After the nuttiness earlier this week, DH (dear-husband) and I decided to do some tracking of our own. Since we've agreed that sugar is never a good thing for Gus, we're removing it from his diet for a period of at least two weeks. But the only way to know if it's having any effect is to keep track of the results. We're looking at 5 specific characteristics: hyperactivity, responsiveness, verbalization, meltdowns and how he's sleeping; with each characteristic we'll keep a record of how they are effected on a 1-4 scale. By breaking the day into two hour chunks, we can also see if there are any specific times of the day when Gus is struggling or if there seem to be other factors effecting him besides diet (like being tired). Many of these things we already have a good sense of, but we want to look at them specifically as effected by the removal of sugar (or not effected if that's how it works out).
Once we have an idea of how the sugar removal with help/not help/not effect his behavior and coping ability, then we will be better informed to decide if we should pursue the next step, which would be removing dairy from his diet. But one thing at a time.
And I think I need to make something clear, mostly because I've been reading some other blogs and I have a tendency toward second-guessing myself. My reasoning for taking these steps has nothing to do with not accepting my son for who he is or being disappointed in the child we have. I adore both my kids for their strengths as well as for their flaws. But I know that the world is often a hard place for him to navigate, and if something like changing his diet can make it easier for him to function in the world, then I can't really justify (to myself) not taking those steps.
Hopefully, I'll figure out a way, in the next day or so, to easily post my spreadsheet in case anyone's interested.