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Stem Cells & Apraxia: Rory’s Journal

on Jun 19, 2018

So as I mentioned in my last post (you can learn more about stem cell therapy and Rory’s treatment here) my plan is to journal here once a day to note any potential gains we can attribute to Rory’s stem cell therapy through each of the 65 replication cycles.  Note that there is a decent chance that NONE of these gains are the least bit related to her stem cell treatment and very well may have happened all on their own.  But I want to have a record of everything so at the end of the replication cycle I can go back and compare from start to finish how much she has hopefully changed, fingers crossed.  If you are curious to follow along on our journey, bookmark this post and check back every now and then. Cycle 1: Saturday, June 16th Despite getting home at 3am from our trip, we were up bright and early for ballet because it was our first day of summer session and Rory loves...

Believe in Miracles: Stem Cell Therapy & Apraxia

on Jun 19, 2018

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Flying With Special Needs: The Rumble at 40,000 Feet

on Jun 16, 2018

Sometimes the worst experiences in the moment become some of my favorite memories, because they make the best stories.  Like Rory’s meltdown on Small World at Disney World and then subsequent meltdown on Living With the Land (another boat ride) at Epcot, on which I started singing the Small World song.  Both rides were AWFUL when they were happening, but looking back I can laugh and be proud of myself for surviving.  Because let me tell you, having a special needs kid is HARD.  Having three typical kids as well, I can say that our Rory is most definitely different in how we can deal with her.  When she is having a meltdown, or spiraling as we call it, there is literally nothing we can do but ride it out.  And if you have a special needs kiddo as well, you likely know what I mean.  There is no bribery, no rationalizing, no yelling or spanking or time out or disciplining that is...

Medium-Term Goals

on Jun 6, 2018

I met with a very cool speech therapist today who (among many other things, and in between me vomiting information at her as I am prone to do) asked me what our long-term goals are for Rory.  It kind of took me aback, because of course our long-term aspirational goals for Rory are for her to catch up to her peers with speech, mainstream in school and go on to live a perfectly normal life.  As I’ve been thinking about it though, I’ve come up with some more medium-term goals that I think are more attainable and I wanted to share them here: 1. I want Rory to become more of a “complete” person.  Right now she is very centered on what she wants or doesn’t want, and being happy or mad because she has or doesn’t have whatever the current desire is.  She doesn’t really care about anyone else but herself, which in some ways is typical for a young child,...

Rory’s May Apraxia Update

on May 5, 2018

It has been the best of times and the worst of times for Rory for the past few months.  Thankfully not in that order.  I’d say we’ve had the BEST few weeks we’ve ever had in a row recently, and I’m attributing that success to Rifaximin. Rory has been on the Nemechek Protocol since last September, a biomedical protocol I wholeheartedly believe in that helps heal the gut and the brain by reducing inflammation using inulin fiber, fish oil and extra virgin olive oil.  We saw gains for the first few months she was on it, and then she plateaued.  It was kind of a major bummer. During that plateau, we had been working on getting more information, so we independently had a micronutrient profile (everything was good except a slight CoQ10 deficiency), full IgE and IgG food allergy testing (allergic to basically EVERYTHING, but especially gluten, soy, eggs, dairy, pork,...

Microduplication 15q:11.2 The Road Not Taken

on Mar 10, 2018

Collin and I were cutting vegetables for a salad on Wednesday evening, making a quick dinner before yet another baseball game in the sea of baseball games that have become our life lately. I was chopping the tomatoes into little pieces when the phone rang and I answered with my clean hand and heard Dr. Sankey’s diminutive voice on the other end. “We got results from Rory’s blood work including the chromosomal microarray analysis and she has a duplication of her 15th chromosome.” It was one of those dividing moments in time when your world gets split into before and after.  One minute you’re doing something so normal and banal and the next your ears are ringing and you are trying to process something so monumental you feel yourself unraveling around the edges. Our 3-year-old daughter has what we now know is an interstitial microduplication of chromosome 15q11.2. Quite a mouthful, huh? ...

Lucky 13 Tips for Surviving Disney World With Special Needs Kiddos

on Feb 11, 2018

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The Nutrition Matrix

on Feb 11, 2018

We’ve all watched the movie The Matrix.  Good ole Keanu (whoa!) as Neo realizes that he has been living in this made up world and everything he knows gets completely flipped upside down.  The deciding moment is this scene: You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Well hello, my name is Neo (Je-Nni-eo?), and I have officially taken the red pill and gone down that rabbit hole. I spent a solid 37 years of my life living the standard American life, eating the standard American diet (for which the acronym is appropriately SAD).  It was easier–and way less scary–than the world we’ve been occupying for the past few months, where I’ve started to feel like some...

Apraxia, Autism and “Neurological Gumbo”

on Jan 5, 2018

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Rory’s November Apraxia Update

on Nov 19, 2017

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Nemechek Protocol and Apraxia

on Sep 23, 2017

The journey we’ve been on with Rory since figuring out a few months ago that she officially has apraxia has been such a learning experience including driving through a tropical storm to get a diagnosis and successfully navigating the Medicaid application process to get her CMS insurance to cover the extensive therapy she needs. Throughout these few months I have read a lot of books that have opened my eyes to apraxia, sensory processing disorder, behavior modification, and the latest, the Nemechek Protocol.  Neme-what, you might be thinking?  This was certainly new to me, too. I really do believe that there are “signs” put out there from the universe that we really need to see, so I tend to fall down rabbit holes quite frequently in the various Facebook groups I’m a part of, exploring various disorders, treatments, and especially success stories to see if they...

Tropical Storm Apraxia

on Aug 3, 2017

Our daughter Rory has apraxia.  Finally we know for sure it’s what we are dealing with, and we literally drove through Tropical Storm Emily for that confirmation.  Sometimes metaphors are ridiculously obvious and kind of cliche, but just so true you have to expand upon them, so can we just talk for a minute about how the tropical storm and apraxia are so similar? Emily came out of nowhere and took everyone by surprise, just as apraxia caught us off-guard.  Sure it’s hurricane season in Florida, so duh, you should expect it, but the storm really did organize and appear overnight unlike most named storms.  Apraxia, too, has been a possibility since last April, but since none of the therapists who’ve worked with Rory really thought it was apraxia, we didn’t think so either.  When I read The Late Talker, BAM, it hit me just like Emily walloped the coast. But also...

Starting Rory’s Apraxia Journey

on Jul 22, 2017

We have been trying to “unlock” our three-year-old daughter Rory’s speech for the past year and a half. While apraxia has been on the table as a potential diagnosis since the beginning, I never really felt like that was “it” and I hoped that even though it wasn’t likely, that she would be one of those late talkers who just woke up one day and started speaking in full sentences. You know, like Einstein. When she turned three and still had only a handful of words, we took her to the developmental pediatrician, who pulled out her copy of The Late Talker to go through the symptoms of  apraxia with us.  When we got home I checked the book out from the library and joined the Facebook group of co-writer Lisa Geng where I read article after article about her experience with her son’s apraxia.  But it was this article about the soft signs of apraxia...