dedicated to dr.abram hoffer

Children With Learning and/or Behavioral Disorders

Since 1955 I have treated over 2000 children under the age of 14 with orthomolecular therapy. In my books “Hoffer’s ABC of Natural Nutrition for Children”, Quarry Press, Kingston, ON, 1999, and “Healing Children’s Attention and Behavior Disorders, CCNM Press, Toronto, 2005, the results of treatment are reported. I have found the DSM IV published by the American Psychiatric Association of little value. Surely we do not have 45 different psychiatric diseases with their individual numbers for this general class of children. They fall into two main classes: the food allergies and toxins, and those without, but both groups need supplementation with the correct B vitamins. I am not alone in my view about the value of modern psychiatric diagnosis. Professor I Savodnik1, psychiatrist and philosopher who teaches at UCLA wrote, “As it turns out, the American Psychiatric Association has been turning out mental illnesses for the last fifty years. The original manual in1952 contained 107 diagnoses, the second in 1968 180, in 1981 it had increased to 226, and in 1994 it leaped forward to 263 conditions: A 340 percent increase in diagnostic labels in fifty years. Nowhere in the rest of medicine has such a proliferation of categories occurred.”
Children with fetal alcohol syndrome also respond to the same treatment. This condition is considered untreatable. Dr. D. Herrera2, Weil Medical College, Cornell, found that in mice niacinamide reversed the pathological effects of this syndrome.

RL, female, born May 25,1994, first seen September, 2004. Referred with diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome

RL came with her foster mother who had been caring for her for the past three years. Before that she was neglected, and had been molested, for which she received a fair amount of counseling. She found it very difficult to focus and questions would have to be repeated several times. She suffered mood swings, was learning disabled, and was getting extra tutoring. Her relations to her younger sister were ambivalent sometimes too aggressive and domineering, sometimes kind. Physical aggression to her sister had moderated over the years. On Dexedrine she suffered severe side effects including severe nightmares and visual illusions. Ritalin was not quite as toxic for her but was not very helpful. Since being taken in by her foster mother she had been placed on a very good diet, dairy free and she had improved a lot. I started her on a diet which was also sugar free and supplemented with niacin 100 mg after each meal, ascorbic acid 500 mg after each meal, essential fatty acids 1 to 2 grams daily and a children’s multivitamin preparations. By July 2005 she was nearly normal, very athletic and it was planned to continue with special education for her.

Her sister, born March 1, 2001, came with her. She was normal but her foster mother was very worried that she too might develop the same syndrome. Her mother drank for first five months of her pregnancy, not knowing that she was pregnant. She was started on a similar program in order to ensure that she would remain well. By July 2005 her foster mother reported that she was much better in preschool. These two children’s foster mother had been treated with a similar approach some months previously and had recovered. She was aware of the importance of nutrition and proper supplementation.

For a disease considered untreatable one case does not prove that the program will help every child, but it does suggest that it should be tried as it is totally safe.

Nutrients Commonly Use for Children with Learning and/or Behaviour Disorders (under medical supervision):

  • Vitamin B-3
  • Vitamin C
  • B-6
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Essential fatty acids

1 Savodnik I: Psychiatry’s Sick Compulsion: Turning Weaknesses Into Disease. Los Angeles Times. February 2006.

2 Herrera D. Vitamin B-3 Variant Reversed Effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Mice. Weill Cornell Study Finds. Plos Medicine Feb 21, 2006