A reply to the question in newsletter #50: my oppositionally defiant amine-sensitive daughter is having a hard time at the moment and I am wondering if it might be due to spring flowers?

The question about ODD and spring flowers in the last newsletter rang a bell with me. My daughter Louse also gets really cranky and her ODD symptoms worsen during the period when all the wattle begins to flower, and then in early spring when the flowers start to bloom in abundance. Unfortunately, this also happens to be the exact time when she has to be most in control of her temper and emotions due to her Irish dancing commitments - the state and national

This year was particularly bad - there seem to be so many more wattle trees around here now, and they started blooming at the start of July. Louise was extremely bad-tempered - her quality of schoolwork declined, her spelling declined (even though she is now a voracious reader) to the point of going backwards, maths dropped back to grade 3 level (age-wise, she is year 8) and there have been many arguments and temper tantrums with all family members. It got to the point where I was beginning to doubt my sanity! and also, whether she was sneaking non-failsafe food from other sources - but I know my friends wouldn't give her anything unsafe, and her friends just don't like her behaviour when she deviates from the diet, so that wasn't a factor.

I was thinking that the culprit might be pollens. It was totally validated when we went to Canberra in the last week of September for the Australian Championships. One word – FLORIADE - Canberra's flower festival. Yee-hah. All that pollen in one convenient location! Louise’s dancing was shocking during practices, she argued with her friends over the dancing (SHE wasn't making mistakes, EVERYONE else was), arguing with her teacher (who she loves), crying, picking fights, "I wish I'd die, then everybody would be happy, because nobody wants me around" - I'm sure you can imagine the rest!!!

It's getting better now, I've cracked down on a few infractions, and she is asking her friends not to spray their deodorant near her (and at dancing, spraying deodorant, hair-spray or perfume inside the hall is now banned) and she's taking a claratyne daily to help with the pollens. She's definitely a reactor when it comes to pollens and spring! – reader, Vic