How far is too far?

When you have a child who needs help, you will do anything for your child. This applies to all children. If your kid shows potential as an artist, parents will provide supplies, enroll the child in classes, or contact a friend who owns a gallery for advice. Parents of children with developmental delays are no different. Well, maybe a little different. We will really go the distance…and sometimes that distance may be too far.

Is it too far when we drive our children to appointments with therapists that take 3 hours round-trip — even when there a great therapists in our towns? We do this because our children have a better rapport with the 3-hour-drive therapist. Is it too far when have our entire family eliminate gluten from the diet because we have been told that our child has a drug-like response to gluten? We do this because we believe our dietitian and because the whole family goes on stand-by together.

In this vein of perhaps going too far, I took Isabella for her virgin neurofeedback session. The drive was not taxing (except for the traffic on the way home) and I do not plan on asking any other family members to use neurofeedback. Here’s why I’m not certain if I’ve gone too far. Among the forms that I was asked to complete about Isabella was a symptom check list. I hesitantly checked hyperphagia. It’s something that I know a bit about as a dietitian — it’s an inability to know when to stop eating. I also checked impulsivity, not hesitantly. Combined, hyperphagia and impulsivity are a bad combination. The result:  grabbing 7 cookies from a tray after eating a large meal and proceeding to eat all of them within minutes.

So, the MD who administered the neurofeedback informed me that its impact would last a few hours following this first session. Next time, the positive effects would last longer. We got home, I went upstairs for about 2 minutes or less. I came down to find Isabella surreptitiously stuffing a box into recycling. As I came closer, I realized that she had eaten all 3 (as in 3 children) of the chocolate treats…in that 2 minutes or less. Her coat and backpack were still on. I guess we’ll wait until a few sessions to see if the positive fall-out of neurofeedback lasts for more than the car ride home. After all, we did sit in traffic.

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