I’m going to share with you Lucy’s story, in hopes that if you are experiencing any of the challenges we’ve experienced, you can:

  • know that you’re not alone,
  • find a community of like-minded moms, and
  • have a few more tools in your toolbox to unlock the greatness of your child(ren).

Lucy is my middle child, born 17 months after Mattie, our firstborn. I started to see some sensory challenges between 6-12 months old. She was born healthy, but at around six months, she became agitated about everything: diaper changes, bath time, feeding time with a bottle, sleeping, riding in the car; you name it, she screamed morning, noon, and night.

I noticed that she loved only wearing a diaper, but the minute she would have to put on any clothes or footies covering her feet, she would rage. Randomly she’d be triggered and would stiffen her body, scream, sweat, and cry inconsolably.

Because Lucy is a typically developing child with no physical limitations that anyone could see, sharing my concerns with others didn’t seem to go anywhere. I would feel like I was a hypochondriac mother who needed to read Babywise one more time.

Luckily, Lucy was placed in a toddler class at our church on Sundays with a woman specializing in family and child chiropractic care. She was bold enough to stop me after class and ask if I had suspected Lucy had any sensory challenges. She proceeded to say that Lucy’s posture was indicative of her being in fight-or-flight mode, probably caused by overstimulation to her nervous and vestibular systems.

We started regular chiropractic care for Lucy (and our whole family). The adjustments released her nervous system, many times with a big exhale, and then her body was “reset.”


The most vivid memory I have was when she was two and Mattie was three years old. I took them to the zoo by myself but had them in the double stroller. We walked to the other side, opposite of where we were parked, about a mile away, and something set Lucy off. She started sweating, screaming, and crying inconsolably and stiffened her legs and arms to the point where I could not get her strapped back into her seat. I remember Mattie trying to help, saying, “It’s ok, Lucy. It’s ok!” I struggled to push the double stroller with one hand back through the crowded zoo while carrying Lucy under my other arm. Many parents and adults just stared; it was like slow motion trying to get out of there as fast as I could. Once I got Lucy in the car, I called our now-friend chiropractor who opened up to see us right away to help decompress Lucy’s overstimulated system.

During this time, I searched and scoured the Internet and mom-blogs for not only a community to connect to, but what I could do at home to help give Lucy (and us) the tools we needed to not only survive daily life but thrive.

My clean-living journey all started here. The more I read, the more I understood how Lucy’s body processed noise, touch, taste, smell, and environmental toxins. I was completely unaware of how particular food, body products, and supplement ingredients affect our bodies. Little by little, we’ve swapped one thing for another, but here’s where I started:

(*Please note: this is not advice from a pediatrician or medical professional. These are anecdotal accounts of what I’ve tried on my own accord).

  • Red Dye Detox. I read food and snack labels and eliminated any with Red #40, Yellow #5 and Blue #1, even if they’re the last listed ingredient. Also, I read the ingredient labels on our soaps, lotions, and hair products, discovering many contained dyes. Dyes (and fragrances) sneak into products, many of which are regulated heavily in other countries, but not in the U.S. One of Lucy’s challenges was having night terrors. In a late-night rabbit hole of research, I found another mom share about eliminating dyes to help distinguish her child’s nightmares. The molecular structures and chemicals of dyes can cause health concerns such as tumors, hyperactivity, chromosomal damage, neurochemical and behavioral effects but are commonly found in candy, packaged foods, sodas, and cosmetics. To this day, if Lucy has any candy or food with dyes, she gets dark circles under her eyes, develops a sassy attitude, and talks A LOT in her sleep.
  • Sugar & Gluten Detox. Our gut health is directly related to our brain and neurological health. Sugar has drug-like effects on a child’s brain, impairing cognitive skills and self-control. It takes about eight weeks after cutting gluten and sugar from our diets to see and experience the clarity and emotional stability that eating cleaner foods can produce. Along with a sugar and gluten detox, Lucy takes a probiotic every day to promote gut health.
  • Screen Detox. This detox is new to our family just this year. I read Glow Kids and have not read a book in the last decade that has impacted me the way this one has. I’m not sure if your children get screen time; I thought we were pretty good about limiting it for our girls, but its like sugar, you don’t think you’re eating much at all until you completely cut it out, then realize you’re sneaking in a lot more than you thought; the same applies for screen time. I encourage you to read this book, or at least the first chapter, to equip you with research, vocabulary, and yellow/red flags to look for that justify regular screen detoxes. The amount of chemical releases in a child’s brain caused by rewards of games, dings, and alerts is equivalent to the amount of chemicals released in an adult brain, and our children have access to these chemical-releasing devices for several hours a day. Glow Kids will give you new tools for your parenting toolbox. The last two chapters discuss taking 6-week detoxes twice a year to let children’s brains heal. We detoxed for six weeks at the beginning of the year, and the social-emotional wellbeing of our girls increased significantly!

Now that Lucy is older, she is thriving. She has the language to convey how she feels, we regularly detox, add in daily supplements, and, as best as possible, treat illnesses with homeopathic remedies. I had her DNA tested this last year to know exactly how her body processes toxins, and not to my surprise, she is genetically pre-dispositioned to not be able to self-detox, like many of us can (while we sleep). I’ll have more to learn as she grows and hits the body-changing years.

The challenges she still regularly experiences are:

  • clothes don’t fit “just right,” so she refuses to wear them (her codeword is they’re “wobbly”),
  • overstimulation after socializing at church or a week of school, so she needs alone time to play (she calls this going to “Lucyland”),
  • sensitivity to loud noises, or environments with many background noises, so she will either need to decompress afterward or opt-out of these situations altogether.

This year Lucy was diagnosed with dyslexia. I’m not sure if there is a direct correlation to the sensory processing challenges, but she is learning more tools for her toolbox to unlock her inner genius! I share some of my experiences and what we’ve navigated through, hoping that maybe one of these tips and tools can also help you!

More than anything, I hope you don’t feel isolated. If there is one thing I love to talk about, it’s this – unlocking the genius inside and solving the complex puzzles that present themselves as challenges. I encourage you to start your clean-living journey to help your family find healthy, safe foods and products with little to no toxins!

If you are a sensory mom or have navigated personal sensory challenges, comment below if you feel comfortable. Share what has worked for you, what you’ve discovered, and any resources we can learn from. Email me to connect and if you want a fellow mom to share your journey with!

Connect with me on social.