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Violence & hypoglycemia

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I wasn't sure where to post this, so I thought I'd try here.

My ds (turning 6 late February) turns violent sometimes; recently we've deduced that even small amounts of refined sugar, esp at the wrong times, is a culprit, and in the last couple of days I've found some information on hypoglycemia that is completely in keeping with my experiences not only with him but with my extended family. He is also in OT for SID and has made great progress with that.

We are generally speaking a whole foods kind of family, use unrefined sugar or maple syrup for sweetening treats and try to make sure if he has treats it's immediately after a meal, but we're still figuring out all his triggers. We are working hard on eliminating all problem foods and to be extra-vigilant on keeping that blood sugar level. He is also very aware how refined sugar bothers him and avoids it, mostly, on his own.

He gets violent when it's bad, and he can be asymptomatic up to the point that he starts raging. At that point I put him in a full holding body lock to protect myself from him. This can last 20 minutes. This has happened every day this week (been cooped up due to illness; probably not helping).

Mostly I'm needing support and any strategies or similar stories you might have to offer....thank you so much in advance.
post #2 of 9
My ASD ds is a bit like that. We had him tested a few times for diabetes when he was younger due to diabetic like symptoms. From the constant thirst to this horrible behavior changes if he went too long between eating.

Going on an organic/low sugar diet has helped him alot with behaviors. I have found that keeping track of the glycemic index of things helps alot too. Even some apparently healthy type things without refined sugar can have a high glycemic index which affects his behavior.

Finally, yesterday I heard about some sort of supplement which helps breakdown sugars? I am thinking it is like a digestive enzyme for sugars but I don't know for sure. Digestive enzymes have been helpful for my kids so I am trying to do a bit of research on this and see if I can figure out what it is. It was one of these through the grapevine friend of a friend things so not exactly sure what is going on with it.
post #3 of 9
When I went on some meds in my early 20s, hypoglycemia ended up being a side effect for me (although it is a rare side effect). The Low Sugar Handbook and Low Sugar Cookbook helped me a lot with understanding what was going on and coping with it. I can sure identify with the temper thing when I was having problems. I would get unreasonably beligerant when my blood sugar got low, and would make horrible decisions...including refusing to eat because "I shouldn't have to". I also remember feeling like I wanted to hit something/somebody sooooo bad, which totally freaked me out because it is so not who I am.

If your child isn't allergic to nuts, that is a great thing to have on hand and just eat a few at a time all through the day to help regulate blood sugar.
post #4 of 9
I have a friend who has a daughter who in combination with being sensitive to sugar was also sensitive to corn. When she really watched the grams of sugar and eliminated corn in her dd's diet, the violent reactions went away. I don't know if this is an unusual combination of sensitivity, but your post made me think of this little girl.

rbear4 mentioned glycemic indexes. I'm not an expert in this but an example would be that apples are very high in sugar content - even though they're completely natural.
post #5 of 9
I am hypoglycemic. I know that if my sugars go to low I get a headache, and gererally feel really miserable. So I can understand what it must be like if you don't know whats going on. I try and eat something and drink OJ to bring it back up, this works for me. I feel a little sleepy after, but it helps alot.
post #6 of 9
Have you tried Agave nectar as a sweetening agent? You might need to add a bit of oat flour for thickening in recipes, but it doesn't have the glycemic index that sugar does. We also eliminated dairy, including casein and whey and that decreased aggressive episodes significantly. Also, protein first meal of the day, improves our day and diet, tremendously.

You mentioned SID and the holding. Do you have a proactive sensory diet which includes deep pressure activities. I'll try to find an old post of mine of some of the activities that we do routinely, especially before overstimulating crowds, and outings.

Also, you might try the Bach Flower remedy Cherry Plum, it helps decrease anger and facilitates more self-control.

post #7 of 9
Here is a thread about destructive behaviors and SID with a list of sensory activities. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ow#post6784068

Here is the old post:

Our son is sensory seeking also. It helps if I connect with him first thing in the morning and create some type of body compression. We have a few sensory games that we have created:

"choo-choo train" is when he lies on the bed and I "row" his feet like a bicycle and we chuga-chuga-choo-choo (he does the train whistle sound) and we repeat that over and over for about 5 minutes. The engagement, physical motion and my participatory resistance/driving of his legs back and forth provides a lot of sensory input in a non-impact way.

Another is "pillow mash"-again he lies on the bed and I place a pillow on top of his chest and firmly "aggitate" the pillow in a jiggling motion and say "pillow mash, pillow mash", repeatedly. This provides input to his chest.

And another one is "salt shaker", again he lies on the bed, and I hold both legs up and "shake salt" out of him. He is sorta upside down (legs up in the air, body on the bed), which gives input of vibrating his head and back on the firm mattress.

Another is "burrito"-where he is wrapped tightly in a blanket and rolled side to side repeatedly.

Another is "sack of potatoes" when he climbs in a pillow case and I lift him up and down from the floor.

We also do "row-row-row-your boat" where we both lie on the trampoline with full body contact and roll across the surface back and forth, singing row-row-row-your boat. The total body compression is very calming for him.

We have his bed mattress and box springs on the floor. So, he'll go up to his room and bounce and jump for sensory input too.

Oh, also he loves to stand in place and jump up to reach my hands above his head. This is helpful when waiting in line, where he is restless, but needs contained activity. It creates jumping, reaching and a goal/game aspect.

Another is where I hold my hands together palm to palm and move them up and down and he tries to clap them with his hands. Again, this is great for when out and about and he has too much energy for the space limitations. A variant of this is where he tries to "give five" while I pull my hands back quickly. These can be used to constructively engage other people in the "game" also, which might free you up for short periods.

He also loves to play in the sink with LOTS of soap, that seems to be very soothing to him (but messy). Some kids really seek multiple baths a day and having that planned before and/or mid-visit may allow a connecting time with you; and a recentering activity, enough to make it a longer night.

So, if we are going to have a lot of sensory stimuli like a cacophony of sounds from a crowded party, we proactively do these games for 15 minutes several times throughout the day. It helps if we are very careful to avoid dairy, HFCS and artificial colors which decrease his ability to hear and consider other's needs. We try to plan activities for earlier in the day, plan some outside play time, especially swinging. Big tight, long hugs help in the midst of chaos to recenter. We also freely use Rescue Remedy (and/or Cherry Plum) Bach flower remedies before (and during) high stress situations.

Ds has no obligation to visit with company; and he freely removes himself to go watch tv in his room. It helps if ds doesn't need to meet and greet everyone, especially when they all want to be hugging him and expecting him to chat. He'd rather warm up to people like a cat...on his own terms. So, it helps if ds is quietly engaged with a familiar video when we have company arrive and then he can come down when he is ready and everyone is sitting and he is out of arm's reach. Then he is apt to go sit with someone and visit. He is an introvert.

I agree with creating as many ways as possible to decrease the entertainment demands on yourself. If you can prepare everything in advance and spend the day with dd, that would help tons, I imagine. My frenetic rushing about amps ds up and his sensory needs increase due to the decreased connection with me, as much as anything.

I ran across this comprehensive list of ideas for sensory activities:http://www.coping.org/intervention/s...nsintegact.htm

It probably helps to practice some of these games so that they are fun, known and can be anticipated. Perhaps, make a list, or place a name of each game on a piece of paper and have her choose one from a jar to play with you or others.

HTH, Pat
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your experiences, thoughts, and suggestions. right at the moment i'm emotionally exhausted and don't feel I can respond adequately to all that's been said so I'll just say, "Thank you."

Back to listening.....thank you all.....
post #9 of 9
A good book for figuring out the glycemic index and getting sugar out of your diet is Get The Sugar Out. I'm hypoglycemic and function best on a low-sugar diet and with making sure I get fat/protein along w/ my sugar. I can also function on a steady stream of sugar diet, so long as I don't go more than a waking hour without eating. Low sugar I've found to be healthier to say the least.
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