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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted some bits of my issues and concerns on various boards here and gotten great responses but I feel at such a loss on how to deal with the big picture. I wasn't sure where to put this so this seemed like a general place to start. I feel like right now I am doing a bit of this and a bit of that but not really getting to the root of the problems. I think I need a better approach and I hope that someone can offer advice.<br><br>
My dd is 7 and is in first grade.<br>
Here are the main issues all in one place this time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: :<br><br><b>Physical:</b><br>
* very high energy/active/loud<br>
* chronic constipation (after many years of trying different things we ended up on miralax which does help keep her regular)<br>
* stomach pains (was tested for many things including celiac - all negative)<br>
* dark circles under eyes<br>
* needs lots of sleep (10 hours minimum) Lack of sleep is sure to trigger meltdowns/ behavior problems.<br>
* problems on and off with bedwetting<br><b>Emotional:</b><br>
* prone to extended meltowns (30+ minutes) where she loses touch with reality (ie doesn't know what sets her off, can't talk to her or reason, etc) then as if a switch were flipped she is back to normal.<br>
*she is able to control her emotions by repressing them when she is out or at school because she doesn't want to call attention to herself, but often explodes later when at home<br>
* moody/angry/sensitive<br>
* anxiety (which I think might be a trigger for the meltdowns, and stomach issues) she doesn't like to discuss her worries/keeps her feelings inside<br>
* exhibits unusal attachment to items like old wrappers, broken toys etc. if I try to get rid of them - even if the items were never favorites<br><b>Social:</b><br>
* plays with other kids superficially and gets long with everyone but only has one close friend (who she's known since she was a baby)<br>
* often plays too rough/too loud etc - easily overwhelmed and takes things too far<br>
*social skills not great - doesn't greet peers/engage in converation - is somewhat immature<br><br>
She is bright (I do not think she is gifted), and does well in school both academically and behavior wise. She really likes to watch movies and listen to books on tape - both of which help calm her. She is creative and imaginative - thinks outside the box. She is a neat kid overall!<br><br>
I am at a loss as to where to start.<br>
Should I try different parenting techniques? (I've read the books on spirited kids, explosive kids, quirky kids, playful parenting and more)<br>
Provide more structure and routine - and try to control her environment even when we are out/away from home - ie, make sure she had some time alone when visiting for extended periods?<br>
Might she be sensitive to something food related? We eat a fairly healthy diet without much in the way of processed foods - I avoid artificial things and HCFS but I am not super diligent about it.<br>
I am looking to find a counsellor who can help us put some tools into place as far as dealing with anxiety and emotions.<br><br>
It seems that if I try to do everything at once I won't know what helps - I am just not sure where to start! Writing all of this down has arleady helped quite a bit and my ideas are starting to come together. Thanks to anyone who actually read this entire post and any thoughts are appreciated!
 

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was she tested for food allergies?
 

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I'm not one to blame everything on allergies/sensitivities, but in her case it sure sounds like there's some food sensitivities going on (constipation, allergic shiners, behavioral symptoms, stomach issues).<br><br>
I think you should post your concerns in the allergy forum.<br><br>
Also, its very possible to have sensitivities that don't show up as allergies during testing but profoundly affect the child nonetheless.
 

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My first thought reading your post was also food sensitivities. Particularly artificial colouring. I've know several children with a lot of her simptoms-constipation, mood swings, melt downs ect- who became diferant children when all artificial colouring was removed from their diet.
 

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Check out <a href="http://www.fedupwithfoodadditives.info/" target="_blank">http://www.fedupwithfoodadditives.info/</a> and see if her behavior matches their symptoms. Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much for all the support. The thing that gets me is that she might get upset but will save the outbursts for me!! So she is sort of a controlled out of control - which is why I often question my methods of interacting with her - rather than lay the blame elsewhere. I will mosey on over to allergies later when I have a few minutes (almost time to get dd from school and the whirlwind begins) and also do more reading on the subject. Maybe I should bite the bullet and do some major dietary elimination - we are all better off without most of that stuff anyway. Aperger's (among other things) has crossed my mind but she has a cousin formally diagnosed with Asperger's and while they do share many traits, my dd is so much more in control of herself, among other differences.<br><br>
Thanks everyone. I need to get DD, work on some homework and make tonight peaceful!
 

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I'm not an expert and I don't have personal experience but I know some people who have children with food intolerances and they've had some of the same experiences you have.
 

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Your DD sounds very much like my 7yo DS, except for the constipation/stomachache. He's always been pretty regular and content in that arena - thank goodness!<br><br>
WIth DS, I know a lot of his issues come down to having some mild sensory issues. Nothing big enough to be diagnosable, but enough to make him a bit "quirky" at times. I've learned through trial and error some ways to help him deal with the sensory issues, which helps with other stuff too.<br><br>
Since his issues are largely proprioceptive, I find that giving him lots of big, all-body movement time really helps. Swimming lessons really worked wonders for awhile to calm and center him. Taking him out in the woods or a park and just letting him run and climb and pound sticks on things is one of the best "medicines" there is.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>[email protected]</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9844111"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The thing that gets me is that she might get upset but will save the outbursts for me!! So she is sort of a controlled out of control - which is why I often question my methods of interacting with her - rather than lay the blame elsewhere.</div>
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This is probably just because she feels safest with you. She knows that she can yell and scream at you and that you won't leave her, or stop being her friend, or be mean to her / make fun or her etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone again! I am going to post over in allergies and look into food issues. I am sure it will be hard with all the goodies being passed around the time of year (it will be even harder at her age). One step at a time.<br><br>
I think the most frustrating thing is that she probably has some mild sensory issues but not enough to be diagnosable - just like a pp's experience. Same with anxiety - it is not enough to keep her from doing things, but it manifests in other ways.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>[email protected]</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9861558"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think the most frustrating thing is that she probably has some mild sensory issues but not enough to be diagnosable - just like a pp's experience. Same with anxiety - it is not enough to keep her from doing things, but it manifests in other ways.</div>
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I agree with the poster that suggests she melts down for you because she is comfortable showing you that side of her.<br><br>
If it is a sensory issue, the book "The out of Sinc Child" will give you some insight. I would get it from the library though, because once you read it, it may be way off base. I have sensory issues, and certain noises and clothes drive me crazy. I get so crabby when I hear someone chew gum, or the sound of a tack going into a corkboard. It is REALLY hard to keep it from spilling over into my regular life. (There are lots of sounds that do this to me, not just those two)
 

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I know that artificial colors/ingredients and High Fructose Corn Syrup wreak havoc on my dd1. I know because I have removed them and I REALLY see a difference. Now when she inadvertently gets one of these it's very obvious. We are also going to do full allergy testing, for food, too make sure there isn't something else. My dd has dark circles under her eyes too and interestingly our osteopath thinks that they have something to do with old head trauma. She has had several cranial treatments and the results are amazing. Much fewer meltdowns, listening better, happier etc. We are definitely going to keep doing them.<br><br>
You also mentioned that dd is bright but you don't think she is gifted, maybe you should have her school test? A lot of what you described sounds like she might be. Anxiety, social issues, mild sensory issues can be more common for gifted kids. Check out the Parenting the Gifted Child Forum, lots of good info. there.
 

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This is a copy of a recent post of mine about a similar situation. I hope some of it helps.<br><br>
Our son has rage and aggression, inability to hear and consider other's needs <b>when he consumes dairy</b>. It develops about one hour after consumption and lasts for 1-6 hours, depending upon quantity consumed. Dairy is not meant for human consumption, imo. It takes about six weeks tocompletely eliminate the dairy proteins from your body.<br><br>
Also, artificial food colors yellow and red make him hyper and less able to control himself. You might find some information at <a href="http://www.feingold.com/" target="_blank">www.feingold.com</a> 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. With dairy he invades other's space, pushes, hits, kicks, etc.<br><br>
We also use Rescue Remedy and Cherry Plum for upsets and "out of control" feelings. These are Bach Flower remedies, safe for children even. And available at most natural food stores. I could not parent without my Bach flower remedies.<br><br>
Pat<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Our son has huge dietary issues related to behavior. We live consensually so he is allowed to eat whatever he wants. But he is agreeable to avoiding dairy, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives because he feels better when he does. I don't know if you are familiar with "The Feingold Diet"? If you can find or order the book <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Why Won't My Child Behave</span>? and/or <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Is This Your Child?</span>, they both talk about children who sound just like yours, just like mine when he eats dairy, too much soy, wheat or artificial ingredients or too much salicylates from natural foods.<br><br>
It requires vigilant awareness but is worth every bit of effort. Our son goes from 0-100 (well over the sanity limit) approximately 60 minutes after consuming <b>dairy</b>. He would become aggressive, hitting, kicking, screaming and it lasts for 1-6 hours depending on quantity of consumption. Same thing with artificial ingredients. Needless to say, we avoid them like the Plague. We have avoided all of these since a very, very early age and he has outgrown many of his food intolerances and behavioral responses. Now he can eat dairy several times a week, wheat daily and soy a few times a week without any reactions. We do try to have a lot of physical outlets for him after consumption though. He is sensory seeking, probably ADHD, and SID, but these are irrelevant labels to us as we homeschool. But in a school situation, I imagine that his physical needs would interfere with sitting for long durations. Anyway, btdt. It can and will get better. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I have learned tons about diet and behavior. Here are some resources.<br><br>
Here are links to the two books I mentioned:<br><a href="http://www.feingold.org/bookstore-pg.html" target="_blank">http://www.feingold.org/bookstore-pg.html</a><br><a href="http://www.feingold.org/bookstore-pg.html" target="_blank">http://www.feingold.org/bookstore-pg.html</a><br><br>
Here is a link to "The Feingold Diet" organization. I didn't join and get there list of approved foods that are additive free. My friend did so have seen the info which is helpful. I shop at EarthFare which doesn't have any of the ingredients that they say to avoid. Basically you need to do an elimination diet for a minimum of a week to see a difference. Some people can see a significantly happier child in 24 hours! To completely eliminate dairy you need closer to a week though, 3 weeks ideally. And there is dairy, casein and whey in many processed foods. It is an effort, but so worth it. Our son can negotiate and consider other's needs and honor other's personal boundaries. But he had much harder of a time when he accidently consumed dairy, or artificial vanilla, or nitrates, or some yellow food color, for instance.<br><a href="http://www.feingold.org/indexx.html" target="_blank">http://www.feingold.org/indexx.html</a><br><br>
Here is a brief list of the foods to avoid. There are tons of foods, and brands that <span style="text-decoration:underline;">can be</span> consumed. The list looks daunting. But, you just eliminate all you can and then gradually test by adding one food at a time back to the diet. Many people find a gluten free diet helps. That is a bit more comprehensive than just wheat free. But there are <i>a lot</i> of dairy and wheat substitutes.<br><a href="http://www.kroger.com/hn/Diet/Feingold_Diet.htm" target="_blank">http://www.kroger.com/hn/Diet/Feingold_Diet.htm</a><br><br>
Here is a thread about "Healing the Gut". Basically, eliminating all the foods that cause intolerances and allowing the gut to heal. There are stickies and links about what to do. I believe this is what has significantly helped our son, in addition to classical homeopathy. We avoided all of the culprit foods for a long time. He is now 5, and can eat most everything except artificial ingredients.<br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=493103" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=493103</a><br><br>
Here are some concrete suggestions from another thread that I posted on:<br><br>
1. Fill love tank. See "The Five Love Languages for Children". The author suggests that the five are: acts of service, physical touch, gifts, affirmation, quality time. We generally value all; but there is usually a primary 'love language' and each adult or child feels more full of love, or empty of love, if their love language isn't being "spoken" to them consistently, daily.<br><br>
2. Eye contact when speaking with child.<br><br>
3. Validation of feelings. The "How to Talk so Kids will Listen, How to Listen so Kids will Talk" discusses pratical communication skills for increasing the dialogue effectiveness.<br><br>
4. "Siblings Without Rivalry" helps discuss allowing the "ugly" feelings about a sibling or situation to be voiced and validated. This helps the child work through them so that he can move away from carrying them alone. And then he can gain perspective once these are not such a heavy burden.<br><br>
5. "The Explosive Child" discusses 'picking your battles'. Basically, it has a "Basket" criteria of degrees of battle. Basket "A" is safety issues. These are critical to health and worth making an issue over. Basket "C" are little things that won't matter tomorrow, next week or next month. These are ignored and dealt with without creating an issue/battle or power struggle.<br><br>
Basket "B" are the important but negotiable items which need buy-in. Most things are here. But the issue is to determine 'Is this critical to the family's happiness *today* to create a power struggle?' What other ways can this issue be tackled together as a team?<br><br>
6. Food intolerances: dairy causes aggression in our son. We see his behavior change about one hour after consumption and lasts 1-6 hours depending on quantity consumed. Also, high fructose corn syrup (not sugar), artificial colors: red and yellow. See "The Feingold Diet" on-line.<br><br>
7. 'Meet the underlying needs' is my mantra. Focus on working to solve the need, rather than focusing on eliminating the behavior<br><br><br>
I strongly and firstly recommend <span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Explosive Child</span> for tools of "choosing your battles". It can change the dynamics to just essential safety issues, instead of having everything be a battle. I forgot about <b>high fructose corn syrup</b>. Ds can NOT consume this at all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake"> Occasionally he does. Then, we all have a very tough several hours. Eliminate this from your lives. It is seriously associated with violent and aggressive behaviors.<br><br>
Here are two on-going threads that will help to support you and let you know you are not alone: "My Challenge, My Love". These women will and do understand. They are living your life. Here is your life line. They have BTDT and are helping each other on their path of a peaceful family with a challenging child.<br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=328627" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=328627</a><br><br>
This thread is "Parenting & Rage". These women have many suggestions on taking care of yourself so that you are not overwhelmed by the work of parenting your child. It is work. They have helped me to recognize how I need to provide self-care to *me*, in addition to caring for everyone else. They remind me how important a calm mama is to a calm family.<br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=394579" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=394579</a><br><br><br>
I hope this helps you see a light at the end of the tunnel. Oh, and let me know if you need info about homeopathy. Here is one link: <a href="http://www.healing-arts.org/children/ADHD/homeopathy.htm" target="_blank">http://www.healing-arts.org/children...homeopathy.htm</a> We use classical homeopathy rather than acute. But, it does help to address the digestive and immunology aspects of food and behavior. I highly recommend considering it. I was leery at first but am evangelical about homeopathy now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
OH, and there are Bach Flower remedies!! These help when nothing else will. You can choose according to symptoms. These are available at any natural food store. Rescue Remedy, Elm, Cherry Plum, Beech are must haves, imo.<br><br><a href="http://www.ainsworths.com/remedy/default.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.ainsworths.com/remedy/default.aspx</a><br><br><a href="http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/remedies.htm" target="_blank">http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/remedies.htm</a><br><br><a href="http://www.bachflower.com/38_Essences.htm" target="_blank">http://www.bachflower.com/38_Essences.htm</a><br><br><a href="http://www.abchomeopathy.com/c.php/3" target="_blank">http://www.abchomeopathy.com/c.php/3</a><br></td>
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Also,<br><br>
1) See this thread about diet/environmental info related to sensory seeking behavior: <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=779752" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=779752</a><br><br>
2) Here are about 50+ different sensory activities. See post #18 and #19. <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=8889807&highlight=sensory#post8889807" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ry#post8889807</a><br><br><br>
ETA: We found a lot of information to help us from the book <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Highly Sensitive Child</span>. There is a tribe "Mothering The Highly Sensitive Child" also. <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=196898&highlight=highly+sensitive+child" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ensitive+child</a><br><br>
You can do a little on-line quiz to see if your child has some of the characteristics of heightened sensitivity. It is a gift of increased awareness and emotional sensitivity. <a href="http://www.hsperson.com/pages/child.htm" target="_blank">http://www.hsperson.com/pages/child.htm</a><br><br><br><br><br>
Pat
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>[email protected]</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9861558"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think the most frustrating thing is that she probably has some mild sensory issues but not enough to be diagnosable - just like a pp's experience. Same with anxiety - it is not enough to keep her from doing things, but it manifests in other ways.</div>
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Yep, that's it exactly - I've run the lists of sensory symptoms, and its very clear to me that my DS has sensory issues. But for the most part he doesn't have the resulting MAJOR issues -- at least, not enough to qualify for formal intervention. To use the terminology of the disability field, his issues don't "rise to the level of a disability" because they don't "create a substantial limitation."<br><br>
I think all these issues exist on a continuum, and everyone has a few - the trick is to figure out where the issues exist, where they cause problems, and work out ways of coping as a family - and helping a child with the issues learn to cope. Sensory issues aren't new, even tho the diagnosis may be, and what has always happened is that hopefully, kids with such issues have learned coping strategies. Knowing about them as parents helps us *help* our kids with their sensory issues, rather than assuming the kid is irrational and "just needs discipline."<br><br>
Have you read any of the checklists? This one was very helpful to me:<br><a href="http://www.spdconnection.com/printablepages/spdchecklist.htm" target="_blank">http://www.spdconnection.com/printab...dchecklist.htm</a><br><br>
What it did was give me an idea of where DS's main issue lie. Again, none of his are "disability" level, but he clearly has them (and his teachers have agreed). Once you know the areas of issues, you can start thinking about strategies.<br><br>
I didn't find Out of Sync Child helped much, because my DS's issues are really only in a few areas and weren't an issue at all until he was older (and still aren't so much of an issue). Googling on your child's specific area of concern plus "coping strategies" can often get you some good ideas.
 

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Consider cross-posting in the Special Needs forum...lots of us over there have experience with these types of issues.<br><br>
The dark circles and constipation are common signs of a food allergy or intolerance. The behavioral/emotional symptoms may be an extension of that, or a sign of something deeper such as sensory processing disorder, Asperger's or something else entirely. I recommend the book, "The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun" for wonderful activities that can help your dd significantly. You may also want to print out that list of your concerns to share with a developmental pediatrician or a school psychologist (your dd may qualify for free occupational, sensory integration or social skills therapy through the public school district; the evaluation would be free, too).<br><br>
Your dd has many of the same issues as my first grader, who is dx'ed with autism. PM me if you have any questions or need moral support. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat">
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow, much to think about (and read up on) - so much for trying something simple <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">. Thanks for the info though - I really want to figure this out, and you have all helped so much!<br><br>
One more question, I mentioned before that she is fine in other situations. At school, camp, activities etc. - all of her teachers say that she is kind, and helpful and a pleasure to teach. She doesn't scream, yell, act aggressively towards other kids, meltdown. If it were something like autism spectrum, sensory disorders, even severe food intolerances - would she really be able to control it and save the meltdowns for home? When I've mentioned some of these behaviors to teachers/camp counselors they have never seen any of it - even her preschool teacher who primarily works with special needs kids didn't notice anything unusual.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>[email protected]</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9844111"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">. The thing that gets me is that she might get upset but will save the outbursts for me!! So she is sort of a controlled out of control - which is why I often question my methods of interacting with her - rather than lay the blame elsewhere.</div>
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This is EXACTLY how I feel about my 7 yo DD. Just for me (and occasionally her dad) she is like a lovely stew of teenager and 2 year old. For everyone else she is under control...<br>
I do think it osunds like she has some food sensitivities, but there may be some normal seven-ness going on too, confusing things.
 
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