How To Heal Your Kids And Yourself From ADHD With Deborah Merlin - Raw Food Magazine How To Heal Your Kids And Yourself From ADHD With Deborah Merlin - Raw Food Magazine

How To Heal Your Kids And Yourself From ADHD With Deborah Merlin

natural remedy cure for add and ADHD

Natural Ways to Help Children and Adults Deal with ADHD

Raw Food Magazine brings you this exclusive interview with Deborah Merlin, Author of Victory Over ADHD.  Learn the critical steps to take to naturally heal and protect your children from ADD and ADHD.

Sara Grove: Good morning and welcome to Raw Food Magazine.  I am Sara Grove and I’ll be your host today. Today we have a very special guest with us: her name is Deborah Merlin, the author of Victory Over ADHD, a holistic guide to helping children with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.  For the last 15 years, Deborah Merlin has been an advocate for her own twins’ special needs, who were born ten weeks premature and the doctors and professionals in her life kept offering drug after drug as the solution.  So for the last 15 years she has lived and worked to find alternative ways to heal her children and taken extensive notes all along the way, which she has shared with the world through this amazing resource about victory over ADHD. So we are so glad to have her here with us today and to have her share a little bit of her story and what she has learned in this process.  So welcome Deborah, and thank you so much for being here.

Deborah Merlin: Thank you Sara for having me, I really appreciate it.  It is an honor to be interviewed by your magazine and I just want to make a correction. It’s been more than 15 years now, I have to admit that.

Sara Grove:     Oh good!

Deborah Merlin: It’s 21 years, but it has been a very long journey. Although I found some partial solutions when they were younger, I really didn’t find the real solutions until they were 12 years old.

Sara Grove: Wow, and so let’s start with that. I know that for you, was  ADHD or autism ever on your mind, or did you really start confronting these kinds of issues when your twins were born?  

Deborah Merlin: No, as a matter of fact I was aware of autism but personally I had never heard of ADHD until my kids were in an early intervention program and the teacher that contacted me. She was a teacher’s speech therapist, and they were in her program because my kids had global universal delays, such as speech and  behavior issues.  And towards the end of the program, just before they turned three, she contacted me and told me that she suspected that one of my twins had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and I had never heard of it, and this is going back 23 years now. And this is before the Internet, and what she described–it wasn’t totally before the internet but definitely way before Google; it was in the very early stages of the internet–and when she described the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder I laughed and said, “that sounds like me,” because I did have an Attention Deficit Disorder.  So I blamed everything on genetics and that they were so premature.  And it’s true they are at risk when there are complications in an early pregnancy.

Sara Grove: Right, and how, I said, is that correct, over 10 weeks premature?

Deborah Merlin: Yes, exactly 10 weeks premature.

Sara Grove: Wow!

Deborah Merlin: They weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces. One of the twins was really ill, and we didn’t know if he would survive the first 48 hours of his life.  He had to be on a ventilator, so it was a pretty intense journey.  So he had a lot of  health issues, but then after I learned about Attention Deficit Disorder and some of their behavior issues–keep in mind that this is the first experience I had raising children.  I was very green to that.

Sara Grove: Well it’s all new and obviously you love your children; you want the best for them, and what an incredibly chaotic situation.

Deborah Merlin: Yes, and also I would hear that twins often had their language and usual have  speech delays, so I wasn’t overly concerned, but I should have been. Fortunately I was able to get them into an early intervention program, which really helped tremendously to catch up with their language.  It made a huge difference, but their ADD symptoms continued and also some autism symptoms as well, and the healthier of the twins, they thought for sure he was autistic.  When I say “they,” I am talking about teachers and professionals who worked closely with him.

Sara Grove: And what sort of symptoms were they exhibiting?

Deborah Merlin: Well for him he would just seem very withdrawn, no language delays but very withdrawn.  And lack of eye contact, but this is a very interesting part of the story: he had constant ear infections and was always on antibiotics, and you have to keep in mind I knew nothing about holistic medicine at this point in time.  

Sara Grove: Right, so when the doctor keeps prescribing antibiotics, you naturally feel this is gonna help him,  I’m gonna keep giving them.

Deborah Marlin: Of course, so by the time he was five he had probably 35 rounds of antibiotics.

Sara Grove: Wow!

Deborah Merlin: Yeah, yeah, so I ended up taking my kids to the allergist, they had these huge circles under their eyes.  And she did the skin patch test and they came up with some food allergies like peanut butter, but the skin patch test is a not very accurate way to test for allergies; it’s okay for environment but not for food allergy.  It’s not accurate at all. I started to see a chiropractor and he recommended his Chinese doctor.  He told me to take my kids to the Chinese doctor, and when I told my allergist I was going to take my children to the Chinese doctor she got really concerned.  She warned me, be careful, they are quacks. But at the same time she was also concerned about my son’s chronic  fluid in his ears.  Every time she saw him she said, “I don’t know what to do.”  She got out the allergy shots and there was fluid in his ears.  So I took him to the Chinese doctor and right away he said, “get him off the dairy.”  They both were allergic to diary, and he gave me some Chinese herbs, and what do you know?  The fluid in his ears vanished; there was never another ear infection.  

Sara Grove: Really, with that one change, just taking dairy out of their diet?


Deborah Merlin: Yeah, just that one change.  And then I took him back to the allergist and she was shocked, she said “oh but this is wonderful, but to whom has he gone?” I said “that’s the Chinese doctor you told me not to take him to.”

Sara Grove: Oh, my goodness!

Deborah Merlin: And I must say the pediatrician, he was also outrageously funny, because when I told him that I suspected that my son may have a dairy allergy, he rolled his eyes at me.  So I never took my kids back to him, because at that point I realized I was definitely taking them to the wrong doctors.  And they weren’t getting healed.  

Sara Grove: So how did that feel for you when you made that change and saw the positive results that came from it?  Was that encouraging to you?

Deborah Merlin: The teachers noticed a big difference, that he was much more attentive, he seemed to be listening better; he could not listen before because he always had fluid in his ears, and when he well he so shocked.  So for him it was the dairy.  Now, for the other twin it was a much more challenging journey, because he was always sick and he just was not ready to be born, so we had many ongoing issues with him. As he was getting older… well first, sometimes, when he was maybe four or five years old, we started noticing facial tics, and one thing I did learn about Ritalin, that often recommended to me, is that Ritalin can actually trigger facial tics. So it didn’t make sense to me to put my kids on Ritalin when the twins were exhibiting facial tics.

Sara Grove: Right, yeah.

Deborah Merlin: Yeah, and along with the facial tics he was spacing out a lot and he was developing a violent temper because he had no impulse control.  And as he was getting older it was very concerning because he was getting strong and he would attack his twin brother all the time, scratch him, bite him, hit him,  and he was always irritable.   So the journey goes on. I actually ended up talking to my doctor about him; at this point I was very interested in alternative medicine and I was going to a medical doctor for acupuncture,  and this medical doctor happened to treat the real cause, but without medication, although he will use medicine when necessary,  but he told me that my son could be having brain seizure activity so he recommended we do QEEG on my son, which is–this is a mouthful–it stands for “Quantitative Computer Analysis,” or a “brain electrical activity,” to measure brain movements so I took my son to have this test done, and sure enough he was having seizures and we never knew because he  wasn’t having the grand mal seizures where he would fall down on the floor all the time; they were very subtle but actually quite common with kids who exhibit ADHD symptoms. A matter of fact, every child who has autism or is on the spectrum of autism or has ADHD, which is really on the spectrum of autism, should automatically have a  QEE done, to rule out seizures.

Sara Grove: Because it’s fairly common for those children to actually be experiencing brain seizures.  

Deborah Merlin: Right.  And the last thing you want to give a child who is having brain seizures is a stimulant.

Sara Grove: Right, because it just exasperates what’s already happening. Out of curiosity, at what age were your twin boys when medical professionals and teachers and friends started  pressuring you to put them on medication?

Deborah Merlin: Four or five years old.  

Sara Grove: Really, as early as four?

Deborah Merlin: Yeah. And my kids were really hyper, but so much of it also was my fault and I’m being honest when I say this, because I would never judge another parent for any mistakes they make, because as I said I was a rookie at being a parent but also my kids were also picky eaters; they were poor eaters, and at one point I  just really got desperate I would give them anything to eat just to get them to eat.  So when I took them to the market with me they would be pointing at all the cereals they see on television, like FrootLoops, if I can say that and not get into any trouble, but FrootLoops, like many commercial cereals, is loaded with artificial food coloring and I’d read on the side of the box, “fortified with vitamins,” but those vitamins are synthetic vitamins, so not real vitamins.  So I would be feeding my kids fruit loops before they go to school.  Now artificial food coloring has definitely been linked to ADHD symptoms. So my choices of feeding my children were contributing to their symptoms as well.  This is my journey too, to be educated about how to feed my kids, but I woke up, especially when they were six years old.  I eliminated all the toxic food from their diet and I started going to the farmer’s market buying all organic produce.

Sara Grove: And did you see a difference?

Deborah Merlin: Yes, absolutely, that and taking the dairy out of their diet for sure made a difference. But still the other twin, his symptoms with the seizure, the one who had the seizures, no matter what I did, maybe he was not getting sick as frequently, but he still had those symptoms. So when I took him to the doctor we got the results of the QEEG, Depakote, which is an anti seizure medication which was what the lab recommended, but my doctor said he did not really wanted to put him on Depakote because it has a million side effects.  

Sara Grove: Right.

Deborah Merlin: It’s a very strong anti-seizure medication so he recommend me doing amino acid profile on him to find out if that could be also contributing,  and sure enough the amino acids came back really low, and also at this point my son’s facial tics were so severe that they were deforming his face. And within a couple of days of giving him the amino acid supplements that he was low in, his facial tics stopped.

Sara Grove: Within a few days?

Deborah Merlin: Within a few days, and it may even have been sooner than a few days but I didn’t notice. And the fighting stopped, the violent temper stopped. So this is why I wrote the book because what doctor would ever know about amino acids, except very few.

Sara Grove: Right.

Deborah Merlin: Enlightened doctors.  

Sara Grove: And it took that choice to continue seeking alternatives. Let’s back up for a second. I am curious to keep diving into some of these alternative methods that you have found and want to learn more about amino acid therapy, but what was your motivation, especially being a new parent and not knowing much about the world of alternative medicine, what was the  motivation to not medicate your children? How did you make that choice again and again?   

Deborah Merlin: Okay, my husband was the one who said that he really did not want me to continue medication, because they were already on too many antibiotics and allergy medications. He said they were already on too many medications and he felt they were bright, and they were, and that they really didn’t need this medication.  So in fact it was my husband. But another factor was that one of the side effects of stimulants is weight loss and loss of appetite and insomnia, and you really stop and think about it my kids were in the 25 percentile for their height and weight, so they were small and skinny for their age, and they are picky eaters, so I didn’t want to put them on something which which was going contribute more to their symptoms.  And also sleep is so critical to a child’s growth, because human growth hormones can only be released when you are asleep, and these drugs keep you awake, they interfere with your sleep. So they really contradict with everything for a child’s healthy growing body, so that was also another big one.  I guess intuitively it was just a gut feeling too; I did not go there with my kids.

Sara Grove: And then I’m guessing that over the last 20 years you have learned more and more about the very commonly prescribed drugs.  Do you have any idea how many kids or adults with ADHD are medicated?

Deborah Merlin: I don’t know if this has changed but I’ve read recently  is that 2.5 million children in U.S. schools are being medicated. I also learned while doing the research for my book is that these stimulants cause brain cell damage.  They actually cause the brain to shrink, they cause brain cell  death, and when the diet is being suppressed by these stimulants and you’re not sleeping properly, the brain is connected to the body of course, so if the body stops growing so does the brain.  When the stimulants stop it actually stops the growth of the body therefore the brain follows. So if parents knew that they were actually causing more injury to their children’s brain I really don’t think they would be doing it.

Sara Grove: Right, because like you said, you didn’t really know this information until you were doing your research for your book.

Deborah Merlin: Right, right.

Sara Grove: So it’s very likely that the more mothers and fathers that we can educate about this that the more will seek alternative choices.

Deborah Merlin: Yeah.  And another important part of the journey too, there are a couple of tests that really I would recommend before a parent would even consider medicating a child; besides an amino acid test and the QEEG for brain seizure activity, is the heavy metal test, because mercury and lead, camion, all these heavy metals definitely contribute to symptoms of ADHD and autism.  So that is really critical, and you can do it through hair analysis.

Sara Grove: Really?

Deborah Merlin: A little clipping of the hair, it is very accurate, it’s being used for a very long time. Forensic specialists use it.

Sara Grove: Can you do that through like your local clinic or….?

Deborah Merlin: Many doctors can do it.  I do have some resources on my website,, too.

Sara Grove: Okay great.

Deborah Merlin: There’s also Dr. Roy Dittman he wrote the book Brighton Baby, and that book you should have on your shelf  and interview him too, some time. He’s an environmental scientist and he does hair analysis as well, and he can work with clients with diet and supplements to help detox them from heavy metal.

Sara Grove: So when did you do the heavy metal test with your boys?

Deborah Merlin: Actually when they were in fifth grade, before their amino acid therapy, and they were a little bit high on the lead, and every few years the acceptance for an amount of lead comes down, and really there is no safe level of lead exposure or mercury.  

Sara Grove: Are there dietary sources, environmental reasons, what are the most common ways that people build up heavy metal toxicity?

Deborah Merlin: There are actually several ways. If you live in an older home,  a chip of paint could have enough lead in it, if a child should eat that and be exposed to it. Lead has been in our environment for centuries. Particularly boys like to play get dirty and play in the dirt, there is lead in the dirt, so they could get lead poisoning by just playing in the dirt.  There used to be lead in gasoline. Interestingly enough, the lead levels have come down since it has been removed from gasoline, but so have many schools, I know here in Los Angeles, schools have had a lead abatement program where they have had to remove lead from the paint because that was an issue. But also from the parent, and this is more important information for parents before they start a family or before they have more children, especially if you had a child who had some of these issues, is to do a heavy metal test on yourself to make sure that you are not carrying unsafe levels of heavy metals in your body,  both the mother and father. I know amalgam fillings contain about 50 percent of mercury and I had 15 amalgam fillings when I was pregnant.

Sara Grove: Wow.  So you were tested for heavy metal toxicity?

Deborah Merlin: When my kids were seven or eight I was having a lot of health issues. I do have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is a hypoactive thyroid, a low thyroid, and I had chronic fatigue. I was sick all the time, and at this point I started turning to alternative medicine, because the more I was going to allopathic doctors, the more I was getting sick. I went to a lecture with doctors, and one of the doctors gave information to the audience one night that changed  my life.  He said, “If you are in your 30s or 40s and you suffer from autoimmune diseases, look inside your mouth. It could be coming from fillings.” And here I changed my diet, I was doing everything possible to get healthy, but I just felt there was a road block.  So I happened to have an appointment with my holistic doctor the next day, and they did a DMPS challenge, which is they put an IV in your arm and it pulls out the heavy metal, and you have to pass a 24-hour urine collection. When the test results came back it showed that it was one dot in a very elevated range for mercury and I never ate fish my whole life, so obviously the heavy metals were coming from my amalgam fillings.  So I had all my fillings replaced and that was huge. My health was so much better, my energy level came back, I didn’t feel sick all the time anymore.  And I also had Candida, which is another common occurrence with ADHD and autism, where there is an overgrowth of yeast in your gut, and Candida can cause brain fogs, which probably contributed to my childhood attention deficit disorder; I had too much sugar in my diet, too many cavities which caused the mercury. And wherever there is heavy metal exposure in your body there is Candida; these feed on heavy metal. So that’s why I am really recommending for parents before they get pregnant to…..

Sara Grove: Right, find out what their own levels are. So it’s entirely likely that your twins already had mercury in their systems at birth?

Deborah Merlin: Yeah, I know that because I’m an A-negative blood type and my husband is O-positive, so I had to get Rhogam shots, and they had mercury. So I have been injected with mercury, and as far as my amalgam fillings, every time I chew or drink through it, fluid vapors from your mouth are released into your body.  So that’s why again, it’s very important to make sure if you do have amalgam fillings, it’s imperative for you to get them replaced by a qualified dentist.  And if there is anyone listening out there wants to  get their amalgam fillings replaced, just make sure you use your rubber dam. Have your dentist use rubber dam over your teeth so that the mercury doesn’t go back into your body. And wear an oxygen mask so you don’t inhale the mercury vapors as they drill down.  I know that it sounds like a lot of effort but it’s so worth it.

Sara Grove: Oh absolutely, it’s incredibly worth it.  And like you are saying, when you things like that, the amount of fillings in your mouth, you said you were making all these right decisions, you were doing the best you knew how but you felt that there was this road block. You know, it’s like sometimes if we don’t address some of these underlying causes we can start making the right choices and only get so far before we address those things.  So with yourself and your boys, once you realized that they had elevated lead and some mercury in their systems, what sorts of things can you do to address that?

Deborah Merlin: Well, there are several things you can do. Of course diet is important and raw food is actually very important too; eat a lot of greens. Mascarello and, cilantro are natural detoxers and vitamin C is a natural chelator for heavy metal. When I shared this information with my doctor about my kids’ lead level, he said give them 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C every day and that helped bring it down substantially. But for people who really have elevated levels and they must work with their doctors–and I need to say this: despite what I know now because I am not a doctor, everything I’m saying, you need to really check it out with your health care professional. Because what work for my kids might not work for other people’s children–but what happened with my children is very common. And that’s why website has a link for naturopathic doctors, and they are very educated about diet and Candida.  So the two tests ideally that parent should do before they conceive, and this is both parents, is heavy metal and Candida to make sure there is not an overgrowth of yeast, because yeast can also be passed on to the fetus. So if the mother has too much yeast in her body, the baby will be born with digestive challenges right after that.  

Sara Grove: That’s so interesting

Deborah Merlin: Yeah. Also, one other important thing about the vaccination, I know that’s a huge controversy–

Sara Grove: –right, yes especially right now.

Deborah Merlin: Again, I am not an expert on vaccination, but one thing I do know is that there is no reason to give a newborn baby a hepatitis B vaccine, because the hepatitis B vaccine was developed for drug users and prostitutes, and the hospitals routinely give the hepatitis B vaccine to all newborn babies.

Sara Grove: Wow! And that’s just unnecessary to be putting that in their system.

Deborah Merlin: Well, what’s interesting is when they started doing that in 1990, that’s when autism and ADHD skyrocketed.

Sara Grove: That’s so interesting. I know that you’ve talked about it in your book and you’ve mentioned it here too that there is kind of a link between elevated levels of lead and ADHD and ADHD symptoms.   

Deborah Merlin: Yes, in a particular part of my book I have 16 health care practitioners contribute chapters on the various causes of insulations for treating ADHD.  And there’s a mother, she is also a homeopathic , who shares her story in my book: her son had developed autism and it turned out he had very elevated levels of lead in his body.  She was living in a new home so the lead wasn’t coming from her home, but she found when researching in her home that it was coming from the dinner plates.

Sara Grove: No way!

Deborah Merlin: Yeah, she had purchased a new set of dinner plates when her son was a baby from a department store, and it had elevated levels of lead, and that’s where her son was being exposed. He happened to be very sensitive to heavy metal so she had to take him to be chelated.  And you asked before, have you got the heavy metal out of the body where kids have real high levels of chelation therapy where they do an IV first and they push the heavy metal out of your body.  There is also a chapter in my book about Doctor Vitar. I believe he practices in North Carolina or in that area, but he was doing chelation therapy for autistic kids back in the ‘80s and he stopped doing it because the mothers were so overly emotional, he couldn’t take the emotions from the mothers. Then his wife gave birth to a son and he got all the vacations and his son developed autism, so he knew from his education that it had to be from the vaccinations. And here is where it gets really interesting: sometimes when you test for heavy metal nothing will come out, nothing will show up, and that’s because the body is not releasing the heavy metal from the body naturally, and it wasn’t until the fourth time he did chelation therapy on his son and tested him that the heavy metal finally showed up, and it was like 400 times the body recommendation.

Sara Grove: Wow, four times?

Deborah Merlin: It took four times before it actually comes out. Now his son is fully cured, but so often those tests can be deceiving and a child that is really autistic or have really severe symptoms, in all likelihood it’s from heavy metal toxicity. That’s why it’s really critical to keep on testing and that’s the reason why the kids turn autistic in the first place; it’s because the body can’t naturally detox from these heavy metals. But after several chelation therapy pushes, he did recover. And genetically modified food is one other issue too.  The pesticides and the herbicides that are in these foods, they can’t be washed off. There have also been several studies that, yes pesticides can cause ADHD as well.  

Sara Grove: That’s so fascinating. So taking your sons off dairy was kind of your first major breakthrough and you were like, “Wow! There is power in this alternative stuff.”  Like I look at the results that you got just from that one change and doing heavy metal toxicity and addressing those elevated levels, and then it sounds like one of your most significant breakthroughs, especially with your one son, was with the amino acid therapy. And so is that something you would recommend for most people to explore, at least get the test done?

Deborah Merlin: I would, because amino acid, since it’s quite common and because we live in a very toxic world now. I know your audience is probably very well aware that processed foods seem very healthy but you are basically feeding your children dead food and the brain can’t thrive; the body can’t thrive on a toxic diet.  So it’s really critical to nip it in the bud, to prevent it in the first place. Again the parents need to be tested and detoxed before they start a family. But in my book I list resources for all the different tests and many other contributing factors to ADHD, and the main test I would recommend are amino acid efficiency, Candida, and heavy metal analysis.  Those are the three big ones, but seizures need to be ruled out too, and insurance companies should cover that for the most part. Sometimes they don’t, but if the doctor is persistent enough they may. On my website there is resource link for these tests as well.

Sara Grove: Yes, that would be great. We should include the link with the interview so people can go and enjoy some of those resources.  Out of curiosity, how are your boys doing?

Deborah Merlin: They are 26 years old.  They are healthy, they are doing great. They are fine. One of the twins, he is like my philosopher; he is very sweet, he’s the one who was really sick. He loves computers.  He is your typical 21st century nerd kid. The other one who they thought was autistic: he has the best social skills.  He is very personable, he is funny, he is charming. So they are really doing well.  

Sara Grove: At what age did you discover the amino acid therapy?

Deborah Merlin: The amino acid therapy was at 12, when the boys were having the seizure activity.

Sara Grove: And was that a major turning point for you and your family?

Deborah Merlin: That was huge.  That…I can’t tell you how strongly that made the difference. That was the biggest breakthrough.  The amino acids were what prompted me to write the book, because I had been taking my kids to the pediatrician and he had actually recommended a neurologist for my son.  I took my son to a neurologist and she thought his tics were stress related. What she was actually saying was that there was nothing wrong with his brain so she didn’t recommend for him to be tested for seizures, and it was my holistic doctor who recommended that, because he said that it’s very common; up to 75 percent of autistic children have brain seizures. The one thing I did not know about, that I did not write about in my book, was oxygen therapy.  That is what I should put on my website too, because it’s very effective for autistic kids as well.  

Sara Grove: And what is the basic process of that?

Deborah Merlin: You go into an oxygen machine– the treatment is being used for cancer patients and stroke victims–it brings more oxygen into your body, but it actually helps your body heal. It brings more oxygen.  We need to breathe.

Sara Grove: Yes, the breath is critical.

Deborah Merlin: I don’t breathe properly most of the time. We must take time to take a deep breaths every day.  

Sara Grove: Yeah, there has actually been a lot of research, and it’s gaining popularity recently, with the kind of the resurgence of people recognizing how healthy meditation can be physiologically. But yeah, the immediate effects actually of taking some deep, slow breathing and stimulating the somatic nervous system and calming the body.

Deborah Merlin: Another big contributor I believe now to my kids’ symptoms–I know the prematurity definitely caused some delay–but what I also learned in researching my book is that if I know then what I know now I would never have had my kids vaccinated. In the book A shot in the Dark by Barbara Lowe-Fisher, she lists the following conditions to indicate when a vaccination should be withheld, including history of seizures or other neurological diseases  in the child or other family member, history of allergies to component tissue, vaccines such as AIDS, gelatin, pristine, and Primarasol which is mercury, premature birth or low birth weight–right there, that would disqualify my kids from getting any vaccinations. A chronic arthritic ailment, babies who are really sick or chronically ill should not get the vaccinations because their immune system is compromised and the vaccinations are very powerful, so any a parent or sibling with a vaccine reaction or a parent with severe reactions to a vaccination. I actually did not know this when my kids were younger, but fortunately, the hepatitis B vaccination was not available when they were born; they got it when they were four years old, and at that point it had mercury in it. So that probably helped triggered my son’s seizure activity. That could have been a contributing factor. Then they got the chickenpox vaccination when they were in second grade and they got the flu vaccination a couple of times. So no wonder why his symptoms were getting worse when he was getting older, because he was getting all these vacations.

Sara Grove: Yeah, it’s constantly being reintroduced.

Deborah Merlin: And the best thing for babies is breast milk. So if you want to build a baby’s immune system, that is the way to do it: breast feed your children, don’t shoot them up with vaccinations, especially because when the baby is born they have no immune system. Their immune system develops naturally through the mother’s breast milk and the vaccination artificially stimulates the immune system while the gut and the brain are developing.

Sara Grove: Wow. I love that you are throwing out some of these super important preventative kinds of measures. Just because your kids aren’t exhibiting symptoms or, like you said for parents that are planning a family or heading in that direction, these things like dietary choices, breast feeding your kids, doing your research and making an educated decision on whether or not to vaccinate your kids–all  these things are so critical for our long-term health.

Deborah Merlin: And another great tip too is if your child is exhibiting symptoms for ADHD, look at the state of their diet, because that’s usually the clue. What do they crave the most?  What do they ask for the most?  Because when one twin had the severe dairy allergy he always wanted to drink milk.

Sara Grove: Really!

Deborah Merlin: Of course I gave it to him because he wasn’t healthy.

Sara Grove: Yes, because it was building strong bones.

Deborah Merlin: Interestingly enough, we crave what we are allergic to.

Sara Grove: That is really fascinating.

Deborah Merlin: So that is a great clue for the parent to look at that first. Look at what your child is always asking for. I know one mother that I worked with, her son was  addicted to dry milk; it’s a common allergy, it gives major ADHD symptoms– and she never took him off it at all. She did not do that unfortunately.  So that is a great tip for parents.

Sara Grove: Right: so what do they chronically always ask for?

Deborah Merlin: The answer is it’s always right in front of you.

Sara Grove: That’s so interesting. So after the amino acid therapy, the some facial tics ran away? And things were  transformed and were very different for you guys. How soon did the people around you, like your sons’ teachers and your doctors and friends—did they notice right away?

Deborah Merlin: Yes they did. When the facial tic started my son was transitioned to another school, so I never really did get that feedback from his teachers unfortunately, but when we did the second QUEE to measure his brain, the seizures were gone.

Sara Grove: Wow!

Deborah Merlin: And amino acids are very powerful; they are the building blocks to life.  

Sara Grove: Right, absolutely. Your whole story and your whole experience is really just mind-blowing and encouraging. It’s becoming easier for people like you and resources like your Above Victory Over ADHD.  It’s becoming easier for people to find better answers for themselves and their families.

Deborah Merlin: And vitamin B3 too is another important vitamin and doctors routinely use that in their offices now. They are finding that vitamin B3 deficiency is common with autism and ADHD, and fortunately, vitamin B3 supplements are inexpensive, so that’s another helpful tip.  

Sara Grove: Yeah that’s a great one. As we wrap it up here, I guess I would just love to hear from your kind of experience or perspective; knowing what you know now, if you had gone back, if you could point out just a couple of things, two or three things that really stand out to you that you wish you would have known before you had kids?  

Deborah Merlin: I would not have gotten them vaccinated, I would have had my amalgam fillings removed, never introduced milk into their diets, avoided wheat gluten–that’s another one that’s becoming a contributing factor–and I would have fed them organic produce. Proteins are very important for breakfast foods, so give them protein for breakfast instead of artificial food coloring, because protein really does feed the brain. So those are the main things. I know I can’t turn the clock back, but I can hopefully get the message out there to other folks.

Sara Grove: Which is amazing. I am so glad you are doing that, and again we have mentioned it a few times, but anyone and everyone listening who would like more information and resources, do go to Deborah Merlin’s website, There you can find a link to go purchase her book which is an amazing resource, whether you have kids and are struggling with these symptoms of ADHD or autism or whether you are planning a family  and would like to educate yourself now. You mentioned links to different natural path doctors and some of the tests that you have mentioned. Is there anything else that they can access through there?

Deborah Merlin: Naturopath doctors are very educated on nutrition and homeopathy, and they should be able to order the amino acid test and tell the parents what amino acids to give the children. They can address the food allergies as well. So I think naturopath doctors are the way to go.  Although there are some doctors like DAN– D – A – N,  Defeat Autism Now–throughout the country as well; I don’t have the website on hand, but if you look it up I think it is DAN doctors or Defeat Autism Now doctors, there is a link there and you can find a doctor.  They are very aware of what tests and what diet modifications need to be done.   

Sara Grove: Okay, great, that’s super helpful. I guess for me a main takeaway, and I’ll be curious about your opinion, what has been important to me and one of the encouraging things from talking to you is that if you have a child who is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder or autism somewhere on the spectrum, that doesn’t mean that this is just the label that they are gonna carry for their life or that you just have to suppress the symptoms and manage it. Do you truly believe that there is hope for curing and recovering and getting to the root of these symptoms?

Deborah Merlin: Absolutely. The earlier the better but it is never too late.  My son was 12 when we found out that he was having seizures and the amino acids worked so beautifully. So it’s never too late. Don’t lose hope. Oxygen therapy is very cool to check out as well; so there are many resources out there, and thank goodness there is the Internet and Google.

Sara Grove: Right, it has definitely changed the world in a lot of ways that we are probably not aware of yet, but it is pretty amazing. Well thank you so much Deborah, thank you for sharing some of your wisdom and your story with us, and thank you for the encouragement and opening our minds so that we don’t have to take a diagnosis for yourself or your children as just their lifelong label to carry.

Deborah Merlin: And thank you Sara for having me on your Raw Food Magazine.

Sara Grove: Of course it’s a pleasure.

Deborah Merlin: Okay, thank you.

Sara Grove: Thank you so much.

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Connect with Deborah

We invite you to connect with this courageous and knowledgable woman and let her know what you learned from her interview!  You can connect with Debora and find many free resources on natural treatments for ADD and ADHD here:


How do you purchase your own copy of Deborah’s game-changing book Victory Over ADHD?

Click here to order a copy on Amazon.

Click here to purchase a copy from Barnes & Noble.


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Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day 🙂

-your rfm team


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