Background

I met with Steve and his mother, Joyce, in early 1978. Steve was U years old at the time and had been pronounced mentally retarded, autistic or braindamaged by several specialists. Joyce did not believe them. She felt sure that Steve would talk and thought that the medical establishment had overlooked something.

Since the doctors felt Steve was hyperactive, they had put him on Mellaril, a tranquilizer, to calm him down. And he was certainly a handful. He would be up and running around early each morning, finally falling into an exhausted sleep sometime between 1 and 2 a.m. This behavior had started when he was two. According to his mother, at age two he "just went haywire": one moment he had been a calm and happy child; the next, he turned into a Jekyll-Hyde personality. He was almost uncontrollable, a nervous, jumpy child given to fits and starts. He was also underweight for his age. His diet consisted of no fruits or vegetables, a little meat, plenty of milk, orange juice and other sweetened juices and starch foods, such as casseroles. He craved sweets most of the time. He got allergies in the spring and fall of each year.

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