Tag Archives: Health

The great highs and lows of Aspie livin’

skateboard
skateboard (Photo credit: expense)

This last year has been a time of great achievements and growth in J-man. HE had started to act less “Aspie” and more “normal”. Crying was a part of his daily life not to long ago, far longer than what the rest of the world thought he should cry. I have never actually taken to what the “world” or “they” tell us. His crying had become almost non-existent.  To see him be more calm and in control about things did my heart proud. He had made such big steps and is able to control himself to only show mild frustration and not let it escalate.

That was last year, before we decided to home school he and his sister full-time. I’m pretty sure there have been all the adjustments and frustration with HS’ing with his arch (family) enemy. It’s hard to be with a sibling that is bent on making you scream every chance she gets. On the other hand, she is entering pubescence as well as he is, so we have immature tween hormones at it’s finest here. She is crying or screeching and he’s barking like a dog or crying like the world is ending. Or meowing like a cat. Or he’s melting down like his life is at an end, at times.

I have mediated like a CHAMP and using the opportunity to build their rocky relationship…and it’s working. I play psychologist and they play my patients. They don’t see it, but it’s totally working. I clap my hands in silent GLEE! Until the crap hits the fan the next time.

Enter: Major Growth Spurt.

I was wondering why he was back-talking me and acting like what I said was the exact opposite of what he should do, then I realized he is pubescent. Yah, that’s right. And in the middle of the most major growth spurt of his life.

This made me shake my head at my blindness. Of course he’s going to be a hot mess while these things are happening in his body! What was I thinking? That since he is the size of an adult that he would think like one? Silly me.

No…it means a good dose of REGRESSION. We get to see the toddler years re-emerge into the bigger tween years.

christmas treeAdd to that the Christmas season, and we have some awesome fireworks around these parts, and I don’t mean the kind you buy off an illegal stand somewhere. No we have fireworks right in our own walls. Just as spectacular too. You should come over and watch. On the other hand…

I know that all the progress we’ve made is not lost, it’s just jumbled around in that brain that has a million chemicals trying to shoot around, in his body, so that he can grow and mature into the man he that I am sure he is becoming.

Watching your child lose part of their mind…the part they use to listen to our parental words like “Hey, man. Can you do the dishes for me please? Hello? Helloooo?” Well, it throws me back to my pubescence and I want to retaliate. But I don’t.

Ah forget it. I’ll just take the DS away from his face then he’ll “hear” me. Yah, that’ll work.

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Aspie elevating

Brain cell(s)
Brain cell(s) (Photo credit: jepoirrier)

Not a long post today on what it looks like for my Aspie to get all elevated when stressful times are about to occur or when his routine is messed up.

The imminent departure for us means it gets messy in his brain for him.

*Schedules are upset (though Grandma has awesome ideas)

*Sleep is interrupted because he’s sleeping with a noisy (snoring) brother b/c we are in his room until we leave (biggest bed). He gets it back when we leave so the sleep should be better.

*Sleep deprivation makes the stress of us leaving seem all that worse.

*Focus for more than a nano-second goes to crap

*Incessant talking ramps up

*Eating stops because he’s spaced out and stressed out.

*Lack of food makes him more grumpy. At school it makes him emotional.

*Hand flapping gets noticeable and irritating if you are sitting at the table with him (which sister was and then it got ugly fast)

All of this is very predictable and will be somewhat out of his control, despite usually not having to deal with all the extra Aspie behaviors anymore, until we come back and decompress.

Hoping that he eases back down to stress levels that they can all cope with. Here’s to hoping.

This is why I need the break. Sometimes the extra behaviors drive me wild.

Then again, I’m going to miss my Aspie boy.

 

Getting rid of Artificial Dye

The Food Coloring
The Food Coloring (Photo credit: Matthew Bland)

Yes, it’s the mother of all that is cruel in a child’s life…to take away artificial colorings. Afterall, aren’t those shiny red candies the BEST ones? Isn’t that too-red-for-words juice at the potluck table the only thing that will quench thirst? Even if I did bring a natural juice that tastes BETTER.

Yes, I am a cruel heartless mother who has taken her kids off of dyes. The damage has been done, and my little Aspie thinks it’s the end of the world. He thinks that red dye makes food tastier. Mmm hmmm….

It just may be the end of the world, because the word artificial is on every food label there could be! I haven’t even uttered a word about taking all artificial everything out of our diets yet, but it’s coming. Oh yes, the days is coming.

But let’s deal with the really bad food dyes, shall we? A plethora of research has been done (google it if you want, I don’t have the chutzpah to do it tonight and link it) to show how these food dyes have infiltrated our diets and a ton of foods you would never think would be littered with them, are.

What they cause are behavior issues, to start. This is what I deal with in my family. This is what I will talk about. Artificial food coloring have also been linked to cancer among other things. But behaviors are what I’m talking about.

In our family, we have one Aspie. Aspie children have behaviors that are a little more bizarre than the usual kid on the street. They may say things out of the blue that don’t really have relevance. He may concentrate on a particular subject for YEARS. He may cry after a frustrating go at something. He may be afraid to use the phone because it puts him in an awkward social situation that he can’t predict or script. Sensory issues bring out ticks, uttering that doesn’t make sense or doggie noises. Anxiety is a trigger for a lot of everything.

As he grows older and more mature these behaviors are becoming less and less pronounced overall unless, and I say unless as a foreshadowing…we have food dyes. Yes, I said it. I’ve noticed the difference myself. From a calm, caring, focused (for him), easy to redirect child, comes a hyper, bounce around the house, and impossible to redirect child. He’s bouncy bouncy bouncy. And while this would seem healthy as an exercise, it’s not particularly helpful when trying to complete schoolwork at home. He starts talking NONSTOP. This is a child who is conversational (one-sided, mind you) to a fault. He loves to talk, but after consuming dyes, he is a run-on sentence. Run-on sentences said at a speed no one could track is exhausting to the listener. All this said while bouncing.

We know how to partay! ahem.

then there is my second oldest who, bless her beautiful heart, reacts to Red 40 by becoming  ruthless assassin. She is smart as a whip and beautiful to boot, but infused with that deadly chemical anyone who looks at her the wrong way gets a full throttle beating, if you know what I mean. The claws come out. It gets ugly, fast. This is a recent (last wee and this week) observation as we had Valentines (can we say red and pink candy galore?), then she snuck a red candy yesterday and I figured it out only after a rash of karate moves to unsuspecting victims. Oh, perhaps they had it coming to them at some point, but that was not the case here. I totally called it and she confessed. I had no idea at the time of the exasperated conversation, that I was right, but knew she was eyeballing a candy from her sister’s stash that had RED 40 written all over it’s pretty red flower face. And she had taken that candy despite my earlier “NO!” to her.

So then,  the youngest two. I have just kept them away because we are staying away from it as a family. I am trying to have a healthier menu overall. My third child, has had some behavioral issues in the past, but is coming around nicely. I need to track his behavior when he’s been around the dastardly chemical enhancer. So far, the oldest two have kept me busy when something has been ingested so I’ll have to pay more attention to the younger two.

It is when they have functions at school, church or at friend’s houses that I can’t control what they eat. My one son (ironically, the one that doesn’t seem prone to behavioral outbursts at the time) kept himself from eating any of the food/candy that had dye in it on Valentines, in his class. So proud of him! He may be self-regulating himself that way and that is terrific!

How to keep them away from it for those times when I’m not with them, though. OY!

Any ideas on this from experienced parents?