Daily Archives: December 19, 2010

The Cheese Experiment

I have been going around and around in my thinking about Daniel having such a hard time with cheese. I wrote about what happened when I gave him cheese in this post No Cheese! . It just doesn’t make sense to me that he can eat some things like yogurt and macaroni and cheese but cannot eat cheese. I had to go looking into it to see if I was just making things up and of course there will be experiments on Daniel with different foods because there is no other way for us to know what is going on. I don’t want to but we have no choice. He is repeatedly asking for cheese and doesn’t understand why he can’t have it. I am torn because I want to give it to him since he has never eaten it for me before, it is a new texture and feel in his mouth, that is a good thing. I have searched the soy and rice cheeses and they too have milk protein (casein) in them.

I found an almond cheese but it was crazy $5.00 for a small block!

What if he doesn’t like it? It may seem like it would be worth it to try but seriously I cannot be alright with spending $5 on a block of fake cheese that he may or may not like and I know darn well the rest of us will not so it will go to waste. I did find a recipe to make your own gluten-free, casein-free cheese. I may try it, it is made with hemp milk and tahini. I was thinking that I was crazy about this but just this week twice in a row, I used more milk in our dinner than I usually do. I got so extremely ill that I wasn’t sure what to do. The only difference was that I had more milk in my diet than usual. We didn’t change brands, I didn’t have anything else different in my diet except for the amount of milk. I find this odd because I can eat cheese. I cannot eat a lot of cheese because I get ill with that as well.

Maybe he just has a low tolerance and I gave him too much cheese the other day.

I do know that in order to find out what it really is we have to try to give it to him again. We will have to do low doses and take it from there. The week that he had the problem with the cheese, he ate cottage cheese and block cheese. It could have been just too large of quantities for his body to digest. I do know he cannot drink milk, that always makes him sick. I find this whole thing just odd. He isn’t allergic to it, he was tested for that but he obviously has an intolerance.

After the holidays and after things settle down, we will start our cheese experiment.

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Working On The Dysgraphia

Daniel has a combination of symptoms he is considered to have several types of dysgraphia such as motor and spatial. We have been using Handwriting Without Tears for about two years now. Along with doing fine motor exercises, there are many resources out there to help and to choose from, we do have to change them often because this is a source of frustration for Daniel. I have to try to be creative and make it interesting to him. He really has seen no purpose in writing and this has been a challenge. This year he has taken to learning to type because he has connected that it is beneficial for him in his computer use. I haven’t been able to find the “thing” to help him connect that writing is beneficial as well. Maybe it’s not for him but it helps to work on his posture, holding instruments, and learning to focus on the task.

However, Daniel has shown a new interest in the last few months.

I use play time as a means of practicing writing and we do practice words and letters on practice sheets. He seems to go in spurts with those, one day he wants nothing to do with them, the next day he will do 10 in a row. It is all a matter of how he is feeling, if he shows signs of getting frustrated we just stop. It is no good to anyone if he is upset because he can’t do it that day and forcing him will only make things worse. On those days we focus on keyboarding skills.

Being that he is virtually uninterested in writing or drawing most of the time, the other night was quite a surprise.

He was having a hard time calming down after church Sunday and we were all ready for bed, except Daniel. He was running around and terrorizing the cat for some reason. Earlier that afternoon he asked me to get the Pictionary game out for us to play, his playing is spinning the dice. I got it out and very soon he was done playing, it sat out because if I put it away that could have been an issue. SO back to the story, Ariel asked if she could play Pictionary with me and I sat down to play, this intrigued Daniel so he calmed down and sat next to us. I decided that I would read something from the card and Ariel could draw it. She thought this was a great idea, I asked Daniel to join us, he replied “I can’t, I don’t know how.” I told him sure he knows how let’s try.

I knew that he could draw a face and I asked him to draw that first.

He drew a sad face and I said “see you can to draw”, this gave him a little confidence to give it a try. I read the first thing which I can’t remember what it was but he tried to draw it. He asked me to help and I gently held his hand as he drew. We continued for over 30 minutes, when he was unsure how to draw something he would watch Ariel as she drew her picture and then he would try. He made a lot of pictures and it was a pretty big deal for him to sit and draw these pictures only from the word with the exception of the ones that he watched Ariel draw. It was really great to watch him have fun at something he normally has such a hard time with and most times gets discouraged. He has been practicing writing words as well, we are keeping it on the white board for now and practicing the letters on paper.

I tried to locate writings and practice sheets for the past year.

I have very few except for the past about 5 months, which is the time that he as tried to give the whole writing thing a chance. Before that I have very limited items, as we were working a lot on him creating projects. We used a lot of different textures, played with clay, shaving cream, rice/beans and worked on more craft items that would get him to use his hands period. It has turned out to be beneficial since the past months he has been more open to trying to write and draw. Here is where he was at Sept. 2009 “I want to draw” and in Jan. I wrote about my own dygraphia issues but didn’t call it that because I haven’t been officially diagnosed, in my post Arts & Crafts and the Such.

Here are a few of his sheets from August up to December and the evening I wrote about.

Here are some links about Dysgraphia and resources.

dyslexia A2Z

Homeschool diner

Handwriting Problem Solutions

Not Otherwise Specified

Autism Spectrum Disorders Fact Sheet

Resource Room Free Spirited Structured Multisensory Learning

LD.org National Center for Learning Disabilities

LD Online

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