Behavior problems are a common plight for children with autism and their caretakers. Here we continue our discussion, outlining more possible reasons for misbehavior in our kids.
IMPORTANT: Before we go any further, please see an important disclaimer at the end of this article.
As stated earlier in this article, understanding these possibilities and pinpointing the reasons for misbehavior can not only help to decrease the behavior, but may even help you to eliminate the problem entirely.
This would obviously be a major help to any parent. But as hard as behavior issues are for parents and caretakers, it may be an even more welcome relief for our kids who are truly suffering.
In addition to the food and chemical intolerances mentioned earlier, our kids with behavior issues could also be suffering from mineral deficiencies.
Mineral deficiencies can be the source of serious behavior issues, including self-injurious behavior.
If Johnny is hitting himself, it can’t hurt to try to give him some possibly much-needed minerals to see if that calms him down.
One very healthy way to do this is to give him some type of seaweed to eat. I find that allowing them to eat as much as they want is beneficial because somehow they know how much they need. If their bodies are mineral deficient, they may experience an intense craving for seaweed.
Seaweed is an absolutely fantastic food. I highly recommend including it in the diet every day whether or not your child is mineral deficient.
Seaweed has all the minerals since it was taken out of the ocean. Types of seaweed commonly sold in stores include dulse, nori, kelp, kombu, arame, wakame, and Irish moss.
I like to order dulse from Amazon in large amounts because it is less expensive per ounce. But you can also find many of these types of seaweed in organic food stores such as Earth Fare, Sprouts and Whole Foods.
Our favorites are dulse, nori and kelp. My son loves dulse and nori, and I try to give him a capsule of kelp every day to keep him from becoming mineral deficient.
Another way to add minerals to your child’s diet (besides giving seaweed to her directly) is to include them in your meals.
You can sprinkle dulse into soups and salads, and make nori wraps.
One dinner my kids love is a mixture of brown rice sprinkled with dulse and mixed with thinly sliced cucumbers. Place a little of the mixture on a nori sheet and roll it up! Yum!
You can also make vegan cheese out of irish moss or kelp noodles. More on that in an upcoming article.
The only seaweed to stay away from is hijiki, which is known to contain high levels of heavy metals, including arsenic. Most other seaweeds, especially the ones I’ve mentioned, are safe to eat and free from heavy metal issues. But the main one to stay away from is hijiki.
I also recommend a product called Concentrace, which is also available on Amazon. It’s a mixture of various minerals. You just add some drops of Concentrace to a little purified water and let your child drink that mixture.
If you happen to live near the ocean, consider that ocean water also contains all the minerals. If you can do so safely, you can bring him to the water’s edge to dip his feet in.
Those minerals soak right into the skin, and can do wonders for someone with a mineral deficiency.
If you don’t think you can bring him up to the water safely, simply taking a trip to a coastal town without going near the water can help. The salty, mineral-rich air can be very beneficial.
If you suspect that your child might be deficient in minerals, be sure to schedule a visit to his doctor. His physician can administer a test to see if he is deficient and give you a treatment plan that is more tailored to his needs.
If your child has some behavior problems, the root cause could be a medical condition. This could be especially true if it’s a new behavior she hasn’t had a problem with before.
But even if it’s been going on a long time, the cause could still be physical.
As an example of a physical condition that could cause behavior issues, I’ll tell you a true story about a child I’ll call Kaley.
Kaley is an autistic child who hadn’t normally had any serious behavior problems before. But she developed a habit of screaming to the point where other members of the family had to wear earplugs to keep from hurting their ears.
Kaley’s parents took her to the doctor. The first doctor they saw insisted that Kaley was just misbehaving. He conducted no tests, but just assumed the problem was behavioral.
Her parents weren’t satisfied with that doctor’s conclusions. It just wasn’t like Kaley to scream all the time. They were very uncomfortable with the doctor’s opinion.
So they visited several more doctors before they found out the real cause. The last doctor they saw had Kaley’s stomach x-rayed. It turned out she was constipated, backed up from top to bottom!
After her parents followed the doctor’s orders with a series of enemas and some laxatives, Kaley felt better and the screaming stopped.
But several years later, the screaming started up again.
Mom thought Kaley was constipated again and tried to treat the problem accordingly. But a visit later to a healthcare practitioner revealed that Kaley had developed a duodenal ulcer.
This of course changed the entire treatment strategy for Kaley as it was necessary to work on healing the ulcer. Once the ulcer was cured, the screaming stopped.
One moral of that story is this: If you are uncomfortable with any doctor or practitioner’s diagnosis, get a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. opinion until you are satisfied that you have the correct diagnosis.
Kaley’s issues are just one example of the medical conditions that could cause behavior problems. There could be any number of other medical conditions that could cause your child to act out.
You know your child better than anyone else, and are far better equipped than anyone else at discovering the root cause of your child’s issues. You know what her normal behavior is like and can tell when something isn’t right.
With that said, as parents and caregivers, our own knowledge is limited. It’s important to seek the assistance of professionals such as doctors, dentists, or other healthcare practitioners to help you find out what is causing your child’s behavior problems.
No doubt about it, trying to find the reasons for your child’s behavior problems can seem like a daunting task.
Sometimes it can’t hurt to try eliminating certain foods you think your child might be allergic to, using a more natural cleaner, or increasing his mineral intake.
And unless you are certain about what’s causing your child’s misbehavior, I would highly recommend visiting her doctor to be sure her behavior problems aren’t caused by a medical problem. You would definitely want to rule out any medical conditions that might even be life-threatening.
Once you’ve visited the doctor and ruled out any medical problems, you’ll want to continue searching for answers if you still don’t know why your child is acting out.
I’ll soon be publishing more information on this site about behavior problems and how you can cope with and possibly even eliminate the problem.
Stay tuned for future updates, including information on how to cope with obsessive compulsive disorder, hyperfixations and other challenges our kids face.
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article and on this website is not medical advice and should not be used as a substitute for seeing your own or your child’s physician. You should always consult a medical doctor before considering any of the information on this website. It is highly recommended to visit a licensed physician regularly and follow his or her treatment plan for your child. If you have any specific questions about your child’s health, you should see his or her physician or other healthcare provider. If your think your child might have any type of physical or medical condition, you should get help from your healthcare provider immediately. You should never delay, discontinue or disregard the medical treatment or advice from your own or your child’s doctor as a result of anything contained on this website.
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