Boy+Sensory+Dentist=Tired Mom

I’m sure the dental hygienist wondered why I was neglecting to bring my son in for his yearly visits to the dentist.  She may think me lazy, overworked, underinsured, or whatever…and though each of those may have played a part in my decision it really all comes down to something much greater.

My oldest FEELS everything.  This isn’t just an oral thing as he is energized by sound, hindered by bright lights, and will not put new things in his mouth.  But yesterday at the dentist he got to experience all those things…together.  Really, let’s think about this.  The loud noise of the “water cleaner” aka the drill.  The bright light for the dentist to see in your mouth.  And then let’s concentrate all that in your mouth!

It started with the hygienist putting the rough bib shirt protector tucked in his shirt.  His response, “that FEELS rough.”  Then she put red dye on his teeth.  He kinda freaked out cause he’s not supposed to have red dye.  So I explained to her why he was trying to hold his lips away from the dye and almost trying to crawl out of his skin to get away from the dye.  Of course as soon as I tell her we don’t do reds, we don’t do high fructose corn syrup, and we limit sugar then she wants to know if he’s been diagnosed.  Perhaps the most frustrating moment in this 30 second discussion is when she pressed the diagnosis or need for one and then wanted to mark “behavior issues” on his sheet.

You may have guessed that I hate labels.  There is no box to contain the things we encounter each day.  My son is not worse than others.  He is not defective or deficient.  He is an unique individual.

Have you experience his laugh?  Have you seen his artwork?  Have you heard one of his great stories?  Have you attended one of his parties?  People…this kid is amazing.

By the time the entire appointment was done, I was exhausted and a bit defeated.  I’m a bit overwhelmed with the thought of bringing him back for the dental work he needs done.  But I know he is my child for a reason.  I firmly believe God had this child for me because no other mommy could raise him the way I can.

I am his advocate.  I am his biggest cheerleader.  I believe he is a great kid with so many talents I can hardly stand it.  I believe he will be a wonderful man, a loving husband, and an excellent dad someday.

See the beauty in your child.

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To Dye For

Who knew food dye could be so bad for us?  Well, 2 years ago I had no idea.  My oldest was just done with Kindergarten and about to enter 1st grade.  Near the end of Kindergarten, his teacher (who I very much trust) told me that if he continued down the same path of interrupting and impulsive behavior that he was going to be tested for ADHD.  I don’t believe any young child with mild symptoms should be stamped with a label so I decided it was time to do some research.

I had read through Jenny McCarthy’s book on Autism when my son was 3 years old.  So I was aware of the different diets.  In fact, we had done a Gluten Free Casein Free diet when my son was 3 years old.  Sadly, we didn’t see any changes in his behavior.  But this time was different.

Can you guess how long it takes to shop when you are constantly reading nutrition labels?  It would take me over an hour to shop for just one week.  I read each and every label.  We had to cut out most cereals, certain juice boxes, some mac and cheese box mixes, and cheap syrup just due to the red and yellow dyes.  At the same time as the dyes, we cut most white sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  My son’s diet selection quickly diminished and had to be replaced.

The results were amazing.  We found that red dyes make him really hyper.  Like bounce off the walls uncontrollable can’t listen hyper.  Once we eliminated them, he was able to focus and listen a lot better.  Although he still interrupts in class and has a hard time listening, it is easier to work with.  The high fructose corn syrup makes him spacey.  It’s actually kinda scary how disconnected he becomes.  And the sugar…well, it’s sugar.  Each of these takes 3 days to work out of his system.  If there ever is a slip up, we can peg it pretty quickly.

His new diet consists of his favorite cereals, my homemade mac and cheese, homemade pizza, peanut butter, chicken, tortellini, a few select veggies and fruits, milk, and water.  It’s not much, but he’s healthy.