By Dr Lisa Phillips-Leece, Clinical Psychologist, Cert Nursing; B.A.Psych; Hons Psychology; M.Psych.Clin; Doctor.Clin.Psych; M.A.P.S Member
“Naturally Better” is a book about a beautiful boy. But it is also much more. It’s a book about a mother’s love and a family’s dedication. It is also a comprehensive resource made available to the fingertips of all parents who want their children (challenged or not) to be “Naturally Better”.
As a mother myself who has, at best, only dabbled in natural interventions for my son who suffers with chronic and severe eczema, I now know what to do with all those potions in my pantry. I have had first-hand experience of how the very treatment (western medicine) of my son’s condition brought about a more life threatening illness (adrenal gland suppression) that almost killed him this year. As such I was keen to read kristen’s book.
Kristen Morrison’s 3rd child, Gryffin was born with Down Syndrome. But, this malady did not stand in this mother’s way of giving her baby a wonderful start to life filled with the advantages of health and normality, unconditional love and emotional wellbeing.
Kristen Morrison is a remarkable woman, mother and writer. The pages of her book “Naturally Better” turn themselves. In her book, she makes learning about the availability of natural interventions for all children so easy.
As a Clinical Psychologist, I see families regularly who struggle with children who have serious diagnostic, developmental and behavioural challenges. I am highly aware of the importance of health to a child’s mood, self esteem, peer relations, emotional wellbeing and intellectual functioning. I am also acutely aware that healthy happy children have a better chance of becoming healthy happy adults. Kristen provides parents with a road map to guide them towards better outcomes for their children.
The psychology used between Kristen and Gryffin is remarkable … “your body has a problem … lets work together” is a beautiful story between mother and child… a beautiful relationship. Kristen treated the cause not the symptoms.
Kristen shares her incredibly insightful decision to withhold Gryffin’s diagnosis from friends for some time, because she knew the emotional impact that the potential influx of mournful letters of commiseration about Gryffin’s arrival and chromosomal makeup would have on her dear little boy. How sad for Gryffin to be looking through his memory box as an adolescent or a young adult and read about how sad people were about his arrival and his genetics. Kristen lovingly and astutely protected him from having to experience this negativity.
As Kristen points out, what Gryffin needs is unconditional love just like any new born baby, not woeful looks and attitudes.
Kristen generously exposes herself to the reader about her issues of grief, guilt, need for support, when to tell her child about his condition, and the importance of Gryffin’s physical appearance for integration and social acceptance, in all it’s rawness.
Despite being faced with negativity and dismissiveness from medical professionals (e.g. being told by a paediatrician “[you] need not waste money on Omega 3’s … instead [you] would be better buying [your] family a big plasma TV because the next few years would be really rough”) Kristen did not give up on her little boy. Instead, she ravaged all available information, knowledge, resources and services in search of the healing combination. While reading this book I was reminded of the story of “Lorenzo’s Oil” in which the mother embarked on a similar journey of research and scientific trials in order to help her son.
Throughout this book, Kristen’s love and humour are palpable. This book is a must read for all parents. It is up there with Dr Greene and Kaz Cooke.