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About a year ago, I shared Rebekah’s Story with you.  But at that time, we were still in the middle of many of the things that were going on.  I did post an update after some tests we had done, but even then it was months before things were done.  And once we were past it, I was able to see it for what it was, more clearly.  And now…it’s amazing.  Amazing how it’s “ended.”  Although it will never completely be done, we are past any danger.

At that time (if you go back and read the story), Bekah was 20 months old and language delayed.  I know now that when I got pregnant with her, I was extremely depleted, nutritionally.  This was true throughout the first few months of her life, too, when she was exclusively breastfeeding.  This meant that her health was starting out poor, because mine was poor. 

We went through months of chronic, terrible diaper rash, no matter what we did to help; awful, constant diarrhea.  She’d wake in the middle of the night and scream for over an hour some nights, and we could not calm her down (from 10 – 13 months).  She had tantrums, could not tell us what she wanted, never learned to say “no” or do other normal things.  She was so excellent in many areas — all her motor skills, for example — but verbally, was behind.  She also had a constant red, itchy rash around her mouth and on her hands.

Bekah said only a small handful of words at a year old.  She started pointing and gesturing around 13 months.  She learned to sign around 17 months and learned more and more signs.  Around 20 months, at the time of my last update, she was still not talking.  Most everything was “mmm da” as she pointed or signed.  No one could understand her.  Getting off dairy, nuts, gluten, fruits, and legumes helped.

We started with the glutathione injections and B12 creams to try to correct her deficiencies.  She immediately broke out in awful eczema, so we quickly stopped them.  The doctor and the nurse disagreed on which was causing it.  We were told to restart the injections as is, and to get a new base for the glutathione cream (a hypoallergenic base) and try again.

We decided not to.

We felt that using these products was only masking the symptoms.  We knew that she was eating, at that point, a lot of grass-fed beef (she was still slowly trying new foods again), which is rich in B12.  She should not have been deficient, yet she was.  That meant she was not able to get it from the food the way she should have.  The GAPS diet, especially being grain-free, was what we felt we needed to do.

So in January, 2010, we went on the GAPS diet.  At this point, Bekah was still not talking.  She still only said a small handful of words and “mmm da” to communicate.  Her mainstream pediatrician became concerned about her language development at this point and told us she really should be talking more.  He advised us to say “I don’t understand” whenever she spoke in gibberish or did not use her words.  The few times we tried, she only screamed and threw herself on the ground, because she could not make herself understood.  She was unable to talk.  She was 2 at this point.

It was a tense few months.  Bekah’s peers soared ahead, speaking in sentences and telling stories while she remained basically mute.  (She did sign, grunt, gesture; attempt to communicate; she just did not talk.)  We were on GAPS for about 3 months, after having been gluten-free for 3 previous months, and dairy-free for 6 previous months.

In April, 2010, we started to slowly introduce raw dairy.  She was able to tolerate this.  After this we slowly introduced sprouted grains, too, and she did okay with this.  We had her on an entirely WAP diet at this point.  We’d had all of those months of healing before it.

And…Bekah started to talk.

I feel like it was nearly overnight.  She woke up and started using simple sentences, just one day.  She’d say “Mommy eat apple” or “baby Hee” (Baby Hailey, her friend’s sister).  I really remember when she didn’t talk at all…and when she talked constantly.  She gained language at an incredibly rapid rate.  She started to speak frequently in 3 – 4 word sentences and people understood her more and more.  She finally leaned to say “no” to me!  (How excited I was — at first!)  She was 27 months when she finally started talking.

By 2.5 years, Bekah had caught up in her speech.  She told us stories and talked back and was generally easily understood by most.  She’s remained on a WAP diet, and her symptoms — diarrhea, eczema, screaming, night waking, etc. — are gone.  They return to some degree if she eats things she should not (any grains or nuts that haven’t been properly prepared, food dyes or preservatives or additives).

Now, Bekah is 34 months (she’ll be 3 in January 2011).  People have asked if she’s FOUR because she talks so well now.  She makes up elaborate stories and pretend games.  She knows words people can’t believe: nervous, appreciate, and others.  She can talk her away around anything, too.  If I ask her to stop doing something, she’ll say, “No, I just need to be careful.”  She sings and talks and yells at me!  The other day she said, “Just leave me alone!” and I told her that’s rude and she needed to speak more nicely, she said, “Excuse me, go away.”  ha, as if that’s nicer!  When Ben makes fun of me now, Bekah’s learned the tone of voice I use when I’m mock-offended and she will laugh and say “Daddy’s being mean to you!”

I had to wait so long to hear her talk that I still love (almost) every word that comes out of her mouth.  It’s amazing to see her happy, talking, healthy.  It was at 27 months that she decided she wanted to switch to her big girl bed.  She stopped ever waking at night (she used to wake because her bottom hurt).  She potty trained easily.  She made lots of new friends.  She has absolutely no sign of eczema.

It’s amazing what the GAPS diet has done for us.  As long as we remain on WAP now, we have no problems.  Daniel has none of the issues that Bekah has.  If he does eat something he shouldn’t (and I’m a lot stricter with him), his bottom turns red, he gets a red ring around his anus (very bad sign), and gets fussy.  It’s why I’m strict — I don’t want him to go through what she did.  He’s ahead of where Bekah was on her milestones, and he attempts to talk along with his signs already (he is 16 months).

If your child is suffering from any developmental delays, there is always hope.  Investigate natural healing and you never know what the outcome would be.  People comment now on how well Bekah talks and how happy and energetic she is.  I always smile and think, “If only you could have seen her a year ago!”  The difference is truly amazing.


This is the writings of:

Kate is wife to Ben and mommy to Bekah (6.5), Daniel (5), Jacob (3), and Nathan (1.5). She is passionate about God, health, and food. She has written 7 cookbooks and a popular book entitled A Practical Guide to Children's Health. She also recently released Healing With God's Earthly Gifts: Natural and Herbal Remedies, which teaches people to use natural remedies to keep their families healthy. When she's not blogging, she's in the kitchen, sewing, or homeschooling her children.

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11 Comments

  1. What a blessing! I'm so glad to hear that Bekah has made such an astounding recovery. My son (7.5 months) has suffered from chronic diaper rash, has had 3 minor colds, and has suffered from pretty severe reflux & gas issues since birth. I was on IV antibiotics during L & D (which ended in a C-section) and had a short course when he was a couple weeks old due to an infection. I know that our guts are still in the process of repair from all of the antibiotic damage. He is at or early on all his milestones except he can't eat real food. He gags, chokes, sputters, etc. We're actually off to the doctor today to address it. I hope that it isn't related, but I suspect it could be.
    Do you (or any fellow readers) have any ideas about this?

    Reply

  2. This sounds so much like our story. Our third child, Alex, didn't hardly talk at age 3. We wondered if he was autistic. He had chronic diarrhea five or six times a day from the time he went on table foods. He sometimes would curl up in a ball and rock back and forth. He had fits of rage that were uncontrollable and I felt like a terrible mother. Doctors seemed unable to help me, so I ventured out on my own and did a lot of reading. We decided it was food allergies causing his problems. I put him on four foods he could handle, and took him off of everything else. Finally through trial and error, I discovered his main problems were additives, preservatives, and food colorings. He did pretty good on whole pure foods. Another big change for him came when I put him on some digestive enzymes from the health food store. It made a huge difference. He was four at the time, but he didn't bat an eye at swallowing these huge pills. He stopped his repetitive behaviors, stopped the rocking (which was caused from his stomach hurting), and began talking. He was completely caught up and functioning normally by the time he was seven years old. He is now 12 and can eat about anything. He is a brilliant child with a huge vocabulary. God is good! We just need to remember he knows best when it comes to food.

    Reply

  3. I'm so glad Bekah is doing so well! It's amazing how much a good diet can help a young child!

    Reply

  4. Great story! I am just getting into real food. I'm pretty sure this is what happened to my son (he;s borderline asd) and we are going to start gaps in january.

    I also have a 6 month old who I am concerned about. She's slow growing. I am breastfeeding, but I am very nutritionally depleted. I'm doing lots of protein, raw goat milk, eggs, good fats, but I have low stomach acid (from adrenal fatigue) so it's not getting digested well (I'm taking an enzyme which helps a little). It's so frustrating. I just want my baby to be healthy, and breastfeeding is supposed to be best. I have been giving her bone broth, whey, and avacado.

    At this point, I'm wondering if I should switch to sally fallon's homeade formula. What do you think? Is breast always best?

    Reply

  5. My family is about to start GAPS in the hopes of reversing some major food allergies on the part of my husband / son. Our son is 16 months old and has started getting incredibly picky with food, though. He started off using a lot of words and now uses varying forms of dada to refer to nearly everything, so your story wit Rebekah really sounds familiar to me. My question is, what did you do to transition her from the foods she was self limiting to onto GAPS foods? It seems like every time we take away something else Joshua is allergic to, he limits his food even more. We just removed rice from his diet and now all he wants is bananas. We can get him to eat sausage and a little bit of bacon (all pastured and organic of course), but he’s not eating any of the veggies he used to love. As I’m sure you understand, I’m a little nervous that he just won’t eat the GAPS foods. Any tips?

    Reply

  6. How did you get Rebekah to eat the GAPS foods and such? My family is about to go on GAPS, my son’s story is very similar to hers, right down to the persistent cradle cap and starting out talking and then losing words. Presently, he’s limited his foods to bananas and some other fruits, as well as sausage and bacon (organic and pastured, of course). I am just a little (majorly understated) worried that he won’t eat. Any tips??

    Reply

  7. Hi, i really enjoy reading your blog!:). It is interesting to read that you mentioned about the red ring around the anus. My son used to have that and i didn’t know what it was from. Is there anything in particular that i should look out for in regards to food allergies? He is now 3 1/2 yrs. Thankyou :)

    Reply

    • Hmm. You could try an elimination diet if you think that he does have an issue. Gluten and dairy are probably the top possibilities. Some kids appear to “outgrow” an allergy but I wouldn’t be too sure — I think that the lack of immediate signs may be more troubling.

      Reply

  8. I have an 8 month old who is still almost EBF. We introduced solids about 3 weeks ago – I started with avocado, which she wasn’t interested in, and then gave her cooked pastured egg yolks. She loved those but within a few days of starting them got eczema on both legs. What would you recommend? We eat a pretty good diet – I don’t soak grains/nuts, but other than that we try to generally follow WAP guidelines. We drink raw milk and I make fermented veggies and homemade yogurt, and I steer clear of all processed foods. I am just not sure what my next step is – GAPS for me? It’s intimidating to me…If there is another way to treat her gut without that I would like to try it first, but I want to do what’s best for her overall longterm health.
    She is a c-section baby and we were given routine antibiotics during delivery. She had thrush at just a few weeks old – I was able to treat it with coconut oil, GSE, and taking probiotics myself. So I know her gut flora was damaged/not formed properly from the beginning. I have been diligent to make sure I am eating probiotics since she was quite small, and supplement here and there with New Chapter probiotics if I feel like I am not getting what I need.
    Incidentally, my firstborn is almost 3 and reading about your story makes me wonder if he was lacking in nutrients – I wasn’t as educated or diligent when pregnant with him, and he has been a slow speaker. He is highly intelligent but just beginning to really communicate other than his basic needs. Any ideas there, too? Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Try giving her Klaire Labs infant probiotics, a high potency (it’s allergen free). Keep her off grains. Wait a bit longer on the egg yolks. If she mostly wants to nurse, keep her doing that. GAPS may be a good step in the future but it’s tough to do. Lots of bone broth and reducing grains may help.

      As for your son, taking a break from grains and giving him more broth and fermented foods may help him. Magnesium also might help, I have a lotion recipe.

      Reply

      • thanks! I actually have made the magnesium lotion, but didnt think about using it for him other htan for sleep. I will try it. I do put Epsom salts or magnesium flakes in his bath just about every time. We are mostly grain free except for sourdough and rice occasionally. He loves rice and granola but I will try to keep him off of it more. Thanks for the probiotic suggestion, too. I wasn’t sure what to give her. She is still BF about 8-10 times per day. She does like solids but I have been sticking with organic fruits & veggies for now, with a little grassfed butter. Her eczema cleared up within about a week of me taking her off the eggs and taking the New Chapter myself. And we’ve introduced a few other foods since then, but just fruits/veggies. So I am hopeful it won’t flare back up.

        Reply

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