The “Lellow” Breakthrough

From The LCP Solution book

Tanner Geng’s “The Lellow Breakthrough”

Three-year-old Tanner, standing in the bathroom of his family’s New Jersey home picked up a pink comb, pointed to a yellow stripe that ran through it, and said, “Lellow.” It was the first ‘real’ word he had ever spoken and it came after just three weeks of supplementation. “I almost fell over,” says his delighted mother, Lisa Geng. “It was the breakthrough we had been waiting for. It was incredible.” Within a few days, Tanner’s vocabulary increased to seven words. Within five weeks, he had mastered twenty-two words.

Tanner, during his first year of life, had seemed like a normal, healthy baby and by the age of eleven months was babbling normally and saying “ma” and “da.” Then, after a bout of very high fever, he stopped talking. Photographs show an unsmiling two-year-old. “No matter how hard the photographers tried he just would not smile. He was lethargic,” says Lisa. Typically, everyone kept telling her that he was just a late talker, but Lisa and her family became increasingly concerned and pushed for a hearing and speech evaluation. Four months of speech therapy led to an official diagnosis of severe apraxia of speech. Tanner was two years, eight months old. During the four months of speech therapy he had learned to say basic sounds such as “sh,” “ch,” “t,” and “s” with some prompting. He had learned how to blow bubbles and could move his mouth more than before. But he found it impossible to take the “ch” sound and put it together with the “oo” sound to make “choo.”

As soon as they heard that Tanner was apraxic, Lisa and husband, Glenn, began to search for information. “We were shocked to find out how little support and information there was at the local level, and this was in a fairly affluent area close to New York,” says Lisa. In desperation, the couple turned to the Internet and discovered the apraxia-kids listserv. After reading other parents’ positive comments about LCP supplementation and consulting Lisa’s aunt, a retired nursing teacher at Long Island University, they decided to give it a try.

Three weeks later they were thrilled with the results of that decision. “I know that it can take as long as three months of supplementation for any benefits to be noticed but we saw results with Tanner in three weeks. I’m not exaggerating,” says Lisa. Tanner’s Early Intervention therapist told them that he had become “a different child” and the therapist was so impressed that she began recommending LCP supplementation to other patients.

Lisa and Glenn, however, took him off supplementation for a while when he was going through testing for the disabled preschool program in their home town. “His improvement had been so dramatic we were actually afraid that he would test too well to be accepted,” says Lisa. The result was calamitous. “It was the saddest thing. We will never do that to him again. The poor little thing was no longer able to say as much, and he just didn’t seem to learn. He wasn’t able to ‘parrot’ us like he had when taking the supplements. And for the first time he was frustrated to the point of tears.”

Back on supplementation, Tanner showed steady improvement and broadened his vocabulary. Adds Lisa, “He’s able to say many things now. Just last night he looked at his daddy, and said, ‘Love you.’ What a wonderful moment that was.” Lisa says that the only negative is trying to get Tanner to actually take the supplements because of the fishy taste. She does her best to disguise it by mixing the contents of the capsules with cereal and other foods.

Lisa and Glenn became so interested in helping Tanner and other kids like him that they started a non-profit organization, Children’s Apraxia Network, based at the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, New Jersey. One of the group’s main goals is to raise funds to enable parents of “late-talking children” to have consultations with speech language pathologists when their kids are at an earlier age. Says Lisa, “What parents hear is, ‘Wait until he’s three and then we’ll run some tests.’ That’s too late when a child has a real problem and should be getting treatment earlier.”

From The LCP Solution Book