This story is from a "Virtual Tribal Mama" that a few of us have been in touch with as she journeys along the sometimes lonely road of healing her child using nutrition / diet. She has done a wonderful job and has been rewarded with a recent language explosion. Kai is lucky that she is his Mama!
On September 22nd of this year, my son Kai was given a diagnosis of “Suspected Childhood Apraxia of Speech” by Early Intervention. At the time, he had two words he could say with his mouth open (“Dada” and “Uh-Oh”). Much of his spontaneous speech was said through his teeth. At 23 months old, he had the speech of a one-year-old. He’d lost the ability to say “Mama,” and he would have meltdowns if we tried to make him speak. He knew letters, numbers, animals, and understood most of what we said to him, yet he couldn’t express himself through words. I was heartbroken.
At that time, I was already working him towards GAPS. I’d found out about it through my local Weston A. Price Foundation chapter. My son is also gluten intolerant, and after seeing studies and reading anecdotes showing that gluten intolerance is not uncommon with Apraxia (I already suspected Apraxia before Early Intervention did), and that these children are generally deficient in fatty acids and vitamin E, I began to search for a diet to heal my son, as it was so obviously a malabsorption problem causing his inability to express himself in words. I found WAPF while researching healthy, whole-foods diets for children, and I knew immediately that the nutrient dense food it advocated was what Kai needed to heal. I contacted our local chapter leader, poured my heart out to her regarding the situation my family was in, including my suspicions that my son was suffering from a neurological disorder, and asked her how to get started, and she pointed me towards GAPS. I owe so much to her for this, but that’s a story for another day.
I plunged myself into reading Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Breaking the Vicious Cycle, and I listened to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride present her theories on YouTube. I read many a parental testimony where they would express their delight in the progress their child made on GAPS, including multiple references to an “explosion of expressive language.” Oh, how I dreamed and wanted that for my son! We started eliminating starchy vegetables, grains, and casein until eventually Kai was eating only soup and eggs. On October 5th, we started Kai on Intro.
We saw behavior issues disappear. Stims diminished within two weeks. He was happier, healthier, and he had a very big growth spurt. He loved the food. He devoured everything. Amidst regressions and difficult days, we saw any behavior he had that could have labeled him as “ASD” go away, with the exception of on die-off days. Small improvements were made in speech, and he was able to say “Mama” again, but I began to be discouraged because I couldn’t find testimony regarding GAPS helping specifically with an Apraxic child. My speech therapist was also discouraged because she was getting nowhere with him. She started giving me homework to just do things to get his mouth open, not even to try for words! I wanted that speech explosion so badly.
When I aired my concerns to the Tribe, suggestions for supplements to help speed the detoxification process were made. We started giving Kai Enhansa soon after it was suggested to us by multiple sources, including my mother-in-law. His father offered me continual comfort, support and a steadfast belief that Kai would heal on the diet, even when I was faltering in faith, so I pressed on and hoped his speech would improve more.
Kai progressed through Intro relatively quickly. When we got to the point where almond bread and carrot juicing is introduced, we noticed that Kai began to complain of pain in his diaper area. At first I was in denial and thought it was due to a diaper rash that he had, but he soon made it abundantly clear to me that the issue was most likely pain caused by the newly introduced high oxalate foods. We began to wean him off of them, and his pain immediately went away. That same week, Kai hit the maximum dosage of Enhansa. We’d been able to get him raw milk for his yogurt for two weeks. We’d been on 100% organic and/or grass fed meat for a week. He was about to hit his 2-month GAPS anniversary.
I started to notice that Kai was saying, “UP! UP! UP!” while sitting and playing by himself. I asked him, “Are you saying ‘Up?’” He would just look at me funny. I figured it was more ghost words, common to Apraxic children. A couple days later, he started saying “Up” when he wanted to be picked up. Then he started saying, “Apple” and “Egg” clearly, with all vowel and consonant sounds! Within one day of these three new words, many, many more started coming, including “Elmo,” “Hat,” “Hot,” “Hop,” and “All.” He even said, “X” and “A.” He tries to say “Avocado,” and other more complex words, but they are mispronounced. I’ve lost track of everything he can say, but I estimate he has around 20 words, letters, and animal sounds that he can now say clearly. Best of all, he’s imitating us and attempting spontaneous speech every day. He is also trying to build upon words he already says to say things like “Apple Sauce.”
Kai’s speech therapist came yesterday. She almost cried when I had Kai saying his new words for her. She was thrilled by his progress. They had a great session, and she was able to get new sounds out of him. He was very proud to show off what he could do for her. I am thrilled.
I think we found the magic formula for Kai: GAPS+LOD+Enhansa+Organics+Raw Milk. He has a long way to go, and he still has sounds that he cannot make, but I have faith that more surges and breakthroughs will come, especially with help from our DAN and the Tribe. GAPS isn’t easy, but, as my husband always reminds me, nothing worth doing ever really is. I am excited to find our next breakthrough intervention, all with the strong foundation of GAPS and good, Real Food.
Mothers of Apraxic children be heartened. There is hope.