Epilepsy Conference Toronto: Andrew-Reiter Treatment Discussed

Epilepsy Conference Toronto – October 14, 15th, 2011

The conference is sponsored by John Park & Ellen Novack.

We are sponsoring this conference in the hope that this treatment, the Andrews-Reiter approach, will reach other patients and parents, so they will not have to go through what we experienced for the first 13 years of our son’s epilepsy.

Life had been good to us: three great kids, beginning a new business and good health. We seemed to be living a charmed life. This all changed with our son Trevor’s first seizure at the age of 13, when he was in the car on the way to watch his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs play hockey.

Soon our interactions with the world of neurologists and medication began. Initially we were assured it was probably something Trevor would grow out of, and in fact there were good periods where he would go several months without a seizure, and everyone’s nerves would calm. Then more seizures would hit, sometimes coming in clusters.

We ran through the gamut of pediatric and adult neurologists as Trevor got older. The doctors ranged from incredibly caring and helpful to arrogant, aloof and, worse yet, indifferent to our son’s condition.

Unhappy with the options in Canada, we travelled to leading centers in Boston and New York. It was disappointing that there was little difference between the two systems when it came to treating epilepsy. Basically: Try drugs, first individually, then in combination. If that doesn’t work, increase the dosage. And if that doesn’t work, well, maybe you would be one of the lucky ones to qualify for brain surgery.

By this point we were fed up that only drugs and surgery were the standard approach to treat this condition. Luckily during our research we stumbled upon an article by Joshua Kors called “The Talking Treatment.” The article, written for his master’s thesis at the Columbia School of Journalism, outlined his personal experience as a teenager being treated at the Andrews-Reiter Epilepsy Research Center in Santa Rosa, California.

As we were scheduled to be in New York, we emailed Joshua, and he kindly consented to meet us for lunch to discuss his experience with the A-R program. Our lunch turned into a three-hour conversation, and Joshua more than convinced us that this was worth a shot, as it had helped him tremendously. Three weeks later we were in Santa Rosa.

Dr. Donna Andrew’s program had an immediate, positive impact on Trevor. She taught him to become aware of the factors that triggered his seizures and showed him how he could abort seizures before they began. Donna also treated us for our fear–fear every parent of an epileptic understands.

Over the next few month, as Trevor worked through the program and Andrews’ workbook, we watched as his frustration and anger dissipated, and his outgoing, friendly personality returned.

His drug regiment was gradually reduced under medical supervision. Now he no longer needed to sleep 16 hours a day, as he did with the heavy dose of medication. His brain has started to emerge out from under that drug stupor.

Our resolve to host this conference has only been reinforced by the wonderful testimonials we have received from patients of Dr. Andrews and Dr. Reiter. Their stories, like Trevor’s, are remarkable.

For more informaiton, go to http://www.epilepsyconference.com

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About Arlene Martell

Arlene Martell is the publisher of EpilepsyMoms.com and the author of Getting Adam Back – A Mother's triumph over Epilepsy and Autism. She resides in a seaside suburb on Vancouver BC Canada with her husband James and their four children Adam, Justin, Shelby and Victoria.