Autism and Homeopathy
Autism is the single most common permanent, pervasive developmental disability affecting our children today. Approximately 1.5 percent of all school-aged children today are found to have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This means that at least one child in every second elementary school classroom will live with this condition. Even if a child does not have autism, it is very likely that they will be affected by association.
The cause of autism is not clearly understood. The rapid rise in cases cannot be explained by genetics alone. There is likely a combination of widespread, external factors that pregnant mothers and infants are being exposed to that is precipitating this condition.
There is no one test for ASD. The diagnosis is made on a collection symptoms relating to impaired social ability, communication skills, behaviors and sensory or motor functions. These impairments may consist of: delays in language, or losing speech; repetition of words and phrases (echolalia) or movements, like hand flapping; missing social cues and avoiding eye contact; avoiding conversation, preferring inanimate objects to people; difficulty integrating sensations like pain, light, sound, crowds, touch; repetitive behaviors and ritualized activities; rigid behavior and difficulty in coping with change; fixations or obsessions; and awkwardness, or delayed development of fine and gross motor skills.
Because of these impairments, people with ASD often find the demands of everyday life overwhelming. They frequently experience anxiety, confusion and frustration, which is often outwardly expressed as stubbornness, aggression, disruptive behavior and “meltdowns”. Autism not only affects the child, but every aspect of family life and every family member.
Combining conventional management like speech therapy, occupational therapy, nutritional support and behavioral management, along with homeopathy, can provide the maximum benefit to these kids. Homeopathy is completely safe and non-toxic, which is especially helpful in treating autistic children, as they are often hypersensitive to conventional medication. Homeopathy treats the child as a whole—not only the isolated symptoms of autism. During the homeopathic evaluation, a homeopath will explore in depth the physical and mental constitution of the patient, past medical history, medical history of parents, information about pregnancy and vaccination, and exposure to heavy metals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and toxins.
In addition, the exact peculiarities and unique aspects of each child’s autistic features are essential to choosing the correct homeopathic medication. It is essential to distinguish the features that make this child’s case different, and filter out from what is common to most children, as it is these specific characteristics that lead to the correct selection of the homeopathic medication.
It has been found that children respond very favorably to homeopathy over time. Often, parents, occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists will report that an autistic individual’s progress is greatly accelerated after starting homeopathic treatment. The improvements seen regularly are less rigidity, fewer “meltdowns”, accelerated learning, better relations with family and peers, acquisition of toileting skills, improved sleep, less anxiety, broader food choices and much relief for family members.
Every child is different, of course, and results vary depending on severity, complexity of health issues and age of beginning treatment. The younger the child, the more rapid and broader response can be expected, but even autistic adults benefit from treatment.
When a family has a child with autism, it is likely that there is an increased latent vulnerability within the family—in homeopathic terms, a miasm—that may be expressed in subsequent children. Homeopathy can help with this also, and it is often recommended that siblings and parents also participate in homeopathic treatment.
Dr. Melanie Chimes M.D., MD(H), CCH, is a board-certified pediatrician and doctor of homeopathy, practicing at Arizona Homeopathy Center, located at 1643 N. Alvernon Way, Ste. 102, in Tucson. She received her medical degree in 1985 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and graduated from the American Medical College of Homeopathy in 2002. Since 1999, her private practice in Tucson has served patients of all ages. Connect at 520-743-4660 or AZHomeopathy.com.