My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Feingold Association of the US, INDIANAPOLIS, IN, USA
Life in our young family was very difficult. Our oldest daughter was absolutely brilliant from birth, always well ahead of the curve. She was reading by the age of two, had no end of patience, and was the most even-tempered child I had ever known. Unfortunately, when she was four and a half, my neighborhood sprayed for West Nile Virus. They were supposed to come at 6 pm, but showed up at 5 pm while we were all outside. Immediately the next morning, we were all sick with breathing problems. A trip to the doctor gave us nothing. As time crept by, things got worse and worse. Not only did she continue with physical issues, she suddenly started acting up. One of the first instances being when she lost her temper because I asked her to close the curtains and she kicked me in the face, breaking my nose! This from a child who never once raised her voice in anger! Then, the other issues started. She suddenly could not pay attention to anything. She started making “noises”. She started getting tics. She started having to repeat the same motions over and over, often “rocking” herself while standing in a corner. Almost overnight, she became your typical “autistic” child with ADHD. The doctors were hesitant to diagnose her with autism, having known her prior to the spraying. We had hoped it would be temporary, but as time went on, she only got worse.
It was during this time, I got pregnant. From the very beginning, the new baby was “hyper”. I was only 5 weeks into the pregnancy when I could feel her zipping back and forth inside of me. The entire pregnancy was difficult on me physically because of just how hyper and strong she was. Around the 8th month, she kicked and broke one of my ribs! She struggled and fought so hard while being born that the doctor and the nurse nearly dropped her. And she only got worse after coming out. She refused to be swaddled, hated to be held, and never, ever “slept.” She would periodically “pass out” after many hours of screaming and extreme physical activity, but it was never truly sleep. The addition of this challenging child to our existing family only made the problems with my older daughter worse.
It was clear from the beginning that something was “wrong” with our youngest. She was non-verbal, refused to potty train, and ate books rather than read them. She also had sensory issues. Lights, noise and touch physically hurt her and caused her to melt down. Between the lack of sleep and the constant fighting/anger issues, everyone was more than on edge. I personally was sleep deprived and physically beaten by the children ( countless bruises, two more cracked ribs, a cracked cheek bone, and my nose had been broken three more times!) My husband and I were on the verge of divorce and neither one of us, quite honestly, wanted the children.
Then one day, while on the computer, I saw a tiny little pop up ad for Feingold. It simply said something to the effect of “Does your child have trouble behaving? Check us out.” When I clicked on it, it brought me to their site. They had a check list of possible symptoms. My children had every single one except one. Neither had tried to kill themselves.....yet. I began reading everything and I was horrified. Horrified at the thought that we were inadvertently doing this to our own children!
When my husband came home from work, I shared with him what I had learned from Feingold. He was skeptical but my husband and my oldest were going to be home for a 2 week vacation and I thought that would be a great time to try it. We started the elimination diet on their first day home and everyone complained, but we forged on. Three days into it, my youngest daughter slept through the night for the first time in her life! Though they complained about the food for the rest of the 2weeks, we had a great time! My children began playing together instead of fighting. My oldest daughters tics went away, as did all her other symptoms. My youngest used the potty, sat quietly while we read to her, and began talking! It was a miracle!
After a wonderful two weeks of family vacation, they begged me to let them go back to “real food”. I agreed. But within three days, our “normal lives” resumed, and it was devastating. That was the day I decided we were going to be a Feingold family.
My youngest was just about to start school when we started. Originally she was going to be placed in a special ed class. But her progress on Feingold was so fast, by the time she actually entered school, she was in a regular class! By that October, she was placed in an advanced class! At the end of the year, she had qualified for the “Gifted” class!
My oldest, who had started off as “gifted” before the spraying, was on the verge of being put in a special ed class. As she began Feingold, all those problems began to go away and she remained in a “gifted” class.
It was difficult at times to stick with it. My children were not allowed to eat anything in the school unless I sent it in for them. That made them feel singled out especially during parties, and we had to deal with them occasionally cheating. But you could always tell when they did because it showed in their behavior. So I made sure we all stuck to it. I knew what we were like when we were off of it, and that was unacceptable.
Today, my oldest daughter lives on her own after having gone to college and then getting her Master’s Degree. Things I doubt she ever would have been able to do had we not found Feingold. Our youngest is currently in college, making the Dean’s List every semester! She has become the sweetest, most loving, and cuddly, child any parent could ever hope for. Anyone who knows us now, can’t imagine what it was like for us before we found Feingold. The difference has been incredible and almost unimaginable. Feingold literally has saved our lives. Occasionally when my kids are tempted to stray from their diets, we remind them what our lives probably would have been like without it. I know my husband and I would have gotten divorced and both children would probably have been placed in homes for people with special needs. Instead, my husband and I have been married over 28 years and still enjoying each other’s company. Our oldest has an advanced degree, a job and is living a successful life on her own. And our youngest is acing college (away), and well on track to be a happy, successful adult.