can be harmful, so I know he needs more treatment to decrease his current lead level of 9.  Thank you for taking time out to make a web site for those of us who need direction with these matters.

Laura:   My daughter is 14 years old.  We have known since age 7 months that she was sensitive to dairy, reacting with stuffy nose and irritability.  Through the years she has shown symptoms of ADD, and I was suspicious that she was sensitive to foods other than just dairy.  After a little detective work, we discovered that Dairy=irritability and distraction, Soy= irritability and distraction
This comment if from a reader who is an experienced user of Stevia., a natural sweetener.

Laura.  “The flavored Stevia Drops are made by Sweet Leaf (no, Laura has no financial interest in Sweet Leaf!!) and come in a wide variety of flavors.  You can find out more by Googling “Sweet Leaf” and then follow the links.
“I use the drops to make flavored mineral water (apricot is my favorite for myself…my son likes chocolate or root beer).  I put a few drops of the toffee or vanilla into my decaf organic coffee to make it feel a bit more indulgent.  I use the cinnamon to sweeten my steel-cut oatmeal and throw in some chopped up apple for a yummy breakfast.  I also use Stevia to provide extra sweetness to homemade ‘dreamsicle’ popsicles (6 ounces unsweetened orange juice concentrate, 2 cups nonfat, plain yogurt, a little vanilla and some Valencia orange Stevia drops).
” I have experienced a little bit of an after taste with Stevia, so I know what you are talking about with regard to the taste.  I think the flavors help some, although I use the Stevia Plus packets in tea, etc. and like it very much.  I think the key is to be frugal with how much you use.  With Stevia, less seems to be more!!

Laura:  I made a few dietary changes in my 10 year old ADHD son’s diet.  I cut way back on sugar, added omega-3fatty acids, decreased hydrogenated oils, added magnesium, made sure he gets a multi-vitamin every day and made sure he was getting enough protein.  I have seem a calmer, less moody, less hyper child.  He sleeps better, eats more and has fewer meltdowns.  We started this diet two months ago.  School is going so much better than last year.  I wish I had found out about this diet 5 years ago when he was diagnosed!

Laura:  I made a few dietary changes in my 10 year old ADHD son’s diet.  I cut way back on sugar, added omega-3fatty acids, decreased hydrogenated oils, added magnesium, made sure he gets a multi-vitamin every day and made sure he was getting enough protein.  I have seem a calmer, less moody, less hyper child.  He sleeps better, eats more and has fewer meltdowns.  We started this diet two months ago.  School is going so much better than last year.  I wish I had found out about this diet 5 years ago when he was diagnosed!

Laura:  I think anyone who dedicates themselves to helping kids is the cream of the crop in humanity.  Kids are the best and they deserve the best chance at success we can provide.

Laura:  I have just borrowed a copy of your book, “12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child” from the library.  My daughter is nearly 6 years old and all her life I have sought to understand her behaviour.  I have always felt she exhibited behaviour strongly suggestive of ADHD plus Oppositional Defiant Disorder but our local hospital has no funding to see her.  When I read Appendix B about the Common Elimination Diet in your book, I suddenly realized that in order to encourage my daughter to eat I had been loading her diet with sugar, hidden or otherwise.  For the last 4 days I have cut this right down and her behaviour has markedly improved—she is calmer, not aggressive.  I could go on and on.  I feel that with the help of your book I can help Jessica and also feel more in control myself.  I already know that oranges and crisps provoke an instant bad response.  Thank you!

Laura:  I was just looking at your questions page and noticed that you were interested in adverse reactions to artificial sweeteners.  I react to them.  I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (in remission except when reacting to artificial food chemicals).  I made my diabetic father some muffins using CSR Smart Sugar which is a combination of sugar and aspartame made in Australia.  I ate 3 mini muffins and my neck and shoulders were excruciatingly painful for 2 days!

Laura:  One problem my son was having was not getting good enough sleep among many other things.  We realized that the mattress that he was sleeping on for 8 years was a hand-me-down and we had no idea how old it really was.  Also, the bed was like many other kids’ beds and did not have a box spring.  We went out and bought him a quality mattress with a box spring.  I also purchased all new bedding and covered everything with allergy covers.  The difference was amazing!  We can’t get him out of bed in the morning!  When I was picking out the mattress the sales person commented that very few people buy quality beds for their children and that the mattress set that I purchased was something most adults would buy for themselves.
This helped with only a piece of the puzzle.  We have changed his diet, discovered food allergies, and added Omega-3 fatty acids to his diet.  What a difference!  My son has always passed the school vision screenings but when we took him for a complete eye exam, we found out that he is extremely nearsighted and requires glasses all of the time.  Your book has been a lifesaver for us.  Thanks you so much!

Laura:  I visited your website and I’m very thankful I did.  When I asked my doctor about alternative therapies for ADHD, he replied, “All that stuff you find on the internet is trash.  Drugs work.  I’m not closed minded.  Mail me what you’ve found and I’ll look at it.  But I know drugs solve the problem.  If it’s ADD, the drugs will take care of it!”  When I asked him about side effects, he told me there were none and there was nothing to be concerned about!”

Laura: We are all sugar freaks!  We’re always craving that next sweet.  When Danny was young, he once yelped out: “The donuts are calling me!  They’re whirling and twirling in my brain!”

Laura: Your book and website have been so helpful to us.  We spent so much time on the Internet searching for information on what to do to help our son and your book, 12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child was really all we needed.  One problem my son was having was not getting good enough sleep among many other things.  We realized the mattress he slept on was old, lumpy and moldy! We replaced the bed and bought all new bedding and covered everything with allergy covers.  The difference was amazing!  We can’t get him out of bed in the morning!  This helped with only one piece of the puzzle.  We have changed his diet, discovered food allergies, and added omega-3 fatty acids to his diet.  What a difference!  My son had always passed the school vision screenings but when we took him for a complete eye exam, we found out that he is extremely nearsighted and requires glasses all the time!  Thanks so much!

Laura:  Recently I emailed Dr. Heiko Santelmann, author of a fascinating medical journal article about successfully treating adults for Candida related health problems.  I  asked him if he had seen Candida-related problems in children with ADD/ADHD.
Here’s what he said:  “Your observations in ADHD children are very interesting.  I have often seen improvements in these children if on an anti-candida diet and anti-yeast medication  Many mothers of these children have yeast-related problems themselves.”

Laura:  Thank you so much for having this publication on line.  I just subscribed to it recently.   It feels like a ton of weight off my shoulders because there are others suffering through these difficult times being the parent of an ADHD child.  I never knew how much stress this can give and I do agree that more resources are needed in our communities such as local support for us parents of these wonderful but difficult children.  Your publication helped me through it!

Laura:  Thanks you for your newsletter.  I can endorse the findings of artificial colours and hyperactivity in children.  My son is 8 years old and his behavior deteriorates almost immediately when he has artificial colors.  We’ve also found that he seems to have ODD symptoms whenever he eats monosodium glutamate.  I don’t have to be a scientist to observe the alterations in behaviour that these additives cause.  I just need to be observant to the foods he eats, something that require diligence.

Laura:  Your book, 12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child, has really helped us follow a careful elimination diet.  If you could see me now I am in tears—tears of joy as this morning for the first time in I don’t know how long—my 8-year-old daughter who has ADHD woke up happy and agreeable. [This child is home schooled]  After breakfast, which she prepared herself without complaints about ANYTHING, she said, “I’m going to go do my school work now” and with that she bounded down the stairs and didn’t return again for 1 1/2 hours with 3 subjects completed beautifully.  She actually told me she feels better!  She offered to bring some sunflower seeds and an apple for her snack to her church activity tonight.  This was her suggestion not mine!  She is like a different child!  Thank you so much for what you do!

Laura:   I just wanted to give you an update on my son.  Since I emailed you last, which was around 6 weeks ago, there has been a huge improvement in his behavior.  Since I have radically changed his diet, improved his supplement intake, cut sugar almost completely out and increased his fatty acids, his teacher has seen a big improvement.  He is now able to sit and complete his work, and his non-structured time in more controlled.  We have occasionally seen a set back, but for the most part, he is doing wonderful! Thank you for all your help and advice.  I am recommended your book to others.

Laura:  Whenever my husband consumes foods colored with Red dye #40 he is a wreck.  It’s impossible to reason with him and he is irritable and wired!  But the worst part is he can’t get to sleep.  One night before a car trip to Michigan, he drank red Koolaid at a picnic.  At bedtime and during the night he complained that he felt weird all over and his feet and hands felt wired.  He never did go to sleep that night and we had to postpone our trip!  Now he is very careful to avoid all red dyes.  I think he may be sensitive to other food dyes—Yellow #5 & #6 and Blue #2.

Laura: We have been struggling with ADHD with our 11-year-old son ever since he was diagnosed in kindergarten.  No matter what we tried, nothing seemed to be of much help.  We have been through so many medication changes, all to no avail.  About 2 months ago I started investigating the possibility that diet was contributing to his behavior because he has always been a very particular and fussy eater.  He dislikes most meats, so getting enough protein into him daily was a struggle.  I also suspected that his blood sugar was fluctuating greatly during the day.  I started looking into the “Zone” diet because of their claim that higher amounts of protein and the balance between the protein and the carbohydrates would keep blood sugar more stable.  We tried that diet, not limiting the volume of food, but watching the balance.  We then started to add a whey protein supplement to his milk at all his meals.  I started to notice a difference almost immediately.  He began to play with his toys for extended period of time, began to interact with friends in the neighborhood better, and was more compliant with requests for doing chores, etc. at home.  Then his teacher called me and asked if we had had some kind of medication change because she had noticed a drastic change in his behavior at school.  He was eager to finish all his work and even asking to attend a math lab to begin geometry!  We are cautiously optimistic that we may have finally hit on something!

Laura:  We have a 7-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with ADHD with the major portion being impulsivity.  He was put on Concerta in January 2001.  He had a regression with his behavior and the doctor suggested we double the dose.  My maternal instincts told me “no,” and we changed doctors.  We put him on a medication vacation for the summer.  At the end of the summer, I had a particularly bad morning with him.  As I looked back on the events of that day, he had eaten Fruit Loop cereal for breakfast.  From that point on he was out of control, and I knew there had to be a food connection to his ADHD.  He started school again in 9/01 and every day I fed him pancakes or eggs each day I got a note home from the teacher that he was struggling with self-control.  Two weeks into the school year, the results of food tests came back from the doctor with severe allergies to wheat, rye, barley, dairy, soy, casein and eggs.  He actually craved these foods.  Macaroni and cheese was his meal of choice.  He’d eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  He could down a half gallon of milk in a weekend.  He loved bread and cheese and yogurt.  No wonder he was out of control!  Immediately we removed these items from his diet and witnessed a big improvement.  He now takes Adderall and things have been much better.  We also have seen that sleep or not enough sleep is part of the puzzle.  I can’t say that he can be without a low dose of his medication, especially in the school environment, but between dietary changes, improved sleep time and behavior modification, he has been able to excel in school.

Laura: We are still going through the evaluation process for ADD/ADHD with my 6-year-old kindergarten student.  As a baby he was sensitive to milk.  He seemed to outgrow this by the age of 2 1/2.  I have recently taken him off cows’ milk products and his behavior is much better.  Yesterday, after one bowl of cereal with milk, he was jumping all over and said that his throat hurt.  I have also found that taking away caffeine and red dye has helped a lot.

Laura:  My name is Kim.  My son was diagnosed with ADHD at school and sent to the doctor’s office to see if he agreed.  I refused to put him on any medication and decided to eliminate from my son’s diet the food colorings, chocolate and some other suspected foods.  Everyone was amazed at the difference in my son at school.  I am now a firm believer that you are what you eat, and I watch everything that my son puts in his mouth.  He is 5 years old and has adjusted very well.  He can tell you how he feels when he eats something that he isn’t supposed to.  Thanks so much for your website and your book, 12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child!

Laura:  We have had a tough time finding schooling for our son.  It never occurred to me that I would find a school for him that wouldn’t cost more than we could afford, so I quit looking.  Then I learned about the Summit Academy in Ohio.  It is FREE!  It is a Charter School started by a man with ADD.  He was a Counselor, and through his work with kids, the state of Ohio approached him about starting a school.  Seventeen years later he has 12 schools throughout Ohio.  I wish I could shout if from the roof tops:  I cried when the man told me there was hope.  I just wish I could tell everyone who ever had a teacher tell them “your son is just lazy and is making excuses.”  We are going to visit the school tomorrow.   You can find more information at their website at www.summitaal.com.

Laura:  My son Bryan who is 9 was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago.  He was very aggressive, impulsive, struggling through school and had no friends.  I sent him to a child psychologist for six months and we decided he would probably need medication.  Well, 1 year later my son is now tops in his class and has more friends that he knows what to do with.  He is a much happier child and our family is also very happy.  Thanks for listening.

Laura:  I have tried to limit the amount of sugar my son receives in his diet and he is also taking omega-3 fatty acids.  I had his thyroid and iron checked and found out much to our surprise that his iron level was very low.  He has to take iron supplements for the next 3 months.  He has been at home for the holidays and has been doing better. Thanks so much for raising the iron issue!  I understand Laura:  I have been supplementing my child with Essential Fatty Acids as you recommended for the last 3 months and he is doing great!  His teacher reports that his attention is much better and we notice a real change in his behavior here at home.  Thank you!!

Laura: ” I know you are a strong proponent of using nutrition to help children with ADD/ADHD, but I thought your readers might be encouraged by our positive experiences with medication.  Before my husband and I knew what ADHD was, our son “C” struggled at home to have a positive relationship with his brother, sister, dad and me. We gave “C” love, structure, nurture, etc.  It always seemed he could never slow down long enough to carry on a conversation. Family values, house safety rules never seemed to stick with him. Now we know why of course.
“What really hit reality with me was when “C” started to school. I worked where he started to school Pre-K through 2nd. I noticed his behavior, and his teacher’s would also inform me. He was very impulsive, he did not stop and think what if? I observed him at school when I could, and what I saw was heart breaking, I did realize it benefited him and the class when the teacher separated him and put his desk in the corner. He was not able to sit still, the body movement consisted of squirms and fidgetiness. When the teacher approached me with his problem, I was in denial. I thought I could help “C”, I thought my son did not need medication to help maintain success at school or home.
“I thought as a loving, caring parent I could change him. For a month I did anything and everything I could to try and help “C”, but not medication. I could not fathom putting “C” on meds.  Finally, I took that first step, I found a pediatrician that specialized in pediatric medication to help maintain success for children who had ADHD. I surfed the web for information, I checked out books from the library, I educated myself on the condition and I still do research to this day. We had structure, but we needed more detailed structure, I created a procedure book, morning and nightly, something he could check off and proceed to the next task.
“In my experience, it was helpful to be very optimistic with teachers, do not offend them and think they are picking on your child, this will do harm and not treat the behavior. I have a very strong and positive relationship with my son’s teacher, she is very honest and very consistent with “C”, and I continue this at home. “C” has had no negative behavior at school this year, 3rd grade. It was rough during 2nd grade, of course “C” and I both were still learning about the condition, and making adjustments with his medication. We had consequences for his unacceptable behavior, no spanking, we redirected with positive correction, a lot of verbal communication/counseling from his dad and I at home, this was very effective with “C”. In third grade, his current grade, he has many friends and the teachers like him.
“Today, his only downfall is hand writing, a big jump from 1st & 2nd grades impulsive behavior, not listening, unable to follow rules or the basic principles of life. The medication slowed down his hyperactivity, with that under control he is able to retain what as parents we teach our children, values, morals, personal hygiene, love, respect etc…He realized how smart he is, the behavior was an obstacle he had to overcome to let the brain start functioning in a manner of retaining important information we, the teachers and I, were teaching him. I believe in him, I believe in the gifts he holds.
“He is a good son, football player, wrestler, math wiz, spelling wiz, excellent reader, loves science. I never gave up on “C”, and I never will. Education of the condition is the key, along with positive communication with his teacher. I believe “C” is normal, just like the child that has asthma, we as parents treat the condition, and teachers continue the watchful eye at school.  As parents, learn new positive ways to handle situations that may occur at home or school, I always let “C” know what I expect of him at home, in the grocery store, school, sporting events and in our vehicle. We talk often of his future, going to college. ”C” received Diamond Pride Student of the Month, he was the second student in his class and the first boy in his class to receive this honor. This is not a reward that the school takes lightly, it is based on attendance, citizenship, academics. His acceptance was aired on cable TV, he along with the others received a pizza party, and a certificate. I cried because I was so happy for him, it is his turn to shine!
“There is no cause for this condition, other than problems with chemicals that send messages to the brain and there is no cure, but there is hope and treatment, do not deny yourself as a parent this. “C” has support from our extended family also. Anyone who is a part of a Childs life that has ADHD needs to be educated on this condition, have patients, and unconditional love. Another thing my husband and I are doing, we are getting a jump start on teenage years of a child with ADHD, by teaching “C” now to make the right choices, stop and think what if? This will make a difference with any child, but a child with this condition has a harder time and we as parents and the child need to be prepared for the future, and adulthood. “C” is so talented, he is a gift that we created and wanted so much. Education, Dedication by parents, Structure at home and school, Unconditional Love from family, Determination by parents and teachers, Consistency, a good pediatrician, positive communication with your child and teacher, Do not be afraid of failure, keep trying.
“Laura it is hard to put is all in writing, there are so many every day little things we do as parents also, I could go on forever…but I think I gave you a good overall. Thank you for asking to hear our success story. I hope this will help encourage other parents that may be in despair to believe in their child that has been diagnosed with ADHD, and to know tomorrow is a new day, if failure comes get up and keep going! ”
Sincerely, “S”

Laura:  I am a mother of an 8-year-old with what teachers always labeled as ADD/ADHD.  It wasn’t until June of 2003 when I was told to try and change his diet.  This just happened to be right after a neurologist diagnosed him as having a “seizure disorder.”  I changed the diet, and low and behold, there was a drastic difference.  To make a long story short…no more tantrums…rarely a nightmare…no calls from school this year so far…improved motor skills……better concentration and no more mood swings!  No, the diet change wasn’t easy, but just seeing how easier everyone’s life is now is worth more than anything that I could have ever imagined.

Laura: I read with much interest the September issue of  your newsletter about essential fatty acids.  My daughter, Sarah, has just about all of the symptoms of EFA deficiency that you mentioned!  Her psychiatrist thought she might have lupus because of some of her skin conditions.  I took her to an endocrinologist for a check and all that was negative, thank God!  He mentioned her dry skin and hair.  She has the tiny bumps on her face, arms and legs.  Also excessive thirst and frequent urination.  I’m going to buy some flax oil today!

Laura: I  am so very glad that I stumbled across your newsletter!  I have 2 boys that are ADHD and am a single mother and can totally relate with the feeling of depression and just the fact that it is most overwhelming at times.  I know in my heart that it is not something that I have done in regards to the boys having this.  I just want to be able to do all that I can to help them through it and help myself as well.  Yippee, I’m finally finding the right avenues to help them!

Laura:  I wish that I had been diagnosed with ADD when I was a child, it would have saved me a lot of heartache!
Growing up in a small Texas town, we didn’t have the resources that the larger cities have. Do to the lack of resources, problems such as mine were dealt with as sheer laziness, often getting discipline for “daydreaming”and unfinished schoolwork.
While many children demonstrate their frustration by external aggression, I turned it inward. I would appear calm and collected on the outside, but on the inside I was a nervous wreck!!
I couldn’t handle noise or distractions while trying to study or do schoolwork. If I was interrupted while reading, I forgot all that I was reading and often had to start over, needless to say, homework would often take hours and even then be incomplete. Distractions in the classroom were even worse, I couldn’t concentrate on my assignments and would loose focus. Often when I was being accused of daydreaming I was trying to remember my thoughts!
At this time I am not professionally diagnosed with ADD, but the symptoms are like “the writing on the wall”.
Through the years I have learned what I have to do in order to accomplish things. I have learned that I have to surround myself with structure and force myself to be organized. This means adhering to a schedule. If I don’t, I have no time management skills at all.
I have wanted to attend college for years, but was afraid because of my bad experiences as a child. I have finally done it!! I have enrolled in an on-line university and will be working towards a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
I chose an on-line college because I can eliminate most of my distractions that were such a problem for me growing up. I know that I can accomplish this, I just have to be honest with myself and recognize my limitations.
I finally learned that I am not “stupid”. I just learn differently from other people. I have to create an environment conducive to learning.
Feeling like a failure has been hard on me. I quit school in the 9th grade, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I did get my GED which I am glad I did, but my life for the most part has been one bitter disappointment after another. That is until now.
I am now living in a small Texas town (yes, the same one of my childhood memories). I moved back after being away for 20 years, to have a new start. I do not have a doctor here that is experienced in adult ADD, so I am having to tuff it out. I hope that someday that I can afford to get treatment. Unfortunately at this point it is a goal, not a reality.
I am so grateful that the Government has provided a way for me to attend college. I could not have afforded it on my own. But with a Stafford Loan and a Grant, I am on my way.
This has given me a new lease on life. I now possess self worth, something I have never really had, and I fully intend to use it to help others. I want to leave this world a better place than when I found it. I may have a disability, but it makes me appreciate my gifts more.
Finding information on the internet has enabled me to understand and appreciate that I am not the only one out there that has to deal with this.
I hope that I can be a source of encouragement to others. I no longer feel trapped. If the door is shut and locked I just look for a window to climb out of. I know that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.
On a personal note: I feel that the best thing I have done to help me deal with this is to surround myself with supportive people. Stay away from critical people, we tend to condemn ourselves enough. DO NOT HAVE A PITY PARTY!!! Feeling sorry for oneself does not make your problems go away. If there is something you don’t like, CHANGE IT. We all have the power to make a difference, so use it.

Laura, thank you for providing this information for people like me. I now have an understanding and a tool to help me deal with these issues. I guess I will give you the “soap box” back, I have stood on it long enough!
My son takes 60 mg of Strattera every nite before he goes to sleep so when he wakes up in the morning his appetite is “zero”  He refuses to eat anything in the morning and is totally turned off by food!  I’m lucky if I get half a glass of chocolate milk down him at best.  I pack him great turkey sandwich lunches that go off to school with him, but always come back not eaten, nor does he use his “hot meal tickets.”  So basically, my son doesn’t eat from the time he goes to bed at 8:30 to approximately 2:30 pm the next day when he gets home from school.  I can see how this limited diet could affect his brain!  [Laura comments:  Yes, I agree that this lack of food could adversely affect your son’s brain.  You should check with your doctor immediately.  You have to keep in mind that I’m a nutritionist but it was my impression that Strattera doesn’t affect appetite in most children.]

Laura:  I am 30 years old and an adult with ADHD.  Since reading your newsletter I’ve noticed that I’m much worse when I eat or drink anything containing any of the artificial colors.  Last weekend we went to a neighborhood picnic and all they had to drink was Wyler’s Fruit Punch.  I knew it had red dye #40 in it but I didn’t think a small glass would bother me.  Boy, was I wrong!  We were supposed to drive to Michigan the next day, but I never did get to sleep that night.  My mind was in turmoil, I couldn’t lie still, and I had this strange tingling in my hands and feet.  I felt weird all over.  I’m sure it was the red punch.  I have promised my wife I will NEVER drink anything artificially colored or flavored again!

Laura:  I have had experience with Focus Factor, one of the supplements you mentioned in your April issue of your newsletter.  In my opinion it is just a glorified multi-vitamin.  As a multi-vitamin it is average, not worth the money they want to charge you.  There is not enough zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, iron or copper.  At the bottom it lists amino acids, fish oil, grape seed extract, etc.   The quantities of these are not large enough to do any good.  Now, for the best fact of all, a two month supply of this wonder pill will cost you $154.  I already was talking a great multi-vitamin, plus Omega-3 (fish oil), omega 6 fatty acids, lecithin and vitamin E.  All these supplements cost me less for a 6 month supply than their 2 bottle of Focus Factor.

Laura: My daughter is 11 and was diagnosed with A.D.D. when she was 9.  The first medication we tried was Concerta.  She was very organized however she had no emotions.  She did not cry, laugh and smile.  She was then put on Ritalin and did not seem to have any side effects.  When I say it helped, it just helped her grades at school some, but I was okay with it.  I thought this year (6th grade) I would have her try Strattera because it is supposed to be safer than Ritalin.  It made her so sleepy that she could not stay awake after school to get her homework done.  I had her put back on Ritalin only to find that it wasn’t helping any more.  We increased her dosage and it still did not help.  So the Dr. recommended that she take Stattera again, but take it at night and the sleepiness would be gone by morning.  Well, he was right there, but it did not seem to help her concentration and the homework was unbelievable.  She was moody, irritable and complained of stomachaches and headaches. There must be a better way to help her. I’m thinking her diet may play a role.

Laura:  My family is just embarking on the journey of ADD/ADHD.  It was my first search and your website was my first click!  I plan to check back often, as I find your site extremely helpful.  As a nurse, people always think we understand everything.  I am a parent also and need as much information to help my son as I can get.  Thank you for recommending your book “12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child” and “The A.D.D. Book” by William Sears.

Laura:  My son is now 20.  He was identified with ADHD in the 3rd grade and put on Ritalin.  It worked. Then we went to time-release Ritalin as he got older.  He stopped taking medication toward the end of his senior year of high school.  Now he is having trouble with college and his studying.  When we mentioned medicine again, he said it would probably help but he doesn’t like the zoned out feeling he gets with the Ritalin or Concerta.  Now he is trying the new drug Strattera and reports that he is doing better and his grades are improving.  When he comes home from Spring Break I’m going to talk to him about easy ways he can improve his diet.  He already suspects that chocolate and sugar seem to “scramble” his brain!

Laura:  My son is 7-years old.  When my son was 5-years old he punched holes in walls.  He couldn’t pay attention or learn.  When he started first grade he wasn’t even at grade K level.  Our doctor suggested medication and, by the end of first grade, he had mastered grade K and 80% of first grade material. He is currently taking Ritalin and is going into second grade.  He’s won achievement and good citizenship awards.  A picture than he had colored before Ritalin was all scribbles.  On Ritalin he was able to color the exact same picture perfectly!
There are a lot of parents who do not believe in medication.  I was one of them.  At times it is worth doing anything for your child to help them be themselves.  I also go to the library and do a lot of research, so I know about any medication before my son takes the drug.  At our pharmacy, I ask for the package insert for any new drug he takes.  Some of the information is rather technical, but I always learn something.  We have a great pharmacist who is happy to answer my questions.
I also think my son is sensitive to artificial colors and flavors and chocolate.  Whenever he drinks Kool-Aid, he is hyperactive and destructive. Homemade chocolate pudding makes him irritable and impossible to manage.  Come January 1, when all the holidays are over, I’m going to carefully avoid chocolate and artificial colors and flavors and see how he responds.  I’ll let you know how we get along!

Laura:  Helping my 9-year old son with ADHD is enormously frustrating.  I’m well educated, have read a sh**tload of research, am willing to devote whatever time and money I’m able to, but some days I have a delightful, loving child on my hands and others I feel as if he’s Son of Satan just begging me to drive a wooden stake through his heart!  Or mine!  Please tell me your book will solve my problems!  (Okay, not all my problems.  I don’t expect it to provide me with a car newer than 10 years old or a two bedroom addition to my house or even melt those extra 5 pounds off my butt!!!)  I will let you know how we progress and deeply appreciate you replying to my email.  Thank you.

Laura: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the research you and others have done on this subject.  My son has had “behavioral” issues since pre-school.  No one, I mean no one helped us. .. Well, as an educated person, I felt there has to be something or someone out there in this world who knows what I need to do.  And I found you!
I have read several of your books including 12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child. We haven’t started the Elimination Diet yet, but with the small changes I have made…WHO IS THIS PERSON!!!!  MY SON IS WONDERFUL!! We started with red dyes and excessive sugar and then I have taken to trying to eliminate the preservatives BHA and BHT.  He still has some ups and downs, when he cheats of course, but his behavior has improved so much that I am amazed.  We have had no complaints at school about his behavior and his grades have been gradually improving.  He is a bright and sensitive child, and now he can always continue to be.  Thank you again!

Laura: I’m 33 and have been struggling with ADD all my life.  I decided to try No-Doz because it’s a stimulant, cheap and easy to obtain. I reasoned that if stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall help children and adults with ADD,  caffeine would do the same! After taking a No-DOZ I felt great for about an hour and then I felt awful—irritable, tired, yukky.  I tried this several times before I decided this was not the answer.  I’ve gone back to prescription stimulants because they work better and last longer.  I’m also going to investigate whether my diet (it’s all junk foods) could be playing a role!
I first heard about you in the January 1997 ENERGY TIMES.  You were an inspiration at the right time.  My son was 12 and I felt I had fought the battle alone.  I have a BS and a MS in Special Ed so I was prepared for my adventure (or so I thought).  My son never slept at night until age 5.  I never considered him hyper but very active.  He challenged every decision and required frequent reminders.  Creative and high spirited well describes him.  I chose to teach him at home because I was afraid the public school system would not understand him and he would be labeled a problem child.  At about 10 years of age a well-meaning friend me told me he had ADHD and I should get him on Ritalin as soon as possible.  She even gave me the name of a Dr. which I immediately trashed.  Then I read your article.  We began to watch his diet and gave him Cod Liver Oil Gel Tabs (a source of omega-3 essential fatty acids) daily.  We began to see changes in his behavior.  His temperament seemed to level off.  He started public school full time as a freshman.  He made the adjustment quite well.  He is now 17 and a senior with a 3.98 GPA out of a 4.00!!  Teachers and students alike love him.  He is still strong willed and loves active sports, yet really quite calm and very bright.  It hasn’t always been easy but I am so thankful I never drugged one of our “best and brightest.”  Keep up the good work!

Laura:  I just wanted to give you an update on my son.  Since I emailed you last, which was around 6 weeks ago, there has been a huge improvement in his behavior.  Since I have radically changed his diet, improved his supplement intake, cut sugar almost completely out and increased his fatty acids, his teacher has seen a big improvement.  He is now able to sit and complete his work, and his non-structured time in more controlled.  We have occasionally seen a set back, but for the most part, he is doing wonderful! Thank you for all your help and advice.  I am recommended your book to others.

Laura:  Whenever my husband consumes foods colored with Red dye #40 he is a wreck.  It’s impossible to reason with him and he is irritable and wired!  But the worst part is he can’t get to sleep.  One night before a car trip to Michigan, he drank red Koolaid at a picnic.  At bedtime and during the night he complained that he felt weird all over and his feet and hands felt wired.  He never did go to sleep that night and we had to postpone our trip!  Now he is very careful to avoid all red dyes.  I think he may be sensitive to other food dyes—Yellow #5 & #6 and Blue #2.

Laura:  I’m amazed.  I’m glued to your website!  I have an ADHD 8 year old.  I’m lost, confused and feel like a bad parent.  I’m going to read and read and read.  I am also going to find a support group for parents of ADHD children.

Laura: We have been struggling with ADHD with our 11-year-old son ever since he was diagnosed in kindergarten.  No matter what we tried, nothing seemed to be of much help.  We have been through so many medication changes, all to no avail.  About 2 months ago I started investigating the possibility that diet was contributing to his behavior because he has always been a very particular and fussy eater.  He dislikes most meats, so getting enough protein into him daily was a struggle.  I also suspected that his blood sugar was fluctuating greatly during the day.  I started looking into the “Zone” diet because of their claim that higher amounts of protein and the balance between the protein and the carbohydrates would keep blood sugar more stable.  We tried that diet, not limiting the volume of food, but watching the balance.  We then started to add a whey protein supplement to his milk at all his meals.  I started to notice a difference almost immediately.  He began to play with his toys for extended period of time, began to interact with friends in the neighborhood better, and was more compliant with requests for doing chores, etc. at home.  Then his teacher called me and asked if we had had some kind of medication change because she had noticed a drastic change in his behavior at school.  He was eager to finish all his work and even asking to attend a math lab to begin geometry!  We are cautiously optimistic that we may have finally hit on something!

Laura: I am a parent of a 9-year old boy who has ADHD.  We have  tried all of the stimulant medications.  My concern is his weight and height.  He is 54 inches and 60 pounds.  We are seeing a group of doctors who specialize in treatment of ADD and ADHD.  My son’s diet stinks (that’s being nice), and it’s our fault!  He won’t try any food except pasta and meat.  We have tried all the nutritional drinks and bars in an effort to boost his calorie intake, and he won’t eat them!  He does eat snacks once in a while.  He won’t drink milk, won’t take vitamins and will not drink healthy liquids.  We have no idea ourselves what good nutrition is but I know we need to break the cycle so we can teach our son!  I just got your book, 12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child and I can see already that it’s going to give me lots of help and suggestions!

Laura:  I have a three-and-a-half year old son who was diagnosed around 18 months with sensory integration dysfunction  He has made tremendous progress with the sensory issues but not it seems that on top of being a very active three year old he is having a lot of behavioral issues. My pediatrician is wondering if he also has ADHD.  I am becoming confused because he has also become more aggressive lately and I wonder if it is because of his diet.  I really try to restrict chocolate and sugar which I have noticed put him into a complete frenzy in about 5 minutes with him jumping off the furniture and being uncontrollable, extremely hyper and upset.   Sunday he completely became out of control and kicked me after my mother-in-law was feeding him chocolate M & Ms.  It’s like time out  doesn’t  register with him, and he immediately can’t focus and forgets what he just did.  His eyes never seem to focus on us, they are everywhere else.  I know I need to consider other dietary factors too.  Your newsletter is a gold mine of information, and I look forward to reading your book.  Thanks for caring!

Laura: Joseph eats either not much or junk and on the run food and never, ever eats breakfast during the week.  He fears getting a stomach ache.  I never see him eat a piece of fruit and rarely touches a veggie.  He adores cheese burgers, salami, and pizza.  Oh! And he has this horrible habit of reaching for the sugar and slugging it right out of the jar!  I have to say I haven’t seen this behavior at home much anymore after I put salt in the sugar container.  He drinks lots of sodas.  Milk products never really agreed with him from when he was a baby.  I know, I’ve got to do a better job of feeding my son and other family members a better diet.”

Laura:  “My child was diagnosed with ADHD one month ago.  The doctor read over a questionnaire I had completed and just like that…my child was labeled ADHD and recommended to be placed on medication.  As any caring, concerned parents, I did my research.  I am reading a lot about certain nutritional deficiencies such as zinc, magnesium, B-6 and iron.  My daughter also suffers from allergies, eczema, dry skin, dry hair, and excessive thirst.  I’m going to investigate these symptoms and the role of nutrition before I put my daughter on medication.”

Laura:  “Many times I’ve seen hyperactive kids in my office.  But once they’re off the offending agents—including artificial colors and flavors, sugar, and often milk, wheat, corn, egg, soy, peanut (those are the biggies), or anything else the kid craves—it can be amazing how a new child can leap out of that demon’s body!…I know this sounds sacrilegious, but the most common food sensitivity in kids is milk.  If you have a kid with chronic ear problems, or unreasonable behavior problems, take him off milk for 21 days.”  Dr. Allan Spreen

Laura: “Hi, my name is Kathy and I have a five-year-old daughter who has been diagnosed with ADHD.  I am hesitant about putting her on meds unless I have to.  I have been trying to find alternatives in dealing with her behavior.  We found out recently that she is sensitive to red food coloring and tomato products.  So we have cut out all forms of red colored drinks and all tomato products.  Just doing these two things has made a world of difference in her sleep pattern.  She used to roam the house at night getting into things because she couldn’t sleep.  Now, she sleeps through the night and has been getting more rest and isn’t so cranky in the morning when she wakes up.  We have also put her on a structured schedule and have stuck to it religiously.  This also seems to help.  I just wanted to pass these tips along.”

Laura:   “Your book, 12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child, has really helped us follow a careful elimination diet.  If you could see me now I am in tears—tears of joy—as this morning for the first time in I don’t know how long—my 8-year-old daughter who has ADHD woke up happy and agreeable. [This child is home schooled]  After breakfast, which she prepared herself without complaints about ANYTHING, she said, “I’m going to go do my school work now” and with that she bounded down the stairs and didn’t return again for 1 ½ hours with 3 subjects completed beautifully.  She actually told me she feels better!  She offered to bring some sunflower seeds and an apple for her snack to her church activity tonight.  This was her suggestion, not mine!  She is like a different child!  Thank you so much for what you do!”

Laura:  “Our 8-year old son had been wetting the bed several nights a week since he was out of diapers.  We were desperate.  Then we started keeping a diet record of everything he ate and drank.  Every night that he drank a cola beverage in the evening, he wet the bed.  Now, no Coke, no bed wetting!  We’re thrilled!”

Laura: “We have a 7-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with ADHD with the major portion being impulsivity.  He was put on Concerta in January 2001.  He had a regression with his behavior and the doctor suggested we double the dose.  My maternal instincts told me “no,” and we changed doctors.  We put him on a medication vacation for the summer.  At the end of the summer, I had a particularly bad morning with him.  As I looked back on the events of that day, he had eaten Fruit Loop cereal for breakfast.  From that point on he was out of control, and I knew there had to be a food connection to his ADHD.  He started school again in 9/01 and every day I fed him pancakes or eggs each day I got a note home from the teacher that he was struggling with self-control.  Two weeks into the school year, the results of food tests came back from the doctor with severe allergies to wheat, rye, barley, dairy, soy, casein and eggs.  He actually craved these foods.  Macaroni and cheese was his meal of choice.  He’d eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  He could down a half gallon of milk in a weekend.  He loved bread and cheese and yogurt.  No wonder he was out of control!  Immediately we removed these items from his diet and witnessed a big improvement.  He now takes Adderall and things have been much better.  We also have seen that sleep or not enough sleep is part of the puzzle.  I can’t say that he can be without a low dose of his medication, especially in the school environment, but between dietary changes, improved sleep time and behavior modification, he has been able to excel in school.”

Laura:  “My name is Kim.  My son was diagnosed with ADHD at school and sent to the doctor’s office to see if he agreed.  I refused to put him on any medication and decided to eliminate from my son’s diet the food colorings, chocolate and some other suspected foods.  Everyone was amazed at the difference in my son at school.  I am now a firm believer that you are what you eat, and I watch everything that my son puts in his mouth.  He is 5 years old and has adjusted very well.  He can tell you how he feels when he eats something that he isn’t supposed to.  Thanks so much for your website!”

Laura: “I found your 3-month-long discussion of sleep problems in ADD/ADHD extremely interesting.  Sleeping is definitely my son’s greatest problem.  His first problem is actually staying still enough to go to sleep.  However, the secondary problem is his active mind and body.  I’ve tried many techniques and some work sometimes and not others.  It also depends on the excitement factor of the day.  You can see as he is trying to go to sleep, his body just keeps moving.  Sometimes if I lay with him and hold his arms, his legs will start moving.  He tells me that he gets the “wiggles” as he is going to sleep.  Our doctor has recommended a sleep specialist here in town so we are going to see him. “

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