Daily Archives: August 18, 2016

Bread for Berrik….

 

When I first started making bread for my grain free, sugar free boy, I found an almond flour and flax recipe that was absolutely delicious and made a perfect breakfast toast… it was so good that I was eating it too – my favorite was with an egg, tomato and avocado on top.  Berrik stuck to the more traditional peanut butter.  In the beginning, before I discovered that I was overdosing Berrik on almonds via almond flour bread, muffins, and actual plain old almonds, I used this recipe weekly: Paleo Bread – Elana’s Pantry .  At the start of this food adventure I was trying new recipes all the time, and attempting to adapt them to meet Berrik’s specific needs.  There were many epic failures.  If you’re looking to avoid failure as you experiment with gluten free or paleo baking, I highly recommend you start with Elana’s Pantry.  She has a TON of recipes that are FREE (she also has some cookbooks for purchase that are well worth the price), and the beauty of Elana’s recipes is that they NEVER fail, AND she keeps them as simple as possible.  You won’t find a recipe with 17 ingredients on her website.  No crazy out of this world ingredients.  You can find all her ingredients at Safeway.  But I digress….

Once we realized that Berrik needed to significantly reduce his almond flour consumption, I decided to try out another Elana’s Pantry recipe Rochel’s Cashew Bread.  I have never actually made this with cashew butter, but instead have tried it with both Sunflower Seed Butter and Nut & Seed Butter I found at Costco.  I think you can probably use any nut or seed butter and have success.  This is a high protein (lots of eggs) high fat bread, which was perfect for my growing boy.  It’s SO simple to make with only 5 ingredients.  I double the recipe and add about 15 mins to the baking time to make a taller loaf.  I highly recommend using stoneware loaf pans.  I have had ZERO bread failures since ditching my aluminum pans and splurging on a Le Creuset loaf pan.

Language & Literacy

When I decided to take time off work, I knew I needed some kind of plan…some way to figure out how to help Berrik learn to read, improve his language skills, figure out what type of learning works best for him, and on and on….  It was a tall order and I wasn’t really clear on how to go about it.  There are so many ‘programs’ and theories about how best to teach a kid with learning disabilities, but since the strengths and weaknesses of every child are so unique, I found myself going in circles trying to figure out what to do or where to start.   I researched obsessively, I attended some info sessions – and as an aside, I was shocked by some programs that made incredible claims of success, but required HUGE payments up front…like thousands of dollars – and at the end of the day, it all came down to a somewhat random conversation with a friend who I consider to be the most disciplined, and thorough person I know. I don’t see her often and I was telling her about what was going on with Berrik and my plans to take some time off work.  She mentioned, in an offhand way, that her children attended a program called Sound Connections, and were experiencing incredible success.  Like goosebumps on your arms, life-altering successes.  Little did I know that one conversation would lead us down the path we are now on!

I looked up the website for  Sound Connections and thought it sounded good.  The website was less impressive looking than some of the other program websites I had seen, (which is maybe very telling – not so much money and time spent on website and over the top marketing and more time on actually helping kids?) I trust that friend of mine implicitly so I gave Sound Connections a call.  Annette Rogers, the creator of the program, called me back and we spoke for the better part of an hour.  It was a very ‘eureka’ hour for me, as Annette clearly knew about what I was experiencing with Berrik, and said some key things that really resonated.  Things like, labels don’t matter – she was not concerned with IQ, attention issues, dyslexia…etc.  She said that her program will work for any kid… for all kids…regardless.  She didn’t say, Berrik will learn to read in 3 months and will never have issues again…but she did say, that he will be literate, and it may happen quickly and it may happen slowly, but over time he will be literate.  Realistic.  But confident.  For a natural cynic, it was interesting how quickly I trusted Annette.  Added bonus, she is a speech and language pathologist, and Berrik has had expressive and receptive language delays since he was a young toddler…  Annette understood what that means, how it impacts literacy and performance in school, and her program helps with that too.  SIGN US UP.

We started Sound Connections in early June – literally the Monday after I finished work.  We now attend 3 days per week for 45 minute sessions, one on one, and do the rest of the work at home.  In another post I will describe what these sessions are like, and what it’s like to implement it at home…and I’ll tell you about how Berrik is doing!

Foreshadowing here….  I’m discovering that teaching Berrik at home, throughout the day, integrated into our day to day lives, in a way that works for him, is so much more effective and efficient than a classroom environment….  Stay tuned for more information about that!

In the mean time, if you have a kid who is struggling with language and literacy, call Sound Connections.  Don’t wait for your kid to lose all confidence or fall years behind.  And if you’re already there, years behind, frustrated, and feeling overwhelmed, then DEFINITELY call Sound Connections.  I cannot say enough about this program.  You pay as you go (a month ahead), and it is WORTH EVERY PENNY.