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jstbeingamom

But He's Only A Child! Corn Starch Too?

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So I've happened by this site while trying to get my head around this new world of ours (day two). My six year old son has been under the radar for his short existence as just being a young five, being a boy and just being himself. My husband and I have noticed his inability to sit still getting worse over the last few months and when the call came last Fri from his teacher it was a relief in someways that we just weren't being unrealistic as parents. You know the moments when you feel you have not another ounce of patience left and they push on anyhow?? You know your kids, and when you see them work so hard at just being them, it breaks your heart that it takes so much effort. They are exhausted at bed time and frustrated for believing that they aren't trying hard enough. So in short we've gone dairy and gluten free for the next two weeks to just see if this could be helpful for him. Is it possible that I'm seeing a difference already? Were all in it together, even his four year old brother has a small understanding as to why triscuits and cheese aren't available for snacking and that his milk now comes in a rectangular box...my heart hurts and my emotions are hanging by a thread, the one I use to hold my family together. I'm looking for answers and hopefully next weeks drs appts will clear some of those question marks off my brain. Until then...does anyone know if I can use cornstarch or am I setting things in a backwards motion...? Or if yellow corn or blue corn is okay. I've been told that although they are all gluten free, something to do with the whole process makes it a concern for hyperactivity...low amounts couldn't be an issue could they? I'd feel so bad that after all we've done to support this lifestyle a minor ingredient would be setting us back...sigh

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I'm a bit sleep deprived.

Your son is gluten and casein free, and now considering corn free?

Don't panic. Go corn free ~ no high fructose corn syrup and search out other possible sources for label reading.

There are other things to use in place of corn starch. i.e. arrowroot has always been considered a far superior thickener especially with heat.

Never try and sell a negative. Find every single yummy thing your child CAN eat and GET it. Keep it on hand ALWAYS. It is going to be hard for a kid to complain when they get handed one of their favorite things, in place of something that will make them sick or feel yucky.

This does get easier with more time. :D

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Yes it is possible to be seeing a difference quickly. However, if you have not had him tested for celiac you really should do so before starting on the diet. If he does need to be gluten free there are things that will need to be accomodated in school. That is easier with a diagnosis. So if he has not at least had a blood test to screen for celiac please call your doctor for one before you go any farther. If the tests come out negative please keep in mind that children have an even higher rate of false negatives than adults and the false negative rate for adults is about 20% so do give the diet a good strict try even if the results are negative.

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Why corn free? I've heard issues with high fructose corn syrup but not with corn it's self. Try this link http://health.msn.com/health-topics/adhd/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100163625&imageindex=1 I ran across it on Twitter last night. I think it's important to not just throw everything and the kitchen sink at the child because you'll never know for sure what actually helped and what didn't.

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I'm a former teacher and I did teach kindergarten in addition to other grades. Before you make drastic dietary changes, you might want to consider a few things.

First of all, school standards are ridiculous now. Kindergarten isn't what it was even 5 years ago. The push for more more more has made it so that K kids are expected to sit still for longer periods of time for more academics which isn't developmentally appropriate especially for boys. He is having a harder time sitting still the last few months, so I'm assuming it's since he started school right? Many 5 year olds are struggling with school now because K isn't lots of coloring and pretend play and time outside. They are being asked to sit too darn much!

Go through the testing at the school and get a for sure diagnosis of hyperactivity or ADHD. Ask the teacher to be patient with your child and if the teacher is being difficult or unrealistic MOVE HIM to another class. The last thing you need is an impatient teacher making a 5 year old hate school.

Then go for celiac testing and make sure the docs you deal with are educated about what it takes to test a child. If you go gluten free now with him testing will not be accurate and it's already iffy as it is.

Get all info you can and then you will have to decide what your options are and act accordingly. Maybe he just needs more time. Many parents are holding boys back now because of the ludicrous standards in K. You can explore private school or even homeschooling. We homeschool and one of the million reasons is that I do not belive one bit in 5 year olds sitting at desks all day.

You won't solve this in a week. You need to take your time and don't panic. LOVE YOUR SON as much as you can. Make him feel like he is a wonderful special kid and don't let any school or teacher make him feel otherwise. If he does have ADD, ADHD or any other diagnosis, then you can proceed with measures to help him.

Good luck!

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If you are seeing a difference in his behavior already, then I think it would be perfectly reasonable to stick with a gluten-free diet, NOT bother with an official diagnosis, and never look back.

There ARE logical reasons to seek a diagnosis; Ravenwoodglass mentioned that school accomodations are more likely to be followed by teachers if there is an official diagnosis, and she is absolutely correct. And if you suspect medical reasons for a diagnosis (eczema, frequent intestinal problems, etc.), that might be reason to seek a medical diagnosis.

HOWEVER, there are drawbacks to doing that if you have already seen a difference.

First of all, dietary response IS a valid diagnosis, and in small children, can be more accurate than bloodwork and biopsy.

Secondly, in order for blood work and biopsy to be accurate, your child has to be eating a fairly large amount of gluten each day--and if you have already noticed improvement, putting him back on gluten means that you would be purposely damaging your child for the sake of a diagnosis--and up to 20% of those diagnoses can be incorrect as false negatives!~

Thirdly, I have read frequent reports here that after going gluten-free for a short time, resuming consumption of gluten resulted in far more severe effects from the gluten. I've even seen that happen first-hand, to the child of a friend of mine, where the child initially only reacted to gluten, but the doctor wanted him back on gluten for more blood work. The child's immune system went berserk, and suddenly he was reacting to EVERYTHING--dairy, soy, corn, nuts, even sunflower seeds. His mom REALLY wished that she had listened to her own instincts and not the doctor, and just kept him off gluten without bothering for official tests.

And finally, there are many doctors who still insist on a biopsy for an official diagnosis, even though this so-called "gold standard" is 50 years behind the times, and today's sophisticated blood work is considered more accurate. Biposies involve sedation--always a higher risk for small children--and are invasive to boot, risking puncture and infection.

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If the child has Celiac or gluten intolerance then the testing the school does is not going to help the child one bit. They will recommend the child see a doctor for ADD medication. The doctor will prescribe it and it's possible that all of his issues will go away, for now at least. However, the damage will continue to be done to his system and it will be harder for him later on the heal, at least take more time.

There is an article on this site, I read last spring, that showed that ADD/ADHD was one of the highest misdiagnosed ailments in our children. Many of the kids are not ADD/ADHD at all and are truly Celiac being misdiagnosed because doctors are not familiar enough with how the body reacts at that age. There is no reason to drug a child if it's not a chemical imbalance due to miss fires of the brain, but an imbalance caused by malnutrition.

I stopped while writing my response and found the articles I was referring to, here they are

http://www.celiac.com/articles/110/1/ADD-Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder---ADHD-and-Celiac-Disease/Page1.html

http://www.celiac.com/articles/21800/1/ADHD-Caused-by-Digestive-Disorder/Page1.html

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The reason I think you should have him evaluated is to find out if there truly is a behavior problem or if he's just being a normal 5 year old boy on the more active end of the spectrum, NOT to put him on medication. I would NEVER put a child on ADHD or ADD meds unless I had exhausted other means using diet and behavioral therapy first, and only if the problem was severe. There are times when a kid really needs it to cope but not always. If the doctor says "Hey let's just try a low dose and see what happens" I would say no.

You didn't mention any physical ailments like stomache issues, etc. and I just would hate for you to embark on this very difficult lifelong commitment for your child without having more information from doctors, not just a complaint from a teacher. I would not make my child physically ill for a diagnosis, but I don't think your child is ill with those types of symptoms right?

Have you gone in and observed the class? That would be my first plan of action. See if it looks to you like there is a real problem. Try to sit back and blend in so you can truly be an observer and go at different times of day. Go back a few times, not just once.

If he is one of the younger ones in class, it could be an maturity issue as well. Maybe he just isn't ready for kindergarten.

I know several people who were told by teachers that their child was too hyper, they were a dreamer, they were too distracted. When they went to a neurologist for testing the child was not ADD or hyper at all. They were very creative and intelligent and bored at school. The neurologist told a friend of mine "He's not ADD. He's a candidate for Cal Tech! He'll probably be a famous scientist!" LOL

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Hi Jstbeingamom,

My 6 year old son has been diagnosed gluten and casein intolerant. One of his symptoms is hyperactivity. It got so much better when he went gluten & casein free. HOWEVER, we didn't not truly see a change until we removed artificial food dye. Turns out, he reacts within an hour or two. Artificial dye is in just about every kid food, even toothpaste and Motrin/Tylenol. He had just turned six when we figured this out last summer. He had been eating a lot of popsicles, fruit roll-ups, and skittles for dessert because they're Gluten-free Casein-free. Just before diagnosis he was so hyper--couldn't listen, couldn't make eye contact, jumping from sofa to chair repeatedly, and even started talking back (so NOT o.k.). The day I removed dye cold turkey he was a different little boy. He can sit and play Legos for hours, read his I Spy book for hours, draw & color for hours with his sisters, etc. Just amazing! We haven't had a single issue this year in first grade. Not one.

Just something to consider. I tried removing the artificial dye from his sister's diet too. I didn't notice any difference nor did they. So, on occasion they still enjoy Gluten-free Casein-free treats with dye. We're hoping our little guy will out grow it someday. It's tricky to find treats that are Gluten-free Casein-free and dye free. But, I found a great website naturalcandystore.com that has some yummy stuff. We also had to remove sodium benzoate preservative in stuff like syrup. He makes him very emotional.

Funny--I asked my little guy how he was doing with being dye free. He said, "I like it, mom. Now I don't spend so much time in my room." Ha!

Good luck in figuring it all out. It takes a lot of patience, huh?

Jillian

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