Saturday, June 8, 2013

ADD Adventures

There is a growing trend of learning disabilities being diagnosed, I've seen first hand as I have gone through getting my masters degree in special education. When my boys were little, ok they still are little but when my oldest was younger, I always thought he was so smart and would just breeze through school. We enrolled him in the dual language program at his school so he wouldn't get bored and would be more challenged. He just finished second grade and this year proved to be a very trying one.

First we thought he may be slightly dyslexic or dysgraphic as he was prone to saying small words backwards when reading or writing many letters backwards. However, through the course of this year we have noticed a great improvement so that went out the window. Then it stared to click. Reading over all the notes in his conduct folder there was an overwhelming pattern.

"Not finishing work"

"Not completing tasks"

"Needs to pay better attention" 

Suddenly visions of all the inattentiveness flashed through my brain. It dawned on me. Logan likely has ADD, attention deficit disorder. This learning disability is more often referred to as ADHD where in the H stands for hyperactive, however I haven't observed much hyperactivity in my son so I intend to leave that out. Logan is very inattentive and had extreme difficulty in focusing. This is where his difficulty in reading comes into play. As he reads a sentence by the time he has finished the sentence he has forgotten what he has read. 

Disclaimer: I am no diagnostician and this is just from my observations and opinions of what I see in my son from research I've done. My son has NOT been formally diagnosed.

Through more research we decided to attempt to combat this in attentiveness through diet. Unfortunately there is a lot of conflicting information in this area, however there is a strong consensus that eliminating artificial colors and flavors and maintaining a more organic diet is helpful. This website also has some other information

While we haven't determined if this will work we decided that it wouldn't hurt us to eat healthier and more organic. This journey has been an expensive one. We have been spending a lot of money and more frequently shopping for food. Once we get a better hold on this we hope that we will be spending less money. 

I think Logan has taken to it really well. Fortunately we have been an overall healthy family but this has limited a lot of our snack and breakfast foods. I have adopted a new "have a piece of fruit" philosophy when the boys are "still hungry" or want a different snack that isn't as healthy. They love fruit so it's working pretty well.

What an amazing feeling today, after going shopping at a farmers market, organizing the fridge and seeing almost everything fresh and organic. I know that while we started this adventure to help with the possibility of ADD in Logan it is an amazing step in transforming the health of our entire family.

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