It was more than twenty years ago that Dr. Doris Rapp, shown here, first published accounts of Edward, a highly allergic youngster whose severe Tourette syndrome (TS) had responded positively to environmental medicine treatment. Edward’s case was revisited in her best-selling book, Is This Your Child? published in 1991.
Over the last several years, Dr. Rapp has treated many youngsters with TS, and reports that environmental illness appears to be one cause of the disorder. In these particular cases, individuals can have dramatic relief from appropriate environmental allergy treatment.
When we contacted Edward’s mother for an update on his condition, she recalled the “nightmare” they experienced during his younger years:
Edward was first seen by Dr. Rapp when he was six. We had been having problems with him for years. He experienced chronic earaches, was colicky, and didn’t sleep through the night as a baby. In preschool he seemed bored, and was a little hyperactive, but things weren’t too bad. Then we enrolled him in a private church school which was old and moldy. They used the lunch room for Bingo games, and it always smelled of smoke. Edward started having a lot of behavior problems at that school, especially at lunch time. Soon afterwards, Tourette symptoms began: he would touch things over and over, throw his head back, and pound his hand up and down. He also had uncontrollable vocalizations including high-pitched siren noises and barking. We didn’t know anything about TS at the time, and were desperate for help and answers. He was then diagnosed with TS and put on Haldol, but he couldn’t stand the terrible side effects, so we took him off of it.
When we finally went to Dr. Rapp, she found he was allergic to so many things! He had dramatic shifts in behavior with the allergy testing; this was documented on videotape. Dr. Rapp put Edward on a comprehensive allergy treatment plan, but made no promises that it would help relieve his severe tics. Then one night, he was banging his head backwards on the couch. I knew he couldn’t help it, but it was driving me crazy. I gave him his allergy neutralization shots, and sent him to his room. I checked on him a little later and realized that the TS symptoms had stopped! I started monitoring him closely, and discovered that Dr. Rapp’s allergy treatment actually controlled his TS symptoms.
Edward was extremely sensitive. It seemed like every time there was a major change in seasons, it would throw his treatment off and he had to be re-tested. It was very expensive for us, but well worth it. If it hadn’t been for Dr. Rapp, Edward would never have made it into regular education. We didn’t keep going to the local Tourette syndrome meetings. They were held in smoke-filled rooms, and Edward couldn’t eat the junk food that was served.
His mother added, “We didn’t keep going to the local Tourette syndrome meetings. They were held in smoke-filled rooms, and Edward couldn’t eat the junk food that was served. Also, it seemed like the doctors and parents didn’t want to hear about my son’s case! I couldn’t believe it. Eventually, we just quit attending.”
And now? “Edward is twenty years old and is doing great. He is so much healthier than he used to be, and no longer requires strict allergy therapy. No one would even guess that he has TS. Edward scored 139 I.Q. on a Wechsler test, and is doing very well in college, where he majors in computer science.”
For further information on Doris Rapp, MD: www.drrapp.com