This little guy. He brings us so much joy.
Of course, all of my children are the light of my life. But this fella, he’s the perfect combination of mischief and sweetness all rolled up into one rascally grin.
Although I was never too concerned about it, I noticed that by the time he was 2 years old he wasn’t really saying as much as his siblings had when they were his age. I chalked it up to him just being the baby. But after his 3rd birthday passed and he still wasn’t using more than one-word sentences, I decided I wanted to do something to help.
Most kids start talking by the time they are about eighteen months old. Generally, a toddler can say about twenty words by this point, with younger kids babbling before their first birthday. You might notice that your child has a language delay, which is when they can pronounce individual words well but can’t form a complete sentence (which was the case with Elias) or that they have a speech delay, which is when they can form those expressions, but they’re tough to understand.
Doctors will usually check children during their routine well-child checkups, and make sure they have reached developmental milestones at the appropriate age. Babies younger than a year that don’t react to sound could have hearing loss, while those that are older but cannot form words might have some sort of speech or language delay. The biggest progress in language development happens between ages two and three, with rapid increases in vocabulary acquisition and comprehension.
His speech delay wasn’t a huge source of worry for me, I was sure he’d learn to talk more over time. But if there was something I could do to help I wanted to give it a shot, for the sake of being able to better understand his needs and desires as he tried to communicate them to us.
I did a lot of reading online and flipping through my natural alternatives books. I looked at dietary changes and deficiencies which might cause slowed speech. I found a lot of interesting information.
Delays in speech can be caused by a number of factors. Often, physical impairments will be to blame. This is usually pretty obvious. If your child as a short frenulum (the fold that holds the tongue to the lower mouth) or a cleft palate, for example, he or she will likely have delayed speech. Your child could also have trouble controlling the many muscles used to speak, like the lips, jaw, or tongue. This can cause childhood apraxia of speech.
General developmental delays are also not uncommon. These are often noticeable as your child will fail to hit other milestones as well, such as motor skills or other related issues. Hearing problems or ear infections, too, are super common and easy to diagnose and treat.
As a person interested in natural healing and holistic remedies, it was interesting to me that nutritional deficiencies are a common cause of speech delays in toddlers. B12 is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in kids. This can cause developmental delay along with reduced IQ – scary! But it can also cause delayed speech.
To make sure your child has enough vitamin B12, feed him or her plenty of nutrient-dense foods like beef liver, clams, fish, eggs, dairy, and other meat products. These are the best sources of B12 as well as many other important vitamins and minerals. If you suspect a nutrient deficiency, always have them tested first – overdosing on a certain nutrient can be just as detrimental!
But one particular recommendation stuck out to me as I kept coming across testimonials on other blogs and YouTube. Mothers were reporting having great success using essential oils to overcome speech delays.
It was an easy, safe, and natural treatment.
So I tried it.
I started out by mixing 1-2 drops of DDR Prime, 1-2 drops of Frankincense, and about 1/2 tsp fractionated coconut oil (fractionated oil stays liquid at room temperature). I would rub this blend on the back of Elias’ neck once in the morning and once before bed (or at least once a day if I forgot to do it earlier).
Frankincense is well known for its brain-boosting benefits. This oil is an aromatic resin that is often used in incense. It is extracted from Boswellia trees that are native to Africa and the Arabian peninsula and has been used for thousands of years. DDR Prime is a natural mixture that includes frankincense, wild orange, lemongrass, thyme, summer savory, and clove.
These herbs combine to promote oral health, providing antioxidants to the body, protecting against environmental threats, cleansing, and boosting the mood. Coconut oil smells great and helps form a solid base for the mixture of other oils.
He absolutely LOVED the smell. He would grab my hand and want to inhale it, which is totally cool because the oils are highly effective when used aromatically as well.
I did this consistently for about a week without really seeing any change in him. And then it happened. It was on day 7 or 8 (I can’t remember exactly) when my toddler walked into the kitchen and said slowly but clearly,
“Mommy… I’m… hungry.”
Up until that day my 3 1/2 year old had only ever communicated that he was hungry by saying, “Eat! Eat! Eat!” And now he’d just said his first complete sentence!!
I scooped him up and hugged him tightly, laughing. “You’re hungry, buddy?” I asked, completely ecstatic with this sudden development. Right away I called my husband and excitedly shared what Elias had just said.
From that day on his vocabulary continued to expand and his sentences grew in length. I continued applying the oils every day. At first it seemed as though he had to think hard to form his thoughts into words. There were pauses between his words as he spoke them, but over the next few months those pauses shortened as he grew confident in what he was saying. He’ll be 4 in May, and he now speaks almost as well as the other 3-year-olds he plays with. Not quite as fluid, be definitely a thousand times improved.
I’ve since started using a 10 ml roller bottle with the same oil blend instead of pouring it into my hand for application. This way I’m not wasting any oil leftover on my hand. I don’t apply the oils as often now, maybe a few times a week. But Elias still loves the smell and grabs the bottle from my hand after I apply it to his neck, breathing it in deeply until he’s satisfied.
I can’t say for sure that this blend of essential oils would work for everyone, but it has worked for other moms and it definitely worked for us. The dosage might need to be experimented with depending on the severity of the case. I would definitely recommend that you at least try it if you’re dealing with a speech delayed child.
Lavender also reportedly works well to alleviate the effects of speech delay. It is calming and nurturing, so if your child is having trouble sleeping or with anxiety, it could alleviate those problems and lead to more restorative slumber. As a result, your child may begin to speak. Vetiver is another relaxing essential oil and helps to calm symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Generally, essential oils don’t necessarily relieve the speech delay itself, but help to alleviate related symptoms that may be causing or related to the delay.
I won’t claim that these essential oils are foolproof and the perfect solution every time. Obviously, if you’re concerned, you should consult a pediatrician. However, essential oils are a great way to help a mild case of speech delay, or to complement an additional treatment. Every year, over 100,000 Americans die from properly prescribed and taken prescription drugs. Why use a drug to treat a condition when you can treat it naturally, with no side effects?
Essential oils can help restore natural function and have no adverse interactions. They can help build an immune system and balance your mental state, and also help to correct the way your cells work with each other.
More often than not, if your child has a serious language delay, medicine is not going to help. If the cause of the delay is a hearing problem, yes, ear tubes or other surgeries can help to alleviate this temporarily, but you still need to get to the root of the problem. Most pediatricians will also recommend speech therapy, but this can be costly and tough to implement if you live back in the woods or on a rural homestead.
I’ve been using essential oils casually for years, but this particular experience is what turned me into a true believer in the benefits of these oils. I now use them daily on my family, my pets, and around the house for cleaning and disinfecting purposes. Please do your research before buying essential oils. There is no regulation in the industry and there are brands out there claiming to be 100% pure when in fact they are diluted. The brand I use and recommend is third party tested,100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.
You can also make your own essential oils. A frankincense oil might be hard to produce, but most other plants can be grown locally or on your homestead and can be produced right in the comfort of your own home. Some people buy copper stills to distill their own oils, but you can do it in equipment as basic as a simple slow cooker!
Essential oils are just the active oils extracted from plants through steam distillation. All you need to do is place the plant matter in a crockpot and cover it with water. Don’t fill more than three quarters of the container. Put the lid on upside down, so that the steam will fall back into the pot. Turn the crockpot on high, then once it’s reached a boil, simmer it on low for four hours. Then, turn it off and cool. Put the crockpot in the refrigerator, then leave it in there overnight.
In the morning, a thin film of oil will have settled on the top of the water. You can then peel the oil off the top and transfer it into a bottle, where it can be stored indefinitely as long as it is kept out of the light and intense heat. That’s all there is to it!
I know essential oils might not be the best option for everyone.
Anyways, this experience was just too exciting for me not to share. Hopefully it will be encouraging and helpful to another parent who can relate. 🙂
1 YEAR UPDATE:
WOW! I cannot believe how many emails I have received from other parents and caregivers who also have a child with speech delay issues. I’m so glad I shared my experience here so that I could hopefully help many of you who are struggling as well.
Due to so many requests, I’ve decided to make a video showing EXACTLY how I put together the Speech Delay blend, how I applied the oils to my son, and an interview with little Elias one year into the regimen so you can see how well he talks now! I hope you find this information helpful and encouraging.
As a parent, remember that there are hundreds of other natural, non-pharmaceutical steps you can take to encourage speech and general well-being in your child. Spend as much time as possible communicating with your child in a positive manner.
Talk with him and not just at or around him. Have conversations, sing, and encourage language at all costs. Reading to your child is another great way to encourage language. No age is too young to read to or with your little one. You can also use everyday situations to encourage language. Talk your way through the most mundane situations. This will not only encourage speech development, but also strengthen the bond between you and your child.
How To Make The Speech Delay Blend:
This is what I did. Please keep in mind that everybody’s body chemistry is a little bit different, and what works for me might not work for you. You might have to tweak the strength of the blend until you find what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Fill a 10 ml. roller bottle halfway full with fractionated coconut oil, then add 5 drops of Frankincense essential oil and 5 drops of DDR Prime essential oils.
Try this protocol EXACTLY as described in the video for at least two full weeks before adjusting the strength (ie: increasing the amount of essential oils you use in the blend). If you aren’t seeing results after a couple of weeks of consistently applying the oils several times a day, increase the frankincense and the DDR Prime by a few drops each. Continue experimenting until you find what works. I cannot stress the importance of patience, consistency, and diligence. It may take some time. Have faith in what you are doing.
I have been so blessed by the emails I’ve been receiving from so many of you who are thrilled to have your child finally speaking. And I continue to encourage those of you who aren’t seeing drastic changes yet to keep being consistent with the oils. If any of you have questions or concerns, please feel free to shoot me an email. I’m happy to help if I can!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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updated 08/30/2018 by Rebekah