This is the case of a child with special needs whose mother’s case (see Not All Lava is Alike in this issue) we also saw at the NYSH clinic. He has behavioral issues at home and at school, delayed development of speech and learning difficulties.
The first interview took place on June 15th, 2013 at the student clinic of NYSH. There were 4 follow-ups over 2 years, with frequent telephone updates. The most recent follow0up was on April 18th, 2015.
Dates of remedy prescriptions:
Stramonium 200C: 21st of June 2013
Lava etna 10M : 9th of July 2013
Nitricum acidum 200C: 11th of April 2014
John was almost 7 years old when we started to work with him in June 2013. Appearing in front of our clinic class as a small boy with big brown eyes and curly hair he seemed to be shy, sweet and he spoke very quietly. Immediately he paid attention to the white board and asked to draw on it. He selected the colors carefully and drew images of the characters in the movies he was watching. They were monsters and zombies. While drawing he talked about scary parts of the movies, e.g. the dragon who fights the transformer. He said:
“I watch movies – transformer and zombie movies. I watched one with Dad. It was kind of scary. They ate up legs, then they hook them on a tree. There was a girl in the movie. So scary. I was hiding behind Dad’s back. ”
It is interesting that John mentioned his father who has not been permitted to see John since he was 3 years old.
John was scared of the dark, of monsters, ghosts and zombies. There was killing, fire and flames involved in his images. When I asked John about school he told us:
“I hate school. This is the worst thing ever. I hate doing this work. I like to play the games. With the work I have to do everything, everything all by myself.”
Then I asked him whether he gets angry with teachers or friends.
“I never get in trouble. Not any more troubles.”
John’s Mom explained that John found it very difficult to sit next to another student. The teacher said he was too distracted. So John had to sit by himself at a table, away from the other children. This is how John felt about it:
“I feel lonely. The teacher makes me sit there. She says, “Sit down there!” I have a trouble spot. I get along with people, they don’t get along with me.”
There is one kid with whom John plays sometimes but they also fight a lot.
“His name is Derrick. He gave me his number. He calls me bad names. I start a fight. With my hands. He doesn’t have a trouble spot (i.e. sitting apart from other kids).”
If John becomes angry, he will pick a fight. He can be quite aggressive.
At the end of the interview with John, he surprised us drawing fireworks very energetically. He said: “I like seeing fireworks, all those colors.” This drawing reminded the whole clinic class of the fireworks his Mom was describing when she was talking about her dreams about a meteor hitting the sun (see Olga’s case). This drawing of John’s suggested that he may need the same remedy as his mother.
When we spoke privately with Olga, his mom, she said:
“John doesn’t speak well. He was very delayed in talking and did not really speak until he was 3 years old – instead he was pointing and humming.
For him homework is boring – he refuses to do it. He especially struggles with the reading and writing.
For John it is very difficult to sit still for 7 hours at school. He feels he is singled out when his teachers tell him to sit on his own and not with other children.
When he tries to focus and fails, he gets “stuck.” He gets “tunnel vision” and “stuck in his head,” as his mother puts it. “He has trouble internally. He is very impulsive then.”
The Mom does not know whether he fights with other kids at school- his teachers never complained about that.
His Mom tells us that John can throw temper tantrums. He cries and crawls on the floor. He pushes his Mom. He will put all his weight on the floor, pushing and shoveling against his mother and hits her.
During play dates John tends to be bossy, and he hates to take a bath.
Although John has two cats and a bird he is not an animal lover. He would not do anything cruel or hurt an animal but the emotional connection is not there.
John loves to run around in the park, enjoys sports and building with Legos.
He likes textures, touches everything, puts everything in his mouth. He touches a lot of plants and says that they are so soft.
John hates to go to sleep and does not want to fall asleep alone. Sometimes he suffers from bad dreams.
“If he wakes up from his bad dreams, he does not scream but comes into my room. He does not want to talk about it,” his mother confides.
John is afraid of the dark and he asks his Mom to leave the lights on. He thinks there are monsters, ghosts, evil and that somebody will harm him.
“If he is tired, he shuts down. You can tell he needs a nap, but he won’t listen. He is very disconnected. He puts up his wall.”
When the Mom is asked if John is more like his father or he, she says:
“Probably he is like me – overall I see him as how I am.”
John is a scared child, having bad, horrible dreams – too horrible to talk about. He is afraid of the dark and does not want to fall asleep alone. The boy has behavioral issues that his Mom describes as being stuck or getting into his tunnel vision. His development on the mental level was delayed. He did not speak at all until he was 3 years old. His Mom describes how John has trouble expressing himself verbally, especially when he is angry. He can start a fight with his classmates, throws tantrums and can be aggressive with his Mom at home. His relationship with his Dad is troubled because the father is not allowed to come near to his son, and John suffers from not seeing his Dad.
The big ideas of this case – tremendous fear, nightmares, temper tantrums and anger – led us think of Stramonium, which we prescribed in 200C.
The rubrics are:
mind; FEAR; dark, of (106)
mind; SHRIEKING, screaming, shouting; children, in (86)
mind; THROWS; things (82)
mind; DREAMS; frightful, nightmare; waking him (31)
mind; LEARNING; difficult (97)
mind; ANGER; temper tantrums (74)
sleep; SLEEPINESS; restlessness, with (17)
John had a really bad reaction to Stramonium. It was the end of June, very hot, with no AC in their apartment. The heat was aggravating John. He was stuck all the time and one tantrum followed the other. The whole family was exhausted.
At this time his Mom Olga started with Lava etna 10M and was improving well. Because of his bad response to Stramonium, we decided to try Olga’s remedy with John because mother and son shared similar problems; many fears and anxieties and impulsive behavior when angry. We tried Lava etna 10M.
We saw John for a follow up after 2 doses of the Lava etna 10M. He had calmed down. The mom said:
“John does not throw tantrums anymore. He is easier to redirect and he is allowing himself time to think things through. John talks more and is able to verbalize his anger. It is possible for him to listen after taking the remedy. Before the remedy he was just hearing himself. The sleep has improved. Most nights he slept through, without nightmares.”
John looked more relaxed. He was enjoying his summer and looking forward to starting school and seeing his friends again.
John took Lava etna 10M once a month for 5 months. Then he started to go back into his state. He threw tantrums at home again, he was not able to listen and at school his behavior was bad. He bullied other kids and threw paper balls at another kid. It became so bad that the school got in touch with the mom to discuss how to help the boy. What made teachers and the principal and all of us at the clinic very nervous was that John had threatened to kill himself.
This is what Olga said:
“John is very tired. He falls asleep after coming home from school and then can sleep all night. He grabs at my face. It seems he is in some kind of zone, somewhere else. I can’t reach him. John had a couple of nightmares. I feel that lately more of his father is coming out – my son reminds me of his father. John is obsessed with specific games about zombies and dragons. He is obsessed with TV.”
While we talked to his Mom, the boy was building volcanoes on his video game. John was very reluctant to talk to me, almost arrogant in the way he refused to answer my questions.
We decided, based on the big ideas of the case, to give John Nitricum Acidum. He drew explosions with fireworks and spoke about TNT while drawing. We recognized impulsiveness and explosiveness in John’s behavior. He throws tantrums, pushes his Mom and is so angry at a classmate that he wants to break his arm. This kind of behavior comes along with the nitrogen component of this remedy.
John’s Mom mentioned how tired John is after school. He must take a nap after school and many times sleeps through the whole night. The acid component of the remedy covers the exhaustion.
Being angry at life is another big idea of Nitricum Acidum. John hates school, teachers and his classmates. He can be very mean with people he loves, like his Mom.
These are the rubrics we have chosen:
mind; ANGER; violent (176)
sleep; SLEEPINESS; daytime (219)
mind; IMPETUOUS (57)
mind; HATRED; persons, of; offended him, who had (32)
mind; SHRIEKING, screaming, shouting (328)
mind; LOATHING; life, of (101)
mind; WORK; mental; aversion to (310)
John takes Nitricum Acidum 200C every 2 weeks at first. After 4 doses the remedy needs to be repeated only every 4 weeks. His improvement was rapid – the tantrums happened less often and were less intense; his behavior at school calmed down and his tiredness disappeared.
During the most recent follow up (April 2015) John looked like a healthy, energetic kid who could handle the work at school. He has formed good friendships, sleeps through the night in his own bed and no longer needs naps.
His Mom says that “if he needs the remedy then everything is ‘No’. He is convinced the world is wrong and he is right.”
This is the moment when we repeat the remedy, after which he once again improves. He needs to re-dose less often these days. Because of homeopathic treatment, John’s life has improved greatly without the need of special education classes or medication.