Posts tagged ‘hyperactivity’

June 8, 2011

Square Pegs Don’t Fit Into Round holes

It’s Wednesday, a hot Wednesday here in Maine.  We have been in the house all morning and I’m getting restless.  I have days when I just don’t want to stay home, I want to get out into the world and discover new things or explore places I’ve been to many times.  These days just sort of pop up and usually I don’t have any prior warning that they are going to happen.  Another thing that normally happens on these days is The Little Girl wants to stay home.  Some times I go on an adventure and other days, like today, I just stay home and enjoy being there with her.  With it being so warm today I didn’t mind not going on an adventure.

Staying home gave me time to think about some things that have been on my mind for a while now.  Beginning with whether or not we can afford for me to continue to stay home and home school The Little Girl.  It is such a hard decision at this point.  I had made up my mind to go for it and then, you know, that thing called life seems to be butting in to the plan.  It seems that this economy has hit our one income household pretty hard, with gas prices, food prices of a Little Girl on a special diet, heating fuel prices, and the fact that The Dad hasn’t had any overtime in months, or travelled for work.  Unfortunately, we need for him to travel or work overtime to pay the bills at this point.  I am so torn on this.  I know that she would be better off staying home with me and learning at her own pace, but then I think of sending her to school, so that I could work and help The Dad be able to spend more time home with us and support our family financially.

The reasons we chose to home school are abundant. The Little Girl is un(officially)diagnosed ADHD, she was seen by a psychologist at almost 5 and he told us that there is a strong indication that she has it, but wasn’t going to diagnose her at that time.  The Dad has had it since childhood and so do his other children.  So, this is something I have just known and have accepted it for what it is.  I’ve researched and learned a lot about ADHD, and so has The Dad since having The Little Girl. She is a very active child and doesn’t sit still for very long, that would be the “H” in ADHD. Public school is pretty big on kids sitting for hours, not a good thing for a Little Girl who can do it for more than a few minutes at a time.

Our Little Girl is also very bright. The Psychologist said she was very precocious.  She is reading at a 1st grade level and isn’t even in kindergarten yet.  I’m not saying I think she is gifted, just that she is above average in reading and below average in other subjects. How does a public school fit a child like this into a class of 20 students?  I will be having her screened for kindergarten this summer whether she is going to go to public school or not, just so I can find out where she is educationally.  She has mild fine motor delay and sensory issues as well.  So, her grasp on a writing utensil is horrible and her trunk strength is lacking.  The Little Girl goes to Occupational Therapy once a week to work on these things.  These are other reasons we have chosen to home school. I think that she could work at her own pace in the different subjects, some ahead and some behind her public school peers, if we homeschooled.

I know many families home school for religious reasons, and I do to some extent, as well, but it’s not my main reason.  I need to get my head around that part better than I have it now.  I want for our family to have a relationship with God, but as of yet we haven’t looked for a church to fit our family.  I feel led to home school The Little Girl, and truly think it is what would be best for us, but there is a part of me that feels compelled to work, somehow, to help out The Dad with supporting our family.

The Dad went through school having ADHD and being treated horribly because of behaviors that he couldn’t help.  His having these memories of school and having had the love of learning beat out of him makes him want something different for his Little Girl.  He is afraid of her being labeled as a behavior problem, when she is simply an out of the box thinker.  Many of the men and women who have done great things in the world have been out of the box thinkers with ADD.  Why should we try to contain these children’s natural ability just to fit them nicely into a round hole when they are indeed a square peg?  It’s these square pegs that are going to change the world, give them the resources to make their dreams and wishes come true.

If anyone has any suggestions in this situation please bring them to me. I could use as many thoughts on this dilemma as I can get.  I will be taking it to God again and praying on it until the right answer comes to me.

Thank you and God Bless!

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April 26, 2011

What are we feeding our kids? Food or chemicals?

This is my first post ever…………

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how messed up food in the United States really is.  There almost seems to be more chemicals in our food than there is “REAL” food.  It infuriates me that it isn’t that way in Europe.  I recently watched a video of Robyn O’ Brien doing a presentation about her story and the food industry in the United States.

She is being called the Erin Brockovich of Food. Her question is one  I have often pondered myself, What has been added to our food that just wasn’t there when I was a kid 30 some years ago? There has been such a rise in food allergies, intolerance or sensitivities lately it just makes you wonder WHY?

You may be wondering why I am so interested in this issue, well a bit of background is necessary.  I am the mom of a now 5-year-old girl, who we now know has sensitivities to artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and even something naturally occurring in foods that a mom would never think would be harmful to her child, salicylates.  Salicylates are naturally occurring aspirin like chemicals that are found in many fruits and vegetables that we serve our children everyday. In the plants they act as a natural immune hormone and preservative, protecting the plant from insects, fungi and disease.  So, having said that now you may be thinking what fruits and veggies have I been giving my kids that could be making them hyper, emotional, have asthma, eczema, dark circles under the eyes, poor concentration, irritability, poor sleep, mood swings and the list of symptoms just goes on and on.  Well, for my child some of the biggest offenders are the ones she would eat non-stop if I would have let her.  Apples, oranges, strawberries, grapes, pineapple, watermelon, tomato, cucumber and corn.  Now I just think about that list of fruits and veggies and all the ways they can be served, juices, salads, just fresh, popcorn, spaghetti sauce, pizza.  It just saddens me a bit that she can’t have many of the foods that I grew up on, because her little body can’t handle the chemicals in the food that is on our grocery store shelves, that we think is safe and healthy.  Luckily for us we found the Feingold diet and life has gotten better.  She has been on this diet for almost a year now and her behavior, hyperactivity, tantrums, etc have gotten better.  Now that isn’t to say that she is completely fixed because of this diet, but life is more tolerable now.  I think that there is still something we are missing, but we will get it all figured out in time.

We are taking a natural approach with her health.  I am not against medicine when used as a last resort, but I’m not going to take the easy road when it comes to my daughter’s health, and I do see that medicating her for her hyperactivity at this age is the easy road.  Don’t get me wrong some days I wish there was just a pill I could give her to get her to calm down and be “normal”, but she is worth the world to me and I just can’t do that.  I know that she has ADHD.  It hasn’t been diagnosed, but its in her genes, so it is inevitable.  I will try everything in my power before I choose to give her meds though.  I just think that they are given out like candy these days and we just don’t know what they are doing to these children’s little bodies, long-term.  I don’t judge other people for making that choice though.  It isn’t easy living with a hyper child who gets into trouble for being themselves.  It isn’t easy putting your child on a special diet that eliminates the “cheap” processed foods and replaces them with organic whole foods either,  it’s very expensive.

If I were to suggest one change to make in your child’s diet, it would be to remove all artificial colors from their food.  With the recent FDA hearings on artificial dyes and there possible links to hyperactivity, I’m sure that many parents have realized the connection.   This connection came to me back in the fall of 2008, my daughter was almost 3 years old then and I gave her some brightly colored sprinkles, they were primary colors (red, blue, green and yellow). Well within 20 minutes she was just bouncing off the walls uncontrollably.  There wasn’t anything we could do to calm her down.  This lasted for about 4 HOURS!! It was at this point that I looked at the packaging for the sprinkles and saw RED dye #40, and then did a google search and found all the articles linking this dye to hyperactive behavior.  This is also when we began the journey of eliminating all artificial colors from our diet.

We have decided to homeschool our daughter for many reasons and this chemical sensitivity issue is one of the biggest.  Its not just foods you have to watch out for, anything you put on, in or even near your body can cause a reaction.  Just think of a public school setting, there is glue, art supplies, the soap in the bathrooms, air fresheners, not to mention the school lunch.  The school lunch can actually be avoided, but the other things not so much.  So, we will homeschool and make the most of it.

Thanks for reading my first post and I can’t wait to hear your comments !