Monday, May 3, 2010

Brain overload

I attended the Chrisitan Alliance for Orphans last Thursday and Friday. My brain is on overload. I am fried. It was a great two days, with emotions all over the charts. I am grasping for time to write some of the million things going through my mind, I hope to be able to sometime this week.

My favorite part was getting to meet a few bloggy friends. It is so funny to meet someone, whom you feel like you know almost better than some of your own family. There is such a camaraderie and level of understanding between us, that it is like seeing an old friend. I loved it. It made me want to have a blog conference or something.

A few brief highlights of the conference, were when Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth, shared their testimonies and sang (Steven sang, Mary Beth shared). They are amazing, and it was an emotional evening. I was privileged to hear Stephanie Fast speak, who was orphaned in Korea and has an amazing story to share about the love of God and His plan in her life.

I was blown away by Dr. Karyn Purvis, the author of "The Connected Child". I must share a couple of quick things I learned from her. We know that kids who have been traumatized, either by prenatal exposure, or early neglect or abuse, have brain damage and their brain chemistry is different than others. A few things she said can help is to feed these children every 2 hours, some kind of snack if it is not meal time. She said that for typical people, we get grumpy when hungry and our blood sugar levels get low. Kids who have neuro issues, get aggressive when their blood sugar levels get low. If there are sleep disturbances, she said to make sure they have a lean protein snack like turkey or chicken before bed, so their blood sugar does not drop while they sleep and they wake up.

Dr. Purvis also talked briefly about dehydration. The majority of us are usually walking around with mild dehydration as we do not usually intake the right amount of water. She said some hoity toity medical terms that I did not get down, but basically, when our kids with neuro issues have not had enough water, they also get aggressive more quickly. She said to have a child have a glass of water before they get a glass of juice, or a glass of soda. And for parents to do this. Before you can have a cup of coffee, you have the same size drink of water. Good advise.

Sensory issues were also discussed. As most of us are all to aware of, our kids have sensory issues. She reminded us that our kids should be doing something sensory every 2 hours, and this will more than likely decrease escalations and aggressive tendencies.

So, those were the really practical things I took away from her session. Some of it I knew, some of it was a refresher, and some of it was new. I am really tired now, and am going to hit the sack.


GB's Mom said...

Thanks for sharing!

Betsy said...

Aaron & I appreciated her advice as well - even with our non-neuro issue kids. Esp. the food and water stuff.

She was so convicting and helpful at the same time in regards to saying that most parents say, "No." to their kids 85% of the time we are communicating and NOT empowering our kids!

Jennifer P said...

This was fascinating. I've long suspected that my daughter who came at 2 1/2 years have blood sugar and dehydration issues. She zones out and often feels dizzy. Interestingly it's more pronounced now that she is into puberty. Wow! Thanks for writing that. She suffered abuse and neglect prior to being verbal.