I am worried about my 4 and a half old son - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 9 Old 01-08-2008, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK. I am new at this. I have never posted on any message board in my life, but I have been lurking. I don't have all the little abbreviations down, so please read the following with patience and kind understanding:

I first want to say that my ds is a beautiful boy who was a planned homebirth but born via emergency cesarean in a hospital. maybe because of this and maybe because we were on medicaid at the time, I felt bullied by my doctor and got all of his shots, on schedule, even though he seemed to me to be "different" after each bout.

When he was a baby, he was "high need" we slung him everywhere, he nursed on demand, he slept with us, and he was never out of my or my dh's sight. he seemed to need us constantly, which was OK with us. I couldn't drive anywhere without my husband, because one of us had to be in the backseat with him or he would freak out. Seriously. I couldn't drive three minutes to pick my husband up that the University without him having that "rah rah" hysterical scream by block two.

When he learned to walk, he was still very high need, but also now mobile. He got into everything, wouldn't sleep ever. I just kept thinking i wasn't attachment parenting well enough or this was normal. Now I'm not so sure.

He is four now.

Sometimes, he can focus for five or so minutes. Most moments he can't. he chases his sister to the degree that she now has a broken shoulder (chased her off a chair), last night when I asked him to stop (at his level with eye contact and appropriate tone) I could tell he understood me. It seemed, though, that his body couldn't and he did it again. He said, "I'm sorry Mama, I didn't mean to do that" and I could tell that he meant it. He pushes out of exuberance. He jumps from the top of the staircase to the bottom, he eats upside down at dinner.He, in a nutshell, bounces. All day. He can't stop, even when I can tell that he (not me) really wants to (like when he wants to focus on a story he's interested in that I'm reading) or when we are playing a game as a family.

my question: is this normal? I know it is normal for children of this age to experience the world kinesthetically but I wonder if there are parameters? Should I take out all food dyes or all dairy? gluten? or is he just a high need sweet little boy who is stir crazy in winter?

perspective, please.
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#2 of 9 Old 01-08-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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I'm glad you posted here. I hope you find what you are looking for. It's so hard to know what's normal because each child is so different.

To answer your ? about removing dyes, dairy, gluten and sugar. I would say yes. Do that for at least 3-4 weeks and see if that helps. If it doesn't, you can introduce them back later. Eliminate, don't just reduce so that you can get a clear picture.

Not much for advice, I know, but I'm a nutritionist so of course that is the direction I would go first

There are a lot of wise Mamas here so good luck to you. You will be supported here.
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#3 of 9 Old 01-08-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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I have an active boy who is three. Mine though is not *THAT* active.

My kid definently goes stir crazy in our apartment. We have NO outside place to play.

I started him in preschool across the street from our place, even though I was very worried about his willingness/ability to join them for group activities, sitting still, stuff like that.
He went for six days before the break and is now back in school this week. So far, his teacher says he is doing wonderful. (the other reason I put him in though is I have some concerns about his speech and comprehension of language, and it is a combined class for children with and without delays/concerns. His eval for school showed that my concerns aren't just paranoia--but it is the kind of thing where you have to get to know him to see it.)

And now, I think because of getting out for school and because DH takes him places on the weekends, and because of some developmental leap too I think, I have a child who will sit and happily work on his puzzles at the kitchen table----for sometimes an hour!

I'm not saying school, or even more outings, are going to be the solution to all your concerns. But
I worked in the preschool program that my son is now in at another school in our district and I can say that I think it is wonderful. They don't push academics, they have a lot of time for free play--yes some structured teacher-led activities, but also a lot of time for child-directed, more than at a lot of preschools I've seen.

I would suggest either looking into part-day preschool or trying more outings on your own to fun, indoor places--and getting outside as much as you can when weather allows. It's amazing what even a short time outside can do.
(If you think the separation might not go well, find somewhere that will be open to letting you stay until he's ready to handle it without you. He might surprise you--I went with my son the first day and left at the 'free play' time--he was so excited about that, he just hugged and kissed me, said 'bye' and that was the end of it! The second day, he started to cry but stopped when his teacher helped him find a puzzle. Hasn't cried since and now hugs and kisses me at his classroom door and I leave.)


I also think looking at diet is a great idea. I second the total elimination, I have experience with sensitivities and breastfeeding, and it takes a good couple of weeks that way---and that is with it broken down by me and the little bit he was getting via milk! I would try it for a good six weeks to see if there is a change in behavior--the first month to see if it is totally gone, the other couple of weeks because it just might take it being COMPLETELY out of his system to see the change.
I've heard some remarkable stories of changes that happen by eliminating something from the diet.

then you could try adding back in very little and slowly anything you want to try---he may, like my son, be able to handle a little bit of ice cream or cheese sometimes, for example, but not drink milk. (my son's stuff isn't behavioral, it's digestive, but with elimination and gradual add-in, he can now handle some ice cream, cheese, yogurt, and dairy as an ingredient in cooking--and drinks goat's milk.) (I chose to try cheese, ice cream, etc just cause I couldn't imagine telling him he can NEVER have pizza, or ice cream at a party stuff like that.)

Good luck!

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#4 of 9 Old 01-08-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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Haven't read all the replies, but I have three boys and my perspective is -- no -- not "normal". Can you have a talk with his doctor? Or have you?
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#5 of 9 Old 01-08-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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I have a family member with a young boy with many , many of the same behaviors. He has sensory integration and ADD issues, but you know, diagnosis means little when you are dealing with this stuff every day. What helped? Early intervention, family support, lots of patience for the child, mom getting out as she needed, etc. Self care is really key. Talk to your DR., or better yet a developmental pediatrician. Good luck!
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#6 of 9 Old 01-08-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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First I want to say what a wonderful job you seem to be doing. Just imagine how a more "mainstream" parenting philosophy could have negatively affected him. Second, I wanted to agree with the others. From my reading I would first cut out all the dyes/artificial sugars (i.e., I don't know that I'd take away fruit or peanut butter & honey sandwiches, but I'd make sure he wasn't eating candy, sugary cereals, etc.).

If you are a confident cook/meal prep. person, I'd cut out dairy & soy as well, but if you're like me, you may have more success if you take it one thing at a time. It can be very overwhelming -- especially if you eat out a lot, or eat a fair amount of boxed/already prepared foods.

Good luck & I'm glad you found us here!
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#7 of 9 Old 01-08-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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i have twin boys the same age as your ds. they exhibit that type of behavior when they have had artificial dyes. one of my boys is much more sensitive than the other. if your ds is having foods with artificial dyes, i highly recommend cutting those out first. do everything in stages so you can give yourself time to notice a difference. red dye #40 is the culprit for us. you really have to read labels because it's in so many things - even chocolate syrup and children's medicines. one day at preschool, another mom brought in blue hawaiian punch for a snack (it is filled with dyes and chemicals) and my ds was up until midnight that night.

my boys do still get m&m's occasionally and chocolate milk with choc syrup, but i try to avoid it in anything else at all costs.

i hope this info is helpful and you are able to see some changes with dietary changes.

Lori

p.s. here is a link to a blog that i found to be very informative about this subject:
http://http://fourtimesthefun.blogsp...-food-dye.html
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#8 of 9 Old 01-09-2008, 12:46 AM
 
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I would look into food allergies and intolerences.

My daughter gets just the way you are describing when she has soy. She simply can't stop moving (last winter it was so bad that she would run in circles in our living room for hours at a time) and gets violent with friends or her little brother. It is very difficult on her and us.

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#9 of 9 Old 01-09-2008, 01:06 AM
 
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Our son has rage and aggression, inability to hear and consider other's needs when he consumes dairy. When ds was first introduced to dairy at about age 3.5-4, he would have very aggressive sensory seeking behavior for 1-6 hours after consumption, depending on amount consumed. He'd head butt us for the sensory input if we were standing still, run with arms wide open through the house bumping things, inability to hear other's needs, auditory blocking, loud vocalization, short term memory impairment, impulse control deficit, etc. He'd have huge jumping and bouncing needs for an hour or longer. After continuing more of the of "Healing the Gut" dietary stuff (CO, CLO, probiotics, Mg, etc), he is able to tolerate most any food, except additives, without huge increases in sensory seeking behavior. But, the "dairy dance" is common with dairy, ime.

Oh, we use raw milk now, without issue though. We also have found it doesn't cause the aggression that we'd experienced with processed dairy. Something about how the proteins are denatured in the pasteurizing, I believe.

Here is the link to the "Healing the Gut" Tribe-Cheat Sheet: https://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=434071

Essential fatty acids, magnesium, and calcium all are related to mood balance. Check out The Feingold Diet www.feingold.org for information about salicylate loading concerns. Salicylates are naturally occurring chemicals present in some foods which cause some people difficulty. We avoid them in large doses.

Oh, and high fructose corn syrup never comes in our house!! : It causes aggression and sensory seeking behavior in ds, also.

Here are links to other posts with sensory activities:
https://www.mothering.com/discussions...7&postcount=16
https://www.mothering.com/discussions...9&postcount=17
https://www.mothering.com/discussions...8&postcount=18
https://www.mothering.com/discussions...3&postcount=19


Dairy is not meant for human consumption, imo. It takes about six weeks to completely eliminate the dairy proteins from your body.

Also, artificial food colors yellow and red make him hyper and less able to control himself. You might find some information at The Feingold Died, about diet and behavior. But, diet is HUGE in our family. When ds doesn't eat dairy, or artificial colors, flavors and preservatives he is considerate and respectful of other's body, patiently waits, sits and attends to things. With dairy he invades other's space, pushes, hits, kicks, etc. https://www.mothering.com/discussions...9&postcount=14


And in this old thread about diet and behavior:
https://www.mothering.com/discussions...highlight=post



HTH, Pat

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