Dear Dr. Dornfeld,
I felt compelled to express on paper my heartfelt thanks for the amazing ways in which you have helped my beautiful son, Brian. We first met you in early November at a time when I was feeling desperate and overwhelmed by Brian’s behavior and challenges. For the first two years of his life, I believed Brian was simply delayed in his development, as micropreemies are, but as time went on, his behavior was indicative of more than just a delay. He was ultimately diagnosed with PDD-NOS, and I was devastated.
Because of his premature birth, Brian began early intervention services at age 1 and, with the PDD diagnosis, entered an intensive preschool disabled program at age 3. It was always clear that Brian was learning and benefiting from his therapy services and school program, but his progress was painfully slow, and Brian and I were both increasingly frustrated. When Brian turned four in the fall of 2008, I celebrated another year of his life with both joy and desperation. I had hoped and prayed that by age four Brian would be more typical, more like his peers. The time had come to seek more help – more than what our pediatrician and neurologist were offering. Through a parent of another child in Brian’s preschool program and Jenny McCarthy’s book, Mother Warriors, I learned about the DAN! approach and eagerly made an appointment for Brian and I to meet you.
As a result of our first appointment with you, we immediately started Brian on the gluten-free casein-free diet as well as Methyl B12 and zinc supplements. I must admit that the first two weeks were extremely difficult. Brian was missing his favorite foods terribly and seemed to be going through an unpleasant withdrawal process. At times I wondered if we would be able to continue with the diet, but if there was any chance of Brian’s condition improving, I was determined to give it a fair shot. Mid-way through the third week, I noticed that Brian seemed more calm, more settled. I wondered, could this really be happening?! Could we be seeing some positive results after only 2 1/2 weeks?! I was very excited and hopeful – more so than I had been in years.
It’s now been nearly 3 months since Brian began the GFCF diet and supplements, and I am absolutely thrilled to be able to list for you all of the wonderful ways in which Brian has improved:
• Decreased hyperactivity
• Decreased OCD behaviors
• Increased eye contact
• Increased focus and attention
• Increased speech
• Improved sleep habits
• Improved gross motor skills
• Improved fine motor skills
• Less constipation and stomach pain
• Less crying and frustration
Honestly, it still amazes me that diet and supplements can have this much impact on Brian’s life. It’s as if he sees the world more clearly now. He has more control over his body and his emotions, and above all, he’s a happier little boy.
For many months we’ve been trying to teach Brian how to ride a tricycle and catch a ball. He seemed to know what to do but just couldn’t put the movements together. In the month of December, about 5 weeks after starting the GFCF diet and supplements, Brian starting doing both! I was ecstatic, and Brian was very proud of himself. Brian’s teachers and therapists are thrilled with the changes they’re seeing at school and have been sending home lovely notes detailing all of the new things he’s doing in school. I feel like a new Mom!
Since the day Brian was born, I have dedicated every day of my life to his growth and development. I watched him struggle through hours of therapy and scream and cry every day when I brought him to school. He was simply unable to effectively respond to the world around him. He only felt safe and comfortable at home with me. I understand now that a lifetime of therapy and school could never have made Brian physically well and receptive to the beautiful world around him. The diet and supplements treat the source of the problem, not the symptoms of the problem, and have brought Brian out of the dark. He has experienced so much growth and so much peace since the day we first met you. Words simply are not adequate to express my gratitude to you. I suppose that explains the great big hug you got the second time we met!!
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. Because of you, my precious son is happier and healthier than he has ever been, and my heart is filled with joy and hope.