In lieu of Pre-writing is FUN! this week (my son did not have school on Friday due to an inservice), let's talk nutrition! My colleagues at work hold their breaths in meetings waiting, just waiting, for me to make my spiel on the importance of nutrition, supplements and contemplating working with a Naturopathic Doctor and/or Nutritionist to help treat their child's diagnosis. I truly and whole heartedly believe that the lack of nutrient intake and eating too many foods grown in a lab are causing a huge number of the occupational therapy referrals that I receive each year. There has been a steady rise in ADHD, Autism, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), behavioral challenges in kids, and Sensory Integration Disorder (although, as I've mentioned before, is somehow still not recognized as a disorder in the DSM - we will get there!) that I receive referrals for both in the schools and from private clients. These diagnoses are often accompanied with Asthma, Obesity, and childhood Diabetes; sad, yes. I have had parents upset with me for recommending dietary changes, but that's okay, I'm here to advocate for the kids and I'm not questioning their parenting, yet educating them on nutrition choices. Believe me, it took me years to understand how to make all the necessary changes to be completely healthy. It takes time, dedication and a lot of reading! My dear friend Rebecca, whom I've spoken about in previous posts once said to me, "Read the ingredients in your peanut butter and then read mine." The ingredients on her peanut butter were peanuts and salt, I could pronounce them all - I was sold! Would these kids need me if their diet was different? For many of the kids with attentional, behavioral, emotional and sensory challenges, I'm going to go out on a limb and say, "absolutely not."
So, here's the challenge and please make it your own. I challenge you, for the next 3 weeks to knock out refined sugar from your families diets. Start tomorrow, if you can plan enough out today! For some reason, American's love getting healthy on Mondays, which is quite comical if you really think it through! Eliminating refined sugar, if nothing else, will get you reading ingredients, and you will be shocked at what you are going to start noticing is in your families' food, if you don't already. Now, this is where you can make it your own - if you want to do a complete sugar detox, which is not recommended for kids, follow the link for Against All Grain below. Danielle Walker, who started Against All Grain follows Diane Sanfilippo's method for a complete sugar detox. I also invite you to read Tapps' Tips for general information on sugar and watch the trailer on Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead's link (every American should see this documentary). If you have a child with Autism, The ASD puzzle link started by Elizabeth Strickland is a wonderful resource. The Mind Body Green blog is just a great read. I have also written a post on Nutrition, which you can read here.
Good luck and get going; your families health and wellness are in your hands!