To Dana Kay, founder and CEO of Our Road to Thrive and the creator of the ‘ADHD Thrive Method 4 Kids’ program, nothing mattered more than having a normal life. But as her son started to grow, she realized that something was a little bit different with him.
Now a Board Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Practitioner, she’s dedicated to helping families reduce their children’s ADHD symptoms to restore calm and normalcy back into their family life. But before she was able to help any other family, she first had to start with her son and herself.
Life Before the Journey
“When I had my first child, I wasn’t always this passionate about nutrition and neurodevelopmental disorders. My field of expertise was far from it, in Business and Accounting. And for the longest time, I felt like a magician: I was effortlessly balancing a corporate career and a healthy family life. But when my son was 18 months old, and we moved from Australia to Singapore, I began to question whether there was something different with my son. He had an abnormal amount of energy compared to other kids and would have these huge tantrums frequently. I’d often ask his teachers whether this was normal for those his age, and they assured me, ‘Yes, he’s just a boy, it’s normal. He’ll grow out of it.’ But despite their reassurance, I still believed that something wasn’t quite right. I just didn’t know what it was.”
After moving to the US when her son was 4, she sought out a professional assessment from a developmental pediatrician. “After the evaluation, the doctor diagnosed him with ADHD,” Kay recalls. “He said there’s no doubt about it. My son was on the floor wrapped around the table leg while they were having the assessment. I always knew that ADHD was a possibility, even if nobody in my family had previously been diagnosed with it. Without a second thought, the doctor prescribed a stimulant medication. Not knowing what I know now, I agreed with the specialist’s treatment plan. I didn’t know any better. At first, things were great. He began to become a little calmer. He started sitting and playing with his brother, and it seemed like we found our solution. However, that didn’t last long. The doctor increased the dose from 5mg to 10mg, and then 15mg and again to 20mg.
But then, he couldn’t sleep. He started losing weight. He started to get extremely anxious. Instead of halting the prescription, my son was given even more drugs. They added another medication for his sleep problems and then a booster dose for the afternoon as the other ADHD medication started to wear off.
Don’t get me wrong; medication has its place. But to be constantly increasing a child’s dose of strong amphetamine medication, and to add additional medication to treat the symptoms that the other medication created, doesn’t feel right to me. By the time the doctor suggested the fourth medication to treat the symptoms of the other three medications, I was done. We could no longer continue on this path. There had to be a better way. And that’s how I started this journey.”
Her Startling Realization
In an effort to help her son’s symptoms the natural way, Kay began to pursue lesser-known options: The ones that she was never told about. “As I delved deeper into it, I realized that there were other options – they just weren’t being presented to me. I started researching and educating myself. I got my holistic health degree and obtained multiple specific certifications to help me specifically in this area. I read and studied everything that I could possibly get my hands on. I worked around the clock to feed myself with as much information as I could to see what other options are out there.”
She started by cutting gluten, dairy, and soy out of her son’s diet, as she read multiple studies and journals that cite their negative impact on gut, brain, and body health. According to Kay, the results were miraculous.
“Within two weeks, he was a different kid. His body calmed down, and from one day to the next, his behavior changed completely. This was a massive step for my son, and we were so grateful to see such drastic change,” she says. Motivated and knowing there was more to the picture, Kay took this as a sign to undergo functional lab testing. “We wanted to see just what was contributing to his ADHD symptoms from inside his body.
After a stool sample, the results indicated that not only did he have a parasite and candida overgrowth, he also had leaky gut,” Kay recalls. Taking things further, Kay identified that her son had compromised detoxification pathways and multiple food sensitivities that may have been aggravating his ADHD. “I knew that I needed to take out damaging foods or they’d continue to break down his gut. What people don’t know is that 95% of your serotonin, and 50% of your dopamine, is made in the gut,” Kay explains. “These hormones help regulate your emotions, maintain your mood balance and your cognitive function, something that kids with ADHD have trouble with. If your gut isn’t functioning well, you are not able to produce these critical neurotransmitters.”
The first thing that Kay did was implement a specific protocol for her son that revolved around diet, rest, exercise, stress management, and supplementation. “I knew that there was not just one thing that was going to help my son and that I needed to take a multifaceted approach. We committed to restructuring his diet and reducing his external and internal stress. It was a long, arduous path. But within four months, his symptoms subsided and I was able to take my son off of medication completely. Fast forward to today, and he hasn’t been on medication for years. He’s doing great at school, and his teachers don’t even consider him to be hyperactive or have behavioral issues. He’s 11, and he’s thriving.
Having undergone my journey, my passion is to help other families through Our Road To Thrive and the ‘ADHD Thrive Method 4 Kids’ to achieve the same results for their child, bring back peace and calm to their house and enjoy a normal family life. It took me years to get to where I am, building off of each and every experience and each and every certification. It was so hard for me to get to this point, and I am determined to help as many families as I can. It doesn’t need to be that hard for other people.”
Having been through it all, Kay reflects on just how far her family has come. “When I was in the thick of it with my son, all I wanted was to be able to bring peace back to my family life. We have that now. We don’t have to worry about what drama is going to unfold next or worry about receiving another call from his teacher about what my son has done this time,” she says. “My husband and I used to dream about going out for dinner and having a family conversation without electronic devices, and we now do this all the time. We’ve got it good, and it’s all thanks to making these dietary changes and following the path towards self-healing. What I want people to know is that there are other options out there. So many are suffering — all I want to do is get this out to everybody who wants a better life for their children and their family.”
A Better Life For Families
In an effort to make a lasting difference, Kay offers a step-by-step solution for those ready to reclaim control over their child’s ADHD. “The main way I serve families is through my program, ‘ADHD Thrive Method for Kids’, which provides all the tools and knowledge necessary to make dietary changes and fight symptoms with food and a natural approach over a period of 12 weeks. While they’re going through the program, I am there every step of the way — I hold their hand, answer all their questions, help them through all the obstacles and guide them towards success.”
According to Kay, diet is the foundation of everything. “If you’re building a house and you don’t have a solid foundation, your house will fall down. Your body is exactly the same,” Kay explains. She believes that any medication, any supplement, and any plan will be a waste of money without also making a crucial lifestyle change in the way that you eat.
“There are other options out there besides medicine. Medicine has its place, but it doesn’t have to be the only way. In my webinar, “The Four Secrets That Finally Reduced My Son’s ADHD Symptoms,” not only do I detail the exact dietary changes necessary for the natural relief of symptoms, but I encourage participants to book a free breakthrough call with me afterward to discuss their journey and their struggles. All we want to do is help people fight their child’s ADHD symptoms in the most effective and natural way. We’re not trying to sell. We just want to listen and be there for families in distress.”
Kay also offers support through her free-to-join Facebook group, the ‘ADHD Parent Nutrition Support Group.’ It’s an online community with over 12,500 members and counting. After speaking with countless parents in situations similar to her own, she reflects on just how deeply parents struggle when they don’t have the right support.
“What I’ve learned over the years is that parents can’t help but feel that, ‘This is not the life I dreamt that I would have.’ They start feeling guilty, and they can’t control it. This is how I used to feel, too. I would say to my husband, ‘I don’t like my son. I love him, but I don’t like him.’ And as a mother, it’s so difficult to admit that to yourself. But I share this with people because I want them to know they’re not alone,” she says.
Having helped families across the world, Kay has received shining reviews from no end of grateful parents. One parent shares their experience, “Our son’s attitude has changed almost 180 degrees. He’s able to engage with us and his brother and sister peacefully, whereas before, it was hard to even talk to him without him blowing up. His defiant behaviors are now almost non-existent. Kay is great, super responsive, and helps every step of the way.”
Kay believes that if you have the right person by your side leading you hand in hand, you’ve got the greatest chance of success. She notes, “My community helps people realize that they’re not the only ones going through this. I used to feel so isolated – my family and friends were supportive, but they never truly understood what it was like to have my child as a son. To promote that sense of unity and understanding in a community of people who can trust and open up to each other has been endlessly rewarding. I used to lay awake at night, wishing I had somebody who could take me by the hand and surround me with support.
As fate would have it, that’s now what I’m doing for others. What I have is what I used to dream, and that’s what I want for the families I help every day. My ‘ADHD Thrive Method 4 Kids’ step-by-step plan helps parents and children fight ADHD symptoms without the stress, and without the length of time that it once took me,” she says.
For those looking to make a change and improve their children’s lives, Kay is a bastion of hope for families everywhere.