This is a great success story from Christina on the yahoo Feingold group.
My son is in 1st grade (barely 6 and the youngest in his class). He testes above grade level in all subjects and reads as well as his 8 year old sister.
However, we had him tested at the teachers request for autism and they officially placed him on the autism spectrum. He has a slightly modified schedule where he gets to leave class for 30 min. and take his work to a smaller classroom to work on it without the classroom distractions. He also has permission to do his work laying on the carpet when he needs to.
He has been a very extreme child. He gets upset easily and cries easily about the smallest things. He is socially immature and groups have a tendency to completely overwhelm him. He has always loved trains and when we filled in the aspergers questionaire I was convinced Aspergers was our diagnosis. We also have tourettes on my side of my family (my father and brother) and have seen the beginning of what we believe to be TS.
Back on 2 months....we started him with chelation the middle of October. Within 2 weeks, we had eye contact (where previously we had had NONE ever...), he was calmer, able to read for content, left his trains behind and joined friends and his sister in almost any game. He started falling asleep quickly instead of kicking the wall for an hour each night to calm himself down. We rarely have any temper tantrums, although he is still easily upset, he now calms down quickly.
We started soccer this year and the first couple of games resulted in him melting down in only a few minutes and sitting out the rest of the game. You could sometime hear him screaming 2 fields away. It was the end of soccer season, and we had a 2 week break due to rain, and on his tenth game (the last one of the season) it was a NEW kid. We had started "watching" artificial colors and flavors at this point but had not started Feingold at that time. He ran when he needed to, walked and waited for the ball to come toward him. Previously he had never been able to slow down and would exhaust himself within 5 min chasing the ball...and then meltdown. He played 2 quarters with NO time outs or complaints. When it was his turn to sit out, he said "Oh man, I want to help my team!" and then did the 4th quarter perfectly. He stopped midplay to ask a little boy if he was okay when he fell. Usually he would leap over the hurt child, or be oblivious to them, or worse step on them. We had never seen empathy on the field and had only noticed some recently at home. Needless to say we were totally amazed. The assistant coach's wife and several team moms came over after the game and said that if they hadn't seen it themselves, they wouldn't have believed it. They wanted to know what in the world we had done differently. I told them about chelation and removing the artificial junk from his diet.
We went for another IEP meeting at the school last week, and although there have been many many improvements he is still somewhat overwhelmed in group situations school. He has difficulty sitting in his chair for more than a few min. at a time, and interacts with most of the kids in an immature way. He is frequently LOUD and blurts out answers instead of raising his hand. He is clumsy and most things he picks up he drops. His handwriting is the poorest in his class. Large motor skills he's great. He learned to ride a bike with no training wheels at 4 and is really good at soccer (now:), but small motor skills are severely lacking. He has also suffered from eczema on his legs and arms, since he was a baby.
He has come soooo far, but we still have more to do. I bought a copy of "Why can't my child behave" and was furious by the end of it. I believe now that the FDA is not on our side, but is in allegience with the food and chemical companies! We started Feingold officially last month with Stage II...but I wasn't seeing as much difference as I would like so 3 days ago we backed up to Stage One. Basically we took out his grapes, raisins, apples etc. The last two days have been intermittently HARD. He has alternated between the sweet little boy we have come to know and being very grumpy and defiant. I am thinking that maybe this is a salicylate withdrawal period.
I am not much of a cook but have been making most everything for him by scratch. Luckily, he is not a picky eater and except for missing his grapes and chili, he is doing fine. I am hoping that on this site there is a recipe list for kid safe recipes. Changing brands has been pretty easy but we have easily spent upwards of 500.00 switching out our foods to FG safe brands. I went a little fanatical and just this week started eliminating detergents and toothpaste etc. I even bought a natural bristle toothbrush!
I looked back at the Aspergers booklet I filled in, and where I checked him off as being "highly probable Aspergers", his answers now qualify him as "not likely". I really can't say that any of his behaviors at this point are autistic at all. His counselor called me last week and asked what was different. He was demonstrating eye contact and empathy and appropriate responses to most every social scenario she tested him on. The beginning of the year he tested "little to no eye contact" and last week he tested "normal eye contact".
I attribute his success so far to REMOVING the toxic heavy metals from his system as well as removing all the Artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from his diet. I expect to see more changes as we continue with Stage I. I am looking forward to the day when they ask to remove the label of "autism" from his classification at school.