Brian's hearing was normal, but when the sounds reached his brain they didn't make sense. His doctors called it "aural synapse response defect," which means the sounds were garbled. For the same reason, the sounds he made as he tried to speak were unintelligible. Brian communicated with his family primarily with gestures, but despite his diagnosed IQ score of only 86, it was clear to his mother that he was not retarded. (Today, Brian's IQ tests in the 130 range.)
He wasn't hyperactive, but was easily distracted and (naturally) very frustrated. Ritalin was suggested, and his parents refused to consider it.
When he was six years old, the family began using the Feingold Progam, with their doctor's encouragement. After six months, Brian was able to understand about 90% or what he heard, and his communication was also about 90% accurate. By the time he had been on the diet for a year, there were no more distortions.
Speech therapy helped Brian to fill in the gaps in his learning. He got so good at speaking that his verbal skills were later rated as superb, and at age 19 he is an effective public speaker.
Brian has racked up many accomplishments, including attending Boy's State and becoming an Eagle Scout. His high school schedule was filled with honors classes and he received early admission to the engineering school at Penn State University. Tall, healthy and athletic, Brian is a cyclist and runner at college, and is in demand as a lifeguard during his visits home to Rhode Island, where he has saved several lives.
The family's determination to help their son when others gave up on him has paid off richly.
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