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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Academic Benefits of Gluten Free

Today we received elementary school report cards for our two youngest children.  One is always awesome.  One is usually, well, not.

Typically, the first is awash with lashings of "excellent attitude and commendable effort" right next to perfect marks.  This report, though, had a bonus of test results assessing his reading level.  It's rated in the middle to end of sixth grade.  He's seven. (And we're pretty proud of him!)

The other report is typically tossed on our kitchen island in one fluid motion as the son connected to said report rounds the corner, heading for the front door and relative protection of the wild woods outside.  Past comments have included "Charming child; appalling effort," "Too intelligent to receive such marks," and "If he put the effort into class that he puts into sports, he'd have graduated college by now."  Sigh.

This time, however, I had to turn the report over a couple times to insure that I didn't have some other kid's by mistake.  It was pretty dang good.  Mostly B's and B+'s adorned the page, with multiple comments of "Greatly improved effort," "Great attitude," and "Now THIS is what I'm talkin' about!" laced throughout.  Whoo-hoo!  Seriously.  WHOOOO Flippin' HOOO!

Now B's might not thrill some of you, but there are two crucial pieces of information that put the whole thing into a somewhat miraculous frame of reference.  One is simply that we are talking about a kid who has NEVER had one iota of desire to rise to his potential.  Didn't see the point.  Didn't care.  Didn't look beyond the next opportunity to play a sport.

The other is that his school gives FREQUENT progress reports. We get them every three weeks, and they are in great detail, mirroring the content and format of the actual report cards.  Why is this important?  Because, just one week into our Gluten-Free experiment, we got one of those progress reports.  I needed to take some ibuprofen afterwards.

"D, D-, D, D+, C, and, of course, an A+ in PE."

A mere four weeks into the experiment, and three weeks after that abysmal progress report, his work had improved so much that the achievement of the last three-four weeks raised all those rubbish grades to mostly B's!!  That's a pretty short amount of time to show such a very dramatic amount of progress, dontchathink?!?!?

I asked the now-gluten-free-son if HE noticed any difference in the last couple of weeks when it came to his mood or school work or relationships.  His take?  "My brain feels less fuzzy and I can concentrate more.  I remember a lot more, too.  And people don't distract or bug me like they used to."

Conclusion?  Gluten has been affecting a whole lot more than just his behavior.

A WHOLE lot more!

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