Saturday, February 9, 2008

Special day!

My daughter, Taylor Anne, has been having trouble focusing on her work at school... this has been an issue because I was afraid she may have my ADHD tendancies. I was diagnosed with it in First Grade, and was on Ritalin until 10th grade... I took myself off when I didn't feel that I needed it anymore. I struggled through school, feeling like I couldn't get the things done I needed to succeed. The Ritalin did help, I'm sure of that, but I still had issues with my ability to focus and 'apply' myself. Taylor Anne's teacher and I have noticed these issues beginning to effect her ability at school. I want to avoid medication for her if at all possible... really as a LAST resort, so I have been reading about Brain Gym activities, and we have been changing her diet. I read somewhere that cutting out all High Fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners would help her brain work better and be able to focus more. I had also read that it could help with behavior issues. SO, we have been trying the 'new' diet for about the last 6 weeks or so (it's not easy, but doable and helps us all eat healthier as a family) and I think I have seen some improvement. So has her teacher, and my In-laws. The last two weeks, we have also been trying to encourage her to work harder on getting her 'work plan' (the list of learning activities each day) done each day all week. Well, it has been a dream of hers for about a year to take horse riding lessons... and I thought I would use this as an encouragment tool. Some of you may call it a bribe... maybe it is... but it worked!!! I actually think the combination of the 'new' diet and the 'encouragement' was what made it happen. She finished her work plan every day for the last two weeks! So she got her horse lesson today! I was so excited, maybe as excited as she was. I made an appointment at Holly Hill Stables, it's not far from where we live, and the people there are super nice! I had gotten composted manure from them before, so I knew the folks who run the place. She picked a large (14.5h) chesnut Pony named Fred, and got a riding lesson from Holly, the owner of the stables.

She had to brush him, and clean the horse's feet:

She learned how to sit up straight on the horse,
turn him left and right, and halt.
She did a great job and was very happy!

She knows that this isn't something that is always going to happen... it's not a weekly thing, just an every once in a while thing. She also understands that she is still expected to get her work plan done from now on and she has been so proud of doing it, I think she will keep up the good work!


Archaic Dome said...

How awesome for you both! My boyfriend's daughter (9 next week) was just diagnosed with ADHD and the doc wants to try her on meds. It really upsets her because she feels it'll curb what makes her "her" (and BF and I are tending to agree). I'll send him the link to your post. Do you have links to any articles that talk about the diet? He may want to share that with her mother as an alternative, if it comes to meds.

Andrea said...

What a lovely posting ! Well done you for going the alternative route with the diet. Really hope it helps.

cher said...

excellent approach to her issues-I wish all parents would follow your wonderful example-diet and structure (following her work plan) are such easy and effective ways to help children succeed. And, way to reward her for sticking to it..a win, win.

driftwood said...

it's lovely that youve found such a great positive goal for her to work towards. hope the diet keeps working for you, have you thought about including supplements into her diet, as well as excluding triggers, a lot of people in the UK swear by EPA rich fish oils, which are fatty acids which are important in brain function, and can help with concentration etc. (sorry if you already knew this). sorry

Päivi said...

Thanks for your comment in my blog. I love the colours you have in your quilt-a-long-blocks. I felt sympathy for you what you told about your daughter and gladly red about your progress.

Kim said...

You're such a good mom! We have a horse therapy farm in my community, it has been helping families for years now.

You certainly are on target with the diet issues. I have found a high sensitivity to these items that you listed and they are totally bad for us anyway.

Celebrate all accomplishments no matter the size, it is such a great motivator. Hang in there!