Monday, May 9, 2011

What's Eating Your Child?

I requested this book to review because I wanted to share it with you. Kelly Dorfman has been instrumental in teaching me how to be a detective with my daughter's ups and downs. I was fortunate to attend several presentations when different organizations brought Dorfman to workshops and conferences near me. (Somewhere, among all the boxes as we are in various stages of unpacking, is a Dorfman presentation on disc on the topic of the relationship between sensory issues and nutrition.) I even know one family (in real life) who consulted with Dorfman for their child and were impressed with her knowledge.

This is one VIR. Very Important Resource.

"What's Eating Your Child?" (with the longest subtitle I've ever seen, "The Hidden Connections Between Food and Childhood Ailments: Anxiety, Recurrent Ear Infections, Stomachaches, Picky Eating, Rashes, ADHD, and More. And What Every Parent Can Do About It") gives parents, and perhaps teachers, doctors, and other professionals, too, an education into what illnesses and behaviors can sometimes be food and nutrition related.

Shortly before my daughter's second birthday, I had the courage to peek diagnostic criteria for autism in the DSM-IV, and realized in just a few moments that yes, my child is on the autism spectrum. I called the early intervention coordinator in our county and asked her, "What do I do, now?" And she told me about a conference. A biomedical conference. Coming in less than a fortnight. And I went. And between the tears (I cried a lot during that two days), I heard people, not just the professionals who were presenting that weekend, but also parents, describe the differences in their children when diets were changed, when nutrition was addressed, when dyes, preservatives, gluten, dairy were removed, when probiotics were given. I'd never even heard of a lot of this stuff.

Red, flaming cheeks, a sign of yeast in the gut? What? Head banging a sign of a calcium deficiency? Excessive ear wax = a possible need for essential fatty acids? (What's an essential fatty acid?) There seemed to be a never ending list of often familiar symptoms and what might be causing them. I thought these people were nuts, but I heard the same stories over and over from different people, parents who seemed really serious (and not nutty otherwise).

Slowly, I realized that we (society) are often medicating children when we need to look at their nutrition and make changes there, first. (I'm not saying meds aren't necessary; sometimes they absolutely are.)

When I became a believer in what I originally thought were nutty theories, when I began to make connections between foods and my daughter's behavior, I wanted a book, a guide, a reference. (Part of our experience is described here.) Outside of what I thought was a rather old book by Doris Rapp, MD about allergies (which is quite good), there wasn't one.

Now there is.

Dorfman walks the reader through the process of being a nutrition detective in What's Eating Your Child?. She uses case studies from her own practice to describe challenges and behaviors in children, and to illustrate her thinking process. She tackles an interesting mix of challengings, including ADD/ADHD, chicken skin, allergies, hives, constipation, diarrhea, lack of growth, tummy aches, spitting up, picky eaters, insomnia, anxiety, tantrums and meltdowns, acid reflux, learning disabilities, speech delays, depression, eczema, a bi-polar misdiagnosis, ear infections, and worriers.

Check it out for yourself: Chapter one is here. A bonus chapter that did not make it into the book is here. Mrs. Dorfman blogs here. Her web site is here. Some of her articles are here.

What's Eating Your Child? is a 334 page paperback priced at $13.95 and is published by Workman Publishing.

If I had the funds or a magic wand, I'd put this one in the pediatrician's lobby, in the gasteroenterologist's waiting room, in early intervention libraries, in autism clinics, in ASA chapter offices, Down Syndrome groups, etc., across the country. I wish I'd had it to give my daughter's teachers and school staff when she was in school and to her ABA staff when we did that. I often felt like I was swimming against a current at school and with behaviorsts, when I was the only parent at school who was making dietary changes and when the behaviorists wouldn't look at anything that didn't have the right kind of scientific study behind it. Some of you are going to want this one to share with your parents and in-laws (sometimes they're the last ones to join families in their efforts to help children).

This one is another library must-have. Parents, teachers, professionals who work with kids need easy access to this resource.

Workman Publishing sent me a review copy of "What's Eating Your Child?". I am not paid for this review, I do not benefit should you purchase a copy based upon this blog post, and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

No comments:

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Created by OnePlusYou -

Stat Counter