Clinical Cases

Autism in a Boy of Nine

Homeopathy student Alia Donato shares a case of autism in a boy of nine. A vaccination for H1N1 preceded his health issues.

Initial appointment- January 15, 2019

Danny is a nine-year-old boy who has a diagnosis of Autism- a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication and by restricted and repetitive behaviour.

Danny’s mother said that as an infant Danny was achieving all his requirement milestones, until his parents decided it would be ideal for him to get vaccinated with the H1N1 vaccine, that was used for the pandemic swine flu in 2009. After  the vaccine, Danny’s mother noticed a delay in Danny’s eye movements and silence in his speech.

Family History-Intake

Paternal grandmother: chronic respiratory cough.  Parental grandfather:  sleep apnea.  Maternal grandmother: multiple myeloma cancer, Maternal grandfather: type two diabetes mellitus.

Clinical observations

There are a couple of reasons why Danny’s mother is seeking homeopathic treatment for him. In the past, homeopathy has helped to improve Danny’s speech making it clearer.

Currently, his mother is concerned that Danny is displaying frequent tantrums and has no interest in his academic studies.  I visited the patient at his home. He lives with his mom, dad and older sister.

Danny is a tad overweight, has black hair and wears glasses. During the assessment, he was occupied playing on his tablet and would disturb his mother occasionally when needing attention.

Etiology-

Mother:

“Throughout pregnancy, I was fortunate enough to have only battled with one month of nausea and no vomiting during my first trimester. I craved fresh fruits and ate well, occasionally indulging in ice cream and junk food. I gained about 25 lbs. Emotionally I was stressed and fought often with my husband”.

“During delivery, as usual, it was difficult. I was in labour for eight hours and took the epidural to help get rid of my pain. When we took Danny home, I suffered from postpartum depression for seven months.  The times he was up at night, I felt the loneliest”.

“Before Danny was 12 months old, I put him and his sister in pre-school daycare for four years. Danny dreaded going and every day was difficult, as he would cry, hit and throw fits and at times I would have to send him to daycare in his pajamas because he would refuse to get dressed.

At daycare, he displayed a lack of socializing with his peers, and focused mainly on arts and building with LEGO.  “He also attended Erin oaks part-time where he was assisted with rehabilitation treatment”.

“Danny since the age of four to the age of seven had difficulty expressing his emotions and would often scream and cry when requesting or wanting something”.

“In terms of Danny’s diet, Danny had a poor appetite, he would only eat noodle soup refusing any type of vegetables, fruits and meat. Now at the age of nine years old his diet has slightly improved he is eating more of a variety of foods like more meat and fruit, though he has an aversion to milk and is slightly picky when it comes to vegetables.”

“In an autism school Danny was the smartest child in class and was exempt from the program to attend regular school.”

Presently, he is in the fourth-grade attending public school, and with his syndrome he is able to read short words and do simple academic tasks.  Danny’s personality, he is very fixated in what he wants. He likes to be alone and not interrupted; he easily gets upset and is always cranky in the morning. On his good days, he is sweet and kind.”

I asked Danny why he was often cranky in the morning.

“I don’t like having to go to school, it is boring”.

I also asked the patient’s sister,” how was Danny in school and during recess?”. She replied  that “he is often alone during recess and would stand or just wander off alone”.

Clinical assessment:

I was asked by Danny’s mother to visit their home for Danny’s assessment. Danny’s mother’s concern was his tantrums, anger and impatience.  Danny’s physical thermal is warm and prefers cold showers and he doesn’t like to wear his jacket in the cold. He also has a peculiar symptom of perspiration on his head.

Miasmatically, I would classify this case as a tubercular miasm (head sweats, milk intolerance)- psora due to his family history of disease ( cancer and diabetes)

Repertorization:

(using Mac Repertory software)

  • Mind: disturbed, averse to being
  • Mind: anger, general; temper, tantrums
  • Mind; dullness, mental
  • Head; perspiration, scalp
  • Stomach; aversion to; milk

The Mind; Dullness feeling” rubric was selected because Danny displayed a lack of interest and had tantrums in his daily endeavours, like having to go to school and social distancing during recess.

The” Stomach: aversion to milk” rubric was selected due to the mental fatigue it would bring on after consumption.

Analysis:

Belladonna, Nux-vomica and Gelesium came up strong in my reprioritization. But according to the materia medica, Nux-vomica is highly involved in his mental affairs and belladonna is vital, robust and mentally quite balanced. I felt the patient did not display Nux-vomica or Belladonnas mental symptoms, but rather Gelsemium.

I considered Gelsemium due to its mental characteristics of weakness on all levels of mental, emotional and physical – a remedy that is thought of when there are neurological disorders. On an emotional level, this weakness is expressed as shyness or inability to face any challenge.

These characteristics were valid enough to cover Danny’s present and past symptoms like his lack of focus and not wanting to attend school an issue and his weak constitution, irritability and wanting to be alone, all covered by Gelsemium.

Three confirmatory mental symptoms for Gelsemium:

  • The mind: desires to be quiet • Patient desires to be left alone
  • Irritable and sensitive.

Based on my observations Gelsemium 6ch was given once every other day for four weeks.

First, follow up (1 month later):

Danny is doing well and his comprehension has increased.  I paused the remedy and told the mother to follow up in a month or two.

Second, follow up ( 1 week later)

Danny’s mother was concerned that Danny has been repetitively laughing and repeating words, a peculiar act since Danny has never acted this way. I did not prescribe a homeopathic remedy but recommended probiotics and omega oils to be consumed daily and to reduce refined carbohydrates and trans fat consumption .

Third, follow up ( 1 month later)

His mood has improved and he’s doing better in school but still is displaying a lot of laughing and repeating of words.  At this point, I increased the homeopathic remedy to 30ch, once a day for three days. Follow up in one week.

Fourth, follow up ( 1 week later)

He used to dread going to school now he looks forward to going. Danny has become more sociable in school and he is now friendly and aware of all the children’s names in his class. ‘He used to dread going to school now he looks forward to going’.

He is starting to show affection by hugging his classmates and applying care in his school work. He is now liked in school and has made friends which he plays with during recess. His head sweats have disappeared. He seems more optimistic and cheerful and expressive. He has less irritability, wanting and desire to left alone and daily tantrums have all disappeared.

I discontinued the use of Gelsemium after all the symptoms improved. I did mention that as Danny develops and goes through the transition of physical development that he may need to take another homeopathic remedy to help assist him.

About the author

Alia Donato

Alia Donato

Alia Donato is a student in her last year of BSc (Honours) homeopathy from Middlesex University in London. She completed a 4 year Post Graduate Program in classical homeopathy and is a graduate of the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine in Toronto, Canada which is accredited for homeopathic education in North America (ACHENA). There she developed a strong understanding of health sciences (anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, physical examination and nutrition), clinical proficiency, and the study of pure Hahnemannian Homeopathy. Alia’s practice is focused on identifying and addressing the root cause of ailments while meeting the patient’s unique needs by providing individualized care for a host of chronic and acute infirmities, particularly pre/post pregnancy, paediatric health, women’s health and autoimmune conditions.

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