Saturday, April 6, 2013

Harper's ADHD Story


I can't tell you how much I love our Harper Ella. She is our first little baby girl and my husband and I's first little challenge of teaching our own child love, good behavior, respect for others and most importantly, about the Lord. With this little one, we had no idea what we were in for!

So much has happened in the last few months, I'm trying to figure out where to begin. Our daughter has ADHD for those of you who are new to my blog. We are trying to help her naturally by using non-toxic cleaners in the home, lots of sleep, lots of exercise, and lots of vitamins. 

Harper has been on a few vitamins a day and we have always had Shaklee's non-toxic cleaners in our home ever since she was 8 months old. Colleen Wagner introduced us to Shaklee and the amazing benefits that the cleaners as well as the vitamins can have on Harper. We were first concerned about her asthma and than that turned into our concern for her ADHD. 

I always kind of knew something was different when she was young. She was very defiant, not like most children. To give you a quick overview of my experience with children. I grew up in a home of 6 siblings, as well as my mother would babysit several different families with young children. She also did foster care in our home. I babysat my cousins when I was about 12 years old and after high school, continued to be a nanny for several families to pay for my college. 

So as you can see, I've had plenty of time spent around young kids. When Harper was 8 months old, she developed this screaming habit. Nothing could stop her from it. I tried spankings, I tried yelling at her "No, no! We don't scream." with a stern looking face. I tried tapping her on the mouth, saying no screaming. She didn't care. She actually would smile at me and than scream again! I was flabbergasted and quite confused. 

As she got older, around 1 years old, she would put her fingers in the electrial sockets. I would slap her hand and say, "No, No! Ouch!" I always thought better to spank them and get hurt, than get electrocuted and driven to the hospital. This did not work! She would cry and than go right back to the outlet. I felt so bad for spanking her, plus it didn't even work. I felt puzzled why a spanking was worth it to her, just so she could be disobedient and stick her tiny, cute little chubby fingers right back in the electrical socket. 

For those of you who wonder why we didn't just put child protective covers on them, we did. She was our little detective, and could figure things out fast. She would just pull them off. It wasn't until we got the ones where you have to push on the sides and top, than pull, that she couldn't figure out. And thank goodness, cause I didn't want her to get hurt. 

After we introduced Shaklee Get Clean (non-toxic) cleaners, Harper started to behave better and respond to discipline. We also gave her vitamins to help her little immune system stay strong so that she would not get sick. Whenever she has respiratory problems (colds), her asthma begins to act up. We had to take her to the hospital when she was only 8 months old for pneumonia and an asthma attack she was having because of it. 

Lets fast forward to more recent times now. We had to move last year to a rental home in the summer of 2012. Unfortunately we got sucked into the recession and lost our home of four years. Harper lived there since she was only 3 months old until she turned 4 years old when we moved, so this took an emotional toll on her. Children with ADHD need stability and a routine. When their routine gets messed up, they are very sensitive to this and will act out. 

Harper seemed to take it well and in the Fall of 2012 we got her into preschool. She was very excited to say the least and so were we. This is where things took a turn for the worst. She went through many changes, just to name a few -

- New Home
- Her cat Lily passed away
- New school
- Leaving Mom for 3 hrs a day/ 5 days a week
- Not seeing Daddy for sometimes days because Daddy began
  to work over time to help support us.

She began to have terrible behavior after about 6 weeks in preschool. She would get up in the middle of the night, sometimes 4-5 times, and walk into our room and ask for drink of water, tuck in. We tried to put the glass of water on her dresser so that she could get her own drink but she did not care. We had to go into her room at least 3 times a night to tuck her in.

This turned into her wanting to sleep in our bed. We told her she cannot sleep in our bed, that she has to be a big girl and sleep in her own bed. We told her that she could not get up and she had to stay in her bed until the sun comes up. She would scream at the top of her, scratch us, kick us and try to get out of her room. She would yell out things like, "Get me out of here!" "Don't touch me!" "Stop!" and so on. 

My husband and I would take turns sending her back to her room. I was constantly crying in my bed and sometimes calling my mom for help at 2 a.m. in the morning. She is a behavior therapist for children with autism and ADHD so she had some good ideas on what to do.

We began to think what changed for her and why was she behaving so badly. We realized that at preschool she would eat a lot of processed and packaged foods. She also was around chemicals. The teachers would wash the table with bleach after every meal and every craft or activity done. Her little body was absorbing all this in, breathing and touching it. All kids are sensitive to this, especially children who have issues with the brain not working to its full capacity. 

We decided that we were going to pull her out of preschool and see if her behavior would get better. I also did research to see what vitamins could help improve her brain. Thank goodness it worked!

We also took her to see Dr. Picard who works with patients who have issues with the brain. He explained to us why she acts the way she does and how a childs brain works with adhd. There is the left side of the brain and right side of the brain. When she has her escalated tantrums, where she is out of control, he said that the two sides of the brain are out of balance and she really can't help it. Many things contribute to this including diet and chemicals that she is contact with. Particular exercises can help her too. Unfortunately we cannot afford the treatment that Dr. Picard has because medical insurance will not cover it. He did tells us that the Paleo Diet is important for her to be on, vitamins that help the brain including fish oils, and exercises will help her. So that is where we started. 

She is almost 5 years old now and she can swallow all her vitamins like a big girl! Some days it can be a struggle but it is so worth it when she does take them. 

Diet is huge but the Paleo diet is very hard to stick with so we make sure she avoids two major foods- GLUTEN and SUGAR. They are like poison to her. It is crazy how fast it can affect her and how bad her behavior gets when she eats this. Easter was another reminder that her body cannot tolerate sugar. We let her have some Easter candy and she had another two episodes that I don't want to relive. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. I will continue to add things that are helping Harper with her adhd. Please share what is working with your child in the comments! 

Harpers Daily Vitamins

*We only trust Shaklee vitamins because they are food based and have a special delivery system that helps the body absorb the vitamins. (Please call email me if you would like to order any! )

Prebiotic ( 1 a day/we call it the pearl cause thats what it looks like!)
Omega Guard (3 a day)
Lecithin (3 a day)
Herb Lax (Half a vitamin a day for 30 days whenever she needs to detox)
Calcium Magnesium (2 or more a day/this helps to calm her)
Vitamin B (4-8 a day/ also helps to calm and minimize the constant talking)
Vitamin E

The brain needs rest to work at its optimal level. 
She gets a nap every day and goes to bed a t 7pm.

Exercise is very important! She is in gymnastics and swimming is very good to get children in because they are working out every part of their body. 
She also plays soccer in the summer.

She needs at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. I'm looking into a yoga dvd for children so I'll let you know if I find something and how she likes it. 

Introduce non-toxic cleaners into your home. I strongly recommend this. It makes such a difference with Harper. 

What I have in our home: 


Laundry- Shaklee's Nature Bright, Shaklee Detergent (powder)
Dishes- Shaklee Dish Soap, Shaklee Dishwasher soap
Windows and All Purpose Cleaner- Shaklee Basic H
Bathrooms (to kill germs around toilet, floors and also a grease remover) - Basic G
Floors- Basic H
Stoves, Stove Top, Bathroom Tub- Shaklee Scour Off (smells like cherries!)

Personal Care Products

Shaklee Shampoo
Shaklee Conditioner
Shaklee Hair Spray
Shaklee Body Wash


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