My adopted son, Darrell, was born a normal, healthy infant but within weeks he suffered two broken arms, broken ribs and a subdural hematoma that left him blind, with seizures, and profoundly retarded.
The courts found Darrell's birth mother guilty of shaking the tiny new-born infant. Was he crying too long or too loud? No one will ever know, nor will we know what potential was shaken from him.
I am writing as a memorial to Darrell who went to be with the Lord on Jan. 29, 2012.
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a silent, hidden form of child abuse that maims and kills. The condition is difficult to diagnose unless the child is admitted to the hospital with multiple symptoms. However, knowledge of The Period of Purple Crying, a new way to understand baby's normal crying, can help prevent shaking.The crying of many newborn babies will
Peak in the first couple of months, then decrease. Crying may happen at
Unexpected times, without apparent cause. Baby will
Resist all efforts to comfort him. He may cry as if in
Pain, but he isn't. Baby cries for
Long periods of time. And seems to cry more in the
Sometimes a parent or caregiver becomes so frustrated or angry because of the excessive crying that they lose control and shake the baby causing brain injury and even death. Often called colic, Purple Crying is a developmental stage, not an illness.
Darrell's life had profound impact on me, a single mom, and the lives of my children. I share his story to inform and educate parents and caregivers on Shaken Baby Syndrome. Using doctor's records and Children Protective Services case records, I wrote Adopting Darrell to encourage parents, teachers, and others who care for special needs children. I use this information as a platform for teaching parenting classes on child abuse prevention.
In Darrell's honor I am offering free copies of Adopting Darrell to anyone who contacts me by email.
The Period of Purple crying is a Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention program of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.