Find Out What Jen Finds

My journey on the spectrum of life … and the lessons I learn along the way …
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about Moods: finding relief naturally (part 1)

  • August 15, 2012 9:42 am

I’m anti-prescription when it comes to treating mood issues. I’m not against it for other people IF it is working for them. In fact, I wasn’t against taking a prescription myself when I thought it was working for me. The problem was that it was working against me, and I was blinded by the short term relief I felt when I started the regimen. Once I realized I was adversely reacting to my meds, I worked with my doctor to wean me off one, and then a year later said buh-bye cold turkey to the rest of them. It’s been almost 18 months that I have been 100% medication free! Including NO tylenol et al, NO allergy meds, NO vaccines, NO antibiotics – nothing prescribed or over-the-counter. Yay for me!


My moods suffered. Not constantly. But





I do believe that I have earned my moods swings. After all, parenting is tough. Parenting special needs kids is tougher. Plus an Aspergian (a very adorable and loyal and all around great guy, I might add) for The Hub and that’s the tune that gets my moods “just a swangin’!” And when I swing, I take The Hub and The Brothers with me. Unfortunately, a family that swings together does not swing together, if you catch my drift. I’m proud to say, not one of us uses medication on a regular basis. The Hub and I are both 100% med free. The Brothers are 99% med free (allergy season is a bear in our region).

I have been working on my diet for the last 18 months, beginning with a clean slate (literally, I fasted for a few days). It was then I took out red meat and soy and some other things. NOT because I didn’t like eating them. NOT because I had an adverse reaction to them. I only took them out because they are so hard to digest and digestion takes up energy and I wanted my body to use its energy to HEAL, not to digest. I knew it would be temporary when I started but, I got a hold of some resources that made me so glad that I stopped eating them (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, for one). Very good and important information that everyone ought to know, but now I know it’s only part of the story. And to stop there is very dangerous – to me and the victims of my mood.

In the next couple of blog posts, I’m going to share some of the remedies that are so far working for our family. I set out to fix my own ability to cope with my circumstances and discovered many overlaps for each member of our family. If you could use this information, please include comments/feedback for me to address in the sequels of this post.

Now for the rest of our story…

Reading & Comprehension

  • December 18, 2007 8:00 pm

Those were always my lowest scores on those standardized tests in grade school. I remember that by the time I was in high school I was very aware of this deficit (being the over high achiever that I am) and would concentrate so hard on the passage trying to figure out exactly what questions they would ask on the next page and I’d scanned the paragraphs in an attempt to memorize the whole thing. I still got low scores because the older I got, the harder and more complex the questions. I’ve been overanalyzing myself these days in light of The Elder’s diagnosis and then the recent suggestion by The Super Doc in our last three sessions that I am classic ADHD. I’m not exactly sure what about me is so classic, but as much as I hate to admit it, the more I talked (just being myself – finally to that point with her), the more she pointed out my traits. Dang it. Just what I needed, another lightbulb moment to explain the madness I call daily life. Now I have to follow the a-ha! trail back to my childhood (that’s the OCD in me, which I’ve always owned up to! Ha!). Reminds me of this post by Kristina. I always wondered why both my siblings have a passion for reading and I rarely ever finish a book (though I did finish Look Me in the Eye). I like to read. I love to learn. But I have to concentrate so hard to focus that sometimes I have to read out loud to myself. And I might get really excited about something that I learned in the first chapter that I’ll go make life applications based on that and never finish the book! I know I’m not alone so I’m not ashamed. I just always wondered how my brother could read The Hobbit in 2 days when he was in the 6th grade and I can barely get past reading the title as an adult. The Super Doc doesn’t push medication but strongly suggested it with each time I put my foot in my mouth and showed my adhd colors. Well, see my last Success Sunday quote. The good news is that I’m already on the gluten-free-casein-free reduced diet. If I see no significant change then I’ll stop the meds. I’m specifically looking for consistent executive functioning skills. I tend to be one extreme or the other. The scenario that really gets me is when I spend all day on my agenda, that by the time I’m done, it’s bedtime and the day is over. I think that is why I do well flying by the seat of my pants. The no-reading thing I can live with.

So this post wasn’t really about MY reading and comprehension skills, but The Elder’s. As you recall I have witnessed him read an entire book by himself. Well, The AP takes them to the library every Friday while I’m at a church group meeting and they check out books and videos (that has actually been great for shaking up his routine. “Sorry we returned that book to the library already, pick a different book.”). Well, today after doing some great pretending (The Elder was the bus driver, I was his little girlfriend on the bus, and The Younger was The Elder on the bus – it was hilarious. We also pretended to be in the classroom, but once I told him that the bus driver doesn’t go to class, maybe he should be The Teacher, he decided he wanted to be himself so that he could pick a (PECS) card and play games. Then he told me what to say…”Now you say, ‘You may now go to your centers.’ Say it, just like that.”), we decided to read some library books because we hadn’t cracked into them over the weekend and he pulls out a sequel.

“Are you going to read it to me?”
“No, you read it.”
“Let’s take turns.”
“OK, you first.”
“It was Easter morning…your turn.”
“The Easter Bunny hid ten hot-paynk (TN twang for pink) marshmallow…I like marshmallows…chickens, um, chicks. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall over the house.”

We continued like this until I smelled The Younger. So I leave The Elder on the couch with the book to go change a diaper (Yay! It was solid). As I was cleaning him up and spraying off the diaper (we tend to always forget to use a liner when he poops), I could hear The Elder continue to read aloud. It was so cute! He was using proper story-telling inflections in his voice. He read the rest of the book by himself! You can tell when looking over his shoulder that he doesn’t sound words out as much as he tries to recognize the word first. Like saying chicken first, then correcting himself to say chick. In the past, he has said “away” instead of “always”; “engine” instead of “english”; “violin” instead of “vitamin”; etc etc.

Well, I thought I would test his comprehension level and skimmed the book and started asking questions about the the story and he got all of the questions right!

“What color were Ruby’s chicks?”
“What color were Max’s chicks?”
“Lellow…and they go pop pop pop pop through the mail pop.”
“Mail pop?”
“I mean mail slot.”
“How many chicks did he get?”
“Just ten.”

I verified with The AP that she hadn’t read the book to him before, so it was his first time reading that book. Gushing with pride. Watch out standardized tests! We got a genius on our hands!

Success Sunday

  • December 9, 2007 1:26 am

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”
–Robert Schuller

This wasn’t the quote that I originally wanted to use for today. We had a guest speaker on Thursday and I think she was quoting Thomas Edison, but I couldn’t find it verbatim on google but it was something like the key ingredient to success is failure. It sounds negative but so many people give up when they fail, especially when they fail the same way over and over again. I have been complaining about my lack of executive functioning for what, 6 months now? Well, I have totally thrown myself over the line and I literally am totally booked up next week with 2-3 appointments/engagements per day (including Saturday, I had 3 events, and Sunday (today) I have 2, not including church). Even a four-fer on Thursday: a psychologist appointment at 9:15, OT meeting with the school at noon, an outpatient surgical procedure for The Hub at 3:45, followed by a work meeting that I’m leading at 5:00. That probably looks like a “walk in the park” (er, mall) week for super moms like Niksmom, but I’m in a whirlwind and couldn’t be happier because I do like being busy, believe it or not, and I love the feeling that I will be productive. Yes, I’m a little freaked out at the night and day comparison of my schedule and the amount of energy I’ll need to muster up to survive it (no gluten for me), but I trust that it will all work out. I fly by the seat of my pants pretty well, so maybe if I pretend that I don’t have my week planned out, I’ll have a successful week without all the anxiety of feeling like I’m in over my head. (Who am I?? Boy, those drugs are good!)