At the age of 12 months my happy, laid-back baby’s personality change literally turned our lives upside down. He would shriek at such a high pitch over nothing that it physically hurt my ears. Some days he would just bang his head on the floor, or pick at the skin on his arms until it bled. The faintest of noises other than his own hurt his ears. Too disruptive for the other kids and teachers at daycare, he was uninvited from three different preschools in two years. I had to turn down a good job offer that our family desperately needed.
I could not take him anywhere in public, otherwise people would stare, whisper, or even make rude comments. I would only let certain family members watch him, and never for a long time. He really drained my energy physically and emotionally. I felt like an utter failure as a parent because I couldn’t help him. The guilt of being frustrated about his situation started to take a toll on my own health, and crying became an almost daily occurrence. I had to do something because my family was pressuring me to take him to a major children’s hospital for a battery of tests.
Once we started CFT, changes appeared almost instantly. It was like a tremendous weight had been taken off my family and me. People, who didn’t even realize he was being treated, were commenting on the obvious change in his behavior. In just a couple of months, he stopped hurting himself and his older sister. I was actually able to go to the grocery store with him without any problem. We were able to eat supper together as a family without any shrieking or food throwing.
Finally, I was able to get him into a preschool program without getting called every other day to pick him up. Our financial situation improved because I was able to go back to work. I thank God CFT came into our lives!
Our son started crawling at four months of age, and by six months he was walking and running. His grade point average was 99.9% in the first and second grades; he completed most of the third grade curriculum in the second grade. At the end of the second grade a student tripped him at school, and our son’s head hit the concrete floor. About four hours later, he vomited and became unconscious. The emergency room doctor treated him for a concussion and prescribed decreased activity for six weeks.
He did better over that summer, but we noticed significant changes in his behavior and scholastic ability in the third grade. The principle threatened to admit him to a mental hospital because he was so out of control in class. He failed English that year, and the rest of his grades dropped drastically. His fourth grade teacher requested testing. His reading ability was at college level, but his reading comprehension and writing abilities were below kindergarten level. A psychiatrist diagnosed him with ADHD and ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and medicated him with Concerta.
We tried to convince her that the drug would not cure our son but just mask his symptoms. She said that the medication was the only course of treatment available. His behavior at school improved, his grades went back up, and he was enrolled in the gifted program. But he became very angry at times by hitting or lashing out at my husband or myself. He would often tell us, “The drug is killing me.” After two years of this behavior, we decided that the side effects were not worth the benefits. Other children did not want to play with him, and he was not eating or growing much. He acted like a zombie, and I really missed his hugs. My husband and I felt as though we were losing our son.
Even though I was a neurosurgical nurse, I learned a lot of practicable material about the brain at The Family Hope Center parent seminar. They spent almost 13 hours evaluating our son, the most extensive evaluation that he ever had. We embraced their approach of healing the root of his problem instead of managing it. He had some initial CFT sessions at the clinic. Because his treatment plan was so extensive, we started the diet first.
Within two weeks of having CFT and the dietary changes, he was calmer and more focused. On the third week he went to a sleepover camp for a week on his special diet. When we picked him up, the director asked us what we had done to him. In previous summers he was the loudest and most active camper, but he was normal for the entire week. The neighborhood boys came over to our house to play with him. He began to hug me once again. Our son was coming back to us.
Since starting the program, he has been off his medication. He has grown dramatically and eats well. We were excited when the best technical school in our area recently accepted him in their challenging engineering program from tenth to twelfth grades.