(At the start) We have an appointment with your recommended dietitian in 2 weeks, which can't come quick enough. Our 9-year-old son has had (with hindsight) intermittent tics for the last couple of years. Last weekend he was so agitated and had particularly bad tics which seemed to follow him having an ice cone with some terrible colouring/flavouring over it which someone bought him with the best intentions! Traditionally, we have always had plenty of fruit and veg and I think has contributed also. A trip to the GP resulted in being told they were habits which we should ignore and if they hadn't gone in 2 months to go back.

So, we started failsafe last weekend and are now on day 7 having had him off school with a cough, cold and generally irritable. Things improved loads today until a friend of his gave him a starburst earlier this evening at the village movies and within an hour at the most he was incredibly twitchy...is it possible for him to have such an immediate reaction to something?..then improve within a couple of hours?

We have gone through thoughts of Tourette's syndrome, some of the symptoms he seems to have - sniffing, twitching, vocal tics, though the GP said this was unlikely ... he was definitely agitated tonight though we don't know if it was due to the noise / busyness of the place or could have been the starburst. His favourite foods are orange juice, olives, mushrooms, salami all of which have been eliminated, and we are thinking salicylates maybe the culprit ...

(12 days later) Just a quick update on things, it's been an interesting week! Our son's tics had been improving, but he had a terrible cough and kept spiking temps so he is now on antibiotics for a chest infection, and is improving cough/temp wise but his tics seem to have really worsened again. Looking at the ingredients on his meds, it's reassuring to think we are on the right track. We have managed to stick to the elimination diet and he has been really good at chomping his sprouts etc ... not enthusiastically ... but eating them!

(After 5 weeks) Thought it time I put an email together to update you on our son's progress !... wow!!!! sums it up nicely! We have been to see the dietitian twice now and are fine tuning our failsafe eating. I would say he is 80% improved, hardly any physical tics, occasional vocals and bed wetting is still a problem but we are hoping with the fine tuning we may be able to help that. He is more focused on homework, even doing extra to catch up!! It has been a revelation and continues to be so, my husband has lost weight (it needed to go!)and his BP has dropped to normal limits so everyone is better all round.

(After 6 months) Another update! Things all went a bit off track a few months ago and I think the pressure of everything all got a bit too much, especially for our son. However, with the relapse in diet the tics returned and so we have gone failsafe again but without the pressure and fuss this time. Meals out and parties are relaxed and he can have whatever is on offer! Most of the time we are failsafe at home without anyone really realising it ... it has become a way of life! Plus the tics have disappeared which is reassuring to know that we are doing the right thing. Another trigger we are almost 100% sure of is scented candles, we had one of these in the lounge around the time of the return of the tics!

I cannot thank you enough for all the info you and Sue have put together, your books and Friendly Food have to be the most well thumbed books in our house! – Amanda, by email.