Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Elder Munchkin has been having troubles at school for a while. Early in the piece he had surgery for constant problems with his tonsils and ear infections. That should have fixed some issues relating to his speech but it hasn't seemed to fix it all. Granted he doesn't snore as much or get tonsilitus (obviously) but his speech sounds like he constantly has a blocked nose. When he blows it, nothing comes out - it's more like the membranes are swollen. The specialist thought it may have been allergies, but nasal sprays haven't helped either. As a result, his speech is poor, he has poor habits also - drops end sounds and doesn't open his mouth enough. We've been working on this for ages with limited improvement.
In addition, I was approached last year and again this year by his teachers who suggested he was on the Autism spectrum. I'm a teacher myself and ok, you might say I'm in denial, but though he has behaviours that overlap with Aspergers (and don't we all) he doesn't exhibit the key ones or enough of them in my opinion. They suggested this because his social skills and attention aren't in line with his abilities in other areas (where he appears gifted)
If I was asked I'd say he would be diagnosed as ADD (not ADHD). His attention and focus is terrible, he can't follow routines, gets lost halfway through instuctions...just gets distracted by other stuff constantly (just like me as a child, less so now). He's not hyperactive, and happily sits quietly playing Lego, Kinex etc for hours - loves construction. I'm so hoping I'm utterly wrong, as the idea of medicating my child for this sort of thing just isn't something I want to have to face.

We have had routines in place for this child since he was born. Our house has charts with morning routines, evening routines. Our children don't watch TV (except for movie nights), they don't play hours of computer games (that sort of stuff is closely monitored). They don't eat rubbish etc etc. EVERYTHING we are supposed to do for a child's ideal development is done. And yet, the problems are there. It's frustrating. Obviously, there are thousands of families out there in the same boat. I have a dear friend (Asperger herself) who has all 3 of kids diagnosed with the same thing and she is an amazing mother. It's wrong of me, but I feel a little jaded when I see families (and in my line of work you see plenty) who don't bother putting in half the effort we do as parents, and yet their kids present as 'fine'. Ok, that's a stupid thing to say, but I guess I'm grieving this a little.

In any case, we are booked to see a paediatrician in a fortnight and in the meantime I stumbled across the FAILSAFE diet, which thousands and thousands of families apparently swear by.

The FAILSAFE stands for Free of Additives, Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers. http://www.virtualmedicalcentre.com/healthandlifestyle.asp?sid=191

The results of this system seem too good to be true - and this stage, that's what I'm looking for because I do suspect food has an impact on our Munchkin - it explains why some days he seems fine, and others he's terrible. If it was something else, you'd expect more consistency in his behaviours.

So today was spent emptying our pantry and fridge and filling both with only 'allowed' foods so we aren't tempted. I'm lucky enough to have a gorgeous husband, who's every bit as wonderful a dad - who said, 'Right, well we'll all be on it then'. So the house is 'clean' to ensure no mistakes during the next 2 weeks while we're on the elimination part of it. We want to do this right, to give it the best possible chance.

There's reports that it has helped migraine sufferers too - so I might get something out of it too.

It's going to be an interesting 2 weeks....

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