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nature girl

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About nature girl

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. nature girl


    Thanks! (Good luck on your labs!) And sorry I wasn't clear. Yes, they tested all her B's, D and ferritin, and all were normal. She is COMT++, but my understanding (I may very well be wrong!) was that this only means we'd have to be careful which version of folate we supplemented with, not that it would counteract the MTHFR mutations. She actually doesn't take a multi, or any other supplements. But she eats a healthy diet, with lots of veggies including dark leafy greens. She doesn't eat red meat, though, and rarely has eggs, so I was surprised her B12 was as good as it was. And she has a VDR Taq mutation, but her D was completely normal as well even without supplementation (and despite the fact she's always wearing sunscreen outside.) She also doesn't drink cow's milk, so doesn't get D from there. So...I don't know, it seems like the genes aren't expressing? I've read some of Dirty Genes, and heard Ben Lynch speak, and his view is that as long as you keep a healthy diet and reduce stress, sleep well, don't drink too much alcohol, etc., you don't need to worry about supplementation. I'm relieved we don't need to worry about supplementing, but on the other hand I was almost hoping for an answer to why we're seeing the problems we see. It may be related to her COMT mutation (although that's SO common), or some other SNPs that I haven't been focusing on. But yeah, it looks like we're not going to be able to fix anything by supplementing. (I should say, I've started her on the Nemechek Protocol, just because all the components are harmless/healthy so it seems like it won't hurt to try it. We only started recently, so the jury's still out. But who knows, supposedly that's supposed to affect epigenetics as well.)
  2. nature girl


    So going back to this, hoping for guidance from you well-informed mamas...I got my daughter's blood tests back recently, and everything was completely in range, all B's and D, and her homocysteine is normal. Does this mean her mutations aren't expressing? Can I just breathe a sigh of relief and move on? Or do the mutations mean there's a chance her body may not be able to utilize the folate, etc. that is in her blood at normal levels?
  3. nature girl

    Gene testing - MTHFR

    One thing I believe he says (I watched a video recently, I think it was his) is just because you have the mutation doesn't mean it's necessarily turned "on." Many are not actually expressing that gene, and there's a lot you can do (including diet, sufficient sleep, exercise and lowering stress) to turn that gene off and process folates appropriately. In the vid I saw, he recommended people with the mutation address lifestyle factors (and eat leafy greens) before supplementing.
  4. nature girl

    Making a schedule/curriculm

    Honestly? The best thing you can do for her at this age is to just nurture creativity and pretend play, read as many books as she'll sit for, take her outdoors to explore (even in winter!) do puzzles, and provide materials for coloring/painting and other crafts. Take outings to zoos, playgrounds, any museums for young kids. Have fun and enjoy each other!! (I wish I could go back, it is such a fun age!) There's plenty of time for literacy and math skills as she gets older, but now, after a day of preschool, I think it would be detrimental to worry about literacy or math. There really is no benefit to starting early...(It's been proven that kids who learn to read early actually are further behind, and much less likely to read for pleasure, a few years down the line.)
  5. nature girl

    Great Summer Read Alouds?

    If you liked The Hero's Guide, you might love the series of fractured fairy tales by Liesl Shurtliff. It starts with Rump (Rumpelstiltskin), Jack (in the Beanstalk), then Red (Riding Hood) and most recently "Grump," told by one of Snow White's seven dwarves. So imaginative and fun.
  6. nature girl

    Feingold Diet

    We tried for a couple of months, but I didn't see any improvement in my daughter. She's never really shown any sensitivity to foods, though, so I don't think her issues are gut/intolerance-related. With that said, I know there are some children who have seen great improvement...I've never comfortable with the idea of removing sals, so many healthy foods! But it might be worth a try to see how far you can go. I know ASD can be directly related to gut issues, which is why removing gluten and casein so often helps. It might also make sense to look into ways to heal the gut to reduce/remove the sensitivity. It seems like getting to the root of the problem makes the most sense for the long-term. (You can look into the Nemechek protocol to eliminate inflammation, there are hundreds of kids who have improved through Nemechek, or at foods like bone broth and natural probiotics.)
  7. nature girl

    Next step for writing?

    Writing was my daughter's weakness as well...She had no problem coming up with her own stories, but getting them down on paper was a struggle. What eventually helped us was to have her re-tell short stories we'd read, or write summaries of non-fiction, focusing on introductory paragraphs, then the meat (which in the beginning was just a listing of facts) and then a concluding paragraph. So for animals I'd write headers, asking Where do they live/make their homes? What do they eat? What's the most interesting/unusual thing about them? etc. If he likes history, you could break out similar topics for him to jot down, that'll help him to organize all he's learned. We eventually moved from short stories to retelling the plots of longer books...It frustrated her at first (she's also ADHD, and has a harder time organizing her thoughts), but writing outlines of plot points first really helped her figure out how to expand them. And then she'd do the same with her own stories, outlining them (the way a real author does!) and then fleshing them out.
  8. I think place prepositions (oner, under, behind) are best taught in person, since it's harder to absorb place in 2-D. For fine motor, we loved the simple Kumon workbooks for cutting, folding, tracing and coloring, and we did a lot of preschool-level mazes. Leapfrog videos for numbers and letters are fantastic, and fun for kids, and once the basics are mastered dot-to-dots using capital and lowercase letters and numbers are great for fine motor and to reinforce the skills.
  9. This fits in with our conversation on methylation...
  10. nature girl

    Gene testing - MTHFR

    (And I'm sorry to hijack this conversation! Hopefully some of this will be helpful to lilmiso as well.)
  11. nature girl

    Gene testing - MTHFR

    Yes, on FB...It's called MTHFR--Understanding Gene Mutations, or something similar. There are a few knowledgable people there (although you're probably more knowledgeable than most.) This is all interesting...I like the idea of starting a scale for her to judge how she's feeling, I think it would help so much with self-awareness. We already do Size of the Problem, so the concept should be familiar to her. She's always been SO averse to talking about her feelings, I've always wondered whether she knows emotional reactivity is a weak point, it just seems to make her so uncomfortable. It's the main reason Zones just never worked for her. I never thought of the irritability being a sensory issue, but maybe? That might explain the hyperactivity too, if her whole body just doesn't feel right. She doesn't have any intolerances, and we don't drink cows milk. I do give her nut milks which have added D (although not as much as cow's milk.) She gets dairy from cheese and yogurt, though, and I think those have some D, and we eat fatty fish at least once a week. Yeah, it'll be interesting to see what her labs say! Would you recommend checking D, B12 and homocysteine? Any of the other B's?
  12. nature girl

    Gene testing - MTHFR

    I got that from an MTHFR group I'm in...It wasn't the chart I was looking for, but similar. (I'm not sure where they got it. Maybe from Know Your Genes? I gave her a 1,000mg gel cap. Within an hour or two, she just seemed really irritable and snappy, maybe a little more hyper too. It's not her typical personality, it was like she was purposely trying to do whatever she could to annoy me. Not pleasant! So...I'm not doing that again. I'm curious about her D levels, though...She's spending a lot of time outdoors these days, so may be getting enough from the sun and this was just too much.
  13. nature girl

    Gene testing - MTHFR

    I had a similar discussion last month, where Peter Pan gave me a lot of information. You might want to take a look...I'm also going to look for a table I found, which gives recommendations for supplements depending on various SNPs...I'll attach it when I find it. But basically, my daughter's genetics are quite complex, she's complex heterozygous for MTHFR, and has mutations for COMT and for VDR (vitamin D.) I tried giving her a D supplement, and her mood changed, so I think she'll be even more complex than I'd feared. I'm now going to have her B's and D tested, and won't try to supplement until I get the results. My main strategy now though, is to heal her gut and feed her lots of leafy greens, so that she can get most of her floats from food, then test her to see what else might be needed.
  14. The low self-esteem will really be boosted once she's in a mainstream classroom, I bet. So this is another reason mainstreaming should be a good thing for her! I agree with Frances, that does seem like a lot of work've chosen solid programs, but looking at them, with the exception of Beast they're really not that much fun, you know? The last thing you want is to turn her off from learning by pushing rote work. The other commenters have had great ideas on fun ways to fit in the skills you're looking to cement, without her realizing she's learning. You mentioned unschooling, so why not unschool her over the summer? Surround her with activities and games that will draw her in, she's gifted so her nature will be to explore and deepen her own understanding, and the learning will happen naturally and more enjoyably for all of you.
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