In 2008 I clearly remember listening to Ann Callaghan talking on the subject of Ind. essences for children on the autistic spectrum in a West London Homeopaths CPD. It was at this event that I came to realise that these are the children I want to help and support, this is where I want to see my practice grow and develop one day.
Children of today are our future for tomorrow. They need love, support, boundaries, the comfort and reassurance that they are safe in order to grow and flourish. As a mother of two, my daughters have taught me so much. Dealing with their health concerns has allowed me to grow and challenge the beliefs around what some may call good parenting. Resonating with their way of thinking, feeling and growing and giving them unconditional love, support and time is what they asked for. There’s something special about children on the spectrum however, as Ann so clearly pointed out that day. I remember her saying that, ‘these children are different, they are born to be different and to teach us how to live in a different world in a different way.’
This is a case where I have combined, various tools to give Tim the support I felt he needed along his healing journey through CEASE, Inspiring Homeopathy, Natropathy, Narayani, constitutional remedies, Ind. Essences and nutritional supplements.
Tim, age 5yrs, walked in with his parents, sat down and immediately, without acknowledging his surroundings, started playing on his iPad. He made no eye to eye contact with me and was totally absorbed in his own world. What struck me most about this child was his fair complexion, beautiful thick hair and his healthy robust appearance. One of the things I clearly remember his mum saying was, ‘I just want Tim to be able to speak and carry out basic daily tasks. I know with my other two that they will one day leave home and live their lives, but with Tim I know I will have to look after him for as long as I live.’
I saw Tim in March 2012. He was a middle child of three and had been diagnosed with Autism 2-3 years prior. His mum reported that her pregnancy was normal, no medication taken during pregnancy, delivery was good, no intervention and no gas or oxygen given during labour. Tim was a very calm baby, much calmer than the first child. He was solely breast fed for the first 7-8 months and was given fresh milk from 8 months onwards. He didn’t have any medication from the GP during the first year, just the routine immunisations. He attended a regular state school but benefitted from dedicated 1:1 support. Hearing was fine and so was his vision.
He wore nappies to school during the day and also during the night. He would communicate through pictures. He could say a few words like , ‘please’ ‘thank you’, ‘stop’, ‘go’, ‘no’, ‘don’t’. He knows the sound of the entire alphabet but can’t say it by himself. He knows his numbers up to 10 and was very good at working out puzzles. Tim is not fussy with food, loves apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, cookies and crisps. He eats whatever the family eats and eats with the family at meal times. He eats with a spoon as he cannot use both hands simultaneously.
Tim wakes up in the middle of the night, talking, laughing without any reason. He used to wake up between 1-2 am, which then changed to 3 am and now he could get up at any time. Before he would get his toys out but now he has stopped doing that and simply lies in bed in the dark and makes sounds, then goes back to sleep. Even as a baby he laughed at odd times during the day. He would look at the walls and start laughing, as if someone was tickling him or sometimes he would cry.
When he was 1 ½ years old his parents wondered why he wasn’t talking and why he remained happy to stay by himself or simply sit in front of the television. He wasn’t aware of his name at this age and therefore wouldn’t respond if anyone called him. He didn’t like loud sounds, his right ear was particularly sensitive. He didn’t like it when the right side of his head was shampooed.
Tim didn’t like when his routine was changed in any way. He would become scared when someone changed their behaviour near him, for example if his brothers ran towards him whilst he was watching television. It seemed as though he felt that the children were going to hit him. This implied that perhaps he felt fearful and unsafe. Tim would chew his nails, bite his toys and break a lot of toys with his teeth.
In terms of toileting he had little control and 20 minutes was his maximum length of time for keeping dry. ‘The sensation of wearing a wet nappy is not there, he has no awareness’ Mum reported.
Tim had been seeing another Homeopath prior to visiting me, and so had taken a lot of the indicated remedies such as DTP in varying potencies, MMR, Tuberculinum, Carcinosin, Calc Carb, Stramonium, Belladonna and Aconite. The most recent remedy that Tim was given was a poly antibiotic in four potencies from 30c – 10M
Tim’s health and condition had improved considerably with the above remedies, but he still had to become more independent, increase his awareness of self and surroundings and improve communication and social skills and understanding.
In 2010 Tim was seen by the consultant paediatrician and the team at the local Child Development Centre. Various tests had taken place. His fine motor skills were developing but showed a delay. His problem solving skills were delayed. He was referred for assessment on his chromosomes and Fragile X as well as other biochemical tests. At the time his behaviour was a concern, lack of eye to eye contact was reported, and it was difficult to examine his ears or do a tympanometry due to his over-active state. He was recommended to have 1:1 support when starting nursery.
Where was I to start? I followed the CEASE protocol I had learnt at Cambridge training in October 2011 and gave Tim a combination remedy to clear any possible side effects of the childhood vaccinations (Poly vaccinations –gradually ascending potencies from 30c to 10M) over a number of weeks. The reason for giving this was that there didn’t seem to be any other obvious medical intervention prior to conception, during pregnancy, labour or during his first year other than the routine vaccinations. I asked the parents to record reactions with each remedy on a daily basis, so that we could review his response to remedies at the second appointment. I also gave the parents a handout on how to manage any responses that Tim displayed, so that they could deal with these more confidently. Additional advice included dietary changes and introducing probiotics, essential fatty acids and Epsom salt baths to support the detoxification process and promote gut healing.
Reactions to the remedies were recorded, which included trying to bite his brothers, stubbornness, good behaviour, diarrhoea and screaming a lot. All this was great for me to hear, lots of elimination taking place, emotionally and physically. His vital force had received a stimulus.
At the second appointment the following month Mum reported that Tim was engaging more, counting clearly 1-10 and more alert. He has started singing with the television programmes, knew much more on the computer and had memorised the alphabet. He calmly gives Mum a hug in the playground at home time, whereas before Mum would have to chase him in order to take him home. He is engaging more with Mum. Mum said that before she felt as if he wasn’t with her, that he was in his own world, but now he has greater awareness. Before he would run away onto the street anywhere any time, but now I he’s getting better and will comfortably hold his hand. When he wakes up at night he is repeating the alphabet, and counting clearly. Counting makes sense and for the first time ever he called his father ‘Dad’ and said ‘goodbye dad’ as he left for work.
His teacher is very happy with him, and has given him an iPad at school. He now wears pants to school, not in nappies anymore during the day although when he comes home he wants to put his nappy on. In PE he dresses himself now, will comfortably sit on the mat and join in at story time and can be trusted with scissors also. At lunchtime he would always be accompanied by a member of staff but now he is allowed to be more independent. He can say the alphabet on his own and links letters to objects from A-Z. He uses a spoon for eating now but still is not using a knife and fork. For chopping his food he doesn’t use a knife, so uses one hand to hold and help him. He is also sleeping for a longer length of time each night.
He still gets tired quickly and wants to be in a pushchair after a while. He doesn’t like it when his routine is changed at the last minute. For example, if you tell him you are going to Tesco’s, he will become very upset if you take him somewhere else instead.
At the second appointment I gave a remedy to clear any possible side effects from the antibiotics taken in the past, (Poly antibiotics, a remedy from 30c ascending to 10m) over a number of weeks. This brought up more responses as he became more vocal, raising his voice, becoming more stubborn, screaming and biting a lot. His energy levels increased considerably, whereas before he would become tired very quickly. There was definite ‘regression’ to be noted after the second appointment. I advised Mum to increase the frequency of Epsom salt baths.
We did a hair mineral analysis and started Tim on some supplements which had stirred up healing further. Due to financial constraints Mum did not pursue this route long enough. I am sure that had they continued this, the healing process would have been quicker.
I have been seeing Tim every 6-8 weeks since April 2012 and have had to take into account many factors and weigh up the best way forward each time. I took into account the school term and the impact that Isotherapy might have on school behaviour and attendance, the family’s financial limitations (purchasing supplements and special foods) and the mum’s time constraints. It had been necessary to comply with all these factors, so that the clearing remedies had to be administered in a timely manner in order to find a balance that sits comfortably with both myself and the family.
Since Tim has been visiting me he has had a range of additional homeopathic remedies, including Calc c., Tarantula, Baryta c., Narayani Calming, Adrenal, Blood Sugar Support, Brain Tissue Salts, Brain Mix and Ind. essences, particularly Chill and Settle. He also received Isotherapy, namely vaccinations, antibiotics and vitamin K vaccination detox.
By July this year Tom’s Mum reported, ‘I can see that his body and mind is working together more. Towards the end of term he was really busy at school. He joined in at the end-of- year school concert and followed all the actions that the other children did. In July this year he also met with the special needs paediatrician for yearly check up, and she was amazed with his development. All the activities she undertook he did well at and now as a result, he has been discharged.’ In clinic that day I clearly remember that when he needed to visit the bathroom he got up from his seat. Mum asked him where he was going and he responded, ‘I’m going to the toilet’. No longer simply repeating words said to him, he is able to now listen, assimilate, and respond verbally in an appropriate manner. Mum went on to say, ‘His facial expressions demonstrate what he is feeling. He will tell you when he is hungry, sad, or thirsty. At school he had moved up from level 3 to level 7 reading. The average for his year group was level 9.’ Over the summer break we cleared any residual effects from the vitamin k vaccination.
At the September appointment Mum reported that Tim has changed schools and settled well in his new school. This indicates that Tim is able to handle transition and change more readily now. Reading has dropped slightly but Mum is not sure if has to do with the change, or another factor. He continues to express how he is feeling with clarity and precision, for example, if he is hot or cold he will say that with confidence. There are still concerns around his safety, such as when crossing the road. His sense of awareness and surroundings still need addressing. There were still residual effects of the clearing undertaken over the summer break, namely that Tim would go through spells of getting very angry and would scream a lot, mainly at home with his siblings. This would happen on average, everyday. I decided to repeat the vitamin k vaccination clearing one more time and gave this with Rhus tox.
Having recently seen Tim again in December, it seems he is moving into a new phase in his development. The anger layer has now disappeared completely and he continues to develop his communication and social skills. Mum reported : ‘We had mini breaks in two countries abroad during the half term holiday, and Tim enjoyed both plane journeys thoroughly, no complaints or fuss whatsoever, he adjusted to his new surroundings staying with different families, sleeping in different beds and homes without any trouble at all. In fact, he was easier to deal with than my other two!’
This time Mum reported that Tim has to be the best and first at doing everything, first in the queue, first out of the house. That’s so great to hear! I have given Tim Cuprum metallicum 30x, as the main essence of this remedy is ‘ambitious and to wants everything in control’. Tim continues to take the Epsom salts, follow the dietary changes and take the supplements in addition. So let’s see what further exciting developments 2014 brings for this child.
There are so many wonderful therapies out there to support the ever increasing numbers of children diagnosed as being on the Autistic Spectrum. My hope would be to one day see us all working together for the sole benefit of these children and their families. It saddens me to see that many parents turn to natural therapies as a last resort and that they don’t receive encouragement and support from doctors that they initially come to contact with.
I feel that my journey to support these wonderful children has just begun. I am so grateful for the work that has been done by our great Masters and all the inspirational Homeopaths. Dealing with children on the spectrum enables you to consider many challenges and strive to find the best way forward, taking into account their complex needs. Attending the CEASE training in 2011 and the subsequent advanced and Inspiring Homeopathy training with Kim Kalina has certainly changed the way I prescribe, not only for clients on the spectrum but many of my chronic cases. These training days have allowed me to develop my knowledge and expertise further and support my patients with a wider range of tools and introduce the layers method with greater confidence. I tell parents that at times it may feel like we’re going one step forward and two backwards, but working together with perseverance, commitment and trust in the child, huge rewards can be seen.