Jack* was almost two years old when his parents sought homeopathic medicine for his frequent croup, colds and coughs which had begun deteriorating into pneumonia, resulting in three courses of antibiotics and two stays in hospital. Jack, the only child of highly educated parents, has renal dysplasia and is under the care of a paediatrician and nephrologist.
Jack’s paediatrician had concerns of autism as Jack would cover his ears and hide when excited. He wasn’t engaging with people – preferring to watch instead. He didn’t speak, was always running around, never walking and could not be touched, approached or consoled when upset. Jack loved being outside, reading books and watching T.V.
Jack’s presenting respiratory symptoms in September 2016 were a dry cough at night which improved after drinking and a hoarse, cracked voice when vocalizing.
(Rubrics and Repertorisation September 2016)
SPONGIA – A well known homeopathic medicine for respiratory complaints, particularly dry coughs with a cracked voice that improves after drinking and, aggravation from excitement (covers his ears and hides) – was given to Jack in a 30c potency once a day for four days in September 2016.
November 2016 – Jack develops a dry cough which quickly improves after a dose of Spongia 30c.
February 2017 – Jack develops a persistent dry, night-time cough and Spongia 30c is repeated. Jack’s parents happily report he has been unusually well with no croup or colds. The September and November coughs did not deteriorate into pneumonia or require antibiotics.
June 2017 – Jack has a persistent, dry cough for two weeks, his parents try Spongia 30c which hasn’t helped. Jack’s cough is worse when he lays down to sleep at night. From 5am it wakes him in the night and makes him cry. Jack has become very emotional often crying for no obvious reason.
Cuddles, affection and holding on to Mum very tightly help soothe him. Jack is now very affectionate with visitors, holding their hands and hugging all the girls. I observe Jack making good eye contact.
Jack’s appetite is stable but he always needs prompting to drink. He is sleeping without any blankets at all – if tucked in during the night he wakes immediately to uncover.
(Rubrics and Repertorisation June 2017)
PULSATILLA – A well known homeopathic medicine for coughing which starts or gets worse when lying down to sleep at night, again in the morning, and tends to disturb sleep during the night.
There may be a dislike of being covered up – with a preference to sleep without covers and very little thirst in general. Pulsatilla is for a very tearful child, who weeps without cause and has a strong emotional bond with his mother, loving to be in her arms. These are affectionate children who thrive on contact, cuddles and caresses. Pulsatilla 1m was given to Jack once a day for two days in June 2017.
September 2017 – Jack has had no croup, colds, pneumonia or antibiotics since September 2016. Jack has become irritable, sleeping poorly with frequent sobbing throughout the night.
Jack sleeps with his parents but gets more upset when they try to touch, comfort or soothe him, he can be calmed with music. Jack is showing a constant dislike for the boys at daycare, only wanting to be with girls.
His receptive language has been evaluated as good. He says ‘I don’t want to’ in context and has begun learning sign language with a speech therapist. Jack’s thirst is ‘huge’ – he is drinking a lot of water.
(Rubrics and Repertorisation September 2017)
NATRIUM MURIATICUM – A well known homeopathic medicine for sadness, irritability and discontentment. Children become greatly annoyed when touched or bothered, cuddles and sweet gentle words only make things worse and they avoid people who try to comfort, pamper and make a fuss over them.
Many fears and anxieties surface during sleep leading to sleeplessness and there is often an insatiable thirst for large quantities of water. Natrium muriaticum 1m was given to Jack once a day for two days in September 2017.
November 2017 – Jack is now three years’ old and presents with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease with itching eruptions on the soles of his feet, hands and cheeks. Jack has also been very tired, struggling to get up and crying in the mornings.
Jack wants to listen to gospel music all the time, has been less engaged wanting to do his own thing, making minimal eye contact even with Mum and, putting everything he can into his mouth. Jack’s Dad has been giving him small amounts of camel milk lately which have really helped to firm up his stools.
(Rubrics and Repertorisation November 2017)
Natrium muriaticum 1m was repeated and Jack was also given an additional intercurrent homeopathic medicine in a 1m potency once daily for three days.
December 2017 – Jack developed a runny nose, chesty cough and high temperature – Spongia was given by his parents immediately but without benefit – this is the first time Jack has had a cold since September 2016. Natrium muriaticum 200c was given to Jack once daily for three days.
March 2018 – Jack, now three and a half years old, has been assessed and placed on the autism spectrum. His nephrologist has evaluated him as stable. Jack’s parents had given a dose of his intercurrent homeopathic medicine in January which proved helpful for difficulty in getting to sleep.
Jack is going to daycare part time, seeming happier and much more relaxed there than last year. He is reserved, sensitive and emotional – preferring his own company, bursts into tears at the slightest upset, is tired, rarely noisy or active, plays quietly and, puts everything he can into his mouth. Jack starts on a daily dose of Natrium muriaticum 200c for 10 days.
June 2018 – Jack has been speaking simple sentences, counting and recognising numbers since May and understands books when he’s read to. Jack is rocking, sometimes violently and aggressively, in bed in the evenings, and in the mornings after a restless sleep, a self-regulatory behaviour. Jack watches other kids from a distance – loving to do the same activity once they’ve finished.
Gospel music is still Jack’s favourite and is used now as a reward. Jack had been happy until the night of his beloved grandfather’s funeral when he began crying at night again and covering his ears when Mum and Dad converse, even quietly, at night.
Jack loves to eat fatty meat especially salmon skin; his appetite is good – he is putting on weight and is having camels milk every day. When a new food is introduced, he always has terrible, smelly, lose stools and has been becoming constipated occasionally. Natrium muriaticum 1m is given daily for seven days followed by the intercurrent homeopathic medicine.
02 July 2018 – Jack is speaking more, reading and understanding new books, and has started spelling. His parents are amazed, ‘he has changed’ according to his mother, he now does ‘different things’ such as typing out words and numbers, changing fonts, page colours and borders on his computer.
Jack has started coughing during the night and wants to drink a lot of cold water – not having had a preference before – and he is really gulping down cold milk too. Jack continues to rock to sleep which now obviously always involves genital stimulation and sometimes becomes so violent it results in skin abrasion.
(Rubrics and Repertorisation July 2018)
PHOSPHOROUS – A well known homeopathic medicine for children who have a tendency to respiratory complaints, a big love of drinking cold drinks – especially milk and, an early and violent disposition to masturbate. Jack was given Phosphorous 1m daily for two days.
20 July 2018 – Jack now types sentences on his computer, sleeps better, has a slight cough in the mornings only, has begun toilet training, and has become very keen on meeting other people, approaching and hugging strangers when playing at the park.
October 2018 – Jack turns four and has had no croup, just the one cold, a few coughs which no longer deteriorate into pneumonia and no antibiotics in over two years. His nephrologist has assessed him as progressing well. Jack is talking, spelling, singing and counting – showing a real love of and ability for numbers.
Mum had a night out recently and ever since then Jack has been waking at 3am very upset, crying and looking for Mum and Dad. A family holiday resulted in almost total constipation and, every time a new food is introduced Jack suffers constipation and behavioural changes becoming more emotional, inconsolable and crying a lot.
Jack is eating well, loving to have a lot of fat meat and is biting his nails – often having his whole fist in his mouth – which have not needed cutting for months.
(Rubrics and Repertorisation October 2018)
Jack was given Natrium muriaticum 1m daily for four days.
November 2018 – Jack has had a persistent cough for two weeks and sits up often in the night but no longer crying out or upset. Jack is speaking full sentences in context such as ‘Mum it’s my turn now’ and is singing a lot.
Jack has to rock to get to sleep, often for an hour which is too much for his parents to watch, when waking in the morning, and now quite violently during the night. Jack is fast, rushing around doing things very quickly, he has had no further constipation, is doing very well with his physiotherapist, toilet training and bites his fingernails a lot less.
(Rubrics and Repertorisation November 2018)
Jack was given Phosphorous 1m once daily for four days.
December 2018 – Jack rocks intensely on going to sleep and when waking up in the mornings but during the night rocking has stopped. Jack is often energetic at 3pm and when extremely so is given a dose of Phosphorous 1m which calms him.
Here Jack is given one dose of Phosphorous 1m every other day for 10 days, after which he developed a cold (both parents were down with flu) that didn’t progress into a cough or pneumonia and Jack was not given any homeopathic medicine or antibiotics.
February 2019 – Jack starts at pre-primary school. He interacts with other kids in his class whom he is well ahead of in reading and writing. A recent comprehension test shows Jack is an especially advanced reader. Jack bites his nails on the way to school very excited to get into class, high fiving the other kids and cuddling his teachers; he is very affectionate.
Jack follows his teachers’ instructions and speaks well and in context such as ‘my shirt is wet’ and ‘I’m going on an adventure’. Jack is fighting sleep, becoming over stimulated by his bed time routine – sometimes his parents have to drive him in the car to get him to fall sleep.
During sleep he sits up often, moves around constantly and begins rocking at 2am often through to 6am. Jack eats very well having lots of fatty meats and milk, he now eats butter (from the wrapper if he can get to it) and eggs – Mum can see Jack is much more alert after eating eggs. Jack often fights going to the toilet and when he does his stools are quite hard.
One dose of Phosphorous 1m was given to Jack who really jumped around and rocked for ten minutes after this dose. Jack then slept right through the night, was a lot calmer in the morning brushing his teeth without struggle and having a softer, easier stool. When Jack got to school he directed all the kids to sit down on the mat which they did.
March 2019 – Jack sleeps well for at least 6 hours during the night, waking very thirsty at 3am and rocking in the mornings when he wakes up. He is getting tired very easily and, at the end of his three school days last week was really crying and upset and didn’t want to go home.
Jack has started eating fresh fruit after dinner and has a hard stool every two days. Here Jack is given Phosphorous 1m once a week with instructions to give Rescue Remedy as required for emotional upset.
Rescue Remedy can be used to help us through stressful situations helping us to relax, focus and be calm.
April 2019 – Jack is going to the park every afternoon where he is introducing himself to strangers, really looking for friends and seeking friendships outside of his friends at school. He wants to talk to all the kids playing at the park!
His last two weekly doses of Phosphorous 1m have been missed and he is rocking so violently it results in a skin abrasion which Jack says is ‘sore’ and he is constipated, passing hard stools and having accidents at the park and sometimes on the floor at home. Phosphorous 1m is given once daily for two days with instructions to resume giving the weekly dose.
July 2019 – Jack is speaking complex sentences in context, such as ‘Mum don’t worry we’ll fix it tomorrow’ and now puts himself to sleep in his own room. Mum sleeps there too as he cries out for her in the night.
Jack has a new teacher’s aide this term and his parents are amazed at how well he has adjusted. Four weeks ago, after two days of no stool Jack’s physiotherapist wanted him on a daily dose of ‘osmalax’.
His parents were not keen so Mum gave Jack an extra dose of Phosphorous 1m and he passed a softer stool easily within ten minutes and is now back to a daily stool. There has been a change in Jack’s stool for the past two weeks.
After he passes a decent stool it is followed by an accident later which is very runny and is happening mostly at school. On school days Jack is often so excited in the mornings he cannot calm down or relax enough to sit on the toilet to pass a stool.
Here Jack is given one dose of Phosphorous 200c with instructions for Rescue Remedy to be given first thing in the morning on school days and as needed to help relax Jack.
Mum tells me during this appointment that shortly after Jack was born a nurse showed him off through the wards. She had never done this before but did so because Jack was so peaceful and beautiful and calm. Jack’s health really got worse at twelve months old and at eighteen months of age Jack had a convulsion shortly before the first bout of pneumonia.
August 2019 – Jack has not had croup, pneumonia or antibiotics since September 2016. Jack is sleeping at least nine hours at night and now rocks only when going to sleep. He is toileting well. Mum says Rescue Remedy is helping Jack a lot and gives it first thing on school mornings.
There has been no constipation or accidents at school. Jack knows all of the answers in class and his enthusiasm, interest and engagement so impressed a visiting speaker he was the only kid in his whole school to be given a special memento by him.
Jack is always seeking social interactions and importantly, has begun identifying with special needs children in his school, caring and looking out for them to make sure they are ok. Recently one of the boys was crying and upset and Jack was there full of concern hugging and comforting him!
Jack has reached, met and surpassed all of his school learning goals. His occupational therapist has identified fine and gross motor skills as improving and his speech therapist reports Jack is doing exceptionally well. Jack’s paediatrician gives a downgraded diagnosis of mild autism.
PHOSPHOROUS is an important paediatric homeopathic medicine known for its great openness of personality and ease of communication. These are sociable and enthusiastic children who become quickly fearful and distraught. Typically of slender build, there are often problems with the lungs.
Phosphorous babies are lively, smiling, attractive and quite communicative. They may suffer from kidney problems from a young age, ear nose and throat problems and continual coughs.
Phosphorous children have a great feel for communication, liking to form ties with lots of friends, neighbours and family, and have a great sense of brotherhood. These are curious children who are easily agitated and can be very fearful.
Phosphorous often presents two faces – on one hand opposing any communication, going in to retreat and isolating himself. On the other hand, he could be immersed in society, needing to establish new contacts and many friendships in order to fit in.
Parents say their Phosphorous child is active, creative and loves to be cuddled and caressed. With all of their bubbly energy Phosphorous types can become easily exhausted. They are thirsty and drink a lot especially cold milk. They love to eat fish, seafood and meat, and often have lung or kidney problems.
(The above outline is taken from the book Homeo-Kids, Sixty portraits of homeopathic remedies for children from birth to twelve years by French paediatrician Patricia Le Roux.)
Information on the homeopathic medicines Spongia, Pulsatilla, Natrium muriaticum and Phosphorous are sourced from Homeo-Kids, Sixty portraits of homeopathic remedies for children from birth to twelve years by paediatrician Patricia Le Roux, and Clinical observations of children’s remedies by Farok Master M.D, Ph.D.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing developmental condition in the western world. In 2015, there were 164,000 Australians with autism, a 42.1% increase from the 115,400 with the condition in 2012. (Australian Bureau of Statistics). More information on Autism in Australia can be found here:
There is a growing evidence base for homeopathic medicine in ASD and ADHD –
Effectiveness of homoeopathic therapeutics in the management of childhood autism disorder. The study has demonstrated usefulness of homoeopathic treatment in management of neuropsychological dysfunction in childhood autism disorder, which is reflected in significant reduction of hyperactivity, behavioural dysfunction, sensory impairment as well as communication difficulty. This was demonstrated well in psychosocial adaptation of autistic children.
An Open-Label Pilot Study of Homeopathic Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Youth Sixty-three percent of participants in this study reported a statistically significant improvement in their ADHD symptoms. Homeopathic treatment was an effective adjunctive treatment for 8 of the 15 participants who were taking stimulant medication at baseline with 2 participants reporting a decrease in prescription medication use.
Autism research finds new conclusions about homeopathy. Several carefully written reports of case studies have highlighted the use of homeopathy in research in autism spectrum disorders. The homeopathic case taking covers all aspects of the child’s physical, emotional and intellectual dimensions.
A comparative consecutive case series of 20 children with a diagnosis of ADHD receiving homeopathic treatment, compared with 10 children receiving usual care. The researchers noted that there were broad symptom improvements in the patients with a concomitant diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Studies like this one could provide impetus for more rigorous research on homeopathy and autism in the future.
Homoeopathic Approach for the Management of Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Four Years of Experience of Controlled Clinical Study. Results of study showed that homeopathic medicines bring significant improvement in individual autistic symptoms which has been confirmed by periodic Psychological evaluations. Study suggests that autistic symptoms can be very well controlled and managed by homoeopathic therapeutic Regimen.
*Jack’s parents have given their full consent to the publication of their son’s story. Jack is not his real name.