Introduction: In one of the seminars held at the other song Academy, Dr. Praful Barvalia made a presentation on the Homeopathic Approach in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Considering his vast experience of treating such disorders at Spandan, Dr.Rajan Sankaran suggested that he conduct a major seminar in coordination with theTamasoma Jyotirgamaya group. Spandan Holistic Institute of Applied Homeopathy, founded by Dr Praful Barvalia is the Homeopathic institute dedicated to holistic multidisciplinary treatment of children with developmental disability and mental health problems .Dr. Barvalia and the Spandan team was to make a major presentation for one and a half days, while all other Institute programs made their presentation in child care cases the next day, followed by a panel discussion.
Thus, the Collaborative Childcare Seminar was evolved to be conducted by the Spandan Holistic Institute of Applied Homoeopathy, the Tamsoma Jyotirgamaya Group, The Other Song Institute of Clinical Research, Homeopathic Education & Research Institute & National Journal of Homoeopathy on 22nd & 23rd February, 2014 at R.D. Choksi Auditorium, Tata Hospital, Parel, Mumbai.
The Seminar’s theme was Homoeopathic Management of Children with Developmental Disability & Mental Health Dysfunctions: Autism, ADHD, Learning disorders, Mood disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Global Brain damage, etc.
‘Tamsoma Jyotirgamaya’, is a brainchild of Dr. Pradumna Mamtora, an orthopedic surgeon and a few Homoeopaths who were dedicated to the cause of integrating all good work done in the field of Homoeopathy and establishing a communication between stalwarts and teachers. Dr. N.L. Tiwari, Dr. Kishore Mehta, Dr. Dilip Dikshit, Dr. C.B. Jain, Dr. Praful Barvalia, Dr. Nimish Mehta, Dr. Rajan Sankaran, Dr. Sujit Chatterjee, Dr. Parinaz Humranwala, Dr. Manoj Patel, Dr. Jayesh Dhingreja, Dr. Amarsinha Nikam, Dr. Vishpala Parthasarthy, Dr. Kamlesh Mehta, Dr. Devadiga and Dr. Bipin Jain, joined this noble cause.
The vision of this group is ‘Seeking the light and knowledge and forming a Homoeopathic Academic Platform to evolve a Cohesive Approach to Homoeopathic practice’. It aims at evolving a balanced look at the concepts behind the approaches and to facilitate better practice by correlating and combining methodologies to achieve cohesiveness within the field of Homoeopathy. The group convenes every month at ‘the other song – International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy’ with a view to sharing ideas, problems and difficulties so as to seek a resolution of the same by means of free and fair discussion. The members of the group are of the firm belief that ‘Coming together is a Beginning; keeping together is Progress; working together is Success’ as quoted by Henry Ford. So, they organized the ‘Homoeopathic Child Care Seminar’, the first seminar of its kind where all the members of the group shared their views together on a common public platform.
In the inaugural function, dignitaries included the respected Dr. Bhasme, Vice President, CCH, Dr. J.M. Bharolia (member of CCH) and eminent sexologist Dr. Prakash Kothari, apart from organization heads.
The main speakers for the event included Dr. Praful Barvalia, Dr. Nirupama Aggarval and Dr. B.N. Apte, from Spandan, Dr. Dinesh Chauhan, from The Other Song, Dr. Kishore Mehta, Dr. Dhaval Mody and Dr. Mitesh Kothari from HERI, Dr. Vishpala Parthsarthi from NJH, Dr. Manoj Patel and Dr Madhavi from ICR.
Dr. Nimish conducted a panel with the help of senior Homoeopaths from all organizations and other disciplines and experts from Spandan.: Experts from other disciplines at Spanden included Dr. Apte (genetic expert), Ms. Anita Chitre (clinical psychologist), Dr. Taral Nagda (pediatric orthopedic surgeon), Mrs. Sujata Srivastava (special educators) and Dr Priya Vaidya (philosopher).
Youtube link –http://youtu.be/iTIMWS-sw30
Dr. Praful Barvalia, Honorary Director, Spandan Holistic Institute of Applied Homoeopathy, Mumbai, and one of the co-organizers set the ball rolling with a series of presentations from his vast experience in handling ‘Little Angels’. It included clear documentations of specialized cases. The theme of his talk was ‘Homoeopathic treatment of children with developmental disability or mental health issues’. Disorders like Learning Disability, ADHD and Autism evoke a range of feeling in people from empathy to revulsion. As stated by Swami Vivekananda, ‘Every Child has Divine Potential’, Dr. Praful stressed that, “It is up to us how we handle the ‘disability’ in such special cases and harness their hidden potential.”
The esteemed speaker then went on to discuss more about such special cases. He said that as Homoeopaths, we need to be resourceful and empathetic. Rather than reacting emotively, we have to build up a portrait of the patient with sharpness, objectivity and spontaneity, with due regard to authenticity of reported experiences. Children with learning disabilities often have a normal intelligence but are not able to study despite favourable circumstances. On investigating, we see a pattern of difficulty in reading, writing and calculating i.e. dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia respectively. What is impaired in such cases, is not the intelligence but the cognition and perception. Here, the child’s ability to orientate to his melieu is affected. Such cases on careful examination exemplify various precipitating factors like defective parenting, some mishap retarding the normal function of hands or any other limbs, for example a fracture during the learning phase. Consequently basic learning skills undergo damage and eventuate into dyslexia.
Dr. Praful said that there are many drugs in our materia medica which have symptoms like perceptual difficulties e.g.- mistakes in writing letters, omission of final letters, mistakes in identification of locality etc., which are very well represented in our repertory as well. Conditions like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) if not treated in time, continue even into adulthood. In Autism Spectrum Disorder, the child is born quite normal and often everything goes right till a certain age, when this sinister disorder ensues and the child cannot relate to his surroundings. If this continues to progress after 5 years, prognosis becomes poor and if there is cognitive impairment, there is a great chance of a lifelong disability.
This condition is a source of tremendous anxiety for the parents who have a slew of questions for the homoeopaths; asking if the condition is treatable and if it is, what is the prognosis. Homoeopathy helps in rehabilitating such patients by helping them relate to their surroundings better. The difficulty for the homoeopath lies in finding the simillimum based on some characteristic definitive symptoms after sorting through the multitude of common symptoms. The challenge now is in identifying the characteristic symptoms. For example, we see that restlessness, inattention and laughter are common presentations in such children, but the key to success lies in qualifying these common symptoms.
Youtube Link –http://youtu.be/zdbhPYkKISI
Dr. Praful then went on to share a few cases from his experience of 123 cases of Autism Spectrum disorder registered and managed at Spandan from July 1998 to September 2009. Sixty cases of Autism were under the auspices of an AYUSH extra-mural research project from October 2006 to September 2007. The objective of this project was to explore the efficacy of Homoeopathic therapeutics in arresting the neuro-psychological regression in Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorder. It also aimed at demonstrating the role of homoeopathic medicines in managing behavioural dysfunctions like hyperactivity, impulsiveness etc in autism. Amongst the cases in the project, the classification of the cases was as follows: high functioning – 13, mild – 30, moderate – 11 and severe – 6.
Shedding more light on the traits of autism, Dr. Barvalia said that it is a pervasive developmental disorder which surfaces in the first 3 years of life. The prevalence of autism by gender is male : female 4:1 and it affects 1 in 160 children. The indications of this condition are poor eye-to-eye contact, poor mixing with peer group, lack of social or emotional reciprocity and preference to be alone. These children lack enjoyment, interest or enthusiasm in surroundings and are non-responsive to verbal cues, acting as if deaf and they treat those close to them as inanimate objects. He went on to show a series of cases treated with Homoeopathy and rehabilitative techniques together, which showed amazing results. A few cases have been summarized below.
Youtube link – http://youtu.be/hCmTZBkJti4
A 9-year-old autistic girl had first come to Spandan 2 years ago for treatment. She had a healthy cry at birth and had normal milestones. She had history of high grade fever about 103F at age 18 months, after which she suffered from chicken pox with keratitis leading to encephalitis which lasted for 3 months. Since then, her speech regressed. The child presented with restlessness, flapping, causeless laughing, spitting and licking. She was dependent on her mother for all activities and did not indicate toilet needs. She bit herself and kept on touching everything, spitting on others, licking things and playing with saliva. The patient had a very poor eye-to-eye communication and spoke only in monosyllables.
Her reports read as follows: EEG (Electroencephalography) – normal, BERA (Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry) – could not be performed as child was non-co-operative, CARS (Childhood Autism Rating Scale) – 35 (moderate autism), ATEC – 109, VSMS (Vineland Social Maturity Scales) – 41 (moderate retardation), Karyotype – normal, S. serotonin – 145.20 ng/ml(N).
In this case, we see that there is a history of chicken pox with keratitis which lead to encephalitis affecting the premotor or speech area. What stood out was the regressive features of the case. The symptoms which were considered in the case were :
The patient was given Hyoscyamus 200, (because it covers all regressive features very well) every night at first and then twice a day for a year. In one year, the CARS score came down from 35 to 32. ATEC was 80 and the Hyperactvity score reduced from 36 to 16. Homoeopathy was thus successful in achieving rehabilitation and the social interaction of the child improved significantly. What was amazing was the video shown where the child who was neat, composed and had a developed aesthetic sense, who was wiping saliva from the corners of the mouth. (The same child had affinity for uncleanliness and dirt earlier).
Dr. Barvalia said a homoeopath has to be on the lookout for the features which stand out, a pattern which is most prominent among all common symptoms of autism. The characteristic symptoms can be found in the form of regressive features, kinetic features at the motor level, features at the sensory level and at the dispositional level or the level of affect.
Dr. Barvalia then showed another case of Master JS, first seen on 11/11/06 at age 5 years and 2 months, diagnosed as Autistic through ICD -10 and DSM – 4 criteria. The childhood autism rating scale CARS (determines degree of autism) – 31 (mild autism), Autism treatment evaluation checklist (ATEC) – 76 and Autistic hyperactivity score (Gives an idea of behavioural changes) – 53. (At Spandan, CARS is done every year and ATEC repeated every 3 months). As demonstrated in the video, the patient showed an extremely poor eye to eye contact, never looked when called by name, was extremely hyperactive, constantly moving, jumping, had marked irritability, was quite destructive and was constantly clapping. He was so energetic, his parents remarked “We do not know where the energy comes from.” He often dragged parents to the object he desired. He had spells of ‘wanderlust’, where he strongly desired to go away from home and enjoyed travelling.
At 11th months of age he suffered from a very bad lower respiratory tract infection and was hospitalized. Thereafter, he lost his speech as well as eye contact. In this case, we see a progressive deterioration over the last 2 years despite therapy. This indicates the magnitude of the disease which is definitely high, so this is a strong indication of the Tubercular miasm. When we add to this the restlessness with tremendous energy and excitement with the motor pattern and desire for music which ameliorates and a strong sensitivity to noise, Tarentula was clearly indicated. He was given Tarentula hispanica 1M in infrequent doses and later on a dose of 10M on 20/05/07. The video showing the follow up of the child after a year, exhibits that the child immediately responds to commands and it is now possible to work with the child. There was gradual amelioration of behavioural aspects, up to 80% after 5 months and a significant improvement by the end of 9 months. Tarentula definitely reduced the intensity of pathology and also positively modified core autistic issues. Immunity also improved and there were no significant acute infections. The ATEC score came down from 86 to 54.
There was history of an acute exacerbation of maniacal behaviour and the case was accordingly reviewed on 22nd December, 2007. Based on violent behaviour and sensory issues, Stramonium 200 was repeated frequently. Thereafter, he significantly improved and his hyperactivity and jumping and rubbing of genitals disappeared. He was more compliant and the therapist was able to train him with a great degree of comfort. He was independent in his day-to-day living. After 2 months of Stramonium, the case was reviewed as there was emergence of new symptoms; voracious appetite coming in spells was considered as an active indication of the Tubercular miasm, so Tuberculinum bovinum 1M was prescribed. After this, three important characteristics emerged: the child definitely showed a strong attachment to the parents and deep attachment to one classmate. What was observed was fears that had deepened, so Natrum phos was prescribed. The child received infrequent doses over 1.5 years. He has developed need-based speech and his receptiveness has improved substantially. He started socializing and was very happy with family members and even with his extended family. He mingles with everyone. He plays with his younger brother. He is attending mainstream school and is doing well.1
His total ATEC which was 86 when the treatment was started gradually came down to 54. Autistic hyperactivity score came down from 53 to 13. The latest CARS is 28 (non-autistic). With the CARS score below 30 and improvement on all clinical scores, the child now fell in the non-autistic category.
Another case was of Master ST first seen on 2- 08-02 at age 2 years 8 months. He was a very fidgety child. When the physician asked his name, he did not reply or said, “what is your name?” which is termed as echolalia. Other features of his case were limited eye-to-eye contact, limited social interaction, nonsense speech, irrelevant, echolalia, self muttering, lack of response to verbal commands, stereotype motor mannerisms, whirling mannerisms and imitation. With all this, he had fear of falling, fear of downward motion, so much that he would not sit on an unstable table and when made to sit on a swing or cycle would cry. He held his mother’s hand when climbing down from the staircase. Here, we see intense gravitational fears. Also, he startles from the sounds of a car and cooker and from sudden noises. He would run and cling to his mother. Even if he heard the sound of an airplane when in toilet, he would run out and cling to his mother.
The symptoms given above are not just symptoms, but a qualified state. Fears and sensory issues are common in autistic children, but in this case we see several instances where the child is afraid of falling and of noise and clings and holds onto the mother in fear. This is a peculiar state and the remedy selected should match this profound state. Clinical diagnosis through the reports was: psychological assessment report (23/08/02) – 60 (Mental retardation) and CARS – 34. Moderate childhood autism disorder, and recommended a special school for autism. This child was given Borax based on the intense fear of falling and downward motion with a strong sensitivity and startling from noise. With fear the child would cling and hold onto his mother, which is a feature of Borax too.
The patient was given Borax 200 in infrequent doses as his susceptibility was moderate. Follow ups after 1 year (August, 2003) : restlessness was 80%, repetitive movement occasional, speech – makes sentences, no echolalia, eye contact is normal, fears are less but fluctuating. Borax 200 given monthly for 6 months, followed by Borax 1M monthly for 15 months and Borax 10M, 2 monthly for 6 months. Scores – sensory – normal range – 0-36. Average % change in sensory component of ATEC is 19%, 32 % improvement in ATEC is contributed by improvement in sensory component.
After Borax, there were 2-3 episodes of acute fears: nervousness, spells with blinking eyes and intense fear of dark. Three to four doses of Stramonium 1M were given daily for 3-4 days. Overall, the patient’s IQ had improved substantially – from 60-68 – 77.5 – 111 (2006). After 1.5 years we reviewed the case. The patient showed impatience at times with affectionate behaviour. He was extremely sensitive to hurt and insult with brooding and would dwell on those incidents. He was extremely image conscious now. Natrum-sil was prescribed and given in frequent doses. Only a few days ago, he came and presented Dr. Praful with a CD of an animation film he had made. Cases like these substantiate the enormous range of psychosomatic complications which can be successfully treated by the holistic approach of Homoeopathic medicines2
Dr. B.N. Apte, discussed medical genetics and presented three cases of special children, two of which could have been managed metabolically and in 3rd prenatal diagnosis and fell under the scope of enzyme replacement therapy. The day’s deliberations ended with Dr. Siloo Patel, a lecturer from Smt. Chandaben Mohanbhai Homoeopathic Medical College, Mumbai, also popularly called the ‘Nutritional Wizard’ shared precious insights about diet for special kids so as to supplement the development in these children.
Youtube Link – http://youtu.be/wWGnTlcZiio
Dr Seema Thakkar from Spandan presented a case of a high functioning autistic child who recovered very well with CARCINOSIN and has been doing well in main stream school. The CARS now shows the non autistic range.
Dr Noah from Spandan shared his experience and presented cases of neurological dysfunctions.
The second day of the conference was an illuminating presentation on the complexity of disorders which afflict children. Dr Praful Barvalia stressed the importance of three factors operating in the treatment of special children. He highlighted the first 2 years of a child’s development during which synaptic network is developing, namely anatomical, physiological and genetic. Last but not the least is the experiential gradient. Here the role of parenting plays a very important part. The experience the child goes through not only after birth but since the zygote is formed, is of paramount significance.
Youtube Link – http://youtu.be/DhaJ3Rq574o
He elaborated these aspects through a case of a female child aged 7 years dwelling in the slums. This child cries a lot and her expressions are irrelevant. When she is asked about the reason behind her crying, she gets very angry and violent and starts banging her head on the wall. Violence is expressed in the form of banging her head on the wall. Her milestones were delayed, especially talking. The life story of this child is that her mother was schizophrenic and father suffered from depression. The child was abandoned post delivery, then her father committed suicide. She was brought up by her grandparents. Then suddenly, one fine day when the girl was playing in her grandmother’s lap, the grandmother got a heart attack and she died. This affected the child profoundly and was the major incident in her life.
Later on, she was also diagnosed with biotinidase deficiency. Here one needs to appreciate the 3 gradients mentioned above. The anatomical and physiological gradient where her milestones are delayed, the genetic where we see a strong genetic background of psychiatric illness and lastly the experiential gradient where we see how the child was abandoned post delivery. One major incident was the death of her grandmother to whom she was very closely attached. This girl sits and sleeps on the road and strikes herself.
The causative factor was most striking in this case and was understood as an ailment from grief. The remedy Natrum mur was chosen based on the above main characteristic symptoms. She responded remarkably to this remedy.
Her anger and hyper-reactivity reduced. HS score came down to 10 from 32, ATEC from 94 to 76, CARS from 34 to 32. Her eye contact is better. She is able to verbalize a few letters of the alphabet.
Dr. Barvalia presented another case of a girl with learning disorder, who did not have any interest in studies and found it difficult to copy certain letters, e.g. b and d. While writing, she made mistakes wherein she omitted the last letter. She was very impatient and awkward in her temperament. She was resentful and felt inferior and low. The patient had dreams of snakes and had a history of recurrent pharyngitis. Considering the resentful attitude, dreams of snakes, recurrent pharyngitis and omission of last letters when writing she was prescribed Lac can, which had a significant effect on her. She was improving with Lac can, however relatives convinced the parents that one does not need to take treatment for such problems and they stopped coming. Later on, it was discovered that she developed impaired sensory processing.
In yet another case, of a boy studying in 10th standard there was difficulty in writing and reading, poor school performance and forgetfulness. By nature, he is very aggressive and cruel. His cruelty was apparent where his sister was supposed to attend a party. He hid the dress that the sister was to wear for the function, so the poor girl had to wear some other dress and to the party. The next day he returned the dress to her. He is very jealous of his sister who is studying well and doing her engineering.
Based on the malice, rudeness, lack of moral scruples and weakness of memory he was given Anacardium. After one year, the response to the treatment was seen in the form of good marks in 10th standard where he passed with flying colors.
Dr Nirupama turned on a new leaf by sharing the importance of sex education for parents coping with special children. She said that the parents should be made conscious of the hormonal changes occurring during puberty. They should be cognizant of the fact that regardless of the mental immaturity, the body is rapidly undergoing timely physiological changes that are inevitable. Parents should acknowledge these changes and show an empathetic understanding of the confusion and uneasiness the child is liable to experience. They should be sensitive to the needs of the child and enable him/her to manage the demands of transition in a responsible manner. He underscored the sensitivity with which parents have to engage their children during this phase. They should be subtly attentive to whatever non-verbal cues that child may be uncomfortably sending out.
Dr Munjal Thakar and Dr Hardik Khamar from Ahmedabad branch of Spandan shared their experiences of school intervention along with the cases.
Dr. Kumar Dhawale, from M L Dhawale presented his research in ‘Learning Disability in Vernacular Children’. Dr. Madhavi and Dr. Sunita did a brief presentation about their experiences along the 3 year involvement in the project. They spoke about various aspects of Learning Disability like The Indian Perspective, the Homoeopathic perspective, LD Research Project: Results, Management Perspective, Learning Disability and Co-morbidity and the Homoeopathic Approach. The results at the end of 1 year were very encouraging and included all types of LD – mild, moderate and severe.
Dr. Madhavi Tamboli in her presentation said that LD remains one of the least understood and most debated disabling conditions that affect children. In India, there are certain factors which often act as precipitating factors for LD. At home, problems like low parental literacy, bilingual communication, lack of pre-literacy skills and poverty are some of the problems. In school, the classrooms are often overcrowded, there is poor manner of instruction and there is low awareness among teachers.
Dr. Madhavi then brought to light some interesting findings seen on investigations in LD children, namely, activation in lower frontal areas and compensation of neural systems. When LD children are subjected to therapy, we see that there is increase in blood flow in affected areas of the brain and there are physical changes at the tissue level. She then went on to present a case of a 10-year-old girl, studying in 5th standard in Marathi medium. Her parents stayed at village and she was then staying with her maternal uncle and grandmother in the city. She had difficulties in reading, writing and comprehension and was diagnosed as having LD. The patient was really tall for her age, and is very bold, looking everyone in the eye. She could not tolerate hunger and had a strong craving for salt++, pickles++, ice-cream++ and had aversion to milk++. Thermally she was hot and had sun headaches. The mother’s history was not possible as mother was not available.
The girl had difficulty in talking till age 3 years. She was asked to talk about herself and she said that she did not like her aunt as she was always nagging her. She felt anxious before her examination as she was always worried about her results and had palpitations before exams. She was anxious about performing on stage too, so could not perform individually but could do so in a group performance. She was good at sports and was afraid of the dark. The overall observation was that she was very spontaneous and talkative during her interview, and had volumes to tell at a single question.
Her aunt reported that the patient was highly irritable, screamed and threw things and was highly obstinate. She observed that the patient was very obstinate and stole things and lied since last year. She was dominating and was aggravated by contradiction++. She had no fear, except of her parents. She was very talkative. What the aunt reported was in perfect contrast to the patient’s statements and it was difficult to decide whom to believe. Therefore her grandmother was called in and her views confirmed those shared by the aunt. Based on her symptoms and her reportorial totality, she was given Lachesis as she was very talkative, irritable, angry and screaming, throwing, stealing, lying, jealous, was possessive of her things, manipulative and had anticipation leading to palpitations. She was given Lachesis 200, 1 dose every week for a year, at the end of which there was a marked difference in her. Her listening comprehension improved quite a bit and mistakes in reading also lessened. She made fewer mistakes in writing too and overall her habit and her dominating nature also showed a remarkable change.
Dr. Dhaval Mody and Dr. Mitesh Kothari from the Homoeopathic Education and Research Institute presented the case of a child who was rolling on the floor and shrieking and would not get up from the floor despite constant reprimands by the father. The parents had approached them for the complaint of acute bronchitis and recurrent abscesses. The child did not want to enter the clinic and wanted a chocolate before he would enter. His father did not comply to his wishes, so he started rolling on the floor. The parents could not relate that he had any behavioural problems and wanted treatment only for his physical complaints. If we look into various problems which we face, we get a variety of cases.
HERI had conducted a Child Out Reach Program (2008-2012) which consisted of research on children with behavioural, cognitive and developmental problems. There are many factors which influenced the response in such cases. Amongst individuals were factors like genetics, reluctant attitude towards treatment and poor expression to name a few. Environmental factors contributed by parents, family, social and cultural background and by the peer group consisted of no acceptance, lack of co-operation, socio-cultural norms and economic factors. The focus in such cases is to treat and train and focus on the limitations and advantages of each. HERI had launched a campaign “PARIVARTAN”, which was intended to bring about a positive change and a brighter future for children. Its main focus was ‘Prevention-Promotion-Intervention-Rehabilitation’. Dr. Dhaval Mody then briefly outlined the modes by which this program helped children with behavioural and developmental problems reaching across all levels of the society.
Dr Vishpala Parthasarthy presented a case of a 20-year-old girl who did not talk, had no communication with the outside world, and lived in her own frightened world. We have no inkling as to what has happened to her in the last 10 yrs of her life. A different kind of sensitivity is required to feel the pain of this child- faceless, nameless and frightened. This girl had a very traumatic history as a child. The circumstances in which she was brought to us were also very strange. She has received a lot of bashing from her parents. The neighbours would hear lots of screaming and shouting from her house. Her aunt once visited their house and found the girl in a very bad state. She did not talk and seemed very scared. She would not eat. She had completely stopped communication with the outside world and this is what she was brought in for. The aunt brought her in for treatment of the non-communication. Even during the consultation the girl did not talk at all, did not complain about anything that had happened to her. She didn’t want anything. The only observation was her face, which showed fear and her hands were wringing. This was the case!
The main thing that was perceived was that this child underwent a lot of trauma which was evident from the shouting and yelling and the reaction to this was complete absence of reaction and a frightened appearance.
SYMPTOMS ON WHICH REMEDY WAS SELECTED :
1) AF Fright3+
2) Says she is well when sick
3) All complaints normally painful, are painless
4) Pt. says she wants nothing
6) Lack of vital reaction
The most prominent thing available in this case is the history of being traumatised mentally and physically, and the fright that remains there along with complete absence of reaction. She shuts herself off from any kind of emotion. Based on all his she was given a single dose of Opium 1M. After the remedy the patient’s communication improved, she felt confident in talking to people, the wringing of hands stopped. More importantly she appeared for exams.
Dr. Dinesh Chauhan, an internationally renowned homoeopath and lecturer and a consultant and faculty at “the other song”, presented a comprehensive survey of homoeopathic medicines which have been used in the treatment of a diverse range of special children. According to Dr. Chauhan, a comprehenmsive case taking should be comprised of observation by the physician, observation by the parents, physical examination, mother’s history during pregnancy and the common factors interlinking these to form a pattern – an important guide to understanding the children and finding the simillimum. One case that particularly enthralled the audience was of a 2 year old child diagnosed as autistic by the pediatrician. He had common autistic features like going in circles, walking on toes and poor eye contact. The child would laugh when he was shown a smiley, when the parents used to play cards or when he saw some advertisement on the TV. He used to clap his hands when he was happy. He was sensitive to violent scenes and would shy away from them. He had a strong craving for black pepper.
On enquiring about the mother’s history during pregnancy, she said that she felt very calm and contented. She used to enjoy going for small walks which would make her happy. She became the head of a kitty party group (informal gathering of women to while away leisure in entertainment and games). In this case, we see a pattern of desire for amusement, a need to have some diversion from the routine, running through both the mother and the child. On the other hand, was the sensitivity to violence. We needed a remedy which has this need for diversion and amusement from the monotonous routine.
According to the Sensation approach, the remedies are mainly classified into 3 kingdoms – Plant, Mineral and Animal. The main experience of the plants has to do with sensitivity, of being affected and reacting. The main sensation of the Mineral kingdom is all to do with structure, whether I am lacking, if I have to complete myself, or if I am losing my structure; while the main experience of the Animal kingdom is survival.1
As seen in the above case, high sensitivity to violence with a desire to break away from the routine and a craving for amusement with the opposite of boredom, is indicative of the Plant Kingdom. In this case, the main sensitivity is to being bored with a desire for amusement or entertainment, seen both in the mother and the child. This is the main theme of the family Piperaceae.
Based on the characteristic symptoms, the rubrics considered were :
The remedy which covers all these symptoms is Piper-meth. However, the strong craving for black pepper, which was a patient characteristic symptom made the choice in favor of Piper nigrum (common name – black pepper) which belongs to the family of Piperaceae (same family as Piper-meth)4. He received Piper nigrum and the follow-up was incredibly positive. The child started having eye contact. His communication was better. His answers were not robotic like earlier and he was more spontaneous and alive to the questions while answering.
The 2 day seminar opened with the possibilities and prospects in the therapy of special children through the application of various methodologies available in Homoeopathy. The highlight of the seminar was a documented discussion of case histories which responded favorably, not only with a steady recovery but also culminating in rehabilitation of patients to an independent and reasonably normal life. The deliberations and projections of the seminar strongly substantiate the enormous utility and potential of homoeopathic medicine in the treatment of a wide range of cognitive disorders such as autism, retardation, ADHD and trauma. The plenary session on the second day included a question and answer session with a panel discussion among the speakers. It concluded on a brilliant silver lining that can dissipate the dark and dense cloudscape blocking the clear blue sky of the splendor of childhood.
The concluding part of the seminar was a panel discussion attended by a team of senior homeopaths and patrons of homoeopathy. Dr. Nimish Mehta conducted a panel with the help of senior Homoeopaths: Dr Kishore Mehta, Dr Praful Barvalia, Dr Vishpala Parth Sarthi, Dr Manoj Patel, and experts of other disciplines from Spandan : Dr.Apte (Genetic expert), Ms. Anita Chitre (clinical psychologist), Dr. Taral Nagda (pediatric orthopedic surgeon), Mrs. Sujata Srivastava (special educators,) and Dr Priya vaidya (philosopher)
Here are the links of the panel discussion.
1. Praful Barvalia, Homoeopathy for Special Children, Homoeopathic Heritage, March 2013, B. Jain Publishers, India
2. Praful Barvalia, Autism Spectrum Disorder – Homoeopathic Links Spring 2011, Vol. 24: 31–38 © Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.
3 – Rajan Sankaran, The Sensation in Homoeopathy, second Edition, 2005, Vital Sensation and the Kingdoms, Miasms.
4 – Rajan Sankaran, An Insight into Plants – Volume 2, First Edition 2007.