I'm happy for you to share our story, maybe it will help some other poor mum out there who is ready to strangle her kids.  Life just shouldn't be this hard.

My life has changed immensely since embarking on our journey in January 2014 after the heavy prodding of my husband. I will admit I was a cynic, however after 3 days of eliminating a few things just to get started while I was researching, I have become a massive convert and preacher of elimination and food intolerance! I saw my 4 yr old turn into an emotional loving boy within just 3 days. It was a massive change.

I am still nowhere near getting the diet right, in fact I have just gone back to full elimination to start again because I was unsure how to challenge correctly and I totally messed it up. I am currently reading Fed Up with ADHD (unfortunately out of print but incorporated in Fed Up). You have the best description of it in there and I now finally understand. NOTE that the content of Fed Up with ADHD is available as an ebook

I have 4 yr old and 7 yr old boys and life is hell on wheels most days. My 4 yr old suffers from intolerance majorly and I'm still unsure whether my 7 yr old does or if he is just frustrated with the almost intolerable behaviour of his little brother and acts out.  My husband and I are at our wits’ end or, fed up you might say.

My 4 yr old (Alex) would be diagnosed with ADHD any day of the week when he is off fs diet. His behaviour is extreme, we walk on egg shells every day and are anxious every time we leave the house as we never know how he is going to be. On fs diet he is a gem and very bright.

From my observations (still needing proper challenging) since we started are that he is extremely sensitive to amines, sals and preservatives, artificial colours and flavours - the works. I'm hoping with proper challenges we will find he can tolerate small levels of some of these things. Some reactions are almost instantaneous (sals and some preservatives, thinking sulphites  antioxidants and sorbates I think)  "like a switch was flicked" said the daycare teacher Or within a couple of hours, others are within 24 hours and last for around 7 days (amines I think) and then others are slow building (some preservatives I think). I have stumbled and come undone with the slow building reaction and my underestimation of the power of Sals and just how many foods contain Sals.

Feeling positive. The concentration and imagination without so much crap in my 4 yr olds system!! Speech therapist also commented today that she had never seen him concentrating so well! The effort really is worth it!


UPDATE 2 days later:

We started elimination then I messed it up on day 7, after we'd been through the worst of the withdrawals (grrrr!), by giving him 320 without thinking. So back to the beginning. I kept a lot of things reduced whilst I went back to planning and got better organised. Full on d-day was yesterday. The first drawing was coming down from the reaction on day 7 and the second one was about 4 days later - it is his Alien puppet (hence the fingers which end up being the teeth). We tend to start seeing results with him at around day 3/4 - he becomes more emotional and starts to engage better, however we still have a lot of unpredictable up and down behaviour until he reaches baseline and then he becomes a beautiful loving little boy who can learn and concentrate so much better.

UPDATE 3 weeks later:

We are finally at baseline and what I originally thought were food induced - ADHD type behaviours for my youngest and somewhat for the older one, now appear to be more ODD related.  I still think there are ADHD traits but the ODD seems to be coming through loud and clear now.  Our youngest has never been disciplined as much as our oldest as he has been such a handful right from the very first day he was born, it wears you down.  We got very slack on the discipline front with both boys are time went on.  Once we discovered that the issues might be food related, we got even slacker "because they can't help it, it's the food".  BIG MISTAKE - MASSIVE!!! So here we are now, having to slowly dig our way out of this hole we have made.

So today, we start salicylate challenging, at the request of my oldest.  We are struggling with him the most to stay on diet.  We have been made aware that there has been apple juice poppa drinking, candy cane, grape and some chicken chip snack thing eating at school!!! Some unhelpful friends have been sharing food with him.  Explains some of the behaviours whilst on elimination.  I have to say though that this challenging stuff scares me, because I am knowingly giving them food that will most likely make them react.  We'll be doing it slowly I can tell you.  I have seen a dietician a few times at the beginning and I will contact her again soon as the challenges progress just to get some tips and pointers.  I've also spoken to our GP, who whilst not being convinced that food is a big player, is very open minded and has agreed to support us through it to ensure that the boys are still "healthy" whilst it’s all going on.  I believe I will have him converted by the end of it!
Thanks for the tip on the antidote - I didn't realise it was only for Sals, I thought it was for everything.  No wonder sometimes it didn't appear to work! (slaps hand to forehead).

UPDATE 10 days later (just before Xmas):

We started a salicylate challenge last Monday - challenge TERMINATED on Saturday night!!!!

I started to see some small changes each day however thought that there were other possible explanations and so I continued on.  By Friday I really started to think that a reaction was happening.  By Saturday night, I was ready to scream!!! My boys had gone from happy, polite, compliant loving children to ABSOLUTE RAGING MONSTERS! Here we are 3 days after cancelling the trial and I am struggling to keep them under control.  The side effects are worse now (I'm hoping they're withdrawing already!).

to be continued....- Nicky from facebook group and emails