Well, today my son had a screening for possible dyslexia. Benjamin is very bright and mechanical. But for sometime I have wondered if their was something “different” going on in his little brain.
The lady who screened him is going to give me a summary via e-mail tomorrow morning as she didn’t want to talk in front of Ben. But, she basically told me that I should invest in this seminar that is centered specifically around working with dyslexics and teaching them to read. She said it would be of good benefit. She then told me he reminded her of her son, which had learning difficulties and she had to “rewire” his brain, from my understanding. So, I think the verdict is going to be pretty clear. I think he has dyslexia. Also, David we are pretty sure has it, but it went undiagnosed. David has a mind that retains information like one I have never seen before. He is sharp. Very intelligent. But, when he goes to write his spelling doesn’t look much past 3 or 4th grade level sometimes (not always). He also was a poor reader, but that has improved immensely in the time we have been married as I am an avid reader and would always read out loud to him, and then he started reading a lot of things like bible commentary, world news, and a lot around metals (as he wants a business in that). He also informed me he still gets d’s and b’s mixed up and it helps him to remember his name….d for David. He told me he always got certain letters mixed up and had difficulties with certain things in school. But, I guess it went undetected back then. They say dyslexia can run in families. Supposedly genetic. I don’t understand it all the way.
But back to Benjamin. He didn’t really talk much until he was 3 was one sign. But, he has had other signs related to Spectrum Disorders. I knew he wasn’t autistic, but I have wondered if I would have vaccinated him if that would have thrown him overboard into the world of Autism.
Most of you know we homeschool. So, when I really started trying to school him a couple years ago I noticed some fine motor skill problems with his hands. He hated coloring and writing (still does and still has some fine motor skill problems with hands). And it really seemed as if he literally lacked the fine motor skill to control his hand in a free style way. He always seem tight and very controlled when he does these activities. Well, this year I started making him try to write his name. Thinking was plenty old enough he should at least be able to write his name. After all, seems like his IQ is fine and always above his age group, so why shouldn’t he be able to write his name?
Well to my horror, within minutes of attempting to write his name (he is also ambidextrous still doesn’t seem to favor one hand over the other, but I think he does a bit better with his right hand) he would be in tears and I was about ready to pull my hair out. I am a peace loving fanatic so I didn’t want our school days to be spent in frustration and decided for the most part for now to throw the pencil out the window so to speak.
Instead we still have been going over letters and phonics and I still have him do letter writing in other ways. Such as finger paint writing, putting salt in a casserole dish and having him write with his finger, painting on poster board and then taking glue and gluing on black eyed beans in the form of lower case and capital letters. As well as the Delight Directed method of education where I follow his interest and we do a lot of hands on stuff or whatever he may be interested in. I have read and done a little bit of research that with dyslexics you kind of have to throw the pencil out for a bit and retrain the brain with the fingers. It has to do with information literally getting stored in the wrong region of the brain (with language and writing skills) and it can be demonstrated with modern technology.
My personal opinion is back to diet. I read an interesting book awhile back ago, called Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr.Natasha Campbell. She is a doctor in the UK that actually reversed her sons severe autism with a nutritional protocol. In a page or two of her book she mentions dyslexia and ties that in with the state of the gut as well. But she didn’t really go into it much. Also as many of you may very well know, Jenny McCarthy’s (Actress and girlfriend to Jim Carey) son also developed autism after receiving routine vaccinations. She has effectively reversed his autisim with a nutritional protocol and wholefood diet as well. You can check her awesome sight out at: http://www.generationrescue.org/ . She even has a program where you can donate and become a rescue angel for those who can’t afford natural treatments in reversing spectrum disorders as well as a listing of people in your area who have recovered their kids from autism.
You may say what does autism have to do with dyslexia? Well, from my understanding and what I have been finding is that they tie into this whole arena of full spectrum disorders that can include one or many different things that also encompass ADD, ADHD, schizophrenia, autism, disgraphyia, dyslexia, ect. And it goes back to how the mom nourished her and her baby while being pregnant and then how she then set the childs gut up the way it is. Your next question might be then, “well, I thought you were a health fanatic and your son has inspired you to be a health “nut” so why might he be struggling with dyslexia if it can be influenced by diet?”
My answer to that would be I only did what I knew to do at the time. I pretty much ate a diet of salad (ice berg lettuce is all I knew of then it seems), chicken, eggs, and a lot of MSG foods like ranch dressing, any gravy or soup base had a lot of MSG in (a neurotoxin that can affect brain development). I also had morning sickness very severely from about 2 1/2 months until I delivered Ben and therefore Mylanta was like by preference for a drinking beverage. I later found out that mylanta has a lot of aluminum it. Aluminum is a heavy metal that can store in body tissue and cause problems. I also was a lot more stressed out with Ben, first pregnancy and all. They say that the adrenal response of the flight or fight mode (which happens when you are under stress) that you live in while pregnant can affect the adrenals of the baby. Weakened adrenals can even cause immune system problems like auto immune, cancer, ect. Well, Ben has allergies (which some classify as an auto immune disorder). So, I am just starting to see a connection. Also, when you check into the biomedical approach that Jenny McCarthy used on her son for autism there information also includes dyslexia in it.
Anyhow, I am not an expert on this. I really don’t know. But, I do know that when we followed a very “pure” wholefood diet with ample healthy fats from coconut oil, fish oil, free range and grass-fed meats, Ben’s focus was so much more keen. He had a very calm type of energy. I don’t know if diet alone can reverse dyslexia. Seems to me that their is now a wire crossed in the brain with it and that is why educational approaches work at retraining the brain as well. But diet helps with that as it helps them to focus better and the healthy fats contribute as they are brain food.
We have been in a crunch financially lately. With the recession and all it isn’t getting easier. So, I am a bit concerned about having the finances to go back to the whole foods and supplementation as well as the education that this lady wants me to take starting in November. If I don’t start it in November it will be 6 months before I can take it. She said it wouldn’t be good to wait that long. I think this one is only $125 dollars and a couple days to one week long (I have to check the site out). But, when he starts reading and for next year the follow up is $1400 and two intensive weeks of training. The location is an 1 1/2 down the road. My mom has offered to pay for next month. But, then that leaves the nutritional stance left a bit unanswered. And next year for the more expensive program?? I really am very grateful for moms willingness to help, but I kind of feel bad about it too.
So, my business WHY has officially expanded even more. It has been centered around my kids and more family time together with David home as well as many other reasons. But, now it encompasses specifically a campaign to help Ben. I really want to gift him with retraining that brain sooner than later. He has so much to offer this world. And he will be able to do it better if he can effectively learn to read and write.
I actually didn’t take what she told me to hard. Although at one point I was fighting back some tears. I think mostly because I have suspected a little something for a little while now and have done some research. When I was doing the research on dyslexia I was feeling more discouraged then. That was weeks ago. So, I guess I have had some time to prepare and give it to God. Some of it is guilt. I wish I would have known more then about even healthier eating. Although I ate relatively healthy with him, there are still some things that I was putting in my body on a daily basis (ex. mylanta, msg ranch, ect) that I feel greatly contributed. My little man, is quite the instigator at educating his mama.
I would highly recommend for all that is interested to not only read the book I mentioned above, but also, Russell Baylocks book. Excitotoxins, the Taste That Kills. He is a brain surgeon who goes into more detail on MSG, Aspartame, ect. and what this can do to our brains. Their are other good books out their that cover this, but these two would give you in excellent start. Also, the Makers Diet by Dr. Jordan Rubin. He is the Kosher version of the first book, as we are kosher eaters. 🙂