Would this behavior worry you? *Update post 15* Modified his diet and maybe seeing results already! - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-01-2010, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 3.5 and has been INTENSE since the day he was born. He worked with a behavior interventionist from the time he was about 1.5 until this past summer. He "graduated" because he was no longer being violent with his peers, and we had been in a pretty good groove for a few months.

Now things are starting to spiral down again and he is regularly getting out of control. He frequently (at least once a day, if not a dozen times a day) freaks out and just can't stop moving. He will hit, kick, spit, scream, growl, tease, taunt, etc me especially, but also kids his own age. He will literally start running around and not be able to stop. He will often start repeating a word or phrase with a TON of inflection but will repeat it with the exact same inflection over and over and over for what seems like forever until I literally have to demand that he stop. It literally sounds like he is chanting.

He will hit or kick me and then look at me and say things like, "Ha Ha! That was so much fun!!" I have no idea where he got it from, and he can have a great deal of compassion, but when he gets wound up, this sort of thing comes out.

It really feels like normal 3.5 year old behavior taken to the extreme. I had a friend over tonight who watched him completely lose it as he climbed all over the furniture, nearly kick his friend in the head, nearly kick my laptop off of the coffee table, etc. His body was literally shaking from whatever energy was electrifying him. My friend spoke with me later and said that she agreed that it was pretty normal 3.5 year old stuff if it was toned down a TON, but with the extremes that he takes it to, it definitely is disruptive, dangerous, and very, very odd.

I just can't figure out if I am over reacting, or if I need to start calling for help.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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It sounds like a really rough patch in the three's.
He seems to have major energy that he NEEDS to expel.
Running, bike riding, anything you can think of might help.
You staying calm will help both of you.
Deep breaths and not reacting.
Trying to understand and validate what he is upset about.
The three's were the hardest age for me with both of mine, until 7, this one's a doozie too.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:08 AM
 
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What does he get out of this experience? If the way I deal with my kids was unable to contain that type of behavior (if it was more than once in a blue moon type stuff) I would be looking for someone to help me figure out how to de-escalate it.

So I'm saying that I'd personally be looking for help on handling that.

Is it normal? I think that a kid can very well do that type of thing, but taken to the extreme you describe it sounds like your child might benefit from some very proven parenting strategies (which a therapist or interventionist might be able to supply, instead of fumbling around for weeks/months trying to figure out what works).

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Old 11-01-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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When he was in birth to three did he have a DX? How do you handle him when he does this?
I have a child that had extreme tantrums, we were able to handle it on our own. I had to go outside my normal discipline zone to do it though, and be extremely consistent. One time of letting something "slide" with him would send him out of control for a week.
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I have a child that had extreme tantrums, we were able to handle it on our own. I had to go outside my normal discipline zone to do it though, and be extremely consistent.
Same here. My middle child has an INTENSE personality and she needs FIRM boundaries and lots.of.help controlling herself when she's angry. Since being more firm (which I hate btw) she's calmed down dramatically.

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Old 11-01-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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I'd call for help. If nothing else, you may be able to get some strategies to either head it off or stop it sooner--even if the behavior is within normal bounds.

But really, it doesn't sound as if it is. Trust your gut.

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Old 11-01-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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This behavior would worry me a lot. I would go for help.
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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It sounds like my oldest son when he was little and had eaten a hot dog. have you noticed any food correlation? My youngest son does the hyperintense hard to handle thing (but not ragey, he just has emotional breakdowns at a rapid rate) when he eats anything with corn in it. I swear you can see him start to vibrate.

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Old 11-01-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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It sounds like my oldest son when he was little and had eaten a hot dog. have you noticed any food correlation? My youngest son does the hyperintense hard to handle thing (but not ragey, he just has emotional breakdowns at a rapid rate) when he eats anything with corn in it. I swear you can see him start to vibrate.
This. Food sensitivities can cause some pretty extreme behavioural reactions. Some really common ones would be artificial colours and flavours (even "natural" colours and flavours can cause reactions). If you DO notice a correlation, this might be a good place to start. I was that kid. My mom modified my diet and the behaviour went away...except when I went to a birthday party or something like that, then I'd start to zing again. I can still remember how it felt to spin out of control.

But to answer your original question, I personally think this is worrying behaviour, and would seek help of some sort.
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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Same here. My middle child has an INTENSE personality and she needs FIRM boundaries and lots.of.help controlling herself when she's angry. Since being more firm (which I hate btw) she's calmed down dramatically.
Me too, my DD is an extroverted very spirited child, she's a PITA when she is in one of her moods. Speaking softly does.not.work. She needs a firm voice and usually a time out because she will end up hurting herself or someone else if she's in a freak-out mode. She was worst at age 2.5, 3 was easier, but she has always been a bit ahead in the emotional department.

The last few day though-phew she has been awful, like making me cry about 4 times yesterday because she's pissed that her dad is working so much and tired, so he can't really play with her as much as she's used to. Yesterday she was a whole new set of horrid.

This is just a shot in the dark, but I know that you are a single mama, do you think some of the behavior could be stemming from confusion about where his dad is? I know that for my DD 3.5 was way hard for her to communicate her feelings and so lashing out at the person closest to her was the best thing to communicate needs being unmet. My DD was obviously mad at her father yesterday and feeling kinda neglected because he has been so busy, so since we are doing super well she was just plain rude and mean to me. Not sure, just thought I'd throw that out there.

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Old 11-01-2010, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the responses mamas. Today was yet another hard, hard day. I did put in a call to his ped to at least talk to her on the phone. She is away until later in the week, but I need to figure this out. I also called this old interventionist and left a message. He never did have an official diagnosis when he was a toddler, but they did say that he was INTENSE and needed a lot of guidance in how to handle his emotions.

I do think he is sensory seeking. He will squeeze me so hard that it literally hurts my neck and shoulders when he gives me a hug. He will head butt me as hard as he possibly can when he wants to play. He will fling himself off the couch and even get hurt, but do it again a few seconds later.

I do wonder about his diet. I am tempted to try Feingold with him, but I don't have the money for the program right now. I was extremely vigilant about what he ate today: oatmeal with plain organic yogurt and some frozen blueberries for breakfast, and miso soup with some organic free range duck and quinoa for dinner. He eats lunch at school and today was grilled cheese with tomato soup and milk. He had no processed sugar, although I don't know what type of bread he had at school. I also have no idea what he had for his two snacks there either. I know it is not anything with actual sugar on it, but it could be cold cereal, or crackers and fruit or cheese.

Even with being super careful with his diet today, he was still insane at pick up at school today and ended up in a teary tantrum that lasted about an hour. I know it can take a while for things to get out of your system, but I was so hoping that a good solid, healthy breakfast would at least help. Then dinner was so yummy and good for him, but again at bedtime, we ended up with tears and a tantrum.

I am not sure if it is a three year old thing or not. He was crazy hard to handle between 1.5 and around 2.5. I honestly thought I was going to lose my mind there for a while.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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tomato soup can have sugar in it.

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Old 11-02-2010, 06:30 AM
 
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It saved my family. I had three children under five and was ready to go to work so I could let someone else deal with the kids, or get us all medicated.

You can start doing the plan without buying the program. I originally split the cost with two friends and we shared the materials. The shopping guide is helpful, but not necessary if you take the time to read the labels.

The first three weeks were the worst - so hard as we all detoxed, but the next three weeks were better every day. And by two months into it I really liked my children again!

To start with, we only ate food prepared at home, from scratch. Pasta, rice, dried beans, lots of pears and oatmeal, carrots, green beans, chicken, eggs, romaine lettuce, watermelon, kiwis and lemons and grapefruit. Milk, cheese and yogurt were ok for us, I just had to make sure they were plain, and only cooked with butter. I made bread at home. Yes, it was hard. I didn't know how to make a tasty dinner without tomatoes BUT SO WORTH IT.

I was desperate enough to try it, and figured I had nothing to lose. If it didn't work in three months, I could always go back to what wasn't working before.

DH and I followed the program in solidarity with the children, and got benefits for ourselves, too. No more headaches, insomnia, or weird rashes.

I know when we've eaten something that's not ok for our family, because we all start losing our grip emotionally and physically. But over the years, we've been able to reintroduce many foods like grapes, apples, tomatoes and corn that we originally eliminated.

My younger children, who have not been exposed to food dyes and additives since conception were easier to parent in the toddler years as well.

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Old 11-02-2010, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It saved my family. I had three children under five and was ready to go to work so I could let someone else deal with the kids, or get us all medicated.

You can start doing the plan without buying the program. I originally split the cost with two friends and we shared the materials. The shopping guide is helpful, but not necessary if you take the time to read the labels.

The first three weeks were the worst - so hard as we all detoxed, but the next three weeks were better every day. And by two months into it I really liked my children again!

To start with, we only ate food prepared at home, from scratch. Pasta, rice, dried beans, lots of pears and oatmeal, carrots, green beans, chicken, eggs, romaine lettuce, watermelon, kiwis and lemons and grapefruit. Milk, cheese and yogurt were ok for us, I just had to make sure they were plain, and only cooked with butter. I made bread at home. Yes, it was hard. I didn't know how to make a tasty dinner without tomatoes BUT SO WORTH IT.

I was desperate enough to try it, and figured I had nothing to lose. If it didn't work in three months, I could always go back to what wasn't working before.

DH and I followed the program in solidarity with the children, and got benefits for ourselves, too. No more headaches, insomnia, or weird rashes.

I know when we've eaten something that's not ok for our family, because we all start losing our grip emotionally and physically. But over the years, we've been able to reintroduce many foods like grapes, apples, tomatoes and corn that we originally eliminated.

My younger children, who have not been exposed to food dyes and additives since conception were easier to parent in the toddler years as well.
Any ideas on how to find the food list that is ok and what is not? I am totally willing to give it a trial run and if it seems to be working, I would find some way to work it into the budget. We just can't keep living like this.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, interesting update today. DS has had no processed foods at home for the past two days at all. He had more oatmeal with blueberries this morning, some corn chips with salsa, black beans and cheese for dinner with a few raisins and a hunk of cheese while he waited for me to make dinner. The corn chips were organic with no preservatives, and the salsa was as well, so although not the most glamorous dinner in the world, I was ok with it.

Today after school, he was a dream at pick up. He asked for a few more minutes to play with his friends, and then easily came with me out to the car. We stopped at the grocery store and he was able to sit in the cart while we got things, even though he was very hungry and a little fidgety. When we got home, he was able to wait while I made dinner and then went to bed easily. He was a little wiggly just before bed and when I suggested jumping on his trampoline, he did for about 15 minutes while I watched and chatted with him and then bedtime was a dream.

I am not sure if it was a fluke or not, but maybe just being much more mindful about what he eats will be the solution. He clearly was feeling much more co-operative today and it was so nice to have a child that I *wanted* to be around. We shall see what tomorrow brings!

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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Food is super important, it is LIFE! Glad you are having results. For others, the Feingold diet info that you pay for is mainly their list of processed foods that have been researched to be acceptable. The Failsafe diet is similar and has lots of free information here:

FAILSAFE

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Old 11-04-2010, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Food is super important, it is LIFE! Glad you are having results. For others, the Feingold diet info that you pay for is mainly their list of processed foods that have been researched to be acceptable. The Failsafe diet is similar and has lots of free information here:

FAILSAFE
Thanks for the link! Interesting about the salicylates. Today, DS ate a bunch of raisins, cheese, some dried strawberries, and some brocolli and had a temper tantrum as he was going to bed. He actually picked up a step stool and SLAMMED it into the wall in the bathroom, which he has never done. He was pretty good after school, but once evening hit and he had a big bowl of raisins as an evening snack with a very large chunk of cheese, he flipped out.

Most of the foods on the salicylate list are really big in his diet. I just can't quite figure out what I would feed him if I cut out those. He isn't really all that picky, but I just can't quite imagine a diet that he would eat without them. I am starting to feel a little discouraged.

Also, I am desperate for on the go snacks that he could eat. I was at the health food store today picking my way through the aisles of bulk snacks and finally ended up buying a couple of the Plum Organics squeezy fruit and veggie things. DS calls them "applesauce" and happily slurped down a pea/spinach/pear one in the car after school. It has no preservatives and is literally only peas, spinach and pears, so I was ok with it. Expensive, but I am a single mama working nearly full time and I *NEED* snacks that I can pack for him. He refuses nuts of all kinds, and is pretty picky about dried fruit. Cut veggies are good, but he needs some serious calories after he gets out of school.

Thinking maybe I should have this thread over in the allergy or nutrition forum...

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Old 11-04-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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Thinking maybe I should have this thread over in the allergy or nutrition forum...
Yep, come on over! We love to help! Fortunately, if he has a problem with salycilates, many people (myself included) have pretty good luck with adding nutrients to help process the food chemicals and can add them back in at least moderately after a while.

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Old 11-04-2010, 05:27 AM
 
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Diet may be part of the solution, but I would still get him assessed.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:56 AM
 
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Great to hear about the the improvement!
My nephew was a lot like that and he came to my house frequently. The last straw one day was when he was throwing stuff at the dog, jumping on the furniture and breaking toys. When he had to sit, he started spitting.
He didn't look happy about it either.
The next day I called my sister and told her we need to do something about this, let's try the ADHD diet or something. She went to the health food store and a lady working there had a teenage son who was the same way. She did some kind of test on my nephew and said he is deficient in magnesium and gave her a powder to mix in his drink and told her to start a no processed food diet. It was like a miracle.
Today he is 5 (2 years older), he knows the foods that will be "bad for his body" and tries to avoid them but still begs to have candy or cake when other kids are having it. If he has some or processed food, the difference is remarkable, he is bouncing off the walls.
As he is growing, his magnesium needs to increase a little and we can also tell when he needs more.

I hope things continue to improve and really suggest a magnesium supplement also. It's easy if you get the powder.

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Old 11-04-2010, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will definitely try the magnesium supplement. I have one that I bought for him when he was a baby and was having a very hard time sleeping, but hadn't thought of it. He is already in bed for the night, but I will try it out tomorrow evening.

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Old 11-04-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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The Feingold foodlist is only one part of the Feingold membership. And, of course, the foodlist is only one part of being on the Program. http://www.feingold.org/programbig.html Failsafe eliminates more and you still need a list of food products that have been researched for your part of the country. There is a lot of information at www.feingold.org


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Food is super important, it is LIFE! Glad you are having results. For others, the Feingold diet info that you pay for is mainly their list of processed foods that have been researched to be acceptable. The Failsafe diet is similar and has lots of free information here:

FAILSAFE
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am definitely feeling much more confident as the days go by with his improvement each day. I am going to keep a list of high salicylate foods with me and avoid them if I can, but if not, I am not going to stress out about it too much at this point. I need to tackle this slowly and within my VERY limited budget. We are on food stamps currently and because of a paperwork error (on the part of social services), we have no $$ for food this month. I am trying to make sure DS has enough to eat that is healthy, with no processed sugar and no additives, but beyond that, I can't do too much.

I also have a call in to his ped and am waiting to hear back from her for a possible evaluation. I will figure this out, but I have a feeling it may be a long road.

On a side note, does anyone know of any "safe" treats for a kiddo on the Feingold/FAILSAFE program? I would love at least one "cookie" to have for him if he goes somewhere for a celebration where others are having a treat too.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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I talked to my sister and she reminded me that Braden cannot have any sugar either or high glycemic foods. For sweetener, she uses agave nectar.
So I looked around and this cookie looks good
http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2...-agave-nectar/

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Old 11-06-2010, 03:11 AM
 
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How about Sunspire candies. They are M&M type candies.

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On a side note, does anyone know of any "safe" treats for a kiddo on the Feingold/FAILSAFE program? I would love at least one "cookie" to have for him if he goes somewhere for a celebration where others are having a treat too.
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I talked to my sister and she reminded me that Braden cannot have any sugar either or high glycemic foods. For sweetener, she uses agave nectar.
So I looked around and this cookie looks good
http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2...-agave-nectar/
Thank-you for that recipe. I have heard of agave, and that recipe looks great. I am wondering if I could cut the syrup down even more. I might have to make a few batches and see what I can adjust. It definitely wouldn't be a regular treat, but it would be a help for a special occasion.
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How about Sunspire candies. They are M&M type candies.
I have seen these, but they are still pretty hard core straight sugar, right? I don't know all that much about them really though. I am assuming there are no artificial colors in them. Plus, I really don't want him thinking that "candy" is suddenly ok right now. Something to keep in the back of my mind though.

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Old 11-16-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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Please check out the Feingold Assocition www.feingold.org It is a great place to be or just to start. Knowing which brand to buy IS important due to all the hidden ingredients of preservatives, etc. A child as small as a 3 year old would show the sensitivities so much more than a bigger person BTW, membership is so much more than its foodlist! Being on an elimination diet is more than knowing what brands to buy. Membership in the Feingold Association helps you with situations, support, etc. If you are hesitant to put out the money right now, read the labels on the products you buy, etc. Also check out the Yahoo group.

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