Mothering Forum banner

Where do I start to help my son?

579 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  JBAmom
Hi everyone,

I've browsed this forum a bit and it seems like people are so kind and knowledgeable. Maybe you could help me...

My oldest son is going to be 7 in October. He was breastfed for 2 years and is physically healthy. He has been tested as "gifted" and does fairly well academically. However, he some behavior issues that seem to be getting worse. With school starting soon, I am worried that the stress of school will make things worse (he had some minor trouble last year).

Here is a little bit of info... He gets fixated on disappointing events or fears and has long emotional outbursts over them. For example, after a party one day, he let his helium balloon go accidentally. He cried over that one every night for a week and was still obsessing over it a month later. My husband and I have found that explaining things to him logically doesn't work... For example, my son became frantic when we walked past the cemetary one day . We tried having a candid discussion of death and how it happens to everyone and it's not something to be scared of... No dice. Then my husband decided to talk about different cultures' beliefs about the afterlife. My son was then obsessed for weeks about how he would reincarnate as a bug. Funny, but not really.

He has control issues as well. When playing with others, he feels he must direct all of the play. If people do not allow him to control every part of the play, he loses his temper and yells or pushes. Recently, he bit another child.

He is very sensitive about other's reactions to him. He says things like, "No one likes me." Kids tend to pick on him a little since it is so easy to reduce him to tears. However, he is a fun, outgoing and personable kid with creative play ideas, so he does make friends easily.

Finally, he has an issue with obsession with sugar. We feed the kids a lot of veggies and fruit and wholesome food. However, there are the neverending family and school functions involving junk food. Eating sugary foods seems to fuel outbursts for him. However, I encountered a lot of resistance from family members and the school when I tried to have him avoid sugar. And he would sneak candy from classmates or pull gum off the sidewalk, etc.

Which reminds me... he has a few weird habits. He seems to have trouble controlling his impulses (I know that's somewhat normal at his age). He puts his hands down his pants on his penis in public. He eats cat food.

Ideas? I already looked at OCD, but that doesn't fit. I don't want to medicate him no matter what it is!!! I have seen some threads about diet and enzymes and probiotics...?
See less See more
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
He sounds similar to me as a kid. Let's start with telling you I don't have any diagnosed problems, but who knows what the doctors would have said now about me. I am the mom of an autistic spectrum kid, and married to a man who probably would be considered 'on the spectrum' if he was a kid today. ASDs are often believed to be genetic. (can't be MMR related here because ds doesn't have the MMR) I suspect I woud have been diagnosed with some SID and possibly Motor Planning probelms as a kid.

The key thing that I can see connecting a bunch of your symptoms is the sugar thing. I didn't recognize low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in myself until it got really severe when I started taking some meds, but once that happened, I realized I had always had a milder version of it.

It caused dramatic reactions to everyday situations. I suspect that a lot of the times I came home crying because "nobody likes me" and the ability to be brought to tears on the school bus every night had a lot to do with a late afternoon drop in blood sugar. The dog food I used to sneak (really grosses me out now) could have easily been me trying to self regulate my blood sugar when I was out playing in the afternoon...I didn't want to stop and eat.

I also was very creative, with a vivid imagination and a pretty smart kid, which allowed me to take the spark of an idea and just snowball it for weeks, building on one simple experience or idea. I get rather irrational and will still make a mountain out of a molehill if I am not eating correctly. The two traits combined make for some massive obssional and 'disaster scenario' thinking.

So, the key: steady intake of protein. Avoiding sugar and refined foods as much as possible. If I am in a social situation where I have to eat large amounts of sugar (birthday parties for instance), I try to always have some protein (nuts, cheese, beef jerky are all more portable) right before or during to help even out the eventual crash. The Low Blood Sugar cookbook was a good resource too. I lost mine and am thinking of replacing it because I miss it so much.

BTW, I don't react well to artificial sugars either (headaches, stomachaches, and general icky feeling) so I just starting to use artificial sweeteners was not a good solution. I still eat sugar as an adult, but I have learned to listen to my body and am more capable of keeping it from being drug like to me.
See less See more
Thanks, Jennifer... He's a lot like me, too...
I sure do love his creativity and when he laughs--OMG, he's a pure ball of joy. It's just that he seems to fluctuate between dissatisfied and downright unhappy about 75% of the time!

The blood sugar thing is likely a factor--I am rather sensitive to it and my DH is Type 2 diabetic as is his father. More evidence--my son has trouble in the afternoon especially. I do make sure he eats protein with each meal and he's allowed healthy snacks like raw nuts, etc. We eat whole grains and try to limit simple carbs, but school throws a whole "out of control" element to his diet... I pack his lunch, but he often doesn't eat most of it because he's too excited by the other kids to eat. Or because he's embarrassed that his lunch isn't white bread, chips and cookies like all the other kids. And his mood swings have been pretty severe this summer, so I'm afraid it'll be much worse when school starts.

I definitely agree with you about the chemical sugars--we don't use those!

I was reading some more and I also might look into the yeast thing, too. He had a yeast infection this summer (he's not circumcised). And he has some behaviors (chewing his shirts and paper and other non-food items) that people suggested may be the result of yeast overgrowth.
See less See more
Your son sounds a little bit like my 7 yr old, as far as extreme sugar craving and unreasonable preoccupations. He was actually Dx'd with ADD last year, though I don't think now that I agree with that. He does have SID, and I suspect a significant auditory processing issue. We did an anti-candida diet with him just before summer and he has shown remarkable improvement in his ADD symptoms (inattention and impulsivity) as well as decreased sugar craving. When he sticks to a low-carb, high-protein diet it makes a big difference in his self-control.
Some of the other behaviors like being overly self-consciouness and controlling and feeling unliked are also like my son was during the school year. In my son's case, I think that might all stem from low self-esteem because he was performing poorly in school. This summer has been full of successful experiences for him, very ego-boosting, and he doesn't have any of those behaviors right now. I think they will return when school starts, unfortunately.
I don't know how helpful that is because it sounds like the underlying issues may not be the same. But it might be worthwhile to look into the yeast thing.
One more thing, that may or may not apply, my other son becomes very unreasonable and beligerant at times. We always figure he is hungry and give him some healthy snack. But recently we noticed that a snack of almonds improves his mood completely and quickly. Today he refused to eat almonds and behaved horribly for most of the day. Then at dinner he rejected the chicken dish that he usually likes and begged me for tuna. He was sure it would help him behave, so I gave it to him and bygolly it did! The next thing I'm going to look into tonight is what nutrient might be in almonds and tuna, and probably in cat food that kids might need to help them cope.
See less See more
My son had a very good day today despite waking up extra early this morning because of nightmares.

Still looking around at different solutions. I don't know that a Candida diet would be possible for us because he is so resistant and would sneak food items from neighbors and Grandma... Plus with school starting, he'll have even more cheating opportunities.

I have started giving him some black walnut extract and pau d 'arco tea (with a bit of raw wildflower honey since he won't drink it otherwise) and a bit of unrefined coconut oil. All of these are supposed to help rid the body of Candida. I got some grapefruit seed extract, but I tried it mixed with water and it is very intense. I know he'll never go for it after he does it the first time. I also make kefir d'uva (all the kids love this!) and kombucha for some probiotics.

So I'll keep researching and see what can I come up with...
See less See more
Chewing paper and other non-food items can be a sign of an iron deficiency, but it could also be a sensory issue. I don't absorb vitamins & minerals well & got some weird cravings (paper, rock salt & ice) when I needed more iron.
I would suggest reading some of the articles here about emotions and gifted kids.

Have you considered having him work with a therapist. There are "social skills" groups out there that may help with his need to control play and help him get more comfortable interacting with other kids. Some kids are more sensitive, intense and emotionally immature than others and some specific work on social and emotional skills might be a big help for him.
My son is going to a social skills class and it is benefitting him as far as giving him broader knowledge of appropiate behavior. But that is only helpful when he is able to exert control over his behavior. Sometimes he just can't. But, again, we give him almonds and he does much better. I searched for the common ingredient in almonds and tuna, and I'm thinking it is the omega-3 fatty acids. For this some nuts are better than others, walnuts are better than almonds. Peanuts don't help. Most fish is good, especially salmon. Now I'm trying to find clever ways of slipping flaxseed oil into the kids' food. A good protein snack may not be enough if it doesn't have some other nutrient your son may need.
I am not stalking you I swear
but a physical trainer once told me that almonds regulate blood sugar levels. He said if I found myself getting the shakes to carry almonds in my pocket. I use to work long hours on my feet and would become fatigued and shakey. I think it is possible.
See less See more
That's cool about the almonds. I wonder what is in them that regulates blood sugar levels. But it is the most reliable solution I have found to help pop my son back to the world of reason. The only problem is that he is getting tired of eating them. Tuna did work too, but I'm afraid to give that to him more than twice a week because of the mercury.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.