"Blossom" Star Jenna Von Oy Struggles with Motherhood

David Livingston/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jenna von Oy hit it big playing Six, the quirky best friend on the hit sitcom, Blossom.

The actress, 35, is a mother to 10-month-old daughter Gray.

Von Oy, who also starred in the sitcom The Parkers, admits that motherhood might be her toughest role yet and that it can be overwhelming.

“When you have your child throwing up on your shoulder, and your dog is puking on the couch in the other room, and you’re not really sure what to do first, those are really the frustrating days,” she said.

Voy Oy echoes such feelings on her own blog and as a celebrity mommy blogger for People magazine, where she chronicles the challenges of being a first-time mother.

“It is a constant adventure,” she said of the experience.  “It is crazy-making, wonderful, terrifying, and phenomenal all at the same time.  On any given day, I -- she and I both might be crying, or we both might be laughing.”

Von Oy said she hopes her blog can show other mothers that they’re not alone.  Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ senior medical contributor, said that can make all the difference to someone.

“I think for a lot of mothers they have an idea of what motherhood will be like and pretty quickly reality sets in … Support is key,” Ashton said.

Von Oy acknowledges that she might never achieve parenting perfection, but she’s trying.

“In the middle of … you know, a day where she’s teething, and things are not the easiest, is it more difficult than I imagined?  Sure.  But the surprises really are the best parts of parenting, I think,” she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Oklahoma Dentist's Former Employee Unknowingly Broke Law

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A former employee of the Oklahoma dentist accused of exposing thousands of patients to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C told ABC News that he sent her to Dallas for an anesthesia training program to learn more about intravenous anesthesia.

What he didn't tell her was that putting those skills to use in Oklahoma was illegal.

"My understanding is that after we were properly trained, we could start an IV," said Dr. Wayne Scott Harrington's former dental assistant, who worked for Harrington in the 1990s and asked to remain anonymous to protect her identity.  "A little jug of the sedative drug sits on the side of the chair and he'd be like 'give one,' 'give two,' and you just are giving one cc, two cc's.  It's always dictated by him what to give them."

On Friday, the Tulsa Health Department sent 7,000 warning letters to the patients of Harrington, an oral surgeon with practices in Tulsa and Owasso, informing them of an investigation into Harrington's practice and advising them to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The dentist's alleged practices came to light after a patient tested positive for HIV and hepatitis C, and had no known risk factors.  State health officials traced the infections to the dentist.

Investigations by the state dental board, the state health department, the state bureau of narcotics and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency are just getting underway, and Harrington could face criminal charges, Susan Rogers, president of Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, told ABC News.

The thing that "stunned" Rogers most during the investigation was that Harrington's dental assistants were administering anesthesia, which is illegal in Oklahoma, she said.

According to the Oklahoma Dental Act, only the dentist can administer intravenous anesthesia.  A certified registered nurse can administer it, too, but only under the supervision of a dentist.

"No one else in a dental office is even allowed to use a needle on the exterior of a patient in a dental office except the dentist," Rogers said.  "Dental assistants can't do anything with needles at all."

Harrington's former employee called ABC News to defend her old boss because she thought being sent to Dallas for the two-day American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons course on anesthesia assistance in 1995 was a sign Harrington invested in his employees' education.

Indeed, the course was -- and still is -- the highest level of education the association offered, said its associate executive director of practice management and governmental affairs, Karin Wittich.  In some states, taking the course is enough to be legally allowed to assist with anesthesia, but they expect attendees to abide by state laws, she said.

Rogers said dental assistants can't set up IVs or push sedation drugs into patients in Oklahoma.  Since anesthesia is only supposed to be administered by a dentist, the assistants were technically practicing dentistry without a license, which was a misdemeanor in 1995, but has been a felony since 2005.

"Why would you let an assistant with no training other than a weekend class do anesthesia when it's required for you to be a doctor to do that procedure?" Rogers asked.

Oklahoma has between one and four fatalities a year "directly related" to anesthesia procedures in dental offices, Rogers said.

"For that lady to call and say she did that, I'm sorry our statute of limitations doesn't go back further," she said.

But Harrington's former employee said she had no idea it was illegal.  She said she didn't think Harrington knew either.

"I'm still praying that all this comes back positive for him," she said.  "He was a great guy to work for, so I'm floored and very defensive about all this stuff they're coming up with.  Either things have really changed in that office or they're digging really deep for dirt."

The former employee said she "bawled" on the day she left Harrington's practice for a job closer to home.  Despite the allegations against Harrington, she said she would bring her children to see him today if they needed oral surgery.

She said she suspected that even though it's illegal for dental assistants in Oklahoma to help with anesthesia, dentists other than Harrington probably allow them to administer it, too.  She said she doesn't know a single oral surgeon who has a registered nurse on staff, and that surgeons likely often ask their assistants to handle anesthesia when they're in the middle of surgery and have bloody gloves.

"It's common sense to have someone with available hands as opposed to you breaking surgery, getting the vial, getting anesthesia, then going back," she said.  "He would never, never harm anybody."

Harrington's lawyer did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Report: ADHD Diagnoses Up More than 50 Percent in a Decade

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Twenty percent of high school-age boys and 11 percent of school-age children have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, according to an analysis of data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The data, compiled and published by the New York Times, is raising eyebrows among medical professionals, many who are concerned the diagnosis and corresponding medications are overused in the U.S.

ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser said he doubts the numbers are an accurate reflection of the state of our young people.
"The numbers that they come up with, nearly 20 percent of high school boys having this diagnosis, are really shocking and very surprising to me as a pediatrician.  I would be very surprised if 1 in 5 high school boys truly has attention deficit disorder," he said.

Definitive testing does not exist for ADHD, a disorder estimated to have affected between three and seven percent of children, the New York Times reports. Patients are only diagnosed after undergoing a subjective process that includes speaking extensively with professionals.

The report claims there has been a 16-percent increase since 2007 in children ages 4-17 who have received an ADHD diagnosis. In the past decade, diagnoses for children in that age group have grown by 53 percent. The New York Times reported that physicians have prescribed medications like Ritalin or Adderall for about two-thirds of those currently diagnosed.

Some experts welcome these findings as an indication that the disorder is now more widely accepted and recognized. Dr. Besser said the goal of many parents of children diagnosed with ADHD is to get medication to improve school performance.
"People perform better on tests when they're taking a stimulant medication," he said. "Children who have behavioral issues often behave better when they are on these medications. So rather than improving situations in schools, you will see many children end up on these stimulant medications."
But these stimulants are strong and can lead to other problems, Besser warned. "[T]hey have side effects, and they can also be diverted into situations where there can be addiction and abuse," he explained.

Dr. William Graf, a pediatric neurologist in New Haven, Conn., and professor at the Yale School of Medicine, told the Times that he believed the numbers were "astronomical."

He told the newspaper, "Mild systems are being diagnosed so readily, which goes well beyond the disorder and beyond the zone of ambiguity to pure enhancement of children who are otherwise healthy."

And the numbers could continue to rise. The Times reports the American Psychological Association is set to change the definition of ADHD to open up opportunities for more people to receive the diagnosis and treatment.

The CDC findings were part of a larger study on children's health issues, taken between February 2011 to June 2012.  It involved phone interviews with more than 76,000 parents across the country.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Toddlers Obsessed with iPads: Could It Hurt Their Development?

Tooga/The Image Bank(NEW YORK) -- Liana Vilanova can't even sit up yet, but her father is already cheering his 2-month-old's digital prowess, praising her for interacting with an iPad app.

There are dozens of proud parents sharing their infants' touch screen skills in videos posted on YouTube, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over their kids as they interacted with various apps. Babies are transfixed by iPads, so when the device shuts off or is taken away, YouTube videos show them going into full-fledged tantrum, screaming and crying for the device.

Beth Brooks put an iPad in front of her 10-day-old baby, Alex, to see how he would react.

"I guess I just didn't think it was going to hurt, so why not give it a try," she said. "And he seemed to like it."

The iPad didn't exist until three years ago, so there is no hard data yet on the effects the device might have on a child's development.

But could all of the electronic play be hurting kids' developing brains -- shrinking their attention spans, stunting their social skills or ruining their eyesight?

The Klaus family of Whitehouse Station, N.J., is a very modern family. Devon, 9, Delaney, 7, and Dalton, 4, are savvy digital divas, fluent in iPhone and iPad apps.

"From a distraction perspective, if we go out to eat, which we never do, and they are out of control, we can whip [the devices] out and they will be completely distracted until the food arrives," said their mother, Sharla Klaus.

ABC News wondered what would happen if the Klaus kids would go iPad- and iPhone-free for a month, quitting cold turkey -- no devices for 31 days.

"That means you have to entertain yourself outside or in the playroom," Sharla Klaus told the kids.

The girls were left to play with their analog toys and had to resort to imaginary play. At one point, Devon and a friend played with a pretend iPad.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Klaus kids fought a lot more without the devices to occupy them, but some child psychologists said those sibling squabbles are healthy socialization.

At Barnard College's renowned Center for Toddler Development, child development experts invited Nightline behind a two-way mirror where they were observing several young kids and monitoring their reactions to traditional toys versus an iPad, taking note of how the kids reacted after the iPad was taken away.

The center tested for "distractibility" by having researchers call out the names of the children who were playing with iPads and noted how readily the children responded. Many of the kids were so zoned in on the apps they were playing with, they didn't respond to the researchers at all.

The only toddler who managed to resist the iPads' magnetic pull was a little girl named Viv, who never fully tuned out her environment. She had a full conversation with a researcher while creating a make-believe world of her own.

But once the iPads were confiscated, the researchers believed the toddlers transformed into more verbal, more social and more creative creatures.

Tovah Klein, the director of Barnard's toddler center who specializes in toddler social and emotional development, said the kids were much more active when the iPads were taken away.

"You see how much their vocabulary has gone up and they are talking to each other," she said.

Researchers said imagination needs to be exercised like a muscle in order for creativity to be developed. Over time, children's play became more elaborate and three-dimensional.

Klein said the more parents use iPads, smartphones or similar devices to calm their kids down, the less likely the kids are to learn how to calm themselves down naturally. In other words, if kids are constantly pacified with an iPad, they won't be learning the skills to come down from a tantrum.

Studies show that hours and hours of screen time doesn't do any real harm to a kid's eyesight. But it is associated with behavioral problems down the road, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages "passive screen time" for kids under age 2.

But tablets are not passive, they are interactive, and that's the intriguing twist. In fact, a recent report from the Millennium Cohort Study, a long-term research project in England that has been following the lives of 19,000 children born in 2000 and 2001, showed that toddlers do learn better from interactive media.

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street, has been developing educational apps designed as interactive.

"I'm trying to create content to engage you to interact with your child and so you can extend the learning," said Rosemari Tuglio, the vice president of education and research for Sesame Workshop.

Tuglio said the apps don't just teach letters and numbers, there is more social interaction with characters like Elmo.

As for the Klaus girls, they were thrilled to be reunited with their digital devices, even though, after a month of electronic deprivation, Devon learned an old-fashioned craft: sewing.

"I had free time to do that, like in the morning I started off doing it," she said. "But now, since I have my iPad, I probably won't do that. But I will still use my sewing machine."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Wounded Soldier Kicked Out of Mall for Using Segway, Wife Says

WATE-TV(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) -- Master Sgt. Michael Trost went to his local Tennessee mall last week to do some shopping, buy a new pair of jeans and stop in a sports memorabilia store, all while riding his Segway, which the wounded veteran uses to get around.

Trost, 49, who is unable to walk long distances after suffering four gunshot wounds in his leg while serving in Afghanistan, had been at the Foothills Mall in Maryville, Tenn., for about 45 minutes, when a mall security guard came up to him and told him to leave, according to his wife.

"The security guard approached him and said, 'You've got to get that thing out of here,'" said Stephanie Trost.

Michael Trost had ridden his Segway inside the mall before without incident, so at first he thought the security guard was joking, his wife said, and kind of laughed about it.

"And the guy said, 'I'm not joking. Get that thing out of here,'" she said.

Stephanie Trost, who is also 49, said her husband then showed the security guard the handicapped sticker on the front of his Segway and told him it was "ADA equipment," meaning it was designated as a piece of handicapped equipment by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Trost said the security guard then told her husband he was "speeding" and he needed to leave.

Michael Trost, who has served in the U.S. Army for 30 years and was a member of the 489th Army Reserve Unit out of Knoxville, Tenn., was shot four times in the right leg while serving in Afghanistan last year, which left him with severe nerve damage. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his service.

He now suffers from chronic pain that inhibits him from walking for extended periods of time, Stephanie Trost said.

While Trost was receiving treatment for his injuries at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., he applied for a Segway through Seg4Vets, an organization that helps veterans with disabilities. Based on his injuries, the organization gave him a Segway last fall, Stephanie Trost said. His truck is even outfitted to haul the device from place to place.

"He can walk, his walking is just limited....He can't walk the length of the mall," his wife said. "[The Segway] gives him that mobility."

At other stores, Stephanie Trost said her husband will use an electronic wheelchair to get around, but the mall doesn't have them, so he brings his Segway. The incident at Foothills Mall was the first time his wife said anyone had raised complaints about her husband's Segway.

"He left. He was really upset and he called me from the parking lot," she said. "He is still saying he wasn't doing anything out of the norm."

After the incident, Stephanie said she called the mall twice to file a formal complaint and left messages, but no one called her back.

Nathan Weinbaum, the director of Veteran Affairs for Blount County, Tenn., told ABC News in a prepared statement that he had met separately with Trost and mall officials to discuss what had happened.

Weinbaum said mall officials told him the security guard received a call that a person was driving a Segway in an "unsafe manner" and that the guard did not ask Trost to leave the mall, only to slow down. He added that officials said the guard was a veteran himself, who did two tours in Vietnam and has a brother who is missing in action, and didn't know Trost was disabled.

Despite that, Weinbaum said he stands by Trost's story.

"I think the Foothills Mall should still send Michael a public apology," the statement said.

Both Weinbaum and Stephanie Trost said that mall officials claim they have 10 employees who issued "testimonies" regarding Trost's Segway driving, but would not release their names.

Requests for comment from the Foothills Mall general manager and security director were not returned. The mall's assistant general manager declined to comment and referred to Weinbaum's statement.

In a statement to ABC News' Knoxville affiliate, WATE-TV, mall officials said they "permit the use of battery powered scooters and Segways inside the shopping center by people with disabilities. They must be operated in a safe manner."

A spokeswoman for CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., the Foothills Mall's corporate office, would only say that the corporate office had been made aware of the incident and was working with local mall officials to sort out what happened.

When it first happened, all the Trosts wanted was an apology and some ADA training for mall employees, Stephanie Trost said. She and her husband met with an attorney Monday, but have not yet decided how to proceed.

"I kind of think somebody overreacted a bit and, even if there was any kind of concern, I think they could have approached it differently," she said, adding that if the mall can show them security video proving her husband was being reckless, then they would consider dropping the issue.

"This isn't about him being a veteran," Stephanie said. "This is about the rights of someone with a disability, that they have the right to use adaptive equipment so they can have normality without being harassed."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Paraplegic Athlete Ryan Chalmers to Push Wheelchair Cross-Country

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Ryan Chalmers may have been born with spina bifida and used a wheelchair his entire life, but he’s not letting that slow him down.

The 23-year-old from Churchville, N.Y., is a world-class athlete who competed in the 2012 Paralympics Games in London, and on April 6, he’s embarking on a new cross-country adventure.

Chalmers will be pushing his racing chair across the United States, from Los Angeles to New York, in a 71-day journey to raise funds and awareness for Stay-Focused, a nonprofit organization that conducts dive programs for disabled teens and young adults.

“I’ve been doing wheelchair sports ever since I was 8 years old,” Chalmers told Sam Champion on GMA LIVE! Monday. “I got into it very young. I’ve pretty much been training for these types of moments my entire life.”

As Chalmers makes his trek, he will be pushing the equivalent of two to three marathons a day.

When asked what Chalmers would say to disabled persons who are discouraged by their lack of mobility, he replied, “Just stay focused and never give up. This whole journey that I’ll be doing is to show people that being disabled, you are still able to do anything that you put your mind to. You’re not letting it hold you back.”

Chalmers says wheelchair sports are exactly like regular sports.

“We put our heart and soul into it. This is what I’m passionate about. I love what I’m doing and I’m no different than anybody else,” he said.

After Chalmers completes his journey on June 15, he will be back on GMA LIVE! to give updates on how it went. And in the meantime, you can follow his trip on PushAcrossAmerica.org.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Full-Face Transplant Patient Gets Married

Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- Dallas Wiens, the first U.S. man to receive a full face transplant, has married a woman who he met in a burn victims support group.

Wiens, 27, married Jamie Nash, 29, in Forth Worth, Texas, on Saturday with about 200 guests looking on.

Wiens suffered life-threatening burns to his head when the boom lift he was operating near a church drifted into a nearby power line in 2008.

The life-threatening accident and the 22 surgeries that followed left Wiens with a face void of features short of a lipless mouth and a small goatee.

In March 2011, a team of more than 30 doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists at Brigham and Woman's Hospital in Boston worked for more than 17 hours to give him a new face, complete with skin and the muscles and nerves needed to animate it.

The bride was badly burned on her arms and back in a 2010 car accident.

The wedding took place at the same church where Wiens was burned.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


New Bird Flu Strain Kills 2 in Shanghai

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SHANGHAI) -- Two men in Shanghai died after they became infected with a strain of avian flu not seen before in humans.

A Chinese woman who contracted the same strain of flu — H7N9 — remains in critical condition, according to a statement released Sunday by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission.

The commission also said it was unclear how all three had become infected but that they’d all showed the same symptoms: a high fever and cough, which later developed into severe pneumonia along with difficulty in breathing.

The two Shanghai men, 87 and 27 years old, became sick in mid-February and died in early March. The third case, a 35-year-old woman from neighboring Anhui Province, fell ill on March 9.

The older man’s two sons were reportedly sick with severe pneumonia at the same time as his illness. The younger son died in March, while the older son recovered and is now out of the hospital. The authorities did not find the H7N9 strain of bird flu in either of the sons, but they are still investigating whether there is any connection between the father’s illness and his sons’.

The commission said it doesn’t believe that the H7N9 strain of bird flu is spread easily among humans, stating that 88 people who were in close contact with the three victims did not appear to have been infected.

A failed government cover-up of the SARS – severe acute respiratory syndrome – epidemic has aroused suspicions, leaving some Chinese to question why the government waited 20 days to announce the two deaths from H7N9.

By way of explanation, the government said the H7N9 strain was new, and had yet to be included in China’s reporting system for infectious diseases. That’s why it took authorities longer to make the diagnosis and announce the results.

Medical experts have advised citizens to wash their hands more often and avoid having contact with dead animals to avoid infection.

In March, by coincidence, 110,000 dead pigs were fished out of the Huangpu River, the main source of drinking water for residents of Shanghai, China’s largest city.  The government has not drawn any connection so far.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Kevin Ware's Broken Leg Caused by Undetected Fractures?

University of Louisville(NEW YORK) -- Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware's horrific leg fracture was a freak accident that may have been exacerbated by previously undetected stress fractures.

"He came down hard, landing in an awkward way," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and a former sideline physician for the NFL's New York Jets. "That combined with an underlying bone issue or an existing stress fracture predisposes someone to this type of injury."

Tim Hewett, director of sports medicine research at Ohio State University agreed. He speculated that Ware's diet could have been deficient in vitamin D and calcium leading to more porous bones. That, combined with the constant pounding Ware endured through an entire season of basketball, may have created small stress fractures in the tibia and fibula bones in his lower leg, causing his bone to snap when he took a bad step.

"Watching the video tape over and over, I would not expect this type of fracture to occur. I suspect he had some risk factors that created some sort of bone deficit," he said.

Glatter said open fractures where the bone protrudes through the skin are exceedingly rare in sports.

"They're more commonly seen in car accidents where the shin smashes against the lower part of the dashboard or when someone jumps from a height like in parachuting," he said.

Hewett said that even in football, where athletes are more likely to hit at a high velocity with great force, open fractures aren't a common injury.

"You almost never see it in basketball, but you do see one or two a season in football," he said.

Ware, 20, underwent successful surgery at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis Sunday night to repair the open fracture of his right tibia that he sustained during Sunday's NCAA Midwest Regional final.

In an operation that lasted about two hours, his bone was reset and a rod was inserted into his leg to stabilize the injury as it heals. The puncture wound caused by the bone ripping through the skin in his lower leg was also closed.

Ware's injury is known as an open fracture because the fracture site was exposed to outside air. The injury was classified as a "compound" fracture, the most dramatic type of open fracture, because the bone broke through the shin and was plainly exposed as he lay on the court.

Compound fractures are a particularly dangerous injury, Glatter warned. "Any time you expose bone to debris, dirt and bacteria, the chance of infection is exceedingly high," he said.

An infection in the bone can lead to potential issues with bone healing. The wound must be cleaned and antibiotics administered as soon as possible after the injury has occurred, Glatter said, but even then chance of infection can remain high during the healing process.

The rod will remain in his leg as long as six months, depending on how quickly the bone heals. Nerve damage, loss of motor control and loss of function in the lower leg and foot are also possible complications, according to both Glatter and Hewett.

However, Glatter said that if Ware is generally healthy with no serious underlying medical conditions he could be back on the court within a year -- maybe even as soon as three to six months if his recovery process goes smoothly.

"This is a devastating injury but it doesn't have to end his career," Glatter said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Weird Food Allergy Stresses Moms, Baffles Doctors

Lana Rowe Photography(NEW YORK) -- Tyler Trovato loves his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a glass of milk, but if he diverges from that and only a handful of other foods, the 6-year-old goes into a fit of vomiting and lethargy so severe that he has to go to the emergency room.

The St. James, N.Y., first-grader is allergic to just about everything else -- chicken, turkey, rice, sweet potatoes and bananas, among others.  As a toddler, he was even allergic to his mother's breast milk and she was a vegetarian.

Since he was 18 months old, he has had to be hospitalized before he can try a new food.

If he ingests a food he is allergic to, Tyler begins to have stomach pains about two to four hours after ingestion and then vomits, sometimes so violently he bleeds.  Diarrhea follows and a then a shock-like response.

"He becomes pale, lethargic, doesn't talk and usually stumbles when he walks," said his mother, Jennifer Trovato, 37.  "When he reacts he needs fluids.  The hospital usually gives him saline, steroids and sometimes Benedryl.  He doesn't require an epi-pen but his allergic reaction can be life threatening."

Peanuts and dairy products are notorious offenders for children with food allergies, but few parents and doctors are aware of a much more insidious food allergy that many in the pediatric community have never heard of.

Tyler has food protein induced entercolitis syndrome or FPIES.  The allergy does not cause a typical immune response and therefore is often missed by pediatricians and allergists.

Experts have no idea how many children suffer from FPIES and there is no diagnostic code to help doctors identify it.

In FPIES, there is an allergic reaction in the gastrointestinal system.  The most common triggers are milk and soy, but any food -- even rice and oats -- can cause a reaction.

Unlike most food allergies, an FPIES reaction is delayed and usually begins two hours after ingestion of food culprits.

In an IgE mediated food allergy, a child develops symptoms almost immediately after eating.  And when blood and skin tests are carried out, there is a positive marker.

A non-IgE mediated food allergy like FPIES is especially difficult to diagnose because standard skin and blood testing for specific IgE are routinely negative.

Tyler saw two pediatric allergists and two gastroenterologists before anyone could figure out what was making the little boy so sick because all the standard allergy tests came back negative.  Finally, at 18 months, he was diagnosed.

"It was stressful for us as parents," said Jennifer, a kindergarten teacher.  "We knew there was something wrong.  Now we are part of a study and we are glad to do it, educating others."

The mother of another boy with FPIES, Fallon Schultz of Redbank, N.J., started the International Association for Food Protein Enterocolitis (IAFFPE) so that parents and doctors can learn more about these allergies.

Her son Landon, now 4, can eat only seven foods, along with elemental formula.

One of the association's goals is to obtain an ICD-9 code to help classify an FPIES diagnosis, assist researchers in tracking or identifying patients for clinical studies and to develop new treatments.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio