That’s my son, running full throttle towards the freezing Lake Washington in the middle of March, in a button down shirt and clip-on tie. That pretty much sums him up quite well now at the ripe old age of “6 and three quarters.” Actually, the running full throttle part sums him up from the time he was in my tummy~ we’d see him moving all over the place, all the time, pushing with every extremity and turning around constantly. My younger son barely moved~ he was perfectly content to occasionally just snuggle in a little bit to the right or left. So different. My older son, the one running there, prompted my husband to ask if I’d had an affair with an ancient Roman senator. He just has always had this dramatic passion in everything he does, likes, doesn’t like, etc. He was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when he was three which basically means something different for every kid diagnosed, but for him meant he didn’t walk, he stomped, he didn’t get close to people, he got on top of them. Conversely, sound scared him to the point of wearing silencer ear muffs anywhere he was unlucky enough to have ever heard a fire alarm before. In fact, he pointed out far alarms to every stranger in every store we went to for years, usually in a warning tone, “there’s a fire alarm behind you,” to which people would predictably reply, “why yes, there is! I’ve never noticed that.” There is a lot more to SPD than that, it is an exhausting issue for every one involved, but with therapy and patience it can be overcome. And he has. Now that he is in first grade he is far more mellow, able to sit in a classroom with minimal reminders to stay seated and listen, and he has graduated from almost all his therapies. Plus, he is still as passionate as an ancient Roman senator, now obsessed with dressing up in ties everywhere he goes which is a lot easier to explain than the fire alarm thing. The therapies and books were extremely helpful, but I do not think he would be where he is today if we hadn’t explored food allergies. We had him tested twice starting at age 3, but both times he came back with a clean slate. We were not convinced so we took him to a Dr. who uses European methods of diagnoses, and he came back highly allergic to yeast, milk, wheat, corn, soy, tomatoes, eggs, and potatoes. I think I’m forgetting some, but those were the big ones. We took all that out of his diet for 3 weeks, no easy task as you might imagine, and then he went on a rotation diet eating allergen foods no more than once every 3 days. At the same time he took homeopathic types drops the Doctor made up specifically for him that helped his body get used to the allergen foods. Really, I should be calling these food sensitivities b/c they did not produce a true allergic reaction, but they did effect him greatly. The difference was immediate and dramatic. After a year he could eat the foods regularly without the majority of issues that plagued him before. It was not easy, but I am so grateful we did. He is so much happier now. The link between diet and so much of our children’s modern issues is more and more recognized in the mainstream, but we often still have to bang our heads against closed doors before finding an answer. I’ve never met a parent who wasn’t ready to try anything or fight any fight for the child though. They are so worth it.
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