Update on Bad Week

January 17, 2009 at 9:12 am (ADHD, autism, Children, Family, Life, photography) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Just wanted to let you know I updated the last post.  It’s a good thing!

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Bad week.

January 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm (ADHD, autism, Children, Family, God, homeschool) (, , , , , , , , , , )

fulldoublerainbowPsalm 56:3:
3What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

Well, after a great report last week, I’m afraid I can’t give the same for this week.  Levi has really pushed the limits at school.  He ended up in the office twice.  Numerous time-outs.  He “accidentally” kicked or hit two different students during times of hyperactivity.  The most frustrating thing is he is telling his teacher “no” or lying to the teacher.

I am still keeping a journal.  I am still implementing the diet.

I am wondering if God is trying to tell me to just go ahead and withdraw Levi from public school.  I mean, we have plans to homeschool starting in 1st grade, so why not now?

We have decided to give it till Friday.  Any more problems and homeschoolers we will be.

**Update:  I wrote this post on Friday before picking Levi up from school.  When I got him, I found out that he was GREAT all day long.  His teacher said he was calm, he did his work, he wasn’t hyper, & he even layed still at nap.  She said he was a totally different kid.

When we got home, he was the same.  He actually fell asleep in the van on the way.  We went to a skating birthday party, and he had a blast!  He didn’t want to leave and got a little upset, but he wasn’t the only one.

I have to conclude that something he has eaten affected his behavior.  Other than the kool-aid Sunday, I don’t know what it could be.  It’s really hard to know considering he is away from us more than he is around us when he eats.

How else can this be explained?

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How things are working out!

January 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm (ADHD, autism, Children, Family, God, Life, photography) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I started out this GFCF diet process, by trying to keep a journal of everything Levi eats.  Well, that didn’t work.  I just couldn’t keep up with it all.  I read in one of my books or research sites, that you really shouldn’t have to write everything down.  It stated that after an initial “withdrawal” period, in which behaviors can get worse, you should be able to just tell if your child is following the diet correctly.  You should be able to see such an improvement in him that there is no doubt it is a success.  Anything less than that and you might as well not follow the diet.  It’s just not worth all the work to see only minimal kickback.

Well, I’m happy to announce that I see the diet working!!  I’m not the only one either.  Other people in our lives have made comments about how they can tell a difference in him.

  • My Mom say’s he’s calmer and more in control of his actions than a few months ago.
  • Levi’s teacher says he seems to not be as active or impulsive and when he is, he backs up real quick & apologizes.
  • The staff at Church say that Levi is “back to his sweet self”.
  • I have noticed all these things in addition to he seems to have a huge understanding now of what we’re trying to accomplish with this diet thing.  He has amazed all of us with how he has taken control of his own diet, and will make sure that he knows it’s safe before he eats it.  Not even candy or sweets get by him!  But, the thing that most excites me is that he seems to show more empathy.  (Those of you with autistic children will completely understand why this excites me.)

I have to admit to some added benefits for the rest of the family.

  • I feel healthier and have less stomach problems when I eat foods only on the diet.
  • We are eating out WAY less than before, saving money by doing that, and eating more meals together at the table.
  • We are eating  healthier by keeping a pantry stocked with healthier snacks & foods.
  • I have enjoyed getting back to cooking, which I used to love!

I am praying hard that this positive momentum continues!  I’m sure we’ll have obstacles along the way, but with all the positives I’ve seen so far, it will be WELL worth it!

I want to thank God most of all!  I should have been listening to Him from the beginning and we would have never even tried the drugs!

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Is the diet working?

December 19, 2008 at 3:44 pm (ADHD, autism, Children, Life) (, , , , , )

The last few days have been really tough.  I guess the last few weeks actually.  Levi’s behavior is crazy!  Since Monday, the school has called me 3 different times.  His actions have sometimes become violent and totally uncontrollable.  Maybe we are trying too many things at once.  Here’s a recap.

  1. Daytrana patch, one patch per day starting at 7am and coming off no later than 3pm.  The first 4-5 days we saw improvement in his hyperactive behavior, but he lost his appetite.  By Day 7 he was having “spacey” moments, some crying for no reason & loss of appetite.  By Day 9, which was the last day we used it, he was totally lethargic and non-responsive.
  2. We began implementing the GFCF diet.  The first week & a half, we started phasing out the gluten.  The next week & a half, we took casein out.  He has been on the diet fully for about 2 weeks with only one “free” day.
  3. We met with his pediatrician to discuss the results of Daytrana, and to inform him that we had implemented the GFCF diet.  We were told that there is not much research to support the diet.  He did not tell us not to do it, but we didn’t get much support about it.
  4. The pediatrician recommended we try putting Levi on Adderall.  Since beginning this medicine Levi has had bad tummy aches and awful mood swings with very violent episodes.  Now he has become defiant with his teachers and has been very disrespectful.  He took the last Adderall Sunday (5 days ago).

So, what is working and what isn’t?  It doesn’t seem like anything is working!  It seems like his behavior is worse than ever.

I really want to continue with the GFCF diet and give it a chance to prove itself.  I found this informative website and even chatted live with an experienced parent who assured me that this “worse” behavior is proof that the diet is working.   Whew!  Just another view to confuse my already befuddled mind.  She told me to hang with it for a couple more weeks.  By the time Levi heads back to school after Christmas break we should be able to see dramatic positive changes.  We shall see!

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I’m at a loss.

December 14, 2008 at 11:34 pm (ADHD, autism, Children, Family, God) (, , , , , )

Levi got kicked out of his class tonight at church.  I’m sitting in the sanctuary, listening to our pastor, and faintly I hear something that just catches my attention.  My instinct has already told me what I was trying to figure out.  I knew something was wrong with Levi.  Then, I hear him louder, crying and screaming.  I took off out the door and down the hall.  When I got to him he was not crying, not screaming, not doing anything but just standing there.  I asked him what was wrong, what happened?  He told me to leave him alone.  I get him over to a couch and I’m trying to pry details out of him.  His teacher comes out into the hall after a few minutes and says that he has had 4 meltdowns and this last one was violent, with him kicking chairs.  She said she removed him from the class because she was afraid he was going to hurt someone.

My first thought was that I had told the teacher that if there was any sign of trouble, to come and get me.  So, 4 meltdowns and an act of violence LATER, I find my son out in the hallway by himself.  But my head is screaming “I TOLD YOU TO COME GET ME!”  It could have been avoided!  Why don’t people listen to me about MY OWN CHILD!?!?!?

My second thought was this would have never happened if it had been a “normal” Sunday night.  Usually Tommy helps in the class so that he can keep an eye on Levi and detour any difficulties.  Tommy is out of town right now, so his absence probably had a twofold affect on Levi’s behavior tonight.

Third thought:  I should not have let Levi have a “free” day from his GFCF diet.  His Sunday School class was having their Christmas party, so I told Levi that he could enjoy a piece of cake and goodies from the party.  How much did this wheat & casein & sugar & preservatives & CRAP affect Levi’s behavior tonight?

How am I supposed to answer that?  Really?  I feel like I have no clue anymore.  I’m frustrated and hurting and scared for my little boy and his future.  I just wish someone could give me the answers.  I’m at a total loss.

Psalm 55:22:
22Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Lord,

I am casting this upon You.  It’s obvious I can’t do this by myself.  Please Lord, give me the wisdom and the knowledge to teach Levi.  Give me the insight to anything that I can do to raise him like I should.  Please take this burden from me Lord, it’s crushing me and I can’t handle it anymore.  Please give me patience & understanding.  Please take this anger and frustration and fear away from me.  If there’s something that can be healed with Levi, please Lord, heal his body, heal his mind, cradle his spirit and keep it safe.  I praise you Lord, for the peace and understanding and joy that I know will follow.  I love you Lord!

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen.

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Changes

December 8, 2008 at 3:24 pm (ADHD, autism, Children) (, , , , , , , , )

Implementing a gluten-free dairy-free diet for Levi has been very challenging.

First, the books I ordered back on the 20th of November got lost in snail-mail world.  I finally received them two days ago.   I really wanted  some better guides in my hands than just trying to piece together the information I get off the internet.  Now, finding the time to get them read.

I’ve tried to cook meals that fall under the gluten-free diet.  I have not even tried to tackle the dairy-free part of it.   I finally got a GFCF cookbook.  I have purchased special mixes and flours so that he can have bread and his favorite peanut butter sandwiches.  It has not been hard to eat more veggies & fruits.  It has not been hard to eat more fish.  As long as we’re home, the diet is not that hard.  It’s when we’re on the road going from one activity to another that is hard.  Having to pack snacks and meals because there is NOTHING (that he will eat) out there  in restaurants is hard.   Finding the time to actually cook a non-overly-processed gluten-free dairy-free as-natural-as-possible nutritious meal is hard.  Remembering to tell his teachers (church & school), cafeteria personnel, family & friends has been hard.  Having them remember it all is even harder!  Before I know it, he has eaten something that is not allowed.

And then, the cost is CRAZY!!  It’s almost $4.00 for a 8 oz. box of gluten-free pasta.  Not to mention that I have to drive over 30 miles one way to a store that even sells these special items.

I’m not giving up though.  We are just going to have to arrange our schedules so that we can eat more meals at home.  We are going to have to make special pizzas, snacks, etc. so that Levi can take them to school or church.  That way, everyone eats the same thing and he doesn’t feel left out.  We will figure it out!

(During the writing of this post, Levi’s school called me.  He was throwing tantrums and giving his teacher (substitute) fits.  He even picked up a chair and acted like he was going to throw it.  The assistant principle had a hard time getting him to even follow her to the office. When I got there, he was calm and happy.  From what I can gather, he said the substitute was not doing things the way Mrs. Becky does them.  There was also some confusion with snacks that upset him.  It was his day to bring in snacks for the class.  I sent enough applesauce cups for everyone.  Evidently he was made to eat applesauce while the other kids got to eat cheese crackers.  I’m not totally sure of the whole story.  It was decided between the principle and myself, that on days that there is a substitute,  he is to go to Mrs. Connie’s (a former teacher) class.   I also found out that he ate breakfast at school (sweetened cereal & milk).  The principles have assured me that Levi will no longer eat the school’s food.

I just don’t know sometimes.  I feel like I am just totally clueless.)

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Natural methods for treating ADHD

November 20, 2008 at 4:52 pm (ADHD, autism, Children, Family, Life) (, , , , , , , )

This has been a long time coming.  And will probably be a slowly evolving process.

I’m still reading websites and books.  I’m communicating with other parents who have tried natural methods.  I’ve ordered The Kid-Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet and  Dr. Bob’s Guide to Stop ADHD in 18 Days.

In the mean time, we’re going to start by eliminating casein and wheat from Levi’s diet and adding a good multivitamin.  Tommy & I are also working up an exercise program that will be great for all of us.

I’ll keep you updated.

(Levi’s behavior at school today was ok.  He didn’t get an X(bad) on his chart, but he didn’t get a sticker(good) either.  But, it was so AWESOME to see his sweet smile as soon as he saw me!  And to feel his bear hug when he ran up to me and grabbed me!)

My happy child!

My happy child!


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