View Full Version : 7yo and vent / too many questions


parentofadhd
11-10-15, 02:16 AM
My daughter is 7 and was diagnosed mild adhd almost 1 year ago. She also has a receptive language delay, and has trouble with Visual Discrimination, Visual Form Constancy, and Visual Figure Ground. She was mis-diagnosed prior to that so we lost a whole 12 months due to that which meant her first year of school wasn't great.

2 months after diag I tried going on an additive free diet with her and it has helped immensely. Paed & psychologist both said no need to medicate and are happy for me to continue along with the diet making the difference.

When my daughter is additive free she is a whole different child. When she eats things she shouldn't, she becomes a walking nightmare.

This term she has had a new teacher and we are having problems with kids at school giving her foods. We essentially haven't had a full week of this term where she hasn't been affected by foods.

Today at swimming my daughters instructor had to give her a timeout as she was not listening and jumping around etc. At the end of the lesson he suggested she might need to change to a different class. I know the instructor from my school days and he thinks that may be why she is mucking around so much. I personally don't think this would contribute because she really has no concept of the fact I went to school with the instructor and would assume "yay I can muck up now because this is an old friend of Mummy's".

Anyway I'm at a loss what to do, she loves swimming and seems to be quite good at it. There are 5 students (inc my daughter) in the class and I think it may just be too much down time for her with too many kids. I have an option to change her to a Sunday class and she will be the only child in the class, but it means essentially loosing half of our Sundays every weekend whereas at present she swims after school during the week.
After suggestions from others or feedback, or maybe just a vent to others who know the feeling.

sarahsweets
11-10-15, 05:00 AM
Its good that you found something that works for you. I have some reservations though that the food she gets from other kids would affect her so dramatically. See, adhd snt really treated with diet modification. What alot of people have found is that their kids are sensitive to certain additives unrelated to adhd and because eliminating those additives helps, they assume that diet controls the adhd. Have you considered medication? You could l always do both, watch her food and use meds.

parentofadhd
11-10-15, 06:39 AM
I didn't think so either at first but it does have a dramatic effect on her behaviour. The paediatrician told me that diet changes only help a small percentage of ADHD children and I've been lucky that it has helped. I can see the change in her mood and behaviour and can tell when she has had something she shouldn't have and that is when I can prompt her a little and find out that she has indeed had something. The foods she is being given are generally packed with artificial colours or preservatives. They seem to be the two main culprits.

This is just one article that sparked the idea to try the diet, some studies have now also shown a link between diet & ADHD but again it doesn't work for everyone.
http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2011/03/24/3172366.htm

Her teacher this year was also skeptical and was stunned by the change, she too also became very good at being able to identify when she was a bit "off" and we could then trace back and were able to identify the culprit. We started this in February and have seen dramatic changes in her. She is calm, can hold a two way conversation, isn't emotion and her meltdowns cease. She was getting awards in class for finishing her work first, she caught back up with her reading, and much more. With additives in her system she has major meltdowns (very emotional), cannot hold a conversation, struggles to finish work, cannot focus or listen to direction, and is generally off with the fairies.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that a diet change has cured her, far from it, but it's certainly something that affects her and is helping her. She has ADHD but her latest review came back as a completely different result for the inattentive component which shows an improvement.

The paediatrician and psychologist have both said she does not require medication. It's not to say that one day she won't, but at this point in time they've said that the diet is helping along with her therapies. She is on par with her schooling and where she should be so I'm happy with that.

The swimming issue just threw a spanner in the works today and she is having reactions still from foods she was given recently. Some reactions last a day or two, others last a week, it depends on the ingredient she has eaten and how long it takes to leave her body.

I think the other issue with swimming is that it would be right up with her most fav things to do so even if she has had a calm day at school and home, once she gets in that pool it's all just too much for her and she just cannot contain herself.

Lunacie
11-10-15, 10:27 AM
I sympathize. My autistic granddaughter has diabetes 2 and it's just not possible to monitor everything they eat.


I think Sarah was saying that you may want to consider giving meds to counteract the unwanted foods.
.

ccom5100
11-11-15, 10:24 PM
Its good that you found something that works for you. I have some reservations though that the food she gets from other kids would affect her so dramatically. See, adhd snt really treated with diet modification. What alot of people have found is that their kids are sensitive to certain additives unrelated to adhd and because eliminating those additives helps, they assume that diet controls the adhd. Have you considered medication? You could l always do both, watch her food and use meds.

I would bet that she is one of those children who is sensitive to the additives, and yes, just a little bit can affect her. She may not have adhd at all, just a sensitivity to chemicals and maybe certain foods that cause symptoms very similar to adhd. That is why so many people are helped by the Feingold program, because their kids have allergies or sensitivities, not adhd. Even children with adhd can find some symptom relief by following an additive-free diet and/or one that is low in salicylates. BTDT!

I wold make sure that everyone who comes in contact with the child knows that she has food allergies/sensitivities and that they should not give her anything to eat or drink, except water. When ds was in the younger grades, I would ask teachers to let me know in advance of any parties or other activities involving food and I would always make sure that my child had a "clean" substitute treat. I always carried some type of treat with me everywhere we went just in case. Some people may think it is too much of a hassle, but you get used to it and it sure beats seeing your child's behavior erupt in public.

You may need meds down the road (we did) but if you can control her symptoms with diet alone, do it as long as you can. We started the diet when he was 3 1/2 years old and were able to keep our grandson off meds until he entered into puberty He is now in high school and because of his clean diet, his medication dosage is very low compared to others his age.

someothertime
11-12-15, 09:37 AM
Well done on identifying the diet element.... massive inroads....

Incidences like these will always be present. I suspect that a developing mind has perhaps dawned a new phase of testing limits..... ?

Basically.... I think changing and or trying to enforce at this stage going to create more issues.... My feeling is that, as frustrating as it may be..... let a majority of incedences like these fade into history and keep the focus on wins..... aka...... reinforce and support when good choices / self control and alike are adhered / championed....... while at the same time...... tactfully steer what would be natural michievety into realms of life that don't harbour such wholistic consequence. ( i.e. in this instance.... play down the swimming issue... but in private try to buy some leaniancy with the facilitators while you get a better sense or work on behavioral / reinforcing strategies that may better align with your child ........ could you act like maybe swimming is not on next week and make the afternoon boring....... say to them you didn't think they like it.... etc? not saying this would be good but thinking out loud of ways to reward control and indirectly flatten non-beneficial things. )

Peace! and thanks.

parentofadhd
11-19-15, 06:48 AM
I sympathize. My autistic granddaughter has diabetes 2 and it's just not possible to monitor everything they eat.

I think Sarah was saying that you may want to consider giving meds to counteract the unwanted foods.
.
Yes completely understood. At this stage though, when I have my calm child sitting on the lounge with me, watching a show, asking me questions calmly, I can't see a reason to medicate her. Throw additives into her system and it's a whole new ball game. Its the vision of what I know she can be like that makes me continue to keep this diet on track, as much as i can without reason.

I would bet that she is one of those children who is sensitive to the additives, and yes, just a little bit can affect her. She may not have adhd at all, just a sensitivity to chemicals and maybe certain foods that cause symptoms very similar to adhd. That is why so many people are helped by the Feingold program, because their kids have allergies or sensitivities, not adhd. Even children with adhd can find some symptom relief by following an additive-free diet and/or one that is low in salicylates. BTDT!

I wold make sure that everyone who comes in contact with the child knows that she has food allergies/sensitivities and that they should not give her anything to eat or drink, except water. When ds was in the younger grades, I would ask teachers to let me know in advance of any parties or other activities involving food and I would always make sure that my child had a "clean" substitute treat. I always carried some type of treat with me everywhere we went just in case. Some people may think it is too much of a hassle, but you get used to it and it sure beats seeing your child's behavior erupt in public.

You may need meds down the road (we did) but if you can control her symptoms with diet alone, do it as long as you can. We started the diet when he was 3 1/2 years old and were able to keep our grandson off meds until he entered into puberty He is now in high school and because of his clean diet, his medication dosage is very low compared to others his age.
OMG yes you hit the nail on the head. Thank you so much for your words. In the first 6 months of trying the diet I was really disappointed that I hadn't known about it to try this BEFORE she was diagnosed because now I have no way of really knowing if she really does have ADHD or it's the food and the psychologist/specialists will not "undo" the diagnosis so I'll just never know. She was diagnosed as mild case but i'll just never know for sure.

I spend so much time wondering if certain behaviours are the ADHD or Food Additives and I've just forgotten lately there is a 3rd option, normal for her age. I spoke to the psychologist about a few specific things and was told all normal for her age group which made me feel better and I need to remember there are 3 potential causes..

My calm girl is back and we had a lovely morning and afternoon today. I'm trying to use positive reinforcement as we've used this throughout the year and it was working great, so at the end of this week she knows if she hasn't shared any foods that she gets to grab a prize from the lucky dip bag (a bag I have with small wrapped gifts - books/pencils/drink bottles etc). She surprised me this afternoon by finishing 3 parts of her homework without me asking her to so I was very happy and she was proud of herself. Earlier this week she has fought doing homework wherever possible.

Well done on identifying the diet element.... massive inroads....

Incidences like these will always be present. I suspect that a developing mind has perhaps dawned a new phase of testing limits..... ?

Basically.... I think changing and or trying to enforce at this stage going to create more issues.... My feeling is that, as frustrating as it may be..... let a majority of incedences like these fade into history and keep the focus on wins..... aka...... reinforce and support when good choices / self control and alike are adhered / championed....... while at the same time...... tactfully steer what would be natural michievety into realms of life that don't harbour such wholistic consequence. ( i.e. in this instance.... play down the swimming issue... but in private try to buy some leaniancy with the facilitators while you get a better sense or work on behavioral / reinforcing strategies that may better align with your child ........ could you act like maybe swimming is not on next week and make the afternoon boring....... say to them you didn't think they like it.... etc? not saying this would be good but thinking out loud of ways to reward control and indirectly flatten non-beneficial things. )

Peace! and thanks.
I may just try the swimming idea, thank you. I'm hoping that since she seems to be over her last food reaction, that her swimming teacher will have an easier time of it come her lesson on Sunday.

mommytriz
12-10-15, 02:43 AM
My daughter was Dx at 7 will primarily innatentive ADHD. She is 11 now. We removed her from traditional school at 8 when it became clear that meds didn't agree with her system and brought on tics. She received a lot of therapy over the past 4 years including two years of vision therapy for all the eye dysfunction you listed.

(. Our story may still be on an old thread from years ago which detail her vision-school struggles.

During these years I always questioned whether she had food related issues that affected her. She was sick ALOT and took forever to get better. This past Sept. I finally had a food sensitivity (IgC) blood test done which tested over 190 common foods. This test came back with huge markers for gluten, eggs, peanuts, garlic, soy, beef and a few others. Her body was basically showing an immune response to all these. We immediately cut those foods from her diet and I have to say within a few weeks she was a different kid in terms of her ability to focus on her schoolwork. Night and day !!! She still does struggle because she has always had written output problems more related to a LD that includes problems with pencil grip, but she began to write ... Just because she wanted to. She wrote poems .. She read a whole book. I think the first EVER that she could finish and she was excited about it and liked it.

I truly believe that some people have gut issues that allow certain proteins through to the blood stream and these are treated like an "enemy" by the body. It fights them which causes inflammation throughout the body and affects brain function. Just like when you're tired or sick and you "can't think straight". This testing and diet change wasn't even directed at her ADHD symptoms, I was just looking to not have her be sick for 1/3 of the year.
What I got led me to do a lot of searching for studies about the links between food sensitivities and ADHD symptoms. There's not a ton, but what there is looks really interesting. The trick I guess is knowing what foods are triggers. Who would guess to take someone off garlic? The blood test wasn't covered by our medical and was quite pricey, but worth it. She also hasn't been sick even once aside from the sniffles so that is huge for her.

She says she feels like a fog has lifted off her and I can see it everyday. Her eyes are brighter and she is just more ... "There". She seems to be able to be more organized and she is less forgetful. We've started working with a nutritionist to help heal her gut, started probiotics etc. I guess the goal is that she will eventually add these foods back in when her body can handle them.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to let you know of someone else out there who has had some success with dietary changes.

Keep up the good work trying to help your girl.

ToneTone
12-13-15, 06:46 PM
Wow, difficult situation you are in ...

Just consider this some brainstorming thoughts, not a strong suggestion ...

I wonder whether you should tell your daughter that her place in the class is jeopardized because the instructor says she's acting out ... and then you can make clear what the consequences are when she eats food that is not good for her.

If she really likes the class, you might have some leverage in getting her to stick with her "diet" when away from home.

Also, I wonder if it would be good for you, daughter and coach to sit down together ... maybe she nears to hear the coach's words while you're there ...Sometimes young people (or older people) need to hear the words directly from the person involved and not through a parent's often lovingly-softened translation of such words.

Also maybe you can tell the coach about her sensitivity to certain foods and that you and her doctors are working on that ... because she seems to not be able to focus when she eats certain foods.

One possible strategy is to accept that sometimes she's going to act out, but to get her to focus on doing so less frequently. See if you can get the coach to define an an acceptable level of acting out ... Seriously, sometimes once every other class is tolerable, but twice a class is not.

Kids and all ADHDers benefit from very concrete goals. Something as vague as "behaving better" doesn't work.

There may be room here for the psychologist to help your daughter identify what's going on in her mind and emotions when she gets into trouble. She might be able to better anticipate when she's going south and figure out a way to distract herself until the mood passes.

Also, maybe you and/or the teachers can have a sitdown with the students who are offering her the bad food. Maybe these kids can stop tempting your daughter when it's made clear that they are harming her by doing so. I think it's great that your daughter socially popular enough to get kids to offer her those bad foods. A sign that she connects well with others perhaps? Just thinking aloud.

Good luck.

Tone

dvdnvwls
12-13-15, 07:24 PM
Something as vague as "behaving better" doesn't work.
This point deserves to be repeated. "Behaving better" has so many interpretations, and your daughter is (like me) guaranteed to choose the wrong interpretation.

If you need a certain behaviour change, it's necessary to spell it out in excruciating detail.