Sensory Integration

So much has happened with J and Baby G in the last 6 months, hence the long delay since posting.  The Speech therapist we saw in December recommended we get an OT evaluation on J. So, we did that in January.  A gift straight from the Lord – a very thorough & smart Occupational Therapist checked out my little man.   Among several problems that she picked up, she noted that J’s left eye was not tracking with his right eye.  She immediately referred us to a developmental optometrist.

Another blessing – Dr. A is a very caring, patient, and smart doctor!  This appointment led us down a route of investigation that I hadn’t dreamed of.   Dr. A initially had us try patching his left eye for 4 hours per day and his right eye for 2 as both eyes were very weak and unable to track together.  We did this for 12 weeks, and unfortunately J’s eyes did not improve with the patching therapy.  We then ran a Platform Posturography test on J, which was incredibly revealing.  The human body relies on information from 3 systems: the visual system (eyes), the somatosensory system (muscles & joints) and the vestibular system (inner ear-balance). Normally the systems work together to provide information to your brain about how you keep upright and balanced as you move through space.  The test isolates the systems and determines how they function as a unit.  J had better balance with his eyes closed and his muscles & joints disengaged.  His eyes, muscles, and joints are throwing him off?!?  This explains so many things…  Since he relies mainly on vestibular stimulation to determine his place in space, he’s got to have that vestibular fluid always swishing around.  His constant need for motion – there it is – that’s why!  The constant request by us for him to hold still is so unrealistic – he’s disoriented if he’s not moving. Geez, no wonder he falls out of chairs, he’s always moving to keep the fluid rocking in his ears.  These findings are a bit overwhelming as the thought of years of sensory integration therapy is daunting.  But, oh how sad it makes me to think that other kids like J are medicated to make them hold still when they NEED to be moving!!  There is hope for every child!

edm signature

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under J, sensory integration, Uncategorized

Layers

On Cloud 9…. Wow, I wanted to be very methodical about getting our family stories out in order on this blog, but I must jump in today and tell you about my amazing J.  What a wonderful morning we have had!  I took him to be evaluated for speech, since his wonderful Pre-K 4 teacher at PCA was concerned that he has difficulty communicating his needs and feelings.  Sometimes he withdraws at school.  Well, it’s NOT a speech problem!  J scored in the normal range for all areas of the testing: Total language, auditory comprehension, and verbal communication.  So, we will continue to investigate what his needs are.  My gut says it’s a sensory processing problem, and sometimes he just gets overwhelmed at school.  We’ll get an O.T. evaluation soon to see if we can help him work through this.

Other than the scores, what is completely remarkable and amazing about this morning is that the therapist told me J sat still for over an hour and worked very well with her.  Before today, this therapist was a complete stranger, and the old J would never have gone with her into the testing room and certainly would not have been able to focus for over an hour!  I know my boy is smart, and it feels so amazing to be validated in that.  The therapist told me that he was correctly answering questions for children 6-7 years old (He’s 4 1/3 years old now).  God is so good.   You have to remember, less than 2 years ago, he wasn’t speaking at all and couldn’t make eye contact.

Layers.  That’s what it’s been like with J.  Peeling back layers, one at a time…..

January 2011: we removed gluten and casein from his diet – 2 weeks later, he was able to stop his eyes and make eye contact for the first time in what seemed like forever.

March 2011: we added probiotics, and a high quality multi-vitamin to the kids’ regimen.  The language began to come very quickly for J.

Long break with pregnancy & birth of Baby G…

April 2012: started fish oil everyday & started using natural peanut butter –  2 weeks later, my boy expressed feelings to me for the first time.  I heard these statements: “Mommy, I feel so alone.” “Mommy, I love you.” “Mommy, I’m scared.” It was so surprising to hear things like this from a boy that I wondered if I would be able to go that deep with.  I got more hugs and more closeness.  Following the fish oil, he was able to play pretend for the first time.  It’s like he couldn’t access his imagination before starting the fish oil.  Prior to this, we had to get rid of a lot of toys because J would just throw them.  He did not know how to play with toys.

August 2012: started J on doTERRA essential oils for ADHD (Balance, Vetiver, and In-Tune), and he is able to sit still and participate in school.

October 2012: Took J for a vaccine (clay-packing) detox.  (more on this in a future post)

October 2012: Started chiropractic with Dr. Shelton.  J’s spine was a wreck and he was VERY tense.  She has been adjusting him regularly (3 times a week at first, and now we are just going 1 time per week).  I took this picture of my boy sitting at the table coloring after the second week of chiropractic treatment.  He has NEVER asked to color before, and he sat there for 20 minutes focused and being creative.  What a joy to witness!

J coloring

I just pray that you will understand that there is hope for every child.  Most doctors and most parents would have medicated the wild animal child I had just under 2 years ago.  Without drugs, we have seen a transformation that our close friends and family marvel at.  Praise God!

edm signature

 

3 Comments

Filed under chiropractic, Gluten free, J, Nutrition

Chiropractic for Kids

My oldest princess, M.K. was born with a club foot.

After a 10 week stay in the N.I.C.U. for complications due to her prematurity in 2003, we took M.K. to Scottish Rite to have the foot corrected.  We did about 6 weeks of casting, correcting the foot a bit more with each new weekly cast.  I now suspect that fixing the foot only and not the entire leg has led to her alignment challenges.  Then, in May of 2009, she fell 10 feet onto a wood floor and hit her hip something awful.  I took her to our primary care doctor and our orthopedic.  Many x-rays were done, and it was determined that my girl was not damaged at all from this fall.

In February 2012, I took M.K. to the orthopedic specialist again because her very wise pediatrician could visually see that her hips and shoulders were out of alignment.  Well, this very respected, intelligent, pediatric orthopedic doctor told me that there was no cause for alarm.  One of her legs is longer than the other, he said, and many people have this same problem.  No treatment required.  Hmmmm…..now…I’m sorry but that just did not sit right with me.  I took her to Baby G’s chiropractor (future post), Dr. Shelton, and after one adjustment, *surprise!!!* her alignment was dead on.  I could see that everything was squared up.  I cannot imagine the damage that would have occurred to her spine if I had listened to the orthopedic…. and accepted the fact that one leg was longer than the other.

You can see how having a hip out of place makes the spine lean to the side.  Do you suspect that, since her head desires to be up straight, that her spine would have begun to curve?  I do.  The orthopedic doctor was no help.  It took a chiropractic adjustment.

1 Comment

Filed under Beginning, chiropractic, M.K.

The beginning…

Welcome to the Empowering Dr. Mom blog!  I am starting this blog… because I have to.  I just cannot keep what I have learned over the last 18 months to myself.  You simply must know! My experiences have been difficult, but now, perhaps, good will come from our suffering.  Along our journey we have learned that we simply cannot completely and blindly rely on what our doctors tell us…and I now know that I need to share this with others.  We have to investigate and advocate for ourselves and our children.   This revelation has changed our lives forever…and I hope that, by sharing it with you, it may change your lives too!

My journey into “natural medicine” began in January 2011 when my mind was opened to a different way of doing things.   I had planned to start my very underweight 7 year old daughter, M.K., on a gluten-free / casein-free diet to try to heal her digestive system. I had suspected it was damaged by 10 weeks on a feeding tube and many antibiotics in the N.I.C.U. after being born 9 weeks premature. I don’t recall how I came to this idea of diet changes that would lead to intestinal healing, but I suspect my friend Natalie led me down this road.  In preparation for this big dietary switch, my precious friend gave me a book called the G-Free diet by Elizabeth Hasselbeck. There was one brief chapter in this book that indicated gluten (the protein in wheat) & casein (the protein in diary) had been linked to autism and ADHD. My thoughts immediately went to my son, J, who was 2.5 at the time…because I couldn’t help but think he may be autistic.  In addition to his very wild behavior, he was unable to make eye contact (when did this happen??  As a baby he was able to make eye contact with me – future post) and he was not speaking.  I received this information as if it were a message straight from God, and took all of us off of gluten & casein.  I remember where I was sitting, approximately 2 weeks into this gluten-free / casein-free lifestyle, when my son made eye contact and rattled off some jibberish as if he were talking to me.  In his own broken way, he WAS speaking to me.  I absolutely will never forget the feeling of elation that I experienced that day.  My boy had the ability to make eye contact!!!  Please understand that I had taken J to be evaluated by numerous professionals.  Not one single doctor or therapist ever suggested dietary changes.  Why is that?  After the dramatic changes began in J, I talked to the therapists who had been coming weekly to our home to work with J in speech and motor development.  The therapists told me that they had heard that removing gluten & casein may benefit children with J’s issues, but that they did not mention it because most moms didn’t want to try something so difficult.  What?!?  Not give me the chance to try because it might be hard?  My J has gone from no speech in January of 2011 to testing at the 70th percentile for language in May 2012.  I contribute all of this progress to “natural” methods including: gluten/casein free eating, vetiver (an essential oil), vitamins, increasing good fats in his diet, fish oil, and his amazing teachers at the Early Childhood School in Frisco.  I’ll share all the details regarding these methods in a future post.

I have some dear friends who are as passionate about natural healing as I am, and they will join me on this blog.  We want to communicate to you that there very well may be a better way to live than what your doctor is telling you.  I have no medical degree and only my own experiences to share.  I pray that you will benefit.

Just last week, I saw a little boy (maybe 10 years old) rocking himself while making loud grunting sounds.  The Lord revealed to me that this could have very easily been my son, and it was only by His grace that I was given the information needed for my J to receive healing.  I believe that He wants me to share this information with you!  So, please check back to hear more of my experiences and lessons learned, to hear from other Moms and theirs, and to learn about how essential oils are changing our lives.

Thanks for coming along with us on this journey!

7 Comments

Filed under Beginning, Gluten free, J, Nutrition, Uncategorized