Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Teacher, Author

Little Boy Lost: Helping Solomon

In my post Never Say Never: Lives that Inspire, I talked about Eric Littleton, whose son Solomon developed a devastating neurological disorder at the age of five. Over the course of a few months, his eyes lost their inquisitive spark and he refused to make eye contact. He couldn’t kick a soccer ball, although he had played on a team for a couple of years. He suddenly lost his ability to wrestle with his twin brother,  pick up a crayon or button his shirts. And then, he couldn’t talk and didn’t recognize his parents, brother or sister. Solomon spoke his last words on June 17, 2009.

After many, many tests, it was discovered that Solomon had developed. Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, a neurological disorder that is very rare. The syndrome is estimated to account for less than 1 percent (about 20,000) of the 2 million to 3 million epilepsy cases in the United States. Solomon’s mother, Marci has said, “Our hope is he will talk. Our hope is he will be independent. Our hope is he will be able to hold down a job. Our hope is he will get married and have a life as normal as anyone else.”

Right now those hopes seem very distant. In order to help Solomon try to maintain any functioning at all, he needs therapy that costs $5000 a month. And guess what, the Littleton’s insurance company pays NOTHING toward his treatment. It’s unbelievable that a family who has been paying insurance premiums for over 20 years has been put in this situation. The family has been seeking treatment in Kansas at the only place that they’ve been able to find that provides services for someone like Solomon.

My 8-year-old nephew, Ian Crum, has set up a website dedicated to educating people about Solomon’s syndrome and to raising money to help pay for his treatments. There’s also a fun thing that Ian set up (he is 8-years-old, after all) where kids can build a LEGO spaceship, submit a picture of their creation via email to jewcrum@aol.com, and donate any amount they choose as an “entry gift.” The spaceships will be displayed on the “Lego Creations” page.

I implore you to visit this site and read Solomon’s story. Click the link below to learn more about this situation, and please share this post with others who might be interested in learning about this little boy lost. I don’t use this blog to solicit funds for anything and I won’t do so now. But, I do want to provide my readers with the opportunity to learn more about Solomon and provide help in any way that they see fit, from sending thoughts and prayers his way, to donating toward treatment, to writing legislators about laws that allow insurance companies not to serve children with these devastating disorders. If you are as moved by this story as I am, then I wanted to give you the chance to respond.

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This entry was posted on March 13, 2011 by in Acting.
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