Julia fell out of chairs, fell down, and fell off of everything…all the time!
On the Feingold Diet the family would learn that Julia is extremely sensitive to some of the salicylates. And like many children who have eye-muscle problems, she does not do well with natural benzoates, found in things like cranberries, blueberries, olives and broccoli.
She was a precocious child who spoke early, but often talked without making much sense. However, Julia’s most dramatic characteristics were that she frequently fell — out of chairs, and even when she was just walking — and her sensory dial seemed to be set at zero. The many falls didn’t seem to hurt her and she didn’t cry after injuries that would distress most people. Her mom, Jessica, describes their astonishing experience.
Julia was diagnosed with regulatory disorder of sensory processing, also known as SPD.
They mimicked ADHD. But what led me to having Julia evaluated was her under-sensitivity. She broke her collar bone and we didn’t know it for a week, and that was because my mom noticed her shoulders were uneven. The last straw was when she broke her ankle and we had no idea. She played in a soccer game and had two practices before the swelling became so severe we noticed.
She felt no pain and had no fear.
Julia talked a-mile-a-minute but never really said anything. She never expressed hunger or fullness. She would eat what we put in front of her and stop when we told her she had enough.
She was never hot or cold.
She would be sweaty but not “feel” as though she was hot. Julia was always all over the place and when standing still had ants-in-her-pants. I would tell her to go put socks on and as soon as she walked away she would forget and be onto something else.
Mind you, I had cut out food coloring when she was 2. (Jessica eliminated obvi- ous dyes, but did not think about the dyes in things like toothpaste or vitamins, and did not remove other synthetic additives.)
Julia was now 7.
The falling was so bad, we could never sit at a table with chairs when we went to a restaurant. We always had a booth so we could put her against the wall and next to a parent. She would, literally, flop out of a chair and did this at home all the time. She also chewed on her shirt sleeves until they were in shreds. And let’s not forget the wild and hyper, or as we called it “Julia’s party animal” side!
I could go on, but I’ll shorten it up a bit. She had auditory processing issues, muscle weakness on her right side (requiring physical therapy). Upon evaluation by a pediatric ophthalmologist she was found to have 4th nerve palsy, and two other eye muscle problems: hyperphoria and exophoria. She had visual processing problems, was accident prone, had constant diarrhea (from infancy), experienced spatial disorientation problems, had short-term memory problems, and suffered from migraines. She was a restless sleeper with lots of tossing and turning and waking up.
Also, she is dyslexic and her symptoms get worse if she is reacting [to an additive].
Simple changes brought dramatic results
I’m happy to report that — aside from some dyslexia — Julia no longer shows any signs of her diagnosis, which was proven through testing by her neuropsychologist, pediatric ophthalmologist, and physical therapist. They were in shock that all we did was change her diet and follow Feingold. They even told me they didn’t believe in “any of the diets out there.” But they did acknowledge “whatever you are doing is working. Don’t stop.”
Sometimes professionals are so invested in a particular mindset that they are unable to see what is right before their eyes.