I think I have touched on it in previous posts, but I will mention again that Josiah, who is now 28 months old, is still not talking. He chatters incoherently but there has not been much of an attempt on his part to try to communicate much with us. There are a few words that he says but not very consistently. And as far as understanding us goes, he seems to understand some of what we say and can follow very basic instructions but they usually have to have some kind of visual stimulant to go with them. For example, if I tell him to go get in his eating chair, he won't do so unless I am holding his tray of food.
At Josiah's two year check up, his pediatrician was concerned and sent in a referral for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) to begin working with him. Shortly after, a lady named Beka was sent to our house to do an evaluation on him to make sure he needed the therapy. He passed the cognitive skills with flying colors but his social skills needed some improvement and obviously his speech/communication needed a lot of work. So now Josiah has a speech and developmental therapist (Sharla and Lacy) who come to work with him weekly. I took the news kind of hard at first. I was beside myself trying to figure out how this had happened. I could not understand why my child, who I have given so much care, love and attention to, could be experiencing these problems. I mean sure, I had seen and heard of children with those kinds of delays before but they usually came from parents who weren't fit to be parents and neglected their child/children. And that was not me or Jordan. So why was this happening to Josiah?
It was not until talking a lot with my sister in law that I eased up on myself. Her youngest child, Micah, who is one month older than Josiah, was experiencing the same delays plus others. You can find her blog here. And a few months ago he was diagnosed with high functioning autism. By the grace of God, they found this doctor who is working to turn his autism around without putting him on medication. And so far, the improvements that they have seen in Micah are proof that they have chosen the best avenue for him.
So after talking with LouAnn and doing a lot of research, it became very clear to me that there are a lot more moms out there like me, who are experiencing the same speech delays with their toddlers. And not only that, there seems to be a direct correlation between vaccinations and the rise in speech and other developmental delays and even autism. Like Micah, I read countless stories of children who were thriving and developing normally until they recieved the MMR vaccination and turned into different children overnight. The proof is in the pudding. Now Josiah has not experienced this regression or reversal like these children, but I am still under the impression that his speech/communication delay is linked to him being vaccinated. I have seen and read too much and I can no longer ignore all the signs, which is why we have chosen to stop vaccinations from here on out with our children. Am I anti-vaccines? Absolutely not. I think they are a good idea, but I also think it is time for a little reform in this area. For example, I would like to see vaccines made safer. With all the knowledge and technology out there, why hasn't anyone created safer vaccines?- without the metals and foreign substances that our bodies are not meant to be injected with? And why do we give so many vaccines during our children's first year of life?- when their immune system isn't fully developed and their little bodies aren't ready for all that junk shooting through their little veins? Is this doing more harm than good? Maybe not in every child, but I have seen with my own eyes the damage it has done to many children.
Fortunately, if you can catch all of this early, the harm done can be reversed. With the huge help of LouAnn, I found a doctor for my children like the one that Micah sees in our area. She does not administer vaccines and is committed to their overall health...and very holistic. I had my first consultation with her yesterday and I am excited to get things rolling with her. Here is her link. This week she is mailing me a kit for a hair analysis to do on Josiah to see if there are any traces of metal or any other harmful substance in his brain from the vaccines he has received that could be causing his communication delay. From there, the plan is to detox his body of any harmul substance. I also have a phone consultation with her scheduled for this Friday on the best foods to be feeding my children. Oh, and since I mentioned food, that reminded me of Josiah's dairy allergy. Here is a little history: When I switched Josiah from breastfeeding to formula when he was a baby, eczema showed up all over his body. Of course, at the time, I didn't make the connection that the milk was causing the eczema. So after two years of dealing with it, I finally figured it out. (I'm ashamed that it took me that long but even more ashamed of his doctor for prescribing him a topical steroid instead of getting down to the bottom of it...just another example of our medical field going to pot) Anyway, it wasn't until after doing some more research and more talking with LouAnn that I became convinced that it was a dairy allergy that was causing the eczema. So I took him off of dairy and within three days his skin was beautifully clear! Why am I mentioning this? Because I found out that food allergies can also cause developmental delays including speech delays. And since taking Josiah off dairy, we have seen some improvement in his behavior and even with him trying to talk a little more. We are hoping for even more improvement after the detox.
As of right now, we have not had Josiah tested for Autism. Josiah's speech therapist and I both agree that he does not appear to be autistic because the only area that he seems to have a problem in is his speech/communication. But anytime you are dealing with a speech delay like this, there is always a concern about Autism and it is best to try and rule everything out. Plus, the Autism spectrum is very wide and some kids are very hard to diagnose whereas it is very obvious in other kids. So his therapist suggested that our next step be to have his hearing checked...and we will go from there.
Wowzer. I feel like I could go on for hours about this subject. But I'll refrain. I would like to extend a huge thank you to all the people who have been supportive of this journey that we have embarked on with Josiah. I wish that everyone had been as encouraging. We have heard many comments like "well you just need to leave it in God's hands and realize that He will talk when he is ready" or "I think you are taking this out of proportion and should just lay off." All I have to so say to that is, "Shame on you!" Though I am always open to advice, please try to understand that we do not need any discouragement in this area. You are free to have your own opinion but keep it to yourself if it's not encouraging. The truth of the matter is, I know my child better than anyone, seeing as how I am with him all day and everyday, and I know that there is something going on here...something more than "he will talk when he is ready". And as far at leaving it in God's hands goes, that is exactly what we have been doing. I cover Josiah in prayer on this matter day in and day out. I know that God is in control! I also know that if God decides to never have Josiah talk, then that is for the best. His will is always best even when we don't understand. But just because I have placed my full faith in God concerning this, does not mean that I can shed my responsibility as Josiah's mother to be proactive and seek help for my son. The Lord has not called me to laziness as he does not call anyone to laziness! So, let's keep the advice and comments encouraging please!
As always, thank you for reading. It must not have been easy making it this far in this post with all it's randomness, so thank you! I will be updating on our progress with Josiah as we go along.
Oh, and follow this link to watch a very good video from Jenny McCarthy on some of the things that I have touched on in this post.