Analysis and Prescription: Repertorisation of Connor’s symptoms suggested that any one of seven remedies might have suited him. As always, reference to the material medica guided the final prescription. While many symptoms were common to all seven remedies, significant and individualising symptoms such as pebble-like stools, love of animals, and desire for apples predominated in Sulphur. Its prescription was further supported by Connor’s appearance (tall with red hair and freckles) and his history of previous health complaints suppressed by antibiotics and cortisone. His interesting symptom of intermittent, fluorescent-green nasal discharge was not represented in any of the remedies and so was put to one side, waiting to see what impact a Sulphur prescription would have.
I prescribed Connor a single test dose of Sulphur 6C in liquid form. Three days later, his mother phoned to say he was talking more and had been interacting with others. Based on this report, Connor was commenced on a dose 3 times a week. At his first follow-up appointment, one month later, Connor’s mother recounted the following improvements:
- · Much more talkative;
- · Nose no longer discharging (in spite of its not being a Sulphur symptom);
- · No snoring;
- · No burping;
- · Only occasional episodes of constipation;
- · Improved appetite and increased interest in a greater range of food;
- · Able to count to 5;
- · Less restless: no longer jumping, spinning, or running in circles;
- · Less day-dreaming;
- · Improved sleep – was sometimes spending the whole night in his own bed.
Connor’s prescription was changed to Sulphur 12C to ensure he still had a therapeutically active potency by the time of his next consultation. Whilst Sulphur 6C might have been adequate I did not want to run the risk of it failing to go the distance. His mother was instructed to give this potency 3 times a week until I next saw Connor and to phone me if she had any concerns.
At the next follow-up appointment, eight weeks after the commencement of treatment, Connor’s mother described his improvements as “awesome” and said he was “a new child”. Connor was now talking to strangers as well as family members. He would look people in the eye and complain to his mother if they did not return his look. His sleep was generally sound, and only occasionally would he go to his parents’ bed. He no longer suffered from constipation, chewed his fingernails, burped excessively, or scratched his anus. Now, if upset, he would tell his parents why rather than becoming withdrawn and “glassy-eyed”. He was also interested in learning and could count to 10. His mother was no longer anxious about sending him to pre-school, as he coped well. (In the past, when he had become overwhelmed by all the activities and interaction his behaviour had deteriorated. Previous improvements had been maintained.)
Because little was left to be treated in Connor, his mother was advised to give future doses only as needed rather than on a regular basis. I was concerned that a similar, or homeopathic, aggravation would be produced if treatment continued at the same intensity when there had been such strong improvement (see aphorism 157). Connor’s mother, living some distance away, was also supplied with Sulphur 30C and instructions to use this potency before the next consultation if the 12C was no longer effective.
At Connor’s next and most recent appointment, 17 weeks after commencing treatment, his mother told me he was not doing as well. Upon receiving the Sulphur 30C she had given him a dose immediately on no particular indication. Over the next three days, he was irritable, whining, and badly behaved. He gradually improved during the following week. His mother had been alarmed by this experience and, without contacting me, had decided not to give another dose even though improvement was stalling with time. Now, 8 weeks later, some of his old symptoms were returning. I explained that Connor’s reaction to the remedy indicated that it had been given when not needed, and that as symptoms were now returning, it should be repeated at this time. Three days later I received a phone call to say that Connor was once again improving. Treatment continues.
Parent Report: Connor
Thank you for giving me my son back. I don’t know how to thank you enough. It has been sad watching my beautiful boy, from being perfectly normal and chatty, turn into a child with speech and behaviour problems, a “child with autism”. Now after only a few months with homeopathy, he is just a normal five-year-old who doesn’t walk in circles any more, does make perfect eye contact, even corrects me when I’m too busy to stop and look into his eyes.
From a child who was just sitting in a corner, now he has friends who don’t want to leave him alone, and he is quite a popular child in kinder. From a child who wouldn’t even look at me or his sister or dad, now he is saying “Mum I love you” and to his sister “You are amazing” and for Dad now he is looking forward to him coming home after work. His speech is still not 100%, we have a problem with just a few sounds like “f” and “r”, which is quite common. Well, I can go on and on with what he can do now!
THANK YOU, for everything. We will definitely keep up the homeopathy.
Ben (male)– 4 years 3 months of age at the time of his first consultation
I have been treating Ben, a young boy with autism, for approximately 1½ years. I first saw him when he was medicated with Risperidone, an anti-psychotic prescribed for behavioural problems such as aggression, sudden mood changes and tantrums. Without his medication, Ben could fly into rages, bite, strike, and become completely unthinking. His mother, concerned about the side effects of the medication, had already tried to take him off it once without success. On hearing about homeopathy, she had made an appointment to see if it could help.
Ben’s symptoms, common to many sufferers of autism, consisted of anxiety, distress with change, avoidance of social interaction, and stims: he would repeatedly rock to and fro, place objects in lines, hit his head against a soft lounge, and track objects held in his hands as he moved them past his eyes. Ben was also non-verbal.
Ben’s individualising symptoms were:
1. Cold hands and feet; 2. Perspiration on head during sleep; 3. Confused and in a daze for most of the day – especially up to 10am; 4. Gentle, frequent weeping – “as if someone had broken his heart”; 5. Flatulence +++; 6. Straining with soft bowel motions; 7. Very thirsty: frequent drinking of water; 8. Food desires: biscuits, chocolate, and spagetti (pasta) with sauces; 9. Slow recovery from frequent respiratory-tract infections; 10. Frequent middle-ear infections; 11. Large head for body size; 12. Slightly delayed milestones for teething and walking.
His mother had made some early attempts at dietary changes, but Ben was so resistant they had to be suspended for fear he would starve. There had been no biomedical intervention.
Initial Case Analysis and Treatment
Ben’s symptoms at the time of consultation were incomplete, as the Risperidone had suppressed several of them. The Risperidone may also have distorted some of the remaining symptoms. It is possible that his dazed behaviour and confusion were nothing more than side effects of the medication, [viii] though these two symptoms continued to appear intermittently throughout later treatment. In spite of these difficulties, enough individualising symptoms remained to make a good prescription possible.
Calcarea carbonica was prescribed at this first consultation because:
1. Ben displayed classic Calcarea carb. Symptoms: a large head that sweated during sleep, sluggishness of the bowels, repeated colds and ear infections, and delayed milestones. His other less classic symptoms were also well-represented within Calcarea carb. pathogenesis.
2. The symptoms of rage, biting, and aggression, suppressed by the Risperidone, sounded similar to those of a Belladonna state. Belladonna is a known complement of Calcarea carb., which further supported a Calcarea carb. prescription.
A liquid test dose of Calcarea carb. 30C was prescribed. His mother phoned 3 days later to report he had been more affectionate in the days following the dose. On the strength of this response, Ben was commenced on a twice weekly dose. I anticipated a future prescription of Belladonna might be needed as a complementary to the Calcarea carb. if his aggression returned as the Risperidone was reduced.
Two weeks later, at Ben’s first follow-up appointment, his mother reported that he was:
- · Less confused and more alert in the mornings;
- · More affectionate and cuddly;
- · Able to listen and follow instructions (his ability to do this would improve after each dose but deteriorate before the next dose);
- · Joining in some family activities and was interacting more;
- · No longer tracking objects in his hands, though other stims had continued;
- · Not as cold in his hands and feet;
- · Less flatulent;
- · Not as thirsty;
- · Still sweating on his head at night;
- · Starting to strike his mother and sister.
These were significant changes in only 2 weeks. Because Ben’s ability to listen to instructions had deteriorated between doses of the remedy, I increased his Calcarea carb. potency to 200C. (Another option would have been to just give more frequent doses of the 30C). I advised his mother to use his flagging ability to listen as a “trigger” symptom for when to repeat the remedy. This is something I generally do as standard practice once the parent has grasped the principles involved, so that the risk of aggravations from routine dosing can be avoided. I also provided Belladonna 30C to be used during episodes of violence or aggression. (Others might have preferred a higher potency, but as I was dealing with a child who could not communicate what was happening, I decided to reserve the higher potencies for if and when they were needed. As it was, the 30C managed his aggression well.)
Over the next couple of weeks, as the dosage of Risperidone was reduced and then suspended, Ben’s acute episodes of biting, pinching, striking, and anger were treated as needed with Belladonna. In-between, his chronic state was treated with the Calcarea carb. 200C, one dose approximately every 3 days. His mother described this time as being very different from when she had last tried to stop the Risperidone: it was no where near as difficult.
Treatment Over Ensuing Months
Over ensuing months, Ben continued to improve slowly but steadily. He became an affectionate and happy little boy, no longer displaying episodes of anger and violence. His social skills improved, and he expressed more interest in playing with others than in being by himself. His head sweats disappeared, and his sweet cravings settled; his mother said he no longer “hunted down chocolate.” He was not overly thirsty; his bowel function normalised; and he became aware of the urge to go to the toilet.
Throughout this 17-month period, 80% of Ben’s treatment involved Calcarea carb. prescribed in a variety of potencies, usually two to three times a week. Each change of potency led to further improvements. Brief and occasional intercurrent remedies were also used. They consisted of:
3. Belladonna (as mentioned) during the early stages of treatment for episodes of rage, biting, striking, and pinching;
4. Tarentula hispanica, given on two separate occasions for an increase in chewing “indigestibles” such as sand, bark, stones, and dirt (this symptom can be common in children with autism because of exaggerated oral-sensory needs); throwing things when upset; biting himself; and noisiness and restlessness exacerbated by music;
5. Phosphorus, on two separate occasions when his “stimming” increased and he would “space out” in a dream-like state; and
6. Lycopodium clavatum, given once when his symptoms changed to: being bossy and demanding at home with frequent tantrums, but well-behaved and compliant at school; loss of appetite; and an increase in obsessive compulsive behaviours – especially with stims. (It is interesting to note that Lycopodium is another complement of Calcarea carb. and often follows it well).
Of course, there have also been a few “near miss” (euphemism for wrong remedy) prescriptions throughout treatment. Even in these events, a patient’s response to a poorly chosen remedy can guide future treatment. When I prescribed a new potency of Calcarea carb. to Ben in the absence of anything more suitable, he aggravated with clear Lycopodium symptoms (see above). While this phenomenon is discussed in the Organon in the context of accessory symptoms and one-sided diseases (Aphorisms 167,168; 179-184), the same principle can be applied to an incorrect prescription. Homeopathy is very forgiving.
At Ben’s last consultation, 17 months after the start of treatment, his response to the Lycopodium clavatum prescription was assessed. His mother said he had initially been less “pushy” and happier but in recent times had become angry. He would brood when upset, refusing to give his parents a cuddle before bedtime, as if to punish them. Sometimes he would strike in anger. Lycopodium had done good work but was now causing an aggravation. It was time for a new prescription.
Other newly emerged symptoms in his case at this time were: wanting to sit in the dark for long periods; obsessed with playing with water; a craving for chocolate (again) and a dislike for fruit and bread (which he used to enjoy). Ben was also rubbing his tongue against his teeth as though it was sore. On examination, it had a red stripe down the centre. His rocking had escalated and he was indecisive about food. All these symptoms pointed to a prescription of Phosphorus. It was commenced in a liquid 12C potency.
One week later, I received a phone call from his mother. She said Ben was more tolerant, rocking less, no longer craving chocolate, and more decisive about food. Though he was still sitting in the dark, this had lessened. Treatment continues.
So – what has homeopathy achieved for Ben? He is certainly a different boy to the one medicated with Risperidone. There have been many improvements – physical, emotional, and behavioural – but he is still carries traits of autism. The stims of rocking, jumping, lining of objects, and hitting his head on the soft lounge, whilst milder, are still present. Although obviously with intelligence, he still does not talk except for a few words. His improvement has been slower and more gradual than the previous two cases in this article, but his autism at the commencement of treatment was also deeper.
That improvements were made with each stage of treatment gives hope that future gains are still possible, perhaps at just a slightly slower rate than for others. One thing is certain, however; homeopathy, with its ability to reach deep into bioenergetic as well as biochemical levels of the body, has the potential to trigger these changes in a way nothing else can.
Parent report: Ben
My name is Irene, and I have a 5.5-year-old boy diagnosed with autism and global developmental delay. I first met Fran when she did a talk at our Support Group meeting and took an interest in her treatment as it is natural and non harming to a child and the outcomes are positive.
Our first goal was to gradually take Ben off the medication that he was taking for his aggressive behaviour, the medicine being Risperidone. As we were not aware of the long-term side-effects of the medication, we were willing to try alternative natural therapy. Ben initially was prescribed Risperidone when he was at the young age of three, when his sister was born. The doctor observed his behaviour and felt that his aggression needed to be placed under control. Over the short term, Risperidone did work but we found that Ben would still have changes in his behaviour – some manageable and others not so. Ben would also seem as if he were in a daze and incoherent and would not function like a child should do at the age of three, whether they have A.S.D. or not. He was very withdrawn and in his own world. For us, this was a massive drawback, and we wanted to change this.
When I contacted Fran and we had our initial appointment, our goal was to rectify this for our little boy and to slowly wean him off Risperidone. Fran has prescribed a number of remedies to address the behaviours and issues that have arisen with Ben over the past 1.5 years – one being a remedy to help Ben overcome the aggression that arose when we were weaning him off the Risperidone. This process took about one month to help Ben overcome the side-effects of the drug, and we saw a greater improvement in his overall behaviour.
The positive changes we have seen in Ben in the course of the treatment are as follows:
Ben is no longer “zoned-out” till mid morning.
He is no longer tracking objects in his hands.
He has less flatulence and straining during a bowel motion.
Ben has always been affectionate, but is now even more affectionate, even to his school teachers, and of course they love that.
He is not distressed by change as much as he used to be.
His receptive language has increased immensely, but unfortunately we still await the day that he will have expressive language. He has the odd occasional word but as yet no real language.
He attends to activities and is interacting more because he has become more focused and can concentrate on the task at hand.
He is generally very happy when he wakes every morning.
Ben manages his anger better, and has more control over it.
Ben is very playful and cheeky when he plays. He has more of an idea of what play is all about and that it is enjoyable.
Ben interacts a lot more with his sister, and she loves it, as she is now receiving attention from her big brother.