One of the biggest problems I have when going about my business is dealing with my own insecurities when it comes to suggestions. I deal with perfectionism issues. Because I am not currently thin, I often feel I shouldn’t talk about weight loss. Because I find myself often stressed, I often feel I shouldn’t discuss stress management tools. Because I have a son who has behavior issues, I often feel I shouldn’t discuss natural things that may help that issue.
You see, in my mind, people who write about these things should be successful in dealing with them. My perfectionist leanings keep me feeling inadequate if I have not achieved perfection in an area I might speak or write about. I then worry those who like to disparage my efforts (that is referring to those who trash-talk me behind my back) will use any imperfections as ammunition against me.
But…today…I don’t care. I’m setting my fears aside to share some small victories and discuss the other goals our household has been working on with my youngest son.
My youngest son is 8 years old right now. He is my fourth. I gave birth to him via cesarean section when I was 37 years old. He was a generally happy baby. I nursed him for about 3 1/2 months until I could no longer keep up due to the long work hours and stress of finishing my bachelor’s degree. Around the age of two, we noticed he wasn’t speaking much. He talked, but not as much as his older brother. We figured he would pick up with more speech once the brother who was two and a half years older, went to pre-school. At the time, I worked full-time outside the home, in addition to running my consultation based business and belly dancing. My husband worked part time and was home more often. Due to income constraints, our third son was in a home-visitor based preschool program. So we never did get the youngest on his own until kindergarten came around. By that time, number four was three. Number three was having issues with his behavior at school, so number four kind of was stuck on the back burner. Since I worked third shifts, he spent a lot of days curled up with me watching cartoons while I desperately tried to capture a little bit of sleep so that my husband could work part time from home doing tech support.
This would be when I really started to notice his speech delays. He also showed no interest in coloring or writing his name. He refused to wear clothes most of the time. He was very food obsessed. I sought help.
I turned to the county educational system for help. Number four was enrolled in a preschool program where he got to interact with other kids. Some aspects of his speech improved. He saw therapists who got him to color, draw, write his name. His behavior was another issue. He regularly threw fits. I am talking all-out temper tantrums and being physcially aggressive with the other kids. He also displayed a short attention span – like even shorter than other kids of the same age.
I wanted to avoid prescription medications as much as possible. This led us to get him lined up behavior modification systems at pre-school and kindergarten via his I.E.P.
(individualized education program). While there were some small progress, we still struggled with his attention span and his behavior. We even caved and tried a popular prescription ADHD medication at the end of first grade. This did not have the desired effects and instead exacerabted his behaviors. We were so conflicted. How could this be happening? It was not my first rodeo. I have other children and ALL of them were boys. So what were we going to do?!?
About this time, I found myself in a major career shift. I now had time to really dive into researching what could be going on with my kid. I consulted with educators who specialized in “problem” kids and medical docs who incorporated natural and alternative methods in their practices. There had to be some sort of options to try.
Here’s what we tried:
— I found some research hinting that children with gluten sensitivities and assorted food allergies can display A.D.D. and/or A.D.H.D. behaviors (https://www.verywellmind.com/gluten-and-adhd-562627, accessed 1/16/2020). This made sense to me. In 2007, I was diagnosed by a medical doctor as being gluten intolerant. It only made sense to me that this could be handed down to my kid, either by genetics or being in the same environment, etc. So we ditched the gluten, ASAP!
— I incorporated supplements shown to enhance brain function. This meant adding Omega 3 Fatty Acids * to his day, every single day, via supplements.
— I knew, from previous classes I had taken, that B complex deficiencies may be caused by prescription medications, like the one we tried him on. I also had read research indicating B Complex* could increase one’s ability to focus. That was added to his day – every single day.
— I happend to notice his emotional outbursts at home seemed to follow certain outward signs of anxiety. Since I did study psychology in college, I looked up these symtpoms and behaviors. Sure enough, they sounded like him, I had taken classes where the safety of a certain blended supplement being used for adults as well as children was discussed. It was added, too! AnxiousLess* is the one we use.
— I took him to see an consultant, a former educator, who sees problem kids. We incorporated the assorted eye exercises, etc she suggested. Her name is Ann Anzalone (annanzalone.com). Oddly enough, I remember some of those very same exercises being used in my household growing up. I asked and it turns out my mother used a lot of them for one of my brothers. These are similar to what can be found in the BrainGym program(s). She also recommended the adition of magnesium to his regimen to soothe and relax his nervous system.
— I use lavender *and vanilla essential oils on him topically and also diffused at bedtime. These have been shown in studies to help people relax. Since he has always been a tough kid to get to sleep, any help getting him to relax for sleep improves his demeaner and ability to stay attentive the next day.
And we saw results!
Within just a week, we saw my son come out of his shell a bit. He was smiling more. He actually was showing affection toward us again and interacting in a more civil manner.
A long way to go…
I want to stress that this is what works for my kid. It may not work for other kids. I also do not profess discontinuing your child’s medications. That is a decision you must make with your doctors, etc. I just know that it just exacerbated MY son’s behavior. We are no where perfect. He still has rough days. He still is on a behavior plan at school and at home. We have just gone a step further with more allergy testing with a doctor to find out if there is more we can do on that end of things. But we have seen results. If you want more information, please do not hesitate to reach out. I understand the struggle – good days and bad.
* If you click on the product links in this blog post, they will lead you to the exact products we use. I do not claim any scientific research using these exact products. If you purchase using the links, I do earn a small commission. This is what helps make moeny to support my business, and subsequently, my family. I thank you.