(From left) Terry holding Berkley (4), Johnna, Bridger (11)
(Front center) Carson (9)
Carson is a happy, social, independent 9-year old from Spooner, Wisconsin. However, she hasn’t always been this way. As a toddler, Carson had severe attachment issues; she always wanted to be by mom, had numerous “security items” that she carried with her wherever she went, and at preschool she always needed to be close to her teacher. Her behavior exhibited the symptoms of agoraphobia, which is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.She had anxiety of eating in front of other people, and was adamant about wearing the same clothes every day. Carson also showed signs of OCD. She needed to have all her stuffed animals on her bed in the right places, made sure everything on her shelves didn’t move an inch, and kept a rigid night-time routine before bed.
Carson’s parents, Johnna and Terry, also have two other children; a son named Bridger, 11, and 4-year old daughter, Berkley. Johnna and Terry initially thought this was just a phase that Carson was going through, “It wasn’t until we realized she was having dark thoughts did we really start to have serious concerns about her well-being”. At age 5, Carson started sharing thoughts with Johnna about her parents killing her and her siblings. She also had thoughts about odd things like woodpeckers getting into our house and pecking her mother to death. She would say things like “Mommy, I know I can pray and talk to God about my worries but sometimes I don’t think he will help me because I think I am Satan’s girl.” As Christians, these remarks were very troubling for Johnna and Terry. Carson also became very critical of other people; the way they looked, the way they dressed, and she felt bad for having these critical thoughts about people. She often got down on herself for being a bad person. As Johnna was relaying these memories back to us, she stopped and said, “Wow, we’ve come such a long way”
In February of 2012, 7-year old Carson started seeing nutritionist Karen Hurd of Fall Creek, Wisconsin. Hurd created a nutrition plan after consulting with Carson and Johnna, which they began in February of 2012. Johnna and Terry began to see real results just by changing what foods she ate and omitted from her diet. Then, Carson started her Neurological Reorganization (NR) therapy with Bette Lamont in Minneapolis, Minnesota, “The combination of the nutrition plan and the NR made a very noticeable difference by the 4th month of therapy”, Johnna told us.Although they had to travel 120 miles each way to have this therapy done, Carson’s parents were willing to do whatever it took to help their daughter. When doing NR therapy, Bette first assesses gaps in development and then prescribes developmental movements that help the brains of children like Carson’s get back into a healthy and functional state.
Over time, Carson’s parents saw less anxiety in their daughter, and the dark thoughts have vanished. Carson began easing up on her OCD habit and she became comfortable changing outfits day to day, which Johnna told us, “For our daughter, it’s a big deal!” Johnna said that she and her husband are very happy that they made to effort to find an alternative method for helping Carson besides using hefty medications and drugs. They see the NR therapy as a healthy and permanent fix, opposed to drugs, which are commonly a quick, short-term fix for children who face anxiety and many other mental illnesses.
Carson, now 9, still checks up with Bette every three months to see how her progress is coming along. When asked to summarize the difference she’s seen in her daughter since the NR therapy, Johnna told us, “She’s like a different child! She was caged in, trapped by her anxieties and now she is set free to live the happy, joyful, carefree life a girl her age should be living!”