New to all of this - does diet play a part?

Vivian - posted on 10/01/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Not really new...I've been dealing with my son's sensitivities since he was born (I'm a single Mom). However we just got the formal diagnosis (I could kick his pediatrician for his constant false "he'll outgrow that" reassurances...he could have gotten help years ago!).

His OT eval is on 10/27. He's got a great kindy teacher who's willing to move mountains to get him help in school. I just bought a balance board -we're using that to play games to help with his balance/coordination from the dyspraxia side of things. He's enrolled in swim lessons, and he's finally reached the point at which he'll get into the water. I've heard swimming can help, too, if the kids can tolerate it.

I want to do all I can to help him (as we all do for our kids), and I'm wondering if diet plays a part in SPD? Whenever he has artificial colors he goes nuts. I try to feed him organic as often as possible, and gluten-free wouldn't be entirely new to us, as I often cook GF for my fiance's daughter. I've never tried completely GF for him, as it's kind of a PITA, but I'm open to it if there's a confirmed link with SPD issues.

Thanks!!!

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Erin - posted on 03/10/2012

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YES! Diet can be huge with Sensory issues. You already know about the dyes and food coloring which is good, these contribute to difficulties with more than just our kids, but it hits hard here. Another big one is SUGAR! We have learned to avoid sugar as much as possible, especially the more processed forms. Speaking of processed, ever since we moved away from processed foods, life has become much easier. We can't always avoid it, but whenever he eats processed foods life is rougher. GF can be helpful, though I have found it more beneficial to avoid the bleached and overly processed flours than to go with the processed GF alternatives. We have a share in a local farm which provides us with goat milk and lots of veggies. My mom makes chevre and other cheese spread type things from the milk. She is retired and has more time for things like that. When it comes to diet, your biggest challenge will be school. My son goes to montessori, so it is a bit easier to monitor, but he will most likely get processed and dyed foods there unless you are able to get food dye listed as an allergy (and then you still have to keep him from accepting treats from other kids).

Good luck.

Heather - posted on 01/24/2012

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Don't have a "true" SPD child but one who is borderline I think. Can't stand buttons or itchy tags on clothing, won't even hug me if I am wearing buttons! In terms of food, I know one to avoid is caffeine because it's a stimulant, so it can make itchiness problems worse. I even notice I get itchier if I have caffeine. Unfortunately for my son, this means cutting back on chocolate milk, which he loves!

LeAndra - posted on 11/04/2011

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Well, we are about to try the Feingold diet. It pulling out all the dyes and additives out. I've heard lots of success so I'm going to try it... I'll keep you posted ;)

www.feingold.org

Julie - posted on 11/03/2011

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YES! It does play a role! There are so many different ways it can play into his "behaviors" An OT will help with the sensory issues and I will say, from a mom that has been doing this for 4 years now, learn all you can from the OT. Therapy is not a one day a week fix all...it needs to be done 24/7. The more you can incorporate into daily life the better results you will get. It doesn't have to be "formal"...as you move more into this you will see chances in everyday activities to turn it into a therapy session for your baby. I will also say to research food sensitives in "special" children. Also look at the impact of the Gut system on a child's development. I spent forever looking for answers...it lead me to a DAN doctor..yes I see people cringing now..lol..but really he help helped me understand a lot. Of course you will have to weed out info yourself and make the choices that you feel are best for your child. I didn't go overboard with his recommendation but some of them I put into place and they really did help. I can explain more if you would like to know...sometimes it is a lot to type on a board..lol..my son can not have those yummy tiny chocolate donuts..there is an additive that make him go crazy..really it does...and we have even found that antibiotics do the same thing to him. The behaviors are off the chart and the sensory issues are amplified...I thought I was nuts asking about these to my peds doctor but come to find out some babies (like ours) are very sensitive to these things.I could go on forever but if you need more info or any help let me know! I have been there and I still am...lol..

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Vivian - posted on 03/21/2012

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Thanks, everyone! I pack Dom's lunch, so I know he's getting the right foods there. Unfortunately, he gets the fake colors on celebration days (cupcakes for birthdays, etc). I don't want him to feel left out, so we've compromised on half a cupcake on special occasions. He's also gotten pretty good about asking "Does that have fake colors" when we're shopping.



I buy organic whenever possible. Sugar is a big one for ALL of us. I'm a sweets junky! Even so, I've been limiting it. We drink water or unsweetened tea at home, I bake with honey (or just less sugar), and I'm big into whole grains.



We just got an ADHD diagnosis on Friday, and Dom's started Focalin. It's working WONDERS for him as far as behavior and focus. The downside is that, as he puts it, "I can't ignore the things that bother me anymore." So he can't tune out the SPD stuff, so we're all adjusting to that. It's always something!

Jennifer - posted on 10/04/2011

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I have not found definitive answer to this question, but have read that some people have seen a change when taking ALL processed foods out of diets. I am willing to try anything that even MIGHT help my son. Eating healthier is never a bad thing :)

Kayse - posted on 10/03/2011

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I'm new to this whole thing. My YDD is almost 2 and we were just refered to an OT for SPD/SID we go in for out first session soon, I'm curious to see answers to this as well.

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