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Fads Are For Fashion, Not Healthcare

While I’m not a doctor, it doesn’t take one to start noticing trends in medical diagnoses, especially when you are as immersed in the healthcare world as I have been, now that I have a child who has special needs.

Every so often it seems like more and more people are being diagnosed with something and prevalence statistics are skyrocketing.   Then you have things like the K-E diet, where people began using Nasogastric feeding tubes to supplement nutrition while depriving one’s self of caloric intake as a way to lose weight.  As a parent of a child who REQUIRES a feeding tube to LIVE, I can assure you that feeding tubes should not be used as part of a fad diet.  Fads have no place in healthcare. Whether that fad is in the form of a new diet or a medical diagnosis, it is unfair to those who truly suffer from a disease and it is unfair to people who are misdiagnosed simply because it’s the diagnosis of the moment, when in reality there is so much more to their story.

Even before Braxton came along, I had worked in a pediatrician’s office, so I was very familiar with a variety of diagnoses and even helped to send out and collect the necessary paperwork for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, evaluations.  As a child, my brother was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) so I was aware of its existence and how it presented in children and adolescents.  As I got older, it seemed like everybody was diagnosed with some sort of ADHD or ADD (ADHD without the hyperactivity part).  This PubMed article states that between 2000 and 2010, ADHD diagnoses increased approximately 66%! It honestly seemed as though anyone who took their child to the doctor for any sort of behavior or attentiveness issues came out with an ADHD diagnoses and was subsequently medicated.  There was seemingly no second thought to any other causes or underlying issues.  Perhaps a different learning disability, or a simple case of kids being kids.  I’ve always questioned whether or not ADHD should be diagnosed in children as young as 3.  At 3 years old, children are naturally curious, rambunctious, wild, inattentive, fidgety and mischievous.  Regardless, doctors were quick to give that label and add another notch to their belt. Below is a table of currently approved medications to treat ADHD as well as the age in which these are approved for. I’m appalled by the thought of giving my 3 year old Adderall!

Approved ADHD Medications

I do have to say that I think ADHD is absolutely a valid medical diagnosis and there ARE children who have significant issues that need to be addressed, but my problem is that ADHD is so easily thrown out that it is over- and often mis-diagnosed in many children.  It seemed to be a for a long time the “hot diagnosis” of the time.  Now, you may be thinking, “My child did have ADHD and we medicated and I saw great results, etc.” but consider this for a moment.  There are PLENTY of people who do NOT have a formal ADHD diagnosis who have seen the SAME benefits as those with a diagnosis.  I have seen and heard countless stories of teens and college students taking Adderall because it helped them focus better on their schoolwork.  Does that mean they all have ADHD that went undiagnosed or is it more a matter of the natural side effects of that medication on the brain that enable them to focus so much better? Honestly, I’m not sure, but it is definitely something to think about.  While ADHD is still a common diagnosis, it is less heard about than in years prior.

Now, that “hot diagnosis” seems to be Autism.

Wait just one minute before you get the pitchforks out.  Again, I recognize that Autism is VERY real and there are indeed many legitimate causes for concern.  Here are my concerns: an increased number of children who have underlying genetic diseases are inappropriately being diagnosed as also having autism.  There are also an increased number of children who are receiving an autism diagnosis when, in fact, there is something MORE to the story.  So you see, I’m not at all trying to diminish or belittle any parent struggling through an Autism diagnosis.  I know it’s hard. I get it. I really do. I want the healthcare professionals to understand that there is more than Autism out there.  They NEED to take a deeper look instead of just going with the latest fad.  They owe it to you. They owe it to your child.  Have you ever thought there might be something more to your child’s story? More importantly, do you think your doctor’s even considered it or did just throw a label out to get you services?  Services are fantastic, but only when they are the right kind.  A proper diagnosis is important when determining what services and what types of therapies can improve a child’s quality of life.  

I read this article today, about Autism misdiagnosis among children with underlying genetic causes, more specifically 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.  The main premise of the article states:

“The social impairments common to those with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, or 22q, can resemble symptoms of autism, leading many children with the condition to be classified on the spectrum. However, findings from a study published Wednesday in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders suggest the two conditions may be unrelated.”

This led me to do some further research, as this is something I have thought for quite some time.  At about 18 months old, I took Braxton in for a routine appointment with his developmental pediatrician.  As per the industry standard, I was given the M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) to fill out regarding Braxton.  The M-CHAT is a tool used to screen children for early signs of Autism that would lead to further diagnostic testing and intervention.  This is a great tool for that purpose, however it is lacking in many ways, which I did not discover until this particular visit.

Here are some sample questions from the M-CHAT that require a yes/no answer:

1. Does your child enjoy being swung, bounced on your knee, etc.?
2. Does your child take an interest in other children?
3. Does your child like climbing on things, such as up stairs?
4. Does your child enjoy playing peek-a-boo/hide-and-seek?
5. Does your child ever pretend, for example, to talk on the phone or take care of dolls, or pretend other things?
6. Does your child ever use his/her index finger to point, to ask for
7. Does your child look at you for a second or two?
8. Does your child respond to his/her name when called?

I answered all of these questions honestly, and for most of them, the answer was a resounding ‘NO.’  Braxton had all of the ‘clinical’ red flag indicators of Autism.  Instead of taking Braxton’s history and the ‘big picture’ into consideration, the doctor simply said that we needed to see a doctor more specialized in developmental assessments who could make an Autism diagnosis.  Flustered, I called our Physical Therapy supervisor who I knew had a better understanding of what Autism is and what it isn’t, and I spoke to our Speech Therapist for the same reason.  Both of them assured me that they did not see in him what would be considered classic signs of Autism.  Due to Braxton’s vision and hearing impairments, both of them stated those were more the root of the cause for Braxton rather than Autism.  We did not know the extent of damage to his vision due to the coloboma in each eye, but we knew it could possibly effect what and how much he sees.  Therefore, he would be lacking in the eye contact and interaction aspect of the M-CHAT questions.  At this point, we also had just gotten Braxton’s hearing aids and had just found out about his hearing loss.  So basically, for the first year and a half or so Braxton was unable to really hear, and therefore unable to respond to his name, imitate sounds, babble, etc.  He had two very important senses affected as part of his genetic syndrome that caused him to raise every Autism red flag indicator, but it did NOT mean he had Autism.  At his 2 year check up, once we had an official diagnosis, I relayed this information to the Dr (different than the one we saw at 18 months) and told her we did not follow through with the referral one, because it was a complete mess, but that’s another story, but also because in consulting with our pediatrician and therapists we decided he was not in need of further evaluation because his symptoms were due to his early sensory deprivation and not Autism. I also felt that he was being followed by more than enough specialists who were capable of making further diagnosis if necessary.  The doctor agreed and mentioned that in her short evaluation, she could see the red flags, but recognized the early delays and also saw in him things that would not be consistent with an Autism diagnosis.

This is just how the issue of misdiagnosis relates to our story.  I sought out other resources and to my surprise found that we were not the only family who had an underlying genetic condition and was also given a Autism diagnosis.  The Journal of Intellectual Disability Research published a study in 2009 as it relates to this very topic.  They studied the prevalence of Autism diagnosis in conjunction with several disorders that have a known genetic cause including Fragile X, Down Syndrome, Angelman, Cystic Fibrosis, and Rett Syndrome just to name a few.

One startling statistic pointed out “ASD is also the most common initial misdiagnosis in children with RS [Rett Syndrome], with 18% of individuals being diagnosed with ASD before receiving a diagnosis of RS (Young et al. 2008).”

This is incredibly alarming.  How many people receive an Autism diagnosis and just stop right there?  What if that 18% didn’t keep pursuing further diagnostic testing? What if more than that 18% is affected? This illustrates the importance of medical professionals looking in to the big picture and not just going with what is hot at the moment.  The sad reality is that for many of that 18%, it wasn’t until things got much WORSE that anybody gave them a second thought.  We shouldn’t have to wait for disaster for someone to do a little extra work to begin with.

There are several other similar claims such as this one in that study which support the idea that further consideration is necessary when an Autism diagnosis is made when there is also an underlying genetic condition.  The study’s conclusion states:

“There is a need for caution in interpreting the significance of superficial similarities between ASD and the behavioural phenotypes of certain genetically determined syndromes. However, recognition of ASD-like characteristics (even where a true diagnosis of ASD may not be relevant) in individuals with genetic syndromes is crucial in ensuring that individuals receive appropriate behavioural management and educational placement.”

This also supports the idea that a misdiagnosis can be beneficial if used appropriately to acquire services and education placement necessary for a child to be successful.  But, I caution that a misdiagnosis should never ever be the goal JUST to obtain services.  Find a doctor who will fight for your child just as you are fighting and will get you what you need the right way.

There has also been an increase in new information stating that some Autism Spectrum disorders have more links to Mitochondrial disease  and also warrant further testing. Mitoaction also has information on having a child who has an Autism diagnosis tested further for Mito.

Whenever I learn that a new parent has a child with multiple systems affected but is being given an Autism diagnosis, I can’t help but cringe.  It may in fact be true Autism, but the reality is that it could be more, so much more.  I can’t help but think about all the children who are not being diagnosed properly and who are not getting the treatment they need.  I’m not saying to not believe your doctors, but I am encouraging everyone to do more research and pursue further testing when your parental instinct tells you that the answer is not that simple.  Don’t let your child become part of some doctor’s repertoire for ‘diagnosing autism early,’ or think that just because he failed the M-CHAT he MUST have ASD, your child is so much more than a diagnosis and deserves to have someone speak up for them.  That someone is YOU. As the parent, you are the advocate. If something doesn’t make sense, ask more questions.  The doctor may hold a degree, but there is much more in the real world than they ever read about in a book, not to mention you spend day in and day out with your child and know them better than any book could ever teach a doctor.

Don’t be afraid to stand up.  Don’t be afraid to go against the trend.  Always, always remember that fads are for fashion and not healthcare.  Your child is not a fad, don’t let them be treated as one.

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He knows the plan He has for us

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [New International Version]


Several weeks ago, we had a guest pastor give a sermon at Church, and it’s only now that I’m realizing that God was speaking to me then and continues to do so now.  The sermon was about trusting God and having faith in His plan for us.

The pastor compared God (the parent) speaking to us (the child) in much the same way we as parents speak to our child.  The pastor’s example was him calling his daughter away from the television.  He asked his daughter once, she did not listen.  He called her again, she acknowledged and slowly started toward him, pausing every couple of steps to look back at the television.  He called her a third time, a little more sternly and it was only then that she hustled over to him and obeyed.  We are very much like our children when it comes to following our Father when He calls us.  When God speaks to us, we may acknowledge Him, but we also question Him and whether or not we should follow what He says.  Not necessarily to be disobedient, but because we do not have faith or the courage to make the change in that moment.

A second example the pastor shared was a moment when God spoke to him to make a career change.  He said he heard God tell him that he needed to quit his job TODAY.  Naturally, that is much easier said than done.  The pastor had a new wife and child on the way and anyone who is married will tell you, a husband coming home to his wife saying, “hey, so I quit my job today, because God told me to do it,” isn’t going to fly over too well.  Pastor did speak to his wife and they prayed and ultimately he decided not to quit his job, yet.  Long story short, he interviewed for a new job opportunity and there was another pastor in the room who stopped him during the interview and told him that he knew he [our pastor] was being disobedient.  That he knew God had spoken to the pastor but he had not yet obeyed him.  Whoa. That was God finally yelling at His child, stopping him in his tracks and telling him what he needed to do.  The pastor went home and quit his job.  Within a week, the company he had interviewed for called him back and he got a new job that paid far better than the previous one.  It was only then that he knew he should have listened the first time God spoke to him.

There have been many times in our journey where we have both felt like God was speaking to us.  It is not always about making a change, but He does or says things to us to let us know that He is right here walking right beside us.  He consistently puts people in our lives to guide us and take us exactly where He wants us to be at that point in time.  I have spoken on this before, at a time where my faith was already being tested, at a time when we had not been to Church in quite some time.  It was not too long after, that God called us to come back to Church.  Joseph called me from work and told me that he felt like God was trying to tell him something and that we needed to go back to Church.  So we did.  We went back exactly when we needed to.  We have grown so much and our faith has been restored.

I’m not saying we are spouting off Bible quotes or living a life of a perfection now, but we are trying to do better.  I am now recognizing God’s presence in our lives even in moments that seem hopeless.  I wrote at one point about longing for Braxton to speak and it wasn’t but a week later that out of nowhere, Braxton looked right in to my eyes, grabbed my face, and pulled his little mouth to my cheek to give me a kiss.  It was in that moment that I felt God telling me that if I just slowed down and paid a little more attention, I could see and feel my little boy speaking greater volumes than his voice ever could.  Braxton ‘tells me’ he loves me all the time by doing exactly what he did in that moment.  His little hands reach up to grab my cheek and he ever so softly comes forward to give kisses.  He does not have words, but God has shown me that he can speak right to my heart.

More recently, God has shown himself to us through this change in daycare that I wholeheartedly believe He called us to make.  God spoke to me through one of our therapists who recommended we make the decision to place Braxton in a daycare that could foster his growth and help him fulfill his potential.  (Dad calling his child to step away from the TV). We somewhat talked about it, and thought, “Hey we are all happy and Braxton is doing well.  And really, the extra cost is not a desirable option at this point.”  (We stayed at the TV).  It wasn’t but 2 weeks later that we learned our daycare would close.  Immediately, I thought, “Ok God, I get the message!” (Dad calling us again.)  We began calling around to different centers including the one that was originally recommended all the while trying to figure out an option to keep him where he was or even keep him at home.  (We heard dad and we’re slowly turning to him, but still pausing to look back at the TV).  When we were finally all out of options and decided to tour the center that we ultimately decided on, the choice we needed to make was clear.  I knew at that moment that if this was what was meant to be, that God would make sure everything fell in to place and help us both mentally and financially.  I put my faith in Him and trusted that he would see us through. (Thankfully we made it to dad before he had to yell at us!)


Happy BraxtonFinally, it has been one week at the new daycare and we are very happy with the choice we had to make.  We are all still adjusting, but Braxton seems to be very happy and his needs are definitely being met.  The teachers are still giving him time to explore and adjust, but they are wearing him out!  He’s actually taking regular naps at a scheduled time, and sometimes he can’t even wait that long!  Yesterday, the Executive Director caught me as I was leaving the daycare to check in with me to see how we were doing and if everything was going okay.  I told her we were very happy with our decision and her staff.  They are all very friendly and have communicated with me quite a bit about Braxton and getting to know him.  She told me that her teachers are absolutely smitten over him and she often has to get on to them for stopping in to visit him too often.  He’s quite possibly the hardest child NOT to fall in love with.  Having worked in a daycare, I know that all children find a way in to your heart, but there is always that one child you bond with more than others, and Braxton seems to be that child for so many.  The director also talked to me a little bit about some of the plans the teachers have for Braxton.  Sitting at the TableShe said one teacher had come to her in the morning and excitedly handed her a list of equipment she wanted for Braxton to keep him happy and comfortable.  Some of the things included a Tumbleform chair for feedings so that if he fell asleep he would still be upright and comfortable during his feeding.  I am so thankful they have already fallen in love with him and are so enthusiastic about helping him reach the potential we all know he is capable of achieving.

And call me crazy, but in just one week I have seen changes at home as well.  Braxton is standing  a lot more and trying to cruise around the house.  He’s been doing this ‘knee-walking’ thing where he walks at a kneel instead of standing.  He had done it quite a bit here and there, but only a few ‘steps’ and then he’d crawl.  This week, I’ve seen him try to ‘knee-walk’ much longer than usual.  Yesterday, he spent about 15 minutes chasing a toy around both walking on his knees and crawling.  Here’s a video of course 😉


Isn’t that awesome!? I’m sooo excited for Braxton.  It’s clear that he will walk much sooner than we think.  I can’t attribute that all to the new daycare, but I’m certain it’s been a motivator even in just a week.  Braxton is in a class with all boys who are high energy and always on the move.  Surely he is sitting back looking at them thinking, “Hey I can do that, too!”  He’s also been babbling more.  Every day this week when I picked him up he started babbling from the back seat.  I’ve even heard some new sounds.  It may be a while before I hear words, but for now I love the sound of his babbling and I love the special moments we have where he can just look at me and I know and feel his love for me.

When God spoke to me and told me this is what we needed to do, I was very hesitant.  Hesitant because of the extra money it would cost and because I didn’t want to lose the people we had grown to love so much and who had grown to love Braxton so much.  Upon touring the new facility and hearing all of the great things other parents and our therapists had to say, I felt God’s presence.  I felt Him telling me “yes, I know this is going to be difficult and maybe a little scary, but just trust and have faith in Me.  I will not steer you wrong.”  And He hasn’t.  Every day is further proof of God’s greatness and His grace upon us.  We are beyond blessed each and every day.  Part of me is picturing God sitting with his feet kicked back and looking down at me saying, “See, I told you I knew what I was doing.”

Learning to listen to God and trust in His word is sometimes hard to do, and we are still learning every day.  Much in the same way our children have to learn to listen to us and trust that we actually know what we’re talking about.  We tell them not to touch the stove because it’s hot and they will get burned, but they touch it anyway.  We give dating advice in hopes to spare them a broken heart, but they don’t always listen.  One day they look back and realize their parents weren’t crazy and knew exactly what they were talking about.  God tells us to trust in Him and the plans he has for us, but because we are still trying to walk our own path, we often fail to recognize that He knows what is best and is simply trying to guide us to the right path.

Though we walk with trepidation, our faith will not waver. We know that our future is full of hope because we do not walk this journey alone.



Filed under Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child

Dear Teachers, Meet Our Son

Yesterday, we visited the new daycare Braxton will be attending, starting on Monday. I’ve been very sad about leaving our old daycare as Braxton has been there since he was 2 months old, but visiting the new one yesterday gave me so much to look forward to.

When we were walking to the office, one of his new teachers saw us and followed us in excitedly. She asked if this was Braxton and when we said yes, she was SOO excited to finally meet him. One of our therapists stopped by recently and filled her in on Braxton so she knew all about him. She even asked questions about the Care Notebook I left when I enrolled him. She assured me that she read it several times and even repeated some of it back to me word for word. Pretty impressive! Mom is sold. I know he will be very well taken care of here.

We visited the classroom and let Braxton explore a little bit to make sure he would be okay when we dropped him off on Monday. He took off right away straight to a window and played with some of the toys. His class is all boys who are full of energy and all over the place. I’m predicting he is going to pick up on wanting to walk just so he can keep up! I can’t wait to see his progress.

Before we left, his teachers also asked us to write some things down about what he likes and doesn’t like to help them out when he starts next week. I decided I would write a nice little introduction letter instead of simply listing things out. I also decided to share it with all of you as you get ready to send your little ones off to school. Feel free to modify this to introduce your little one to his/her new teacher as well!

And on Monday, join me on Facebook for a hold hands and cry it out session, as I’m sure I will be a mess! Are you sending little ones off to school, too? I’m sending big sister to 2nd grade and Braxton to a new daycare all on the same day…someone pass the tissue!


Braxton Joseph <3

Braxton Joseph ❤

Dear Teachers,

This is the joy of our life, Braxton Joseph and he is 2 years old.  We have had so many wonderful people come in to our life and we’re so excited to be able to add you to that list.  While it would be near impossible to tell you everything about our son, we’d like to give you a little introduction and then let you have fun getting to know him all on your own!  I have to warn you, that it’s going to be hard NOT to fall in love with him.  He has that kind of effect on people. 😉 We strive to keep open communication with all of the teachers, therapists, and doctors in our lives, so if at any time you have any questions or issues, please don’t hesitate to ask!

First, our son, Braxton (or Brax as we sometimes like to call him), was recently diagnosed with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome (RTS) after quite the diagnostic journey.  Since RTS is one of the lesser known syndromes, here is a brief explanation.  Much like Down Syndrome, children with RTS all have very similar facial characteristics, medical issues and a variety of cognitive and developmental delays.  Children with RTS usually have a small head, beaked nose, broad thumbs, and a smile that lights up the room and causes their eyes to almost completely close and slant downward.  Medical issues vary for each child, but typically affect things like their heart, brain, and gastrointestinal system.  Braxton is monitored closely by many specialists, and at this time there is no major cause for concern.

Developmentally, these children will attain most of the major milestones, but usually just a little later than children of typical development.  Brax is about 10 – 11 months old developmentally, but we really expect to see that take off very soon.  He is crawling very well and can get across the room faster than you can turn around.  He is cruising a lot more these days and every once in a while gets brave enough to let go and transition between two surfaces.  His first steps are not far away, and I can guarantee when that happens he will be quite the handful, just like any other 2 year old boy! The biggest challenge for Braxton and his RTS family will be speech.  Many children are nonverbal, but they do learn to sign or use a communication device very well.  We are learning sign language and try to use it as much as we can around him.  He has not yet picked up any signs, but we know that the mere exposure will help him to learn in his own time.  When he is ready, our speech therapist will work on using communication devices, but right now we are just getting him familiar with an iPad, so he will use one in therapy often.    He does babble and make sounds, but there are no words just yet.  We are hopeful that Brax will have some language so we talk and sing to him often, which leads me to things he likes.

Braxton really enjoys music.  He will stop what he’s doing to listen when music is playing.  Dad can play a few instruments, so when Braxton starts to get a little fussy, dad will play a little piano or soft drum beat and Braxton will usually calm right down.  Brax really enjoys playing catch with his big sister or pretending to knock her over because he is so strong.  I’m sure he will love being around other kiddos his age.  He also needs some extra sensory input in the form of chewing and some head banging.  At this point, Brax will put EVERYTHING in to his mouth, except food! (More on that in a bit). We do try to discourage chewing on things that are inappropriate like tables, wood, and floor surfaces, but he always manages to find them.  Don’t feel bad if you don’t get to our little woodchuck right away and he’s gnawed at a table for a couple of minutes.  We also try to discourage his blatant head banging against the wall or door.  He will sometimes grab a toy and hit it against his chin or head, and as long as it’s not something that will hurt him, it’s usually okay.  He will only do it a few times and then toss it and chase after it. Prolonged head banging should be stopped and redirected. Braxton also LOVES windows and being outside.  He enjoys sitting at our patio door and staring outside.  When outside, he likes to feel the wind and look up at the sky.  Braxton has an infectious laugh and will sometimes amuse himself and laugh at picking up and dropping toys.  If you are having one of those days where you can’t seem to get out of a funk, tickle him right under his arm or play a game of peek-a-boo and his laugh is sure to cheer you up.  Oh, and he thinks diaper changes are hilarious. (Especially ones where he has a little surprise for you) Typical boy, huh?

Our little man has a pretty easy going attitude, and will usually go along with everything, but he will definitely let you know if he is unhappy.  He will start to cry or whine when something he likes is taken away or if he needs something like a diaper change or just to be loved on a little.  Like any normal 2 year old, he doesn’t like to be told “no,” but he does understand the word.  He will test you a little on it though, as expected.  He will pause for a moment and then try to go back to the activity he was supposed to stop, so sometimes he will need some redirection.  He also does not like very loud noises or high pitched voices/sounds.  At his last daycare, he would take his hearing aids out when all the babies started crying at the same time (smart kid, right!?).  If he hears a sound that startles him or that he doesn’t like, he will start to cry and it will take a moment to settle him down.  If you just pick him up, give him his pacifier, love on him, and let him know everything is ok he will calm down.  If not, it is okay to take his hearing aids out for a little while until the sound is gone or he calms down.

And that brings us to medical equipment.  Braxton has hearing aids and a G-Tube for feeding.  He is pretty good about keeping his hearing aids in and does not mess with them often, unless there is a sound he doesn’t like.  He should have them in all day at all times, unless as explained above there is an unpleasant sound and he cannot calm down.  There is no need to remove them during nap time.  He just recently really discovered his G-tube and extension and is just now starting to play with it or chew on the end.  We usually have him in a onesie so that he can’t get to the button and play with it and it also helps keep the extension tucked in to his shirt.  His extension can be removed between feedings if you are comfortable detaching and reattaching it when necessary; otherwise we just tuck it in.  I’ll have a detailed instruction guide to help with feedings, but I promise it’s very easy and you will learn quickly. We are working on getting Braxton to eat more by mouth, but he’s developed a severe oral aversion and his progress is very slow.  We encourage you to try feeding him by mouth, but ask you to take your cues from him.  Some days he will open his mouth right up and eat an ounce or more, and other days he might only take a few bites and push you away or fall asleep.  Just be patient with him and together we will get him to learn that eating is a wonderful thing!

Overall, Braxton is pretty easy to take care of and if you give him a little time, his personality will definitely come through and you will love him as much as we do.  If you want to learn more about him, please feel free to ask us or browse his website at braxtonjoseph.com, we write about everything and I’m sure you will also star in a few posts yourself, so be sure to check it out and definitely let me know if you don’t want your picture used or anything like that.  We are so looking forward to this next chapter and getting to know you all.  Thank you for taking the time to read about our son and for caring for our child and so many others.  You are appreciated more than you could ever know.


Thank you,

Vanessa and Joseph, Parents to the happiest little boy in the world 🙂


Filed under Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child

Wordless Wednesday: Sweet Laughter

I know the idea behind Wordless Wednesday is to show a picture that “speaks for itself,” but this video of Braxton totally counts too, right?

Braxton is pretty much always wordless, but you can always count on him to make you smile without having to say a single word…


Filed under Family, Kids and Family, Special Needs Child

Through a Child’s Eyes

If we could see the world through a child’s eyes, we would see the magic in everything.

Watching Fireworks

We watched fireworks down the road from us tonight. I was a little worried about how Braxton would handle it, but he did great! I took his hearing aids out just in case it was too loud since he startles easily. Once the show started he was in complete awe. He watched pretty intently as the fireworks shot in to the sky. He followed them as they went up and was completely captivated. Aileen loved it too. She was shouting “This is the best 4th of July ever!” Haha

It was a good night. Happy 4th of July!! Hope you all had a great day.

Fireworks in the Sky

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