Back in February I was at a low point with Samuel's reading progress in Kindergarden. Of course I was prepared for difficulties since he's had speech issues since forever but after six months or so of working away at our phonics program we were sort of stalled out. He had memorized all of his sounds very well but when we progressed to sounding out three letter words and especially when we moved to four letter words, he just could not figure out how to blend the sounds. I was so frustrated and kept losing my temper. I decided to take a break and reevaluate what to do. I saw a post on facebook in a homeschool group about reading tutoring and reached out to the women.
In the meantime Samuel had this strange rash appear on his side at the beginning of March. I freaked out a little but it did go away and another one has not appeared. There was some worry that it could be associated with celiac disease, intolerance, or some kind of immune issue. Then one morning Terry weighed Samuel and it appeared he had lost two pounds (a few days later he was back to normal however)! That was the last straw for me. We finally put him on an elimination diet, something I had been considering for a couple years after he had an extended bout of diarrhea with some blood (!). But also, learning issues can be an issue with kids who have intolerances and so can extreme emotions. We've always said Samuel has "big emotions" because he cries at the drop of a hat or even when he was little he would cry until nearly passing out, turning blue and falling on the floor. All of these symptoms might not be related or they could just be that he needs more time to mature and learn, or they could be due to an intolerance. We did have him blood tested for celiac and it came back negative, though there is a high incidence of false negatives. So who knows.
But on Monday March 20 we started a gluten and dairy free diet. I spent the day before preparing by making a list and shopping. When the day dawned Samuel had gluten free Cheerios with almond milk and eggs. Lunch was what had seemed daunting for me since cheese had historically been a big part of that for quesodillas or ham sandwiches. I substituted the cheese with some red pepper flavored hummus and it was a hit! Samuel even liked the almond milk too (though now he says he doesn't like it).
After lunch that day my dad came to watch the kids while I took Noah to CC and it was quite cute the way he played with him and Luna.
Rewind to when I reached out to the reading tutor. We had him evaluated for dyslexia and a few weeks later we got started. This began actually the same week we started Samuel's diet.
Mrs. Smith comes over to the house twice a week and coaches Samuel on his sounds. He just loves her and she keeps saying how smart he is.
Pizza was the other big problem for me to try to come with an alternative. We have pizza in our house weekly for family movie nights and it's a big deal! That first week my mom made a king arthur gluten free crust for him (she did that for Ana every week when they lived in town). We topped it with everything but cheese and he liked it. It's so sad not to have cheese on a pizza though. His sausages kept falling off since there was nothing to bind them together!
But he's a trooper and liked it nonetheless.
The following day was Saturday and I wanted to give Samuel a treat so I made my first gluten free pancakes. Nothing to them!
He loved them!
Silly boy couldn't figure out how to do a thumbs up and this was as close as he could get. Ha! We are only just over halfway through the four week diet. At the end we will add gluten back in and then dairy and see if he has a reaction. It'll be interesting to see because just today I noticed that the little bumps he's had on his cheeks and arms are going away. And his BMs are more solid as far as I know. So clearly something is working. Two more weeks to go...