I had been doing some research online because I knew I could not continue to do this to my child to make it convenient for the school. I read some out there theories, but the one that stuck with me came from the Feingold Association. The Feingold Association claims that in some children symptoms of ADD/ADHD are caused by a reaction to salicylates, artificial colors, artificial flavors, sodium benzoate, and the petroleum-based preservatives BHA, BHT, and TBHQ. This assertion is backed up by an extensive list of studies. After discussing it with my husband, we decided to go ahead and try the Feingold diet. I threw away almost every single thing in my kitchen. I got rid of hundreds of dollars worth of groceries and bought NEW groceries following the Feingold plan. At the time, many of the items that were acceptable on the Foodlist were not locally available. The health food stores in our area were sadly lacking. It was incredibly hard, but we made it through Stage One, and it was like we had a brand new child. He was still prone to making weird noises at inappropriate times, we've found that's more his sense of humor than a psychological phenomena requiring pharmaceuticals. His attention span was better, not the BEST, but better than it had been on stimulants. His teacher that year in 3rd grade was wonderful, exactly what he needed. She was very stern, but loving and supportive of our treatment plan. She believed in it because she actually saw it work. That year was hard. Really hard because almost everything had to be made by scratch. Jordan couldn't eat school lunch, he couldn't eat anything at school. He couldn't spend the night at a friend's house or even at his grandparents' house easily. He never really argued over the food. Other people did. Milk is milk, right? Wrong. Most milk you can buy at the store in Michigan contains a preservative in the Vitamin A Palmitate that is added to it that would set Jordan back a week. We were driving 45 miles one way to the closest Whole Foods Market to buy groceries and those groceries didn't come cheaply. One day in 4th grade Jordan came home literally bouncing off the walls like he was crazy. I asked him, "What did you eat?!" He had to think for a long time and finally he remembered that the snack in his after-school program had been a prepackaged Kellog's Rice Krispie Treat. That was the most dramatic thing that sold me on this plan. It was amazing to see. Scary, but amazing at the same time.
At the end of 4th grade we parted ways with Jordan's school. It was time for him to move to the other school, the middle school, with a different teacher for every subject and a vastly larger set of people to educate and convince not to feed my son food that would set him off. We put him in a local charter academy and he did well for the first year he was there. By the second year we were tiring of the food prep and of fighting the system to get good, healthy food for him. The support structure just wasn't there and we started slipping, buying what was on sale locally or what we had a coupon for or just what we had been missing for so long. Jordan's attention span went right with our backslide. In sixth grade he was spending the entire day at school but not really paying enough attention to "get" it. I spent the evening reteaching the lessons and making sure he got his schoolwork done. It was never done before 10 pm. He would take it back to school and invariably forget it in his locker. This school was big on personal accountability, and there's nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, it was affecting his grades in a big way. My kid with the genius IQ was getting horrible grades. At some point we all realized that he was not having the childhood that a 11 year old should get. He was literally stuck with schoolwork from 8:00 am until at least 10:00 pm, when I would make him go to bed. We had talked about homeschooling. Usually it was a threat, as I didn't figure `an 11 year old would want to be home with Mom all day. Eventually he came to me and told me that he wasn't getting graded on what he knew, he was getting graded on his level of organization and responsibility. If they were going to assign grades based on those things he thought they should call the classes, "Organization and Responsibility." He asked me if he could be home schooled. I made him finish out the year at school because that was a huge step for me and I wasn't at all ready to take on educating a child at home.