2013 was a really tough year for our family. It was the year my two (then primary-school aged) children were diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia.
It had taken almost three years to get a diagnosis for my son; that was followed three years later with further diagnoses of highly gifted (in the 99th percentile – which brings its own challenges) plus dysgraphia. He struggled particularly with staying on task, impulsivity and controlling his emotions.
Meanwhile his older sister was late learning to read and continued to find spelling incredibly difficult, even after years with a wonderful private tutor. We decided to have her assessed after she suggested she repeat year 5 – heartbreaking for a parent to hear.
Following their diagnoses I was really drawn to researching how diet and nutrition can affect behaviour and learning in children:
- The adverse effects of artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners and preservatives.
- How the right mix of macronutrition can be used to balance energy levels and help with brain development.
- How nutritional supplementation is now a necessity and that deficiencies can mimic ADHD-type behaviours.
We made numerous changes and noticed how certain foods made my son aggressive and non-compliant, and my daughter unable to make the simplest of decisions. We saw further improvements to focus and concentration and emotional regularity after adding quality supplementation.
I’d love to support your family by sharing what I now know with you.
I have shared our family’s diet and nutrition experience in a number of articles. Follow the links below to read.
Invercargill Mum Rachael Allan’s Journey to Real Food (Southland Times, September 2015)
Mood Food (That’s Life, November 2015)