My DD: (almost 3) Extremely active and an extreme extrovert. Very talkative, very inquisitive, always two inches from your face, volume war zone. She has extreme emotional reactions to most things, temper tantrums, emotional meltdowns, and can be very physically violent. She is getting very little, to no sleep, and having nightmares. Her stomach always hurts, among other things. She also seems sensitive to wind in her hair and water on face/eyes. I could give a long list of other symptoms and concerns, but basically my husband and I are emotionally and physically drained. Most days my husband and I are left exhausted, and confused.
So desperate to find help and answers I made an appointment with a psychologist, and an OT. She meet with the occupational therapist last Thursday, who thinks she does have some sensory things going on and gave us some exercises. We haven't had a follow up meeting or written report yet, so I really don't know exactly what her "findings" are. This Saterday we have a meeting with a physiologist who can administer an evaluation, but said that she can't really be tested for the OE until she is 5, and that is what I am the most concerned about.
Soooo, all of this to say that the OT said something about her diet, and that some of the kids she works with make huge improvements from diet changes, and some don't at all. Considering that my DS, now 4m, seems to be diary, gluten, and soy intolerant...I though maybe....and how lucky would I be if all of this could be changed with a diet adjustment. The person she is recommending (the "diet specialist?") is booked for a year, and she is trying to get him to do her a favor, but in the meantime I was wondering....anyone know the diet lol? Or about what the diet is suppose to be? On a side note, has anyone done OT for OE and did it work/help? Open to other unexplored suggestions or ideas of what might be going on. Thanks!!!!
My son gets migraines from sugar, artificial flavors, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners. He can tolerate fruit or fruit juices, and honey and maple syrup in very small amounts. He prefers to avoid sugars, except for fruit and fruit juice. When a migraine is building, he is very prone to angry outbursts. Actually, he has that problem to a MUCH lessor degree when his blood sugar is too low, so it might have more to do with blood sugar than migraine.
The not sleeping sounds to me like food allergy/intolerance. I would suggest keeping a food-sleep log or diary, and remove one possible allergen at a time, tracking her response to the change. You may uncover the cause of the insomnia that way. Also, certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause insomnia. As can not enough exposure to sunlight. So get outside with your daughter for fresh air, sunshine and exercise. It can't hurt, and just might help.
I heartily recommend "what's eating your child" by kelly dorfman (she's got a website, too). it gave me the inspiration and the energy to enter into the hard work of changing around our familys diet (which i had always thought was pretty healthy) around and gave me tools and ideas how to do so, and very helpful knowledge about nutrition and supplements for kids with behavioral issues.
we have gone beyond the recommendations even and are going Primal/Perfect Health Diet, picking and choosing a bit what works for our family - its MUCH easier than diets such as SCD or GAPS and it has already worked good changes for us (major blood sugar issues for ds1 and me are GONE for instance. one quote from dorfmans book about kids with sensory issues stuck with me: as soon as the kids got the right nutrients what they learn in OT can fall into place. Good luck!
I know a few friends whose child have remarkably improved in their hyperactivity and behavior after removing artificial dyes, specifically red dye 40. Thankfully, this is nothing new and there are A LOT of companies that make treats without artificial dyes or sweeteners, so the kids don't have to miss out!
I don't have any further advice or experience on sleeping or other sensitivities. I hope the above advice helps! Good luck!
No comment on the diet but I'm glad you took her to an OT. My DS didn't sleep much his first 2 years and after I started taking him for OT he was a changed kid. I felt like I was alive again....didn't realize how bad it had been until after. And he only had OT for 6 months, didn't meet the criteria for a dx or anything. I hope this is part of the solution for you.