Story: Kris and Angus
Just wanted to say thank you for your movie and especially your book. I met you tonight at the Adelaide premiere and thank you for your time, we briefly talked about my son Angus.
My 12 year old son Angus was diagnosed with global development delay when he was one due to delayed mylination of the brain (though doctors were never sure of the reason of this – the mylin had been within the normal range since he was five ). At the age of 7 he was diagnosed with an intellectual disability. Angus is the happiest child in the world with a lovely demeanour most of the time.
He was also diagnosed with gross motor dyspraxia in his early childhood – which means his comprehension is good (around a 4-5 year old) but his verbal skills (around a 3 year old). Also low motor tone.
When he was 6 he was diagnosed with fructose intolerance….which then meant nearly all fruit was out of bounds unless we wanted him to suffer the consequences. Not knowing what I know now, a lot of his food that he has been eating since diagnosis (packaged) is very high in fructose.
Around two years ago he was given the all clear with the intolerance – yay, reintroduced fruit!
During the last 4 years Angus had been putting on weight and at his last doctors appointment early this year his height was in the 60th percentile and weight in the 90th percentile…the doctor said that if he keeps going like this he will have serious health problems when he is older and will be obese. I could see my son getting heavier especially around his tummy. I had been told many a time to not worry as most children and 75% of adults with intellectual disabilities are overweight due to their disability. Also Angus does eat constantly and always seems to be looking for food. We would have daily tantrums (about food), 10 + a day (they wouldn’t last long but sometimes very draining).
So I am thinking to myself I can either let things continue or change things for him. Well I then see your preview for your movie & went out a bought your book & read it cover to cover.
Angus has benefited over the last 5 weeks, to an extent that makes me so happy from the knowledge that you have given me. I have reduced his daily refined sugar intake to around 3-5 teaspoons a day (from what I can work out they were probably close to 30 a day before). Now being able to read food labels, making right choices for him.
His tantrums are nearly non existent, his concentration has improved, his verbal skills are improving not only with his amount of words but also where he talks (previously if he was in an unfamiliar place or lots of people he wouldn’t say anything- now he attempts to talk).
Angus still looks for food (probably down 30% from before) but the things he is eating are keeping him fuller for longer, increase energy, no spikes and lows due to sugar: he does have the occasional treat, ice cream or takeaway and I notice the effect immediately when he has these.
I know that Angus will always have a disability, I will never change that, but behaviours and physical expectations that I thought were part of his disability I now know are not…my child is changing right in front of my eyes.
Angus is a beautiful boy and deserves to have a long, healthy and happy life and I, as his mum with the knowledge that I have, will make sure that he has that.
So thanks again Damon, from a very a happy mum and her super gorgeous son.