[003] "a godsend to our lives" (February 1999)

"I have read your book Fed Up and it has proven a godsend to our lives and I can't thank you enough for putting your experiences in print. My daughter would have been expelled last year (1st term Kindergarten) for her aggressive, violent and unruly behaviour. Many times I sat in the principal's office in tears of disbelief as they told me about this horrid monster that was my child - I couldn't understand. GPs, specialists and paediatricians could find nothing wrong. She even attended a behavioural management unit for 20 weeks at the request of her school. Of course no-one wanted to believe that her access to a different range of food that she normally would not be given was at the same time her behaviour went off track. The school had not seen her pre-canteen.

We know that she is intolerant to additives, salicylates and amines and we are living on the range of foods recommended in your book. We have tested some foods and know basically what we can't have but have been very hesitant with the challenges particularly when reactions may occur later when she is in class. School holidays are our windows of opportunities.

The problem we now have is other children sharing food. We are approaching the school today regarding this as she ate a packet of noodles with the chicken flavour sprinkled on top yesterday and then reacted severely to the point of injuring her favourite teacher twice and being suspended for a day. This isn't the first time she has had someone else's food and although my daughter is so good most of the time, temptation is always there and luckily we have been able to pinpoint each time she has taken matters in her own hands and done her own little challenge. From this we seem to have found another problem - other people innocently undermining what we have achieved ... someone shared a packets of lollies and she came home proudly saying that blue is OK, the reaction is all here (pointing to her head). 5pm that night blue was not OK.

... I ran into a friend the other day who I hadn't seen for ages. During the catch up he mentioned the diet they are now on and even though it eliminated processed and natural foods the difference in his eldest's (4yo) behaviour was well worth it. The look of relief on his face was priceless when he realised that I truly did understand and wasn't just nodding my head ("ah, Sue Dengate's Fed Up" I said). I think it has given him even more determination to stick it through." - Alex