Thursday, March 31, 2011

Study on ADHD: 64% of children w/ ADHD, food is the cause

 People are always commenting on the way we eat. We don't buy candy, we rarely purchase processed foods and when we do, only very minimally processed. We began eating this way because as I mentioned in an earlier post titled Qi Balance soup, I have PCOS and endometriosis. I wasn't getting anywhere with doctors so I began looking for alternate remedies. I stumbled across a book (again read that post) that changed my life. I was able to manage my disease with a very strict diet. It sounds crazy, but it is true. And when my symptoms do return, it is only because I have slipped in my diet over several months (because it is a tough and time consuming way to prepare food... but SOO worth it) It wasn't long after I made that change for myself that I began to see the change in my sons, specifically my son J, who we had been told for years by medical professionals, therapists and other parents, ought to be medicated for ADHD. I began doing my own "testing" and discovered that my boys were both *extremely* reactant to food dyes, specifically red #40. R can't even shower with gel or shampoo containing it without a HUGE reaction. I also couldn't believe how J was affected by refined sugar. I always heard that sugar made children hyper etc, but never felt its effects personally. Honestly, I thought that too was a lot of bologna. Don't get me wrong, I understand the health problems caused by eating excessive amounts of sugar, but I didn't really think it made children hyper. That is true with my other three children, but with J...WOW! The smallest amount of refined sugar and he becomes hyper and even violent. Consequently, NR therapy (which I talk about all of the time) also treats ADHD through its ability to "rewire" the brain. My son, that everyone said must be medicated, is not on ANY medication. It is amazing what the human body is capable of if we treat it right! Anyway, I didn't find the below article at all surprising or shocking. I've seen the proof of it in my own family. Diet in combination with NR has been our miracle.. and that's no bologna:-)

Article: For 64 Percent of Kids with ADHD, Food is the Cause\

It's scary to think that over 5 million children in this country are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and of those children, 3 million are medicated each year. ADHD is a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination. It's the most commonly diagnosed disease among kids, in fact between 3 and 5 percent of kids are said to have it.
Many parents are hesitant to medicate their children because the side effects of medications like Ritalin can be quite drastic. From a lack of appetite to the inability to sleep, and in some cases, depression, the downside is real. The idea of having such a huge population of young children medicated like never before in any society in itself seems downright frightening. And a new study published in the Lancet and reported on Civil Eats, sheds some light on what many of us have been thinking for a while. It's the medication that we take three times a day that can really make a difference and that medication is our diet.
The study's lead author Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands said this to NPR:
“Food is the main cause of ADHD.” The study found that in 64 percent of children with ADHD, the symptoms were caused by food. “It’s a hypersensitivity reaction to food.” This is good news for parents, especially when you hear the long term impact that Ritalin can have on some kids. Civil Eat's Kristin Wartman, pointed to one study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2007 that said "[a]fter three years on Ritalin, children were about an inch shorter and 4.4 pounds lighter than their peers."
Foods that Cause ADHD
Kids are showing both a sensitivity to foods themselves and food additives. The Feingold Diet proposed in the 1970s outlined particular foods to cut from a child's diet like artificial coloring, artificial flavors, added preservatives, Salicylates (a pesticide added to some food plants), and other food additives like sulfites, artificial sweeteners, MSG, and others. This really just points to a diet free of processed foods and rich in organic plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans.
Caffeine and processed sugar have also been known to be culprits. Flaxseed oil, on the other hand, has shown signs of correcting some of the negative behaviors associated with ADHD, just by mixing it with some of your kid's favorite foods. This is because omega 3 fatty acids are critical to healthy brain development as shown in this study on ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

J's memoir

J is our nearly 16 year old son. He has FASD and has been through a lot in his young life. He was taking the same English class as our younger son, R. For their class they had to each write a memoir. R posted his memoir on our blog because he wanted to share his story with others that perhaps aren't as familiar with adoption. Since doing that J has now said that he wants to do the same thing, to share his memoir. So here is J's story, told in his words.

            I started my life as an orphan in Kazakhstan but now I am part of a family in America. I was only with my birth mother for two months. The only thing that I know about her is that she named me D. I was put into a baby orphanage when I was two months old. I imagine the orphanage as a room full of cribs with babies in them crying, asking to be fed and needing their diapers changed.
            When I was two years old I got adopted by a family from Kazakhstan. I don’t remember anything about them. They renamed me F. I was only with them for three years when they abandoned me at a train station. I don’t remember what happened. I think of the train station as a dark place with people walking past and not wanting to help me. A policeman picked me up and took me to a shelter. From the shelter a woman from the government took me to an Orphanage. I remember that she has blond curly hair. That is my earliest memory.
            There were two buildings that were part of the orphanage. One building was for the younger children and the other one was for the older children. When we arrived at the orphanage we went into the building for older children. I was very scared from all of the moving around from place to place. I was five years old when all of this happened to me. The orphanage was a scary place. There were some children and teachers that were very cruel. Some children were skinny and sick. I was skinny and sick too.           
            Three years later I was part of a Summer Hosting Program. It was for orphans from Kazakhstan. We went to America and stayed with American families for four weeks. I stayed with a nice family. I felt so happy to be with a family. I thought that I finally had a family that I could stay with. After the four weeks I got on an airplane to go back to Kazakhstan. I started to cry because it felt like I was being abandoned again.
            One day my teacher got a call from the orphanage director. The teacher told me that I needed to change into my nice clothes and go to the other building where the director’s office was. When I entered the director’s office I saw two people sitting in front of her desk facing me. They were my American family! Joy beyond compare filled my heart.           
            They kept visiting me in the orphanage. One time I decided to shine my shoes before they came for their visit. I asked my teacher, “Can I polish my shoes?” She said yes. I got black polish all over my hands and arms. I showed up to see my family with my hands all dirty. The person that was going to be my mother tried very hard to get the polish off of my hands. This showed me the kind of care I was going to be getting in their family.
            They adopted me and renamed me J. They named me after my grandfather on my mother’s side of the family. They kept the name F but also gave me my birth name back. My full name is now J F D. My family is nice to me. We do a lot of fun things together like go to the movies and camping. They help me with the things that I have trouble with. I have pets and three siblings. I know that my family loves me. I love them too. I am glad that I don’t have to worry about moving from one family to another.
            When I was in the orphanage I didn’t know that my life could become better. When I was in Kazakhstan my life was very hard. I never imagined that my life could be so happy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mr. Rogers quote (I just love him!)

"If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person." ~ Fred Rogers

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thoughts on FASD by Victoria

This is the wonderful story of another adoptive mother who has a son with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.) When I read her posting it brought tears to my eyes. One of our sons is diagnosed with FASD as well. Her story felt so familiar it was like looking into a window of my own life. It was so encouraging for me to read her story that I asked if I could share it here on my blog. I think we adoptive parents with special needs children can learn so much from each other!

From Victoria:
I think that when people do not have high, although reasonable expectations or our children, they will rise to that lowered expectation. The 'self-fulfilling' prophecy at work.
When I adopted my son at 6 mos, I was told of his FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; altho, back then, it was FAS/FAE). When, at 8 mos, he was fully evaluated for special services, I was told that he would probably be hopelessly retarded, that he would probably not talk past very rudimentary words, that he might not walk and that I should just love him as much as I could, keep him happy and then put him in some sort of facility by the time he was a teen. I walked out of that meeting vowing that, now matter what, I would see that he would do the best he could, no matter what that was.
When my ds was about 8, he was being evaluated for some outside help (Supplemental Social Security). The several doctors we were asked to see for evaluations told me that his IQ would continue to fall (it was in the normal range, at this time), his needs would increase and that we should start looking for a group home/institution for him by the time he was 12 b/c it would take several years to find something and get him up to the top of the list by the time he was 18. My son's FASD was responsible for his myriad other dx: ADHD,CAPD, SID, Language/Speech Disorders, LDs, scoliosis, hypertonia (CP), and behavioral disorders NOS. As a special ed teacher, I was helping him a lot, he was in a Montessori school (meeting his needs nicely) and yet was turned down for aid b/c he was doing so well (???). I decided that these people could be right but that I was going to fight like crazy to prove them wrong!
I started using diets and supplements suggested for autistic kids (he had, like a lot of kids w/ FASD, lots of autistic-like behaviors) and I had to start somewhere. I eventually implemented my "5-Star Approach" when he was 9-10 (after a disastrous run w/ ADHD meds): 1) nutritional/diet therapies;
2) neuro-movement programs; 3) therapeutic parenting; 4) school choice; and 5) a belief system (not necessarily religious) and a village to support that system. I homeschooled my ds thru middle school and was lucky enough to find a high school that met his needs. Today, my ds, at 19 y/o, who was supposed to be so hopeless to the world, has graduated from high school w/ a regular diploma, has been working part time at Target (a job he got on his own!), is now in Culinary College, has made plans for his future, goes out with friends on his own, does research on the computer, comparison shopping before he ever buys anything or searching topics he's interested in, who works his bank account fairly well (he still needs a little help with this but a friend of mine who has a brilliant dd at Cal Berkeley doesn't do much better). My ds isn't crazy about driving and, even tho he is capable of passing his test and is actually a good driver, will probably just renew his learner's permit (which test he passed on his first try, BTW, unlike most of his NeuroTypical friends!) for a bit more practice. About a month after turning 18, he was called for jury duty and I got his docs to write saying he wasn't ready for that yet. My ds still has his struggles but I am quite sure he is on his way to living independently (not a group home!) just might take him a little longer to get there. BTW, no one believes me when I tell them of his 'challenges' b/c it isn't obvious, at least not on the surface.
I think some professionals have a lot of nerve telling us parents what our kids will or will not be able to do. It's one thing for them to say 'Look, here are the statistics on such and such," or "We don't know what the future holds but so far I have seen...." But they need to follow up all such statements with "...and so, knowing that, lets see what we can put into place, what we can do to help you, the parents and your child, so we can do better than what we have seen in the past." It just galls me when I hear about docs/professionals who doom a child before they even get started!!
Thanks for letting me vent,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guatama Buddha quote

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned. - Gautama Buddha

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

R's memoir

This is R. My mom has been talking about our blog. I had to write a memoir in my English class. I am in 8th grade. I am glad that I wrote my memoir because it is my history and I can keep it forever. I was adopted. Our blog talks a lot about adoption. I want to put my memoir on here because I want people to know adoptions are a good thing. It helps the kids. So I asked if I could put this on here. I have other things that I wrote that I might put on here later. Here is my memoir. I hope you like it and think it is good.

My life was hard in the beginning. After I got adopted my whole life changed and I was happy. I was born in the year 1997. I am from Kazakhstan. I lived with my birth parents until I was five years old. One time my birth father was angry and tried to kill me. He stabbed me. He tried to stab me again and stabbed me in the leg. I don’t know why he was angry. He stabbed me so hard that the knife went all the way through my leg. I still have the scar. He poured boiling water on me. I have scars from that too. My birth mother tried to protect me but my birth father killed her. I hid under a bed. Then he put his cigarette on the stove and it started a fire. Soon my whole house was on fire. I believe that my birth father died in that fire but I don’t know for sure. After that I was sent to live with my grandparents.
 My grandparents were very poor. They would dig in trash cans to find food for us. With the little bit of money that they had they bought alcohol and would get very drunk. My birth parents were like that too. They would fight and argue a lot. My grandfather pushed my grandmother down the stairs. It made me feel scared. When I felt scared I would run away. I ran away a lot. I couldn’t get over my fear so I would stay away for a long time. Sometimes the police would find me and bring me back home. When I got home my grandfather would punish me. He wouldn’t let me sleep or eat. I had to stand all night. It didn’t stop me from running away. Most of the time I was alone on the streets. Some nights on the streets were cold. When I was alone I would wonder what was going to happen to me. I would beg for money and steal food. Once when I ran away I was found by the police but this time they took me to an orphanage.
 I was seven years old when I went to the orphanage. I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t want to be there. I stayed in the orphanage for about a year. It wasn’t a fun year. My childhood was spent being scared.
 One day one of the orphanage workers sent me to meet some people. I felt scared because I thought I was in trouble. A man and a woman were there with another boy from my orphanage. The boy was from an older kids’ class. He name was F. A Russian/English translator was there to help me talk to the couple. He told me that they were from America and they wanted to adopt me. I had fun on that visit. I colored in a Scooby-Doo coloring book. I also played on my new dad’s laptop computer. My new parents asked me if I wanted to be adopted. I said yes. They visited me in the orphanage every day. I had so much fun with them. They asked me if I wanted an American name. I said yes so they named me R, after my new grandfather on my father’s side. I started to feel hopeful. I was excited to leave the orphanage and become a part of their family.
 I became sick while I was in the orphanage. When my new parents came to visit me the orphanage doctor wouldn’t let them in. I saw my new parents outside of the window in the sickroom. I thought they were going to leave me behind and only take F with them to America. I started to cry. My parent’s saw me crying through the window. The orphanage workers wouldn’t let them in the building but my dad went in anyway. They tried to stop him from going into the room they kept me in but he still went in. He said, “We are not leaving you. We will never leave you. You are our son and we love you.” Then he hugged me. I was so happy to have a family.
 A few days later the adoption was finalized. They changed my new brother’s name to J, after our other grandfather on my mother’s side of the family. My new mom taught me many things. She is still teaching me. She taught me how to do everything. I am not poor now. My parents feed me, help me, teach me, and buy things for me. They also like to take me to places like: movies, museums, libraries, church, fishing, camping and a lot of other places. I have kind relatives now too. I didn’t have a family like this before I was adopted. It feels good to have a good family that loves me and takes care of me.
 Before I was adopted, my life was scary, sad, lonely and hopeless. Then I got adopted and my life changed. I have a family and they love me, teach me and help me. My life feels hopeful now.

Parents Are the Ultimate Game Controller . Expert Q&A . PBS Parents | PBS

Great article from PBS Parents. I know in our family we only allow "E" rated games. We also love the Wii gaming system because of it's many games that involve actually moving the body- Games like Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Just Dance, to name a few. Of course there are other games that are just plain fun. Now if I could only figure out a way to beat T at Mario Kart.... hahaha:-P
Parents Are the Ultimate Game Controller . Expert Q&A . PBS Parents | PBS

Monday, March 21, 2011

Einstein quote

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. - Einstein

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yellowstone photography workshops

Every year Kevin teaches a series of Yellowstone photography workshops. Yellowstone is an amazing place. Kevin has been going to Yellowstone his entire life and knows it as good or better than any park ranger. And with his 20 years professional photography experience, it makes it a once in a life time opportunity. Workshops are open to all levels: beginning to advanced photographers, amateurs to professionals, as well as Yellowstone enthusiasts. I've added a permanent link to his Yellowstone website on our blog. Check it out. In addition to the pricing and dates listed he'll sometimes do private workshops as well, so send him an email with your questions.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Qi Balancing Soup

I'm rather passionate about how we eat. When a woman has PCOS she needs to be extra careful, especially since maintaining your weight with PCOS is REALLY tough. Several years ago I began researching Chinese medicine and the principles for balancing the Qi. I came across Randine Lewis' book:
 At the time I was not interested in getting pregnant, just getting my symptoms under control, ovarian cycts, pain, etc. Following the diet suggestions changed my health and my life. I never thought I'd be able to go through an entire monthly cycle without extreme pain (or even slight pain.) I began making up my own recipes that met these guidelines. This year the thing we are trying to be better at is eating vegetables and fruits according to their seasons. Again, I am amazed by what a simple change like this can do to my own health. Here is my seasonal soup recipe:

Anita’s Qi Balancing Soup (also called Word of Wisdom Soup)
D&C 89:11 “Every Herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving”

Depending on the season, I change some of the vegetables that we use. I’ll list the ingredients that always stay the same, and then list the additional ingredients that are added depending on the time of year.
This recipe is made for an 11-quart pot. You will need to make your own adjustments for a smaller pot. Fill the pot about ¾ with veggies and then enough water to cover it (this makes a nice, filling soup.)
Basic ingredients:
1 bag (16oz) raw lentils (add to the pot raw, do not pre-cook!)
1 large Onion, chopped
5 carrots
-5-6 cubes vegetable bouillon (we use the brand organic Better Than Bouillon vegetable base. It has less sodium and we like the flavor. It is a paste so we use about 6 tsp of it)
-Several big pinches of herb mix (use your favorite herbs or Italian herb mix will work)
a big shake of Kirkland’s no salt seasoning (Costco brand seasoning)
Optional base ingredients:
4 large cloves garlic, chopped (I like garlic so sometimes I'll add quite a bit)
a “handful” of chopped Shitake mushrooms

Additional ingredients Summer- Early Fall
3-4 large Mustard Green leaves, shredded and chopped
1 large eggplant (or 3-4 small Japanese eggplants), sliced
1-2 Small zucchini peeled and sliced
2-3 crookneck squash, (if the plants are young and the skin is still soft, then they don’t need to be peeled, if the skin is hard, then peel the squash first) sliced
½ -1 Daikon Radish, peeled and grated
Optional ingredients:
10 stalks Asparagus (for really thin Asparagus you may need to add more), sliced
A handful fresh green beans, chopped
Several peppers, sliced and diced
Any other summer grown vegetables work

Additional ingredients late Fall-Winter:
½ Bok Choy or ½ head cabbage, shredded and sliced
½-1 Daikon Radish, peeled and grated
½-1 Butternut squash, peeled, sliced and diced
5(about) more carrots (that’s in addition to the 5 carrots already being used)
Optional ingredients:
-When the soup is finished, you can add cooked brown rice to make it heartier.
-We have also added Spaghetti Squash “noodles” to the soup but the Spaghetti Squash must be prepared ahead of time and the noodles added once the soup is finished cooking.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Chrissy says I should start blogging again... okay Chris, maybe I will:-)

Cyntoia Brown

The part that baffles me the most about this story is the fact that it was allowed to go this far. The psychological trauma associated with older child adoptions is not a new thing! Treatment for adoption issues is unique and can't be treated like other trauma issues! This is also not new. So how is it that a girl (with her KNOWN history) be arrested so many times and NEVER get the appropriate help?! And then this happens... what did they think would happen?! That she'd go to Juvenile DT and learn her lesson? Again- chronic trauma, especially in the first few years of life, and its effects on the brain is not new information!! My argument is not whether or not she is guilty. Teens being tried as adults is a completely different argument, one I am not making at this time. The part that sickens me that the media doesn't seem to get, is that she was let down waaaay before this murder took place. We very much know the violence a child with chronic PTSD and RAD is capable of. We also know that there are very specific treatments that are required to help these children. I am noone. So if I know this, how is it that those responsible for the welfare and healing of these children: Juv court systems, social workers, fostercare case workers, etc NEVER got her the appropriate help right from the start?!?! For this girl, it is too late. She is a convicted murderer. Even if she gets the appropriate help now, her future has been set. But what about the thousands more children in the US fostercare system (and around the world) that also suffer from RAD and chronic PTSD? How many more will be allowed to get so far gone before someone takes notice?!?!! How much longer will those that are in charge of their welfare continue in blind ignorance to what can be done to actually treat them. RAD and Chronic PTSD results in very disturbing behaviors, yet neither are permanent conditions. Shame on every "professional" adult that has touched this girl's life. This partially rests on their heads as well. Ignorance is no excuse- not when there is so much information that is readily available if anyone would take a FEW MINUTES to research it.