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updated 5/11/2012 12:34:18 PM ET 2012-05-11T16:34:18

A 9-year-old boy removed from his mother's custody after his weight ballooned to more than 200 pounds has slimmed down enough to return home.

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The boy, who was placed in foster care last fall and then with an uncle, lost about 50 pounds over four months through exercise and healthy eating. He was returned to his mother under protective supervision in March, and a juvenile court judge in Cleveland released him from that supervision Thursday.

Social service workers still plan on checking in with the boy and his mother in Cleveland Heights and have offered them nutritional and health counseling. The YMCA also gave the boy and his mother a free membership.

"That's the tremendous thing," said John Lawson, an attorney who was appointed by a judge to act as a guardian during the court proceedings. "Let's hope we never have to go back to court with this child."

The boy was removed from his family over health concerns and placed in foster care in October after Cuyahoga County case workers said his mother wasn't doing enough to control his weight. The county's Children and Family Services agency said it had worked with the family for more than a year before he was removed.

The boy was considered at risk for developing diabetes or high blood pressure. Government growth charts say most boys his age weigh about 60 pounds. He weighed as much as 218 pounds, but dropped to 166 pounds when he was with his uncle, Lawson said Friday.

He was placed in the custody of his uncle last December on the day he celebrated his ninth birthday. The goal all along was to get him back with his family.

The uncle took him to the gym three nights a week, Lawson said. He also began swimming and playing basketball and is doing well despite changing schools and homes several times in recent months, Lawson said.

The boy is continuing to exercise, and his mother recently found a job, which should help with the family's financial stability, Lawson said.

"Hopefully, everything is on track," he said. "You've got to be in a regiment to keep your weight down."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Mom: Breast-feeding kid, 3, ‘not for everybody’

  1. Closed captioning of: Mom: Breast-feeding kid, 3, ‘not for everybody’

    >>> back now at 8:09 with the controvey over "time" magazine's new cover story on attachment parenting . it shows a young mom breast -feeding her 3-year-old son. will talk to that mom exclusively in a moment. but first, wnbc's darne rodriguez has more on this intensive approach to parenting. darlene, good morning to you.

    >> good morning, savannah. for some women the idea behind attachment parenting might seem overwhelming, carrying a child all day, breast -feeding in some cases through the ddler years, even giving up space in your bed. it is the new extreme in brging up baby. parenting has never been easy. but it could be becoming more complicated from sheer numbers.

    >> jeremiah --

    >> reporter: to unusual feeding methods. how toproply raise a child is much discussed. and hotly debated.

    >> oh, honey, she's a baby.

    >> reporter: this morning "time" magazine hits newsstands with more fuel for the fire . an eye-grabbing cover story on the increasingly popular theory of attachment parenting . it is an intensive approach to motherhood built on the bonding foundations of breast -fding, right up throughoddlerhood in some cases. a family bed . wearing your baby. and attending to that baby's every cry. 72-year-old dr. bill seers is the man behind attachment parenting . raised by a single mom , his 1992 "the baby book" put a heavy emphasis on a mother devoting extraordinary time and energy to her baby. for some, it raises a red flag .

    >> whe you give a chi the feeling that the whole world revolves around th, it's not good training for the real world . because, the whole world doesn't revoe around anybody.

    >> reporter: the "time" cover is generating one of the biggest responses ever on today.com. in a poll we asked what you thin of the breast -feeding cover photo . more than 122,000 of you responded. with 27% saying it's great. and 73% saying, i don't really want to see that. savannah?

    >> all right, darlene rodriguez , thanks so much. jamie grumet and her 3-ye-old son are featured on the "time" magazine cover. they're here along with dr. bill seers and "time's" science editor who wro this article. goodorning to all o you. jamie , you knew that this was going to cause a stir. did you know it was going to cause as much of a ir?

    >> no. i doesn't think any of us were expecting it.

    >> but you wanted to make a point. and what point was that?

    >> the point -- yes, we knew actly what we were going to get into. i felt like our family was basically one of the better ones to handle this because my mom's -- yeah, buddy? you want to go see daddy?

    >> he can walk over . you're saying you yourself were breast -fed untilou were 6.

    >> yes.

    >> attachment parenting is not just abo breast -feeding. it's also about letting the child sleep in your bed. basically, being with the child constantly. is that what your life is like?

    >> it is. and i mean i don't feel like that takes away from my own personal life . my relationship with my husband is very, very important to me. and i think that it gives my children a strong bond , too. so i think a lot of people say, you know, you can't really be, you know, intimate with your husban if you're cosleeping and that's just -- i mean those are kind of myths, too.

    >> dr. seers, let me turn to you, you more or less wrote the book on atchment parenting. you said you should ner just let a baby cry it out. you should wear your baby in a sling all the me.

    >> actually, i you came in to my office as a new parent and said dr. bill i want a parenting pill that's going to turn out a happy, healthy, well-connected, super baby, just a connected baby, who gives you eye coact. i've never yet seen an attachment parented baby who's become achool bully. and i'd say practice attachment parenting . d those baby "b"'s, breast -feeding, baby wearing, beware of baby trainers that will try i out crowd and balance, something good for mom and baby.

    >> but dr. sears i know you know what your critics say, which is that this takes a good thing, mother and child bondin and takes it to the extreme. and in some cases my undermine child vl esteem.

    >> that's why we put balance. it's not extreme. if you were on an island and you had noother-in-law, no psychologists, no doctors around, no experts, this i what you would naturally and intingively do to give your baby the best invement you'll ever get.

    >> let me turn to you. this article touches on every hot button sue of parenting. and i think a lot of moms might come away with the thought, boy, if i can't do this, if i have to work outside the home, am i somehow harming my child ? exactly. and just one correction, the piece was written by kate piccard, one of our most inexhaustible writers and onef the points that she makes in the story is that children and parents are unique to themselves and as dr. sears says, and quotes him saying, do the best with what you have. if you can't be the perfect attachment parent, if you work outside the home, then when you're home, this is your time to invest. so how best can you practice the closest possible bonding, the greatestossible nurturing with your child ? and still an serve the general tenets of attachment parents.

    >> jamie , let's go back to the cover --

    >> --

    >> talk about the cover because has made suc a splash. and you said you kne what you were getting into.

    >> i did. i did. and i understand somef the breast -feedingdvocates are actually upset about this.

    >> are they, why?

    >> because i feel like they don't show the nurturing side to attachment parenting . which is, you know, more -- this isn't how we breast -feed at home. you know, it's more of a cradling, nurturing situation, and i understand what they're saying. but i do understand why "time" chose this picture, you know, because it's going to be such a, you know, it did create such a media craze, to get the dialogue.

    >> you have another child who is 5. w long do you plan to breast -feed aaron who is almost 4 now?

    >> well, we're going to do weaning but i'm personally i'm hopingur fourth year, just for me, is probably going to be our final. he's self-weaning right now. and you know, it's a big commitment and it's not, you know, it's not right for everybody and i think that that's the bighing is you need to do what's best for your baby. and for your own family. so, if this, you know, you can take some of dr. sears attachment parenting philosophies, and you know, others, it's okay you're not a bad parent. your child will still be okay.

    >> thank you for sharing your experience, jamie . aaron you're done here. you get to leave now. thanks to all of you. appreciate it. and coming

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