Next Steps for Ruby

Night and day.

That is the difference in my sweet little girl.

In addition to all the amazing things we talked about in the last few posts, the magic just keeps happening around here.

She walks around the house now singing the “Alphabet Song,” “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and “Jesus Loves Me.”

She has heard us talking about her upcoming birthday and is estatic about it. She tells other people happy birthday and pretends to blow out candles.

Ruby is playing with her sister now. Really playing!

She can count to 15 (she usually forgets number nine, but other than that she does great). She can recognize many of her letters and is learning their sounds.

We still have a long way to go. I have been battling a lot emotionally (see previous post) because I didn’t see just how far behind she really was until she started making progress. Maybe my subconscious was blocking me from seeing it because I couldn’t handle it. I don’t really know.

Sinse she was finally able to start counting, I have been working with her to use her fingers to count. Well, in the process I learned that she has zero ability to independently move any of her fingers other than her index finger. She can close her hand and open it. But cannot do anything with her fingers other than point. I will hold her hand with two fingers up. As soon as I move my hand, all her fingers open all the way up. I have worked and worked and worked with her. She cannot do it.

A few weeks ago, Dr Kemp called me to check on her. (Who does that? No other Doctor I know!) I told him what was going on and also wanted to move forward with additional work towards getting her fully functional, healing her food allergies, etc.

He suggested having her do the bird dog stance work with her until she could hold it 30 seconds on each side.

You can image how that turned out. If not, I’ll tell you. TERRIBLE, that’s how!

I called his office back about a week later, and explained to him that it just wasn’t going to happen. He gave me different exercises (some to specifically target her fingers) and then we’ll check her out again after the first of the year.

Two days ago she was watching me while I calculated something to myself. I began counting on my fingers (yes, I do that still. Especially sinse I no longer have teachers that scold me for it). Ruby watched me and began looking at her hands, turning them over and over.

Yesterday I signed “I love you” at her. She held up her hand tried to move her fingers around.

Today, she held up two fingers for the first time! It wasn’t pretty, but she did it!

Another step forward!

Monday is her last appointed with her speech therapist under the Early Steps program. Tuesday she has an evaluation with the school board to see if she qualifies for speech therapy through the school system.

She turns three in 6 days.

What a journey this has been! I’m ready to take the next step!

Hide-and-Seek

Last night was a special night.

Like many nights of the week, my husband, Michael, plays with the girls while I take a bit of a break. After bathing Josiah, I came into the living room to this:

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Many are the times they have played “Hide-and-Seek.” But usually it’s just my husband and Loretta playing. He tries very hard to get Ruby involved but it would never hold her attention for more than half a round.

It would be her and Michael’s turn to seek, but she would never look for Loretta. Even when Loretta was in plain sight and Michael was telling her where to look and directing her there, Ruby would wonder around the room and forget what she was supposed to do. When she did “find” Loretta (and by “find” I mean Loretta would jump out and say, “Here I am, Ruby!”), Ruby would stare blankly at her as though she was unaware of what just happened.

Counting was a diaster as well. She had no concept of it. Recently she would repeat “1,2,3!” But it had no meaning to her. She didn’t know all the numbers in order last night, but when I walked in and snapped this picture, she was counting. Michael helped with the order of the numbers, but Ruby understood to hide her face and count!

Then she searched for Loretta! Actually looked for her!

What a breakthrough! And the miracle hasn’t stopped yet!

Functional Neurology: An Amazing Breakthrough Part 2

My newborn son, Josiah, has an amazing name! My husband picked his name out when we were just teenagers. All this time, I knew that he wanted to name his first son Josiah Michael.  The name inspired him because Josiah was the child-king of Judah. For many, many years, the nation of Judah had fallen into idolatry. It was during the midst of this dark time that Josiah became king. At the age of eight years old, immediately upon becoming king, he turned the nation back to God. Such an incredible story! No matter your age, you have a purpose! 

Josiah Michael

My pregnancy with him was healthy, but very difficult emotionally. There was much emotional damage from Ruby. I was terrified to have another baby. I was wounded from past hurts. I was scared the next baby would be even more sick than Ruby. But God is good, even when circumstances aren’t! He knows what is best for us and has promised that he will turn out messed up past situations into something that ultimately will be for our good. The last few weeks of my pregnancy, Michael and I were discussing all the amazing things that had happened. So much healing! Restoration! It was truly a work that only God could perform.

I had often thought it would be amazing to name our baby a name that would reflect the healing and restoration we experienced. I had not discussed this with Michael, but secretly I had researched other names. Unfortunately, I came up with nothing. Nothing for boy names or girl names (Josiah’s gender was a surprise. We did not know until his birth whether he was a boy or girl).

While we were deep into our discussion, my husband said he had searched for different names to mean “healing” but found nothing. I was shocked that we both were thinking the same thing!

Josiah was born and he was perfect! He was my biggest baby! 7 pounds and 14 ounces. Healthy. Excellent suck and nursed first try! He had a lip tie that was a bit restrictive and a posterior tongue-tie but the tongue was very functional! I was stunned! It is very common that with each child, midline defects get worse- not better.

When he was a few days old, I was teasing Michael about how he chooses names versus how I choose names. (He bases his decisions mainly on how it sounds, whereas I’m all about meanings). I asked him if he even knew what “Josiah” meant. He didn’t (surprise, surprise) so he looked it up.

In Hebrew, it means “Jehovah has healed.” 

Amazing! Just amazing!

But the healing continues, God is not done yet!

Josiah later developed a nursing problem. He would lose suction and smack. It’s really annoying and interferes with letdowns and supply. We tried body work and chiropractic care. And it got worse. This was indicative of a structural problem. Meaning the tongue tie was restricting the proper movement of the mouth, tongue, jaw, etc. We made the difficult decision of having his tongue-tie revised via laser.

While there for a follow-up visit, Dr. Myers brought up the fact that Josiah had no sucking reflex and an over-active gag reflex. I had noticed these things before but thought little of it. He suggested that I see Dr. David Kemp if I was concerned. He is a chiropractic Neurologist and could help us. I called and scheduled an appointment. The appointment was last Wednesday (October 9, 2013) and I had to take Ruby with me.

Dr Kemp is amazing. I was blown away! Not only was he knowledgable about tongue-ties, but he knew what the GAPS diet was! The first provider I have been to in Jacksonville who knew what it was! I explained the issues. He showed me some exercises to do on Joey and we saw results right there about how he lifted his head. Then Dr. Kemp got a hold of Ruby and the magic happened!!!!

He full recognized her issues. Dopey, unresponsive to stimuli, unaware of her surroundings, clumsy. He then brought more to my attention. I always thought Ruby’s eyes didn’t look quite right, but never noticed that one pupil was dilated. He examined her and found out she has absolutely no reflexes. She couldn’t properly follow a pattern with her eyes.

He showed me exercises to do on her. We did them once in his office. He rechecked her eyes and they had already corrected! Her eyes then followed the pattern properly! I was in tears when I left! I had hope!

That was at 10am. At around 2:30pm I laid both Loretta and Ruby down for a nap. Ruby began to protest laying down (which is nothing new). Usually she communicates using only one or two words or by pointing. We have been working with her on this for months in speech therapy!

Today, it was very different!

“Mommy, I need to go Tee-tee!”

My mom looked at me. I looked at my mom. Our mouths fell open.

She just used an entire sentence!

ON HER OWN!!!!!

Ruby’s speech continued to improve throughout the day. The next morning, I was pumping while she was playing with some animal cards on the floor. She started bringing them to me one-by-one, telling me the names of each one, AND telling me the correct sounds.

She would pay attention and look at me while I was talking to her.

She put on her underwear by herself! Without it being turned backwards or both legs in one hole.

Ruby and Loretta at Memorial ParkFriday we went to Memorial Park. She and Loretta were running around. Usually when Ruby runs she has both hands stretched out behind her. And she then falls. Today, she was alternating the movement of her arms to correspond to the movements of her legs. And not falling!

We walked out of church Sunday night. “Mommy! Look! The Sun!” It was actually the moon. But she had never taken notice of her surroundings or pointed out either sun or moon before! She saw the sun in pictures and we would tell her that is was the sun. But she had the revelation that what she saw in the pictures was actually real and in the sky. Her sky. In her world!

Even her Sunday School teacher came to me that even and remarked about how different she was in class.

This morning, Ruby sat in my lap and actually let me read a book to her. No fighting. No begging her to stay in my lap. No making her finish the book against her will. We just read it. And  enjoyed the story together.

Today she had speech therapy. The therapist was amazed! She plans to take her own daughter to see Dr. Kemp (her daughter has similar issues to Ruby, but not as severe. She also has a tongue-tie). The therapist called me after the appointment was over to talk more about it- Astounded that she now could offer hope to desperate parents that don’t know what else to do for their children. The same hope that I have!

When Josiah was born I was a bit disappointed he had a tongue-tie (although I was thrilled it was functional and we were able to nurse without pain). I questioned why the healing would not be 100%. But now I’m glad he had the tie. Without the tongue-tie presenting issues, Dr Myers would never have referred us to Dr. Kemp.

Josiah’s presence in my womb forced me to seek God’s healing on issues I had buried in the bottom of the closet. God used him to heal me and my family emotionally. Now he has also used him to bring about the answer to healing Ruby.

Truly, Jehovah has healed and he has a purpose for him even at this young age.

 

For more information about functional neurology and Dr Kemp, please visit his website. Kempdc.com

Functional Neurology: An Amazing Breakthrough! Part 1

When Ruby turned one year old, the pediatrician and I saw several signs that led us to believe she probably had autism. We decided to begin the long process of testing. Although I consented the testing, I was not going to accept this as her fate. I would fight back!

I contacted Jennifer Tow again and we began the GAPS diet. Although Ruby was over a year at this point, she had not even reached all of her six month landmarks. Within a few short months, she was meeting all her landmarks.

Although she was meeting landmarks and we saw enormous progress, somethings still didn’t seem right. She never really began to talk. We started her in speech therapy around the time of her second birthday. The Speech Pathologist (who is wonderful) gave us exercises to stimulate and “awaken” the muscles in her her mouth. BOOM! Speech!

She could say words!

Just words.

It was pulling teeth to even get her to put two words together. Ridiculous!

Other things still weren’t right!

Despite being potty trained since May, she still has several accidents. It seems like she can’t help it. I don’t understand. My husband doesn’t understand. It’ confusing! Why is she struggling with this? She knows how to use the potty.

She falls. Constantly! Aways busting her lip, scrapping her knee, running into something. It’s ridiculous. She runs funny.

Despite working with her on it, she can’t consistently recall colors, numbers, or animals. She’ll know it one day and then the next she’s completely lost.

She looks at me funny sometimes. Kinda stone faced. We can get her to laugh. Her giggle is contagious and sweet. She’s beautiful when she smiles. But portions of her face often seem…. different…..

She can’t hold her attention long enough to watch a cartoon, no matter how short. I can’t read books to her. She is unaware of her surroundings. Completely unaware.

She has no sense of danger. Urgency in voices do not affect her. Oblivious.

I have often feared for her. I fear that she would be taken advantage of, abused, molested. No one would ever know because she doesn’t communicate or even seem to know something is wrong and needs to be communicated. It’s easy to be ugly to her and not apologize because she doesn’t even seem to hardly notice. She doesn’t show signs of hurt feelings, disappointment, or rejection.

I often lay hands on her during prayer. I am willing to admit there’s something wrong and to see treatment for it. But I refuse to accept that she will be this way her whole life. I will not accept that she will not know normal friendships and relationships. I will keep seeking and praying for answers. I often pray in the Spirit for her.  I don’t know what needs to happen, but God does!

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercessions for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26

I don’t even know where to start looking. I keep my eye out for articles, posts, ideas from other people. But I don’t know where to go. So I pray that God brings the answer to me.

And that he did…