I am working on webcam with a girl who is 12 years old. Her teacher was sure she has an attention problem and pulled out those letters that get tossed into the ring fast these days -ADHD. She wanted the mom to do medication for ADHD for the girl. The teacher reported symptoms of the girl being super inattentive in class and almost droopy like she had little energy. Her teacher also told the mom that this girl would not sit still at all. The interesting thing was that she always could answer correctly when called on in class.
As I have always looked to daily habits and other natural things in someone's life first, to see if there might be a simple answer to the problem, I did a lot of quick research. I wasn't convinced that this girl was having that kind of a problem without a lot more questions being asked. So I sat down with the girl first on webcam, and then the mom second also on webcam. With the girl, I noticed immediately, that as we talked, she kept rubbing her nose with the back of her hand. She also would rub her eyes often and blink a lot. Her voice had a very nasal.quality to it. I also noticed that she was scratching herself a lot and was not sitting still because of it.
When I met with the mom, I asked lots of questions about diet, sleep, exercise, and all kinds of other habits. I had a suspicion of something so I asked for information about the kinds of cleaners they used, detergents, soaps, and medical history of any allergies the girl had. When I asked about that, the mom got curious, because she said she had never seen any blatant intense allergy issues but the child had never been allergy tested either. I suggested to her that the cluster of symptoms looked to me like they were all allergy related. The eye rubbing, nose rubbing, nasal voice and constant scratching. I believed that something they were using was setting off allergies in her and probably effecting her even throughout her sleep, which was producing the droopy, inattentive behavior being seen in the classroom that prompted the suggestion for ADHD meds. So I recommended 3 things: first, a visit or call to the Pediatrician to ask about allergies and second, to get a referral for formal allergy testing. Third, I also recommended that in the process, she should take all of her products..soaps, detergents, shampoos, carpet cleaners etc.and switch to products that had the least scent, the least amount of chemicals in them and no dusty powders. Organic baby stuff would be best. For detergent, something like Dreft or a "free" meaning less chemical and more scent free product, would be best. I asked her to do this and get all the bedding and clothing washed in the less allergenic products and to vacuum up any residual carpet cleaner and then wait a week or two and get back to me to let me know what happened.
I am very happy to report today that all of the symptoms are gone. They report that between her allergy testing results and what their Ped said about what I said, I was right on target. They confirmed a sensitivity to ingredients in the soaps and detergents. The change in the products in the home made a big difference in her ability to sleep and live life without a full head of snot that made her droopy and skin that would not let her sit still from itchiness. The problem was that her allergies were lower level and she didn't have symptoms that presented themselves in an intense way, so no one thought about that. It became a part of normal life. The Doc did say that if she wanted to, if symptoms surfaced again, she could take a kid dose of Zyrtec right before bed. After all, the world is not a perfect place when it comes to controlling allergies.
I don't blame the teacher because she was just following the status quo these days on what people think every school kid symptom is about. It does show you that digging deeper can sometimes show you a different road. We respond to many things in our lives and it doesn't always have to be about a mental diagnosis. ADHD meds would have probably exacerbated the problem as it is usually a stimulant drug and somehow, sleep might have suffered from that.
I am just thrilled that they found the reason and were able to put a stop to the problem! That is a great day of work for me.~ Dr. Sherri
Dr. Sherri Singer is a Processing and Motivation Skills Excellence Coach who works with you in person, 1 on 1, live via webcam. Contact Dr. Sherri
Dr. Sherri's Blog
How have you helped your child's processing today?