How Non-Toxic Living Supports My Special Needs Daughter

It was a normal pregnancy. The bump pictures, healthy reports from the doctor, normal labor and delivery. But within moments of the doctor placing my daughter on me after she was born, I knew something wasn’t right.

She didn’t root or suck or show any signs of wanting to nurse – you know, the ones the breastfeeding books teach us. The ones we read about and dream about experiencing in those first moments as a new mom.

A few hours later the doctors swept our daughter away because it was clear there was something wrong, but no one knew what. Left with empty arms and an aching heart, that was the moment that changed my story as a mother.

We didn’t follow a typical path from that point on. I grieved the loss of the moments we had dreamt of for 9 months: nursing her, seeing her come to life and engage with us, and later, hearing her say my name or take her first steps.

Our daughter Jaxlee was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. For two young, healthy parents who have no history of special needs in our family, this rocked us. But once we grieved our losses, we turned our pain into action. We researched everything to learn how to best support Jaxlee’s ability to first survive and then to thrive.

It was then that we learned about toxins and the health impact they have on our bodies.

I spent my days caring for Jaxlee and my nights researching holistic doctors and unlearning decades of misinformation of what is considered “healthy”.

My biggest revelation to date was listening to our holistic doctor tell me the #1 way for a woman to rid her body of toxins was to have a baby; a moment I will never forget! Our bodies take in everything around us. What I pass on to my kids isn’t just theoretical.

Once we learned about Jaxlee’s CP, we had very specific goals in how to help equip her with the physical and mental tools to do tasks that kids who develop typically do.

We have taken advantage of some pretty extensive alternative therapies to help her thrive. Aside from daily speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, Jax has done Hippotherapy (horse therapy) every week since age 2. We did years of acupuncture, stem cell therapy, and extensive detox and supplemental protocols. If there was an opportunity for us to help her holistically, we took it.

At age six, Jaxlee is learning how to stand for 1 minute on her own. It’s a huge milestone we’re working on. This skill that my 18-month-old learned how to do at age 1 Jaxlee is learning at age 6.

As I watched her struggle to hit those newborn baby milestones, something clicked. If all of these toxins, sugars, additives, etc. are depleting her strength and ability, then we need to cut them out entirely.

The best pathway for Jaxlee to achieve what we KNOW she can achieve is if we clear the runway.

So for us, that means ditching ALL the toxins. This allows Jax to focus entirely on the day-to-day skills of learning to read and communicate with her “Words” (her AAC device), stand, walk with her walker, and enjoy childhood.

Here are the first five products we ditched:

  • Deodorant
  • Skincare
  • Makeup
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Household Cleaning Supplies

Yes, I know that there are beautiful products that look pretty and promise to make you healthy. But we don’t buy Primally Pure Deodorant or eat organic because it’s trendy. We do this because it allows my daughter to grow. It’s a lifestyle, not a brand preference.

Every mom wants to give their kid the best opportunity to thrive. We want them to learn and grow and yes, that means they will struggle. Our job is not to make sure they avoid pain – our job is to help give them the tools to weather the challenges life will bring.

My daughter Jaxlee will struggle for the rest of her life. She will always have to work harder than everyone else in the room, and while there are moments when I could wish it all away, I look at her with pride as I see her hitting every goal we set. That girl can do anything – and she knows it.

Whether your child has special needs or not, cutting out toxins and living a clean lifestyle sets them up to be able to focus on being a kid.

It sets them up to learn with clarity in school, to ask questions, and push themselves up that last rung of the ladder even if it takes every muscle in their body to do so.

This is why I’m so grateful to partner with companies like Primally Pure. They take the guesswork out of ingredients and safety standards for me. And for a busy mom, I DON’T have time for guesswork!

When I think back to that moment when Jaxlee was born, the moment filled with fear and worry and sadness, I know I’m a different person now. What I put on their plates and where I shop and how we talk about health is drastically different – and for the better.

To follow Emily’s family’s clean living journey, check out her Instagram and website! XO

This mama shares her inspiring journey of how leading a non-toxic lifestyle helps her special needs daughter not just survive, but thrive. | Primally Pure Skincare

Leave a Comment

Emily Renee Barton

Emily Renee Barton is a hair + makeup artist turned clean living business owner. When her daughter Jaxlee was born with Cerebral Palsy, everything changed -- for the better. Emily and her husband, Jonny, were the picture of health when they had their first daughter. She struggles in ways they had never experienced, but she is a warrior. In those early newborn days where Emily left her in the NICU instead of snuggling with her at home, something inside of her changed for good. She started looking at everything her family consumed, purchased, or lived in with a critical mama bear eye. If Jaxlee was going to struggle to do basic things like walk, then Emily was going to do everything in her power to make that process easier. 6 years and 2 more babies later, they are a healthy, clean living family and Emily shares their story and message to help others do the same.