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After having my son by forceps delivery via caesarian (truly) at 42 weeks gestation, my obstetrician told me at the 6-week post-natal check-up that I would never have gone into labour. The induction didn't elicit a brankston hicks, not a murmur, nothing.
I knew the exact date I had conceived and wanted "nature to take its course". My clever Dr had an idea and tested the remainder of a blood sample of mine. He discovered the problem was: placental sulfatase deficiency.
My son's skin sheeted off after birth; he'd been "cooked". But his apgar scores were 9/10 and then 10/10 so there seemed to be no need to worry.
What's this got to do with ADHD?
The obstetrician told me that this deficiency was genetic. I So what did this mean? What were other related problems? He brushed my question off flippantly. But I wrote every detail down from his massive medical journal. Logic told me that problems of biology don't occur in isolation. I was right. (I wish I wasn't.)
My son was a delight, such an easy, good-natured baby. But what child wouldn't be when they are so cherished and nurtured and loved? He was outgoing and confident at a very young age.
But then this changed for no good reason.
My son developed anxiety. This anxiety got worse and worse and worse. By Year 1, it became crippling. The family doctor was baffled and suggested he see a psychologist. But she agreed that he didn't seem to have catastrophic or faulty thinking. It was more like frustration and an overwhelming feeling. He changed from a bright, happy kid into a timid, depressed recluse and without any good reason.
I taught him meditation and tried diet changes. We eliminated wheat and changed to dairy products of natural probiotic sheeps milk yoghurt and A2 milk (like in France!) This improved our health a little but we'd always eaten veggies and salad which my son enjoyed.
But he started to get upset because we were visiting quite a few doctors to investigate hearing, sight, allergies, etc. But no one could explain the source of the anxiety.
The teacher said that he sometimes didn't hear her. I knew he had what he had a narrower focus of attention than normal. If he was talking to someone, his attention was on them, so he may not hear someone calling his name some distance away like others usually could. But this was a problem I also had. I was fine one on one or two on one but in groups I would get anxious because I didn't seem to be able to catch the conversation when it was coming at me from all directions. My brain just didn't catch it all. It's sort of like having a loose connection, like a light globe not quite screwed in properly and it sort of flickers. But there's nothing you can do to fix this debilitating problem. Or so I thought...
To cut a long story short, I met a group of parents whose kids were having similar difficulties. I had my suspicions but doctors and psychologists all thought me crazy to consider inattentive ADHD (the one without hyperactivity and impulsivity or externalising behaviour) or a mild variant of Fragile X.
I consulted a developmental paediatrician whose clinic sees more children like my son than any other in the world. Why? Because this doctor is also a highly cited researcher and he employs the most comprehensive collection of assessment tools to delineate specific problems in children like my son.
As it turned out, my son had a much less common variant of ADHD, one that I found out later was directly related to the STS gene that was related to the problems he had trying to come into this world...
Do please - Look it up.
Ritalin (methylphenidate) increases DHEA in the brain. My son has a lack of this given the sulfatase deficiency. For this reason, his brain needs the Ritalin to be able to have adequate neural connectivity to function normally. No change in diet or any other change could ameliorate this problem. It was like a miracle when the anxiety completely disappeared within weeks of commencing medication.
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