another piece of the puzzle

Don’t you just love it when you have been searching and searching for information and then suddenly, out of nowhere, the thing you need pops up in the most unexpected place?

You probably know by now that I’m not a big believer in luck or coincidence. I mean it when I say that I believe God will put us in the right place at the right time. Or cause someone to bring up something in a casual conversation. Or plop an expert right in front of your face, right when you needed it.

So, you already know that our family has been in a serious struggle the past couple of years to figure out WHY things are so difficult for one of our children. WHY do his brother and sister seem to learn so easily? But concepts that seem simple can be so difficult for HIM?

At the same time, we have wondered WHY is he the only one in the family with severe allergies. Why do his brother and sister love eating fruits and veggies, but he can barely tolerate corn and carrots?

And then a couple of weeks ago, while I was working a Discovery Toys booth at an autism conference, of all places, I stumbled upon a book, which for the first time made a connection in my mind between these two issues.

I had already been on a mission for several years to figure out how to help my child learn. Now, I was on a mission to figure out how his allergies and diet might be a piece of the puzzle.

Little did I know that when my friends convinced me to attend a homeschooling conference I would find more clues in my search.

I really didn’t want to go. I still don’t really see myself as a homeschool mom. And I was worried about being surrounded by homeschooling cheerleaders all dressed in matching denim jumpers.

But my group of friends are all nice, normal women, who I really like to be around, so I figured worst-case scenario it would give me a chance to wear cute clothes and eat food someone else had cooked. And those two possibilities will get me to go almost anywhere.

I certainly didn’t expect that I would be immersed in six hours of in-depth seminars on how to identify my child’s learning struggle, how to help him without spending $15,000 on therapy (our current best option) and how allergies, diet and nutrition could be at the root of the whole issue. And yet, that is exactly where I have been for the past two days.

I was searching for someone who would just tell me WHAT. TO. DO. And that is exactly what this woman did over the weekend.

I don’t now if she’s right. I don’t know if her plan will work. And I know many of y’all probably aren’t real interested in this topic.

But I just feel like I want to document this journey here on my blog. Because if the things we are going to try DO work, I would love to make some other mom’s journey easier and shorter than mine has been. So, in a nutshell (not really, since my son is allergic to nuts), here’s what I learned this weekend.

1. Kids who have a learning glitch, or a blocked learning gate, or a dysfunction, dyslexia or dsygraphia… whatever you want to call it, often have an overgrowth of yeast in their system. This comes from taking too many antibiotics when they were little. The yeast is constantly fed and grows through a diet of sugar and bread.

Um, did I mention my child pretty much lives on starchy food? And that he is the only one in the family who gets severe stomach aches when he takes an antibiotic? Yeast overgrowth also exhibits itself in anxiety and eczema. Both of these have always been a struggle for one child only.

2. Next, I learned that the brain is 60 percent fat, and the fat it needs is found in Essential Fatty Acids. Because so many of our fats now are broken down and hydrogenated, the only place to get Essential Fatty Acids is through mother’s milk and fish oil. Well, unfortunately, this mom hates seafood. So, I don’t ever serve my family fish. Ever.

When she said these kids crave butter, have dry skin and eczema, plus sensory issues, I was suspicious. Then, she mentioned that their hair is so dry that it sticks up in back. How many times have we teased our son because his hair sticks straight up after he washes it?

This speaker said that giving Omega-3 supplements to increase Essential Fatty Acids will give the brain more of the fat it needs to focus and learn, plus it creates serotonin, which helps with moodiness and depression.

3. Finally, the allergies. If a kid’s system is full of histamines, it blocks his ability to learn. I know how bad I feel in the spring when my outdoor allergies kick in. But my child exhibits these symptoms almost every day of his life. So, we need to make some diet changes to eliminate more offending agents than just nuts and peanuts.

I hope to fill you in as we proceed on this journey. I’m just excited to have some new avenues to try, and I don’t have to spend thousands more in doctor bills and therapy to get started.

If you have any experience with any of the things I have mentioned, I would love to hear your stories!

If you liked this post, you might also want to read:

the power of hope
autism and vaccines
allergies, asthma, adhd and autism

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  1. Wow Emily. I hope these suggestions work some wonders for your little man. I have complete faith that they will. I can remember growing up and cousin Robert could not have red food dye. It made him hyper. I was a non-believer, until Cousin Robert had some red powdered drink mix. Cousin Robert was bouncing off the walls! I don't know if he has grown out of this no red food dye problem, but he did make it to adulthood and from what I can see, he is pretty happy. (This is not the Cousin Robert that you know. Believe it or not. I have more than one.)Caroline is allergic to chlorine. There is no keeping her out of the pool, though. She woke me up in the middle of the night for some medicine. How do you keep a kid out of the pool? You can't. She just has to shower immediately after she swims, which she hates to do. And she has to have some medicine after. Which we never remember until 3:00 a.m. when she is awake scratching her legs. My struggle is small compared to yours, but the SECOND you are required to avoid something, it seems impossible to avoid. So, I guess I am saying I sort of understand, just on a waaaay smaller scale. Monicals now has gluten free pizza. Does that help?:)Lynn

  2. Wow Emily….this is very intriguing information. I look forward to following your journey with your son…..and your new adventures as a HS mom! I'm sure this journey will be an inspiration to many moms of children with similar issues! Praying for you….you're a great mom! Blessings…..

  3. Thanks Lynn… isn't it funny how when we were growing up we thought stuff like that was so silly! We didn't know of anyone with allergies!The chlorine thing is really a pain. Did you go to an allergist? I have another friend with a chlorine reaction. I was looking online and it said it also could be just sensitivity. Either way, it's a huge pain! Especially in summer!Thanks, Gretta! At least I feel a little more equipped now. It's one thing to homeschool a kid who learns easily and goes by the book, but to try to be the sole teacher of a child who struggles is overwhelming. I feel like I have to sort of make things up as we go along.At least the woman at the conference gave some great tips for teaching right-brained learners and kids with a learning glitch. I'm feeling much more confident now!

  4. I too am looking forward to reading about your journey with your home school adventures & with your son… hope you find a solution! The essential fatty acids idea is very fascinating for me too… my son has the dry hair thing, some sensory issues (some days seem to be way worse than others) & can be quite moody… we occasionally eat fish but aren't really huge fans of it. I will have to pursue that side a bit too… thanks for the insight!!Laurel

  5. Laurel,Dianne Craft recommends EFA Blend for Children by Nature's Way (8 capsules a day for children over 6.) She said the capsules are really small and easy to swallow.I have a bunch of other recommended books to read on this topic. Let me know if you are interested.

  6. You are probably right. She is just sensitive to chlorine; and deoderant; and probably a million other things she hasn't come in contact with yet. Didn't take her to an allerigist; the doctor said to shower right after swimming. Easier said than done. I do have to say that I admire parents of children with allergies and mean afflictions like celiac disease. Parenting is hard enough without adding all the allergies and afflictions!:)Lynn

  7. Emily… I'd be very interested in those books you were talking about… you could always bring that list to convention! Something else to talk about when we finally meet:)Laurel

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