First off, What is Speech Apraxia?

The National Institute of Deafness And Other Communication Disorders (NIH) says the following about Apraxia:

 

 “Apraxia of speech, also known as verbal apraxia or dyspraxia, is a speech disorder in which a person has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. It is not due to weakness or paralysis of the speech muscles (the muscles of the face, tongue, and lips). The severity of apraxia of speech can range from mild to severe.

 

Children with developmental apraxia of speech generally can understand language much better than they are able to use language to express themselves. Some children with the disorder may also have other problems. These can include other speech problems, such as dysarthria; language problems such as poor vocabulary, incorrect grammar, and difficulty in clearly organizing spoken information; problems with reading, writing, spelling, or math; coordination or “motor-skill” problems; and chewing and swallowing difficulties.”

 

I would like to share with you, my sons experience with Apraxia.  And how he went from being in the 1% for speech, to age appropriate after biomedical intervention.

Anthony was completely non-verbal at 18 months old.  The only sounds my son could make were gargled or humming sounds.   I always described Anthony’s speech, by saying it sounded like someone trying to talk with duct tape over their mouth.  

 

At 18 months old, Anthony started speech therapy, and shortly after that, occupational therapy.  I thought my sons first words were just around the corner…. after all, that is what all the doctors and therapists told me. But in my gut, I knew something was wrong.

 

After two years of speech and occupational therapy we saw no improvement.  If anything, Anthony’s speech continued to get worse. By the time Anthony exited out of Regional Center, he was a year behind developmentally,  and was considered to be in the 1% for expressive language.

 

Here is a sample of how Anthony sounded before biomedical intervention, at 2 1/2 years old.

 

I was heart broken.  I didn’t know what else to do to help him.  We had wonderful therapists. Therapist that tried many different strategies to get Anthony to speak. Yet none of them were helping.  We also knew that Anthony understood language. We knew he was bright.  He could follow directions exceptionally well for a child his age. And although he couldn’t speak, he found ways to express his wants and needs. Mostly by pointing or grabbing our hand and leading us to things.  I knew he wanted to speak badly, but all his words were trapped inside his head.  

 

It was this very reason, that fueled my fire to help my son, and not settle for the “typical” speech apraxia protocol that every doctor and therapist recommended to us. Which was speech and occupational therapy. They all assured me that this would work.  But therapy wasn’t working! I knew something else was going on inside Anthony, and something DIFFERENT needed to be done! We needed another option.  

 

That was when I started researching like crazy, and discovered biomedical intervention, and Anthony’s DAN doctor, Dr. Sletten. Our hero!!

 

When we first met Dr. Sletten, I expressed to him my concerns about my sons lack of speech.  And how we had done therapy for two years, and he was still in the 1% for expressive language.  After a 3 hour consultation, I knew we were in the right place. I knew that Dr. Sletten was 100% committed in helping me find answers as to why Anthony, at 3 1/2 years old was still non-verbal. Along with all his other issues that continued to increase as time went on (Sensory Processing Disorder, OCD, Hyperactivity).  

 

Dr. Sletten ordered many different tests.  Some of them being, IgG/IgE allergy panel, Organic Acids, Comprehensive Stool Analysis, and Thyroid panel.   We anxiously awaited the results. 

 

A few weeks later, we had our answers. 

 

I remember my jaw dropping as I looked over the results.  Extreamly high yeast levels, bacterial dybiosis, mitrochondrial dysfuction, a neurotransmitter imbalance, vitamin deficiencies, oxidative stress, poor methylation, 30 food sensitivities, 5 food allergies, the list went on and on.  No wonder therapy wasn’t helping Anthony.  Therapy alone could not fix these issues. 

 

Dr. Sletten and I got to work.  We completely changed Anthony’s diet.  We started treating the conditions I mentioned above with vitamin supplements.  

 

One of those supplements was DMG.  Dr. Sletten’s thoughts were if we helped Anthony with his methylation, his speech would be triggered, and his sensory issues would start to fade.  I was excited, yet apprehensive.  Could a simple supplement really do more for my son, than all those years of therapy?  

 

Three months later we had our answer.  Yes!  DMG was making a huge impact in Anthony’s speech.  He was now able to repeat words you asked him to say. He was also starting to use spontaneous speech and using his words to ask for things.  Even his speech therapists saw a huge difference. 

 

Dr. Sletten and I were trilled.  It was then that Dr. Sletten suggested moving Anthony up to the supplement TMG. He believed since Anthony was a definite responder to DMG, that TMG would yield even better results.  And a month later, we saw them!

 

Anthony started saying three word sentences.  And within the next three months.  We started to hear 5+  word sentences.  

 

At 4 1/2 years old, Anthony no longer qualified for special services.  His speech was considered age appropriate and his sensory issues are a thing of the past.  When he was evaluated on his exit review, his strength was in expressive language.  A skill that he use to be in the 1% for only a year earlier.

 

 

Parents have asked me if I still believe therapy works.  Yes, I do.  But with our son, it wasn’t until we starting treating Anthony’s medical issues, that therapy became beneficial.  Without biomedical intervention, therapy was like putting the cart before the horse.  It just wasn’t going to work.

 

Today Anthony is a VERY talkative little boy. His kindergarten teacher tells me he is one of the most talkative children in her class.  Anthony is doing very well with reading, writing, and loves doing math.  He is thriving and doing better than we ever dreamed!

 

We owe all of this to Dr. Sletten.  The biomedical doctor, that gave Anthony his voice.

 

 

About the Author

Kimberly Ruckman is the author of the blog BioMed Heals which chronicles her son’s complete recovery from an autism spectrum disorder via biomedical intervention. She is married, has two children, and volunteers her time as a Grant Mentor for Generation Rescue. You can follow her on Twitter @biomedheals or Facebook/biomedheals.

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