Analysis and Prescription: Repertorisation of Connor’s symptoms suggested that any one of seven remedies might have suited him. As always, reference to the material medica guided the final prescription. While many symptoms were common to all seven remedies, significant and individualising symptoms such as pebble-like stools, love of animals, and desire for apples predominated in Sulphur. Its prescription was further supported by Connor’s appearance (tall with red hair and freckles) and his history of previous health complaints suppressed by antibiotics and cortisone. His interesting symptom of intermittent, fluorescent-green nasal discharge was not represented in any of the remedies and so was put to one side, waiting to see what impact a Sulphur prescription would have.
I prescribed Connor a single test dose of Sulphur 6C in liquid form. Three days later, his mother phoned to say he was talking more and had been interacting with others. Based on this report, Connor was commenced on a dose 3 times a week. At his first follow-up appointment, one month later, Connor’s mother recounted the following improvements:
- · Much more talkative;
- · Nose no longer discharging (in spite of its not being a Sulphur symptom);
- · No snoring;
- · No burping;
- · Only occasional episodes of constipation;
- · Improved appetite and increased interest in a greater range of food;
- · Able to count to 5;
- · Less restless: no longer jumping, spinning, or running in circles;
- · Less day-dreaming;
- · Improved sleep – was sometimes spending the whole night in his own bed.
Connor’s prescription was changed to Sulphur 12C to ensure he still had a therapeutically active potency by the time of his next consultation. Whilst Sulphur 6C might have been adequate I did not want to run the risk of it failing to go the distance. His mother was instructed to give this potency 3 times a week until I next saw Connor and to phone me if she had any concerns.
At the next follow-up appointment, eight weeks after the commencement of treatment, Connor’s mother described his improvements as “awesome” and said he was “a new child”. Connor was now talking to strangers as well as family members. He would look people in the eye and complain to his mother if they did not return his look. His sleep was generally sound, and only occasionally would he go to his parents’ bed. He no longer suffered from constipation, chewed his fingernails, burped excessively, or scratched his anus. Now, if upset, he would tell his parents why rather than becoming withdrawn and “glassy-eyed”. He was also interested in learning and could count to 10. His mother was no longer anxious about sending him to pre-school, as he coped well. (In the past, when he had become overwhelmed by all the activities and interaction his behaviour had deteriorated. Previous improvements had been maintained.)
Because little was left to be treated in Connor, his mother was advised to give future doses only as needed rather than on a regular basis. I was concerned that a similar, or homeopathic, aggravation would be produced if treatment continued at the same intensity when there had been such strong improvement (see aphorism 157). Connor’s mother, living some distance away, was also supplied with Sulphur 30C and instructions to use this potency before the next consultation if the 12C was no longer effective.
At Connor’s next and most recent appointment, 17 weeks after commencing treatment, his mother told me he was not doing as well. Upon receiving the Sulphur 30C she had given him a dose immediately on no particular indication. Over the next three days, he was irritable, whining, and badly behaved. He gradually improved during the following week. His mother had been alarmed by this experience and, without contacting me, had decided not to give another dose even though improvement was stalling with time. Now, 8 weeks later, some of his old symptoms were returning. I explained that Connor’s reaction to the remedy indicated that it had been given when not needed, and that as symptoms were now returning, it should be repeated at this time. Three days later I received a phone call to say that Connor was once again improving. Treatment continues.
Parent Report: Connor
Thank you for giving me my son back. I don’t know how to thank you enough. It has been sad watching my beautiful boy, from being perfectly normal and chatty, turn into a child with speech and behaviour problems, a “child with autism”. Now after only a few months with homeopathy, he is just a normal five-year-old who doesn’t walk in circles any more, does make perfect eye contact, even corrects me when I’m too busy to stop and look into his eyes.
From a child who was just sitting in a corner, now he has friends who don’t want to leave him alone, and he is quite a popular child in kinder. From a child who wouldn’t even look at me or his sister or dad, now he is saying “Mum I love you” and to his sister “You are amazing” and for Dad now he is looking forward to him coming home after work. His speech is still not 100%, we have a problem with just a few sounds like “f” and “r”, which is quite common. Well, I can go on and on with what he can do now!
THANK YOU, for everything. We will definitely keep up the homeopathy.
Ben (male)– 4 years 3 months of age at the time of his first consultation
I have been treating Ben, a young boy with autism, for approximately 1½ years. I first saw him when he was medicated with Risperidone, an anti-psychotic prescribed for behavioural problems such as aggression, sudden mood changes and tantrums. Without his medication, Ben could fly into rages, bite, strike, and become completely unthinking. His mother, concerned about the side effects of the medication, had already tried to take him off it once without success. On hearing about homeopathy, she had made an appointment to see if it could help.
Ben’s symptoms, common to many sufferers of autism, consisted of anxiety, distress with change, avoidance of social interaction, and stims: he would repeatedly rock to and fro, place objects in lines, hit his head against a soft lounge, and track objects held in his hands as he moved them past his eyes. Ben was also non-verbal.
Ben’s individualising symptoms were:
1. Cold hands and feet; 2. Perspiration on head during sleep; 3. Confused and in a daze for most of the day – especially up to 10am; 4. Gentle, frequent weeping – “as if someone had broken his heart”; 5. Flatulence +++; 6. Straining with soft bowel motions; 7. Very thirsty: frequent drinking of water; 8. Food desires: biscuits, chocolate, and spagetti (pasta) with sauces; 9. Slow recovery from frequent respiratory-tract infections; 10. Frequent middle-ear infections; 11. Large head for body size; 12. Slightly delayed milestones for teething and walking.
His mother had made some early attempts at dietary changes, but Ben was so resistant they had to be suspended for fear he would starve. There had been no biomedical intervention.
Initial Case Analysis and Treatment
Ben’s symptoms at the time of consultation were incomplete, as the Risperidone had suppressed several of them. The Risperidone may also have distorted some of the remaining symptoms. It is possible that his dazed behaviour and confusion were nothing more than side effects of the medication, [viii] though these two symptoms continued to appear intermittently throughout later treatment. In spite of these difficulties, enough individualising symptoms remained to make a good prescription possible.
Calcarea carbonica was prescribed at this first consultation because:
1. Ben displayed classic Calcarea carb. Symptoms: a large head that sweated during sleep, sluggishness of the bowels, repeated colds and ear infections, and delayed milestones. His other less classic symptoms were also well-represented within Calcarea carb. pathogenesis.
2. The symptoms of rage, biting, and aggression, suppressed by the Risperidone, sounded similar to those of a Belladonna state. Belladonna is a known complement of Calcarea carb., which further supported a Calcarea carb. prescription.
A liquid test dose of Calcarea carb. 30C was prescribed. His mother phoned 3 days later to report he had been more affectionate in the days following the dose. On the strength of this response, Ben was commenced on a twice weekly dose. I anticipated a future prescription of Belladonna might be needed as a complementary to the Calcarea carb. if his aggression returned as the Risperidone was reduced.
Two weeks later, at Ben’s first follow-up appointment, his mother reported that he was:
- · Less confused and more alert in the mornings;
- · More affectionate and cuddly;
- · Able to listen and follow instructions (his ability to do this would improve after each dose but deteriorate before the next dose);
- · Joining in some family activities and was interacting more;
- · No longer tracking objects in his hands, though other stims had continued;
- · Not as cold in his hands and feet;
- · Less flatulent;
- · Not as thirsty;
- · Still sweating on his head at night;
- · Starting to strike his mother and sister.
These were significant changes in only 2 weeks. Because Ben’s ability to listen to instructions had deteriorated between doses of the remedy, I increased his Calcarea carb. potency to 200C. (Another option would have been to just give more frequent doses of the 30C). I advised his mother to use his flagging ability to listen as a “trigger” symptom for when to repeat the remedy. This is something I generally do as standard practice once the parent has grasped the principles involved, so that the risk of aggravations from routine dosing can be avoided. I also provided Belladonna 30C to be used during episodes of violence or aggression. (Others might have preferred a higher potency, but as I was dealing with a child who could not communicate what was happening, I decided to reserve the higher potencies for if and when they were needed. As it was, the 30C managed his aggression well.)