My granddaughter has been on a wheat- and cow's milk-free diet since preconception. No one in our extended families (both parents) can cope with cow milk, apart from my daughter, who was dyslexic. My granddaughter never showed the usual signs of dyslexia until she was eight, when she ate a bit of fish-shop batter at the seaside. An hour or so later, she was unable to spell her own name. She also has eczema, which we've tracked down to tomatoes, grapes and, recently, rice.
The same thing happened to her mother Jane. But just before her 13th birthday, I became ill and consulted a local expert on diet and nutrition. He told me to give up eating artificial additives and refined foods such as white flour and white sugar. He said that Jane's dyslexia would also disappear.
For the next eight months, we stuck to these rules, and gradually became fond of natural foods and no longer enjoyed what Jane called 'plastic food'. By now, I was completely rejuvenated, but could see no particular change in Jane's schoolwork. So we decided to do the thing properly - taking sandwiches for lunch made from my own wholemeal bread, and giving up shop biscuits for homemade.
Two months later, Jane told me she could 'learn like the clever kids'. Another three months, and she could remember the alphabet - she was 14 by then. With ever-increasing delight, she found herself reading anything and everything, and was able to write quickly and accurately. Jane got seven O levels and two A levels, one in English, and went on to get an upper second in Fine Art, which involved researching and writing a very extensive thesis. - Val Kearney, North Yorkshire
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