So here’s a perfect example of getting to the root of the issue versus looking at outward behavior that we talked about in the last newsletter. I call this great Mom for our 52-minute phone consultation and this is what I hear:
“My son is not listening to his teachers. He won’t focus at school and melts down so easily over little things. He’s picking at his skin a lot and seems like he has OCD issues. Now he can’t sleep. He gets so physical with his siblings. We’ve talked to him repeatedly about being respectful of teachers and siblings. We’ve given every consequence possible and been consistent. It only seems to be getting worse.”
Want to know something funny? I’ve been doing this a long time and I’m very good at it, but my first reaction inside is usually, “Crap, how am I supposed to solve this?” But then my love of problem solving and puzzles kicks in. So I begin to ask questions. I play a hunch.
Does your son eat a lot of fruit and simple carbs?
Does he have eczema symptoms?
He plays rough with his siblings. Does he seem to enjoy the physical pressure? Do you notice him pressing against things or even crawling into tight spaces?
Yes, he’s always liked lots of blankets on top of him.
So here’s the story that begins to emerge. Picture yourself as this kid. His body craves simple carbs and fruits, which contain a lot of sugar, which can exacerbate eczema, which makes you scratch and feel uncomfortable. And probably distracts you in class. He probably has sensory issues of some kind (hyposensitive), which means his body is craving physical pressure. So he wrestles with siblings, moves in his seat constantly. Know what this feels like inside? It feels frustrating!
When I am not feeling well, I get easily irritated. Little things bug me and set me off. People irritate me. I’m distracted by how my body feels. And I am a grown adult.
Now picture this kid sitting in class just not feeling right. He’s kind of on edge, the way you get when you are hungry. We could address this by giving consequences for his behavior, but it will never work…because we aren’t dealing with the underlying causes.
See, most of the time, I don’t see a bad kid. I see a frustrated kid. And if I can get to the source of the frustration, then the behavior changes. So now instead of needing to see a psychologist or therapist, this young man would be helped greatly by an Occupational Therapist (sensory issues) and a good alternative doctor who can address the “gut issues” that cause this boy to crave simple carbs and sugars. We can also help him with simple tools from our program: using a sensory strip under his desk, doing chair pushups in class, sleeping in a sleeping bag.
I ask another question. Has he had many strep infections? The answer is yes. So I ask this Mom to look into PANDAS, which is a suspected autoimmune response that can mimic OCD symptoms or cause tics. Fortunately, a doctor rules this out. But again, it’s looking for the root of the issue…instead of just responding to outward behavior. I hope that makes sense.
Want to talk and problem solve with me? I’d love to help you. But I don’t have a lot of free time! So use the link below to schedule a phone consultation.
Because of my travel schedule, I rarely conduct phone consultations.
My typical rate is $250, but during February I will personally coach 10 families at the reduced rate of $150 per 52-minute phone consultation. Why 52-minutes? Because I value my time and yours, and want you to be prepared to get the most out of each session. Click here to learn more.