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From the Townsend Letter,
the Examiner of Alternative Medicine
February/March 2006


Healing with Homeopathy
A Family Affair: Treating the Whole Family with Homeopathy: Part One by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, LCSW, DHANP and Robert Ullman, ND, DHANP

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Read Part Two of this column

Portions of this article are excerpted from our book (co-authored with Ian Luepker, ND) A-Drug Free Approach to Asperger Syndrome and Autism: Homeopathic Care for Exceptional Kids. Picnic Point Press; 2005.

The Dynamics of the Family System
Within a family, each individual plays a part in creating the family system. And like all living systems, families establish a balance called homeostasis, whereby the other family members, as a whole, balance the qualities and characteristics of each individual family member. If one person changes his or her role within a family, the rest of the system must also change to re-establish balance. Think of a mobile hanging from the ceiling: If one portion of the mobile shifts position, the rest of the mobile must shift to regain equilibrium. The family system, as one entity, can move toward a state of health and adjustment. This is what can occur when a child with Asperger Syndrome (AS), or any other imbalance, is successfully treated with homeopathy.

For example, if the mother of a family is over-functioning in terms of parenting responsibilities, it makes sense that her spouse might under-function within that role. If both over-functioned at the same time, the system would be out of balance. In another example, if a child with AS has special dietary needs, such as a gluten-free/casein-free (GH/CF) diet, this shift in a family eating pattern may demand extra energy on the part of the family cook. All the effort and focus on that one child in the family will affect the other siblings and spouse, simply because of how time and attention are being allocated. The rest of the family will respond and attempt to find balance. As a result, while responding to one member of the family who needs increased attention, the spouse and siblings may feel angry, jealous, or unloved. This state can be unhealthy and disruptive.

Within family systems, we all develop established patterns and roles, especially when caring for a struggling family member. So, when a child with AS responds favorably to homeopathy or other interventions, that individual improvement can move the whole system toward a state of overall health and well-being. Parents' roles will shift, responsibilities will change, and the relationships within the family will begin seeking a new balance.

The following cases of a mom and her two sons, both diagnosed with the autism spectrum disorders (ASD), as well as the case of a third son suffering from a gastrointestinal complaint, illustrate how treating several members of a family can produce a transformative and positive result even greater than the sum of the parts. The father of the family profiled in these cases engaged actively in homeopathic care for six months, then discontinued homeopathic care. The mom and the three boys have done extremely well, and perhaps the father will seek care again in the future. It is interesting to observe the order in which the family members came for homeopathic treatment: first, the younger of the children diagnosed with autism; five weeks later, the second child on the autism spectrum; and three months later, the mom. The dad came fourteen months after we saw the first child and then, one month later, the third son with the mild digestive complaint arrived for treatment.

Drew: Autism, ADDH, and Tourette Syndrome
Diagnosed at a pediatric hospital with autism at the age of four, and later with ADHD, Drew's problems had eluded his parents because he was able to blend in so well. A passive infant, it wasn't until a medical profession pointed out what she called the "soft signs" of autism that it dawned on Drew's parents that something was amiss. Drew talked when he was moved to do so. Otherwise, he rarely uttered a word. The youngster was placed in a kindergarten class for developmentally delayed children. The child had two other siblings, the oldest of whom has since been diagnosed with AS. Shortly before we first saw Drew, his diagnosis was changed from autism to AS. Maggie, Drew's mom, shared with us openly:

My goal was healing and recovery. The diagnosis of autism is not something I shared with his peers. I was very reluctant to have Drew assessed cognitively, because if he weren't typical, I didn't think I could bear having a second child who had developmental and learning problems. Drew's testing came back as superior cognitively in all areas. In fact, though he was only in the third grade, he was reading at a ninth-grade level. Drew's grades were mostly As and some Bs. He has always been quite serious academically. I'm a special-ed teacher myself, so I'm aware of the delineations. Drew tests one level below gifted. My hopes are that he can become a scientist or an engineer. He performs fine in a structured setting. Drew has been on Concerta for the past two years for ADHD. We stopped giving it to him because it kept him up at night. He also takes a morning dose of Ritalin. Without the stimulants, Drew acts as if he has Tourette's. He sticks out his tongue, cocks his head, and makes faces. The Concerta kind of reined him in. But Drew just isn't a child that parents feel like inviting over to play with their kids. The parents don't like him because he's so different. "Goofy" is the word they usually use. Drew decided yesterday it would be funny to pretend to spray the congregation with artillery fire, while singing a song and making faces at people. He misses the fact that there are a hundred people looking at him.

Maggie offered a classic example of Drew's behavior: The family had gone to the movies the previous Friday evening. Drew spotted a girl that he knew and immediately put his head right next to hers while making babyish facial expressions and "preverbal gee, gaw, goo sounds." He found the incident entertaining, and he was oblivious to the girl's discomfort.

Drew did not speak by the age of four, prompting his parents to enroll him in an extensive speech therapy program. When the youngster started kindergarten, he showed no interest in connecting with his classmates. Now he did, but they had no desire to be around him. In fact, they made fun of Drew, smashed his projects, and rarely invited him to their birthday parties. The other kids pushed Drew while they were in line to get fitted for ice skates and kicked him when the teacher wasn't looking. Drew responded by withdrawing, "making weird faces,'' and talking to himself. Like many other children with ASD, Drew was clumsy, fell easily and often, and hated sports, except for ice skating.

He Reads the Encyclopedia for Fun
Whenever Drew read a book, he first carefully pored over the index to determine exactly what interested him. He spent a good three to four hours a day perusing the encyclopedia and devouring facts about dinosaurs, Greek myths, and whatever other subject caught his fancy at the moment. In conversation with his parents, he politely informed or corrected them – for example, by providing the historical and biographical information regarding Bacchus and Philomena. If a question came up to which no one knew the answer, you could be sure that Drew would thoroughly research the question, then come back and supply the correct data. His parents were quite pleased with his intellectual prowess, though he would sometimes lecture them in a rather condescending manner. Adults generally found Drew to be fascinating and highly instructive. Yet other parents talked to or about him as if he were mentally retarded, and his pedantic nature only served to further alienate his classmates, who already considered him strange. It is not surprising that, academically, Drew "blew the other kids out of the water." Yet taking Drew out in public presented a challenge for his parents:

You're always afraid of what he's going to do. Once he hit another child with a shovel at a Cub Scout meeting. Another time his brother pulled down Drew's pants while they were on the playground during recess and the youngster hadn't a clue that he should pull them back up. Then there was pajama day at school when Drew forgot to wear his underwear underneath his pajamas. His dad's stomach is in knots when he takes him to a scout meeting because he never knows what to expect. We live in a rather snotty neighborhood and prefer to say nothing about our son having autism. We walk on eggshells because everyone else on our block who has been different has ended up moving away.

Drew had a fascination with guns, and was beginning to exhibit aggressive tendencies. Once when Maggie told him she didn't have enough change for a doughnut, he raised his arm to strike her. Drew had recently kicked in the door of his Sunday school classroom. He had also become increasingly reactive towards a bully who was habitually victimizing him at school.

Dreams of Explosions, Spaceships, Murders, and Fires
What first impressed us were Drew's beautiful facial features and his habit of fidgeting restlessly throughout the interview. The child told us that he had a hard time going to sleep at night because of his fear of nightmares. And that his brother "was egging him on to act goofy and to make stupid faces and sounds." He proceeded, spontaneously, to launch into a detailed description of his vivid dreams. They often involved a spaceship or some other vehicle or object blowing up or catching fire. Somehow the driver or pilot remained unharmed, despite extraordinary flight paths directly through mountains or pyramids. Some of his dreams made references to "growling, showing your claws, biting, squeezing, beating out the stuffing and intestines, and being captured." These powerful dreams had such an impact on Drew that he thought them to be real, even after waking up. This type of dream had special significance in light of the homeopathic medicine we ended up prescribing for Drew. Over and over, he referred to being hunted down, and of the fear that someone or something was trying to eat him or do something bad to him.
Drew could have easily spent an hour or more expounding elaborately on his dreams. When the subject turned to school, Drew painted a rosy picture. He denied being bullied by others and could not remember a time during recess when the other children mistreated him. The youngster even insisted that he had plenty of friends, which was clearly not the case. We surmised that it was just too embarrassing for him to tell us the painful truth about his social ostracism. Drew also told us that he was very fond of cats.

Exceptional Features
Drew was remarkably bright, articulate, and imaginative, and he exhibited the typical AS pedantic, professorial tendency. His habits of putting himself right in the faces of his peers and of making odd grimaces, gestures, and noises was not at all unusual among the ASD population. Although Drew was the only child we have met so far to devour the encyclopedia for several hours at a time, his passion for knowledge, though extreme, was not something new to our ears. What seemed most curious was the recurrent, vivid, violent dreams, which were so intense that he was afraid to go to sleep at night. The first medicine that we prescribed was Stramonium (thorn apple), one of the most common homeopathic medicines for intense, fearful, violent children. The fears of a child needing this medicine often include wild animals, the dark, and water. Though there was a definite benefit from the medicine, we were not completely satisfied and gave three other medicines a trial before settling on the final one, which has helped Drew the most dramatically over the past nine months. We will first describe the child's positive response to Stramonium, before illustrating the benefit he derived from his most recent prescription.

Better Speech and Eye Contact, Then a Relapse
Within an hour of taking Stramonium, Drew's speech was noticeably different. (It usually takes days to weeks before the effects of homeopathy are obvious, but some patients report a definite shift within minutes or hours.) That evening, his eye contact improved. Drew blushed for the first time in his life. His behavior and conversation was more appropriate, and his tendency to fixate dramatically lessened. In place of the childish jokes he had told before, now he talked to his mother in a much more mature fashion. Drew told his mom that he was very happy she had taken him for homeopathic treatment. The all-around improvement lasted for a little over a month. Maggie noticed a regression shortly after he drank some of his dad's coffee. (It is common knowledge among homeopaths that, in some patients, coffee can interrupt the positive effect of a homeopathic medicine.) After six weeks, Maggie reported the following:

You would not believe what we've seen. It has been so thrilling. His father was totally amazed, too. He was a different Drew. The kids who shunned him are now playing basketball with him. Right after taking the medicine, he was more aggressive for a day or two. Then, there was this wonderful period for a month. The kid who was always inside that we never saw came out. His last report card showed improvement in twenty different areas. He got seventeen As. Before drinking the coffee, he was actually hanging out with the other kids at church. The Tourette symptoms were gone. Now they've begun again. He is again saying repetitive, goofy things. In the past week, he's been crawling around on the floor howling, and he chased a neighbor boy with a bat. The disconnectedness with others is back, and his speech is more choppy again. The babyish quality is back.

We asked Drew how he had felt since the homeopathic treatment. He replied that he felt more in control instead of being a "goofball and out of whack." H acknowledged that he was able to play with more kids and that his self-esteem was better. The Stramonium was repeated. Over the following nine months, Drew continued to progress, but not to the extent that we knew was possible. The child continued to have disturbing, violent dreams, including more dreams of being hunted down, which prevented him from going to sleep easily. We tried three other medicines without a significant further improvement.

The Puzzle Pieces Come Together

By mid-December, 2003, Drew was having some good days and some bad days at school. The original dramatic improvements had lasted only partially. Although much about Drew was undeniably better than before beginning homeopathy, we were not satisfied. He told us about his urges to throw cups at people's heads, steal food, and "concoct huge messes." The habit of stealing food caught our attention. We also explored in depth the feeling of being chased. Drew explained that he didn't like using up all his muscles and fuel. It felt to him as if a little, magnetic tracking device allowed others to get him. He used, as he had before, a number of animal images, which made us wonder if he might, in fact, need a homeopathic medicine made from an animal source. This was confirmed when he repeated words such as the pursuer, sneak up on you, stalk, hide, and pounce. When we explored this subject line further, Drew spoke clearly of someone getting him while his back was turned, of his being surrounded, grabbed, and stealthily overpowered. "They sneak up and kill you. You're hunched down, below eye level. Then everybody shoots. You jump up on the person and attack him. You claw him. Like my cat." At this point, Drew made a ferocious big-cat-like gesture. "Then they kill you." Drew provided steadily more clues to identify the vicious animal that he was describing — big claws, sharp teeth, and a pitch-black color (in order to be camouflaged in the dark).

It was clear that he was using the same words again and again, and that the images had come to life. We prescribed homeopathic Panther. (Rest assured that homeopathic mammal medicines are made from a drop of blood or milk so that no harm is done to the animal providing the sample.) Although no formal homeopathic proving of Panther has been performed, information can be gleaned from zoological literature as well as from the few existing cases of homeopathic colleagues. The main traits of panthers, which are actually a type of leopard, is their adaptability. The primary conflict in those patients needing this medicine, according to Dr. Divya Chhabra of Mumbai, India, is the desire, on one hand, of being alone, elusive, and free versus the need to adapt. We did observe that tendency in Drew's reaction to being bullied by his peers—he did not fight back as some children might have done.

We first prescribed the Panther fifteen months ago, and Drew has continued to respond very favorably. Within two months of the original dose, Drew was getting along much better with his peers—no fighting, kicking, or shoving. He shared that there just wasn't much that annoyed him anymore because his tolerance was better. The chasing theme in the child's dreams had been replaced by the occasional UFO or spaceship. Dads are generally harder sells than moms when it comes to acknowledging improvement in their kids, but Drew's dad affirmed that his son was much more easy-going since the Panther. His attentiveness was significantly improved. He had even invited his "mortal enemy" to his house to play a few weeks earlier, and they got along famously. Maggie shared that Drew seemed much more peaceful and happy. His behavior was noticeably more flexible when things didn't go according to his plan. Drew needed one more dose of the Panther six months after the first dose when some of his symptoms began to return. That dose set him back on course. Since that time, the youngster is much more able to assess relationships with others and to sort out friendships for himself. Happier, more interactive, and just plain fun to be around, Drew's lost the goofy, alienating behaviors he once displayed. He was "just one of the guys" at vacation Bible school and fit right in at a church camp-out. He has become much more interested in going out and being with people. He actually asks to accompany Maggie when she goes out to do errands. Drew is much more willing to experiment with different foods, and he has learned to keep his mouth closed when he eats. Although his eye contact still has room for improvement and Maggie describes his speech as "still jagged, not linear," the youngster has made tremendous strides with homeopathic treatment.

The next patient in the family to come in for our care was Jimmy, who had requested treatment because his brother seemed to have responded so well.

Jimmy: Asperger Syndrome, Semantic-Pragmatic Disorder

Our child is a savant in math. Jimmy's eleven, and he can tell you how many seconds there are in a month. But ask him what an ironing board is, and he doesn't have a clue. The things he's interested in capture his awareness, but he's oblivious to the world around him. Jimmy was diagnosed with AS about two years ago. The only medication he takes is Concerta. His brother is also on the spectrum.

Since Maggie, Jimmy's mom, was a special-ed teacher, she was overjoyed to tell us anything about her son that might provide a clue for us to help him. She had educated herself about homeopathy beforehand by devouring a couple of our books, and she knew that anything unusual about pregnancy and labor might interest us.

All Jimmy Wants to Do is Draw Aircraft and Aliens

When Jimmy discovered a book of aircraft pictures, he simply couldn't put it down. We took him to an air show when he was two years old. Jimmy had gone down the rows and classified the planes: F-14, F-16, F-18, Stealth. He even corrected one of the pilots there. We thought it was adorable. This child was a walking encyclopedia of the artillery. He could recite all the specs. It never occurred to Jimmy that other kids couldn't care less about ammunition. He could easily entertain adults but couldn't talk to kids.

When we told Jimmy it was time to go to preschool, he replied that he'd rather go back to bed. He hadn't the least interest in coloring or cutting out shapes. The teachers warned us at the time that he wasn't going to do well. They were dead on right. Jimmy's dad and I thought we had one smart little boy, but by October, the school called us to say he wasn't making it at all. The special-ed teacher would tell him to do an assignment and, half an hour later, the kid wouldn't even have lifted a pen to begin. What they asked of him just didn't interest him, so he wouldn't buy into it. Jimmy is very polite, very nice, so he's never rude or disrespectful like the other boys. He just doesn't do what they expect of the other children. They pressured us to have Jimmy repeat kindergarten.

He was the youngest boy in the class. Even when he repeated the year, he had difficulty. Here was the class all in a circle. And there was Jimmy. It's not that he lacks social skills. Jimmy has no problem finding someone to talk to, because he's just a really nice kid. He wants so badly to do well in school. Though he's only in fifth grade, Jimmy has tested at an eleventh-grade level in reading. He's gifted in math and his verbal ability is excellent. They actually put him on a TV show because listening to him is so entertaining.

It's an ordeal to get Jimmy up in the morning. Brushing his teeth, washing his face, putting on clean clothes—these are irrelevant to him. Drawing, reading, and playing computer games are how he would prefer to spend his day. Our boys have never had the opportunity to watch commercial TV, and they don't have Game Boys or X-Boxes. So, Jimmy just draws – even in his brother's books. Pictures of military gear, guns, aircraft, soldiers, aliens. As much as he loves to draw, he hates to write. The complaint from his teacher is that he doesn't do his work, but just draws.

A Polite, Sensitive, and Kind Child
One of the only three "polite" boys in his class, Jimmy would not consider acting rudely or disrespectfully. Popular with adults, Jimmy was an active participant in soccer, Cub Scouts, Math Olympiad, and a tech club. If he didn't want to do what was asked of him, he exercised a kind of passive resistance. Jimmy's parents were particularly concerned about a period of sadness two months earlier that had "almost crippled him emotionally." They took it quite seriously, especially due to a history of depression on both sides of the family – maternal grandparents and a paternal uncle who eventually committed suicide. The pediatrician agreed that Jimmy manifested all the classic signs of depression: nothing mattered to him, even food; he complained of feeling sad all the time; things he previously enjoyed no longer appealed to him; and he showed no interest in being around other kids. The school psychologist had warned Jimmy's parents that two years after children began taking Concerta or the other stimulants, they often experienced depression. The school nurse told them the same thing. Maggie reported the following:

Out in your waiting room, Jimmy took it upon himself to read to the younger children. This is a kid who's tremendously sensitive and kind. Jimmy absorbs things. It affected him deeply when he saw the children drowning in Titanic. I just feel the real Jimmy hasn't been able to come out in a way that fits with his kindness and intelligence. Everybody likes Jimmy, but there's such a gap between who he really is and what he can do. They recruited him for the math team, but when there was an elite competition, they didn't invite him because of his lack of follow-through. Jimmy's a low-energy kid. His younger brother bounds into the day, but no matter how much energy Jimmy expends, he can't keep up. We were quite surprised he wanted to play soccer. He's a fast runner, but he never scores goals. Jimmy's just not pushed to do that. With the clarinet, it's deadly to get him to practice. All of our son's activities are limited by his energy.

Jimmy was prone to develop sores on his body, which he would inevitably make bigger by scratching. When he was younger, abnormally enlarged tonsils had been a problem for him. From ages one to five, Jimmy was in and out of the emergency room every couple of months for ear infections and bad colds. An abnormally large, hairy mole appeared and kept growing larger and larger until it had finally been removed the previous fall. During the last year, Jimmy had become very furtive, stealing candy, cookies, and food. Jimmy's dad even bought a lock box for the sweets to discourage the habit, but Jimmy's parents still found the sandwiches he was sent for lunch hidden in his backpack. He would rather skip the main course and cut straight to the sugar.

A Whiz at Cube Roots of Pi and Armed Weapons
To speak with Jimmy personally was fascinating:

I heard you gave my brother a very good medicine that helped him become more focused with his schoolwork, and I wanted to see if you could give me some, too. Something to help me be able to use my brain to its full potential. To figure out math problems in class more easily. I can get the problem done. I know what the answer is but I get a little off-subject and then I completely forget the answer. I don't like that. Say I was talking to you about a math problem, then suddenly I went [the diplomas on the consulting room wall caught Jimmy's attention],"Wow, those are interesting medical degrees."

I hate to play my clarinet. Getting my reed to work is hard. Say there's a note I have to make, but I hear no sound coming out of the instrument. The problem is the idea of concentration. Or say I want to find what a word means in the dictionary, but I can't seem to find it until the topic is already over. I need to be more direct and on the spot. I like to do math in my head. Square roots, cube roots, fractions, pi. I know quite a few roots of pi [Jimmy recited them aloud.] The cube root of 27 is 3. The cube root of 2,197 is 13. I can get the problem in my brain in seconds, but I may not know how to explain it. 19,683 is the answer to 27 cubed. [We quickly checked Jimmy's answer and it was right on.] I would like to do other things like the clarinet but I'm not really motivated.

When we inquired about Jimmy's fascination with military gear and weapons, he explained:

I don't like violence or hurting anyone. That's the subject I've studied the most. My dad used to be a military pilot, so we can talk about these things. You can ask me about any military weapon [here Jimmy rattled off a number of names that went right over our heads]. What's the most heavily armed tank in the world? I like to shoot a gun at targets but not at any animals. I would try to find the least violent alternative to stop violence.

We asked Jimmy to tell us what it felt like to be depressed. He answered that nothing really seemed fun. That he would just sort of lie around and not do anything:

When I feel sad, I like rain. It's kind of like explaining rain. Or like trying to explain how to talk to a dumb person who can't speak. Or like trying to explain to somebody who's eight years old and about to die how to speak English. If it's rainy and gray outside, I just like it.

I have a large and expanded vocabulary. Once I wrote a page of over one hundred words and their Latin roots. I can also read with almost complete fluency, including words that most of my peers would get stuck on.

To prove his point, Jimmy picked up a homeopathic reference book from the desk and read from it quite accurately. Though an exceptional public speaker, Jimmy had a distinct fear of standing out. In second grade, presenting math facts in front of the class made him very nervous. When the family went to a movie and his parents stayed to read the credits, Jimmy was mortified. "We have to get out of here," he would insist.

Exceptional Features
Jimmy's knowledge of weaponry was phenomenal. It is not uncommon for children with AS to develop a tremendous fund of knowledge, even a photographic memory, about a specific, often rather obscure subject, but a few other aspects of Jimmy stood out for us – first, his sincerity and motivation to get help, paired with his seeming disinterest in schoolwork. It was evident that he very much wanted help with concentration in order to accomplish his tasks with greater ease. Remember, he was the one who had asked his mother to bring him in for homeopathic treatment. This is not something we hear often. Secondly, Jimmy was an unusually polite child, particularly compared to some of the ruffians in his class. His was a politeness not merely born out of rigidity, but a sincere courteousness. Jimmy was exceptionally kind and considerate, and he had a real desire to please.

This nature, combined with the recurrent ear infections, limited stamina, and mathematical genius, led us to give Jimmy Silica. Silica is a mineral medicine for children and adults who are conscientious about doing well, but lack the grit and strength to carry out their intentions. They tend to be polite and to try very hard to please and to live up to the expectations of those they respect. We had used the same medicine successfully with a couple of other math savants. Our previous experience led us to suggest to Jimmy's parents a possible secondary diagnosis of Segmantic-Pragmatic Disorder.

Better and Better
Silica is known among homeopaths to be a medicine that can be slow to act, so we were willing to wait several months before drawing a conclusion as to whether it was the best medicine for him. At six weeks, his dad reported no dramatic change. Jimmy had developed a new interest in fabrics used for camping gear, his mission being to make the perfect jacket from a combination of Mylar and polypropylene.

At the three-month follow-up visit, Jimmy's parents were happy to report that he was getting straight Bs and was definitely more communicative and involved with people. A lady came up to Jimmy's mom and commented, "Your son is so engaged." When another boy fell into the lake at summer camp, Jimmy demonstrated the presence of mind to plunge in with all his clothes on and save him. Afterwards, when the counselor came up to thank him, Jimmy brushed it off, wanting no credit. Another step forward, literally, was Jimmy's and his dad's plan for a fifty-mile hike, a task that would have been far beyond Jimmy's previous level of physical capacity. Jimmy expounded on the pros and cons of internal versus external frame backpacks. He mentioned casually that he used to be afraid of other kids laughing at him, but wasn't anymore. We knew this was a good sign and a likely benefit of the Silica.

Jimmy needed a second dose of the medicine seven months later, after having eaten a Ricola cough drop, a menthol-containing product that can interrupt the action of homeopathic medicines. He did not relapse to anywhere near to the level he had presented at the first interview, but did become really tired after playing soccer, and he felt like sleeping the second half of the school day. Jimmy explained why he believed that he needed a repetition of the medicine:

Grades are pretty important. They determine how your life will go. I want to get good grades, not bad grades, so I can feel good about myself. Now is the time to prepare for college. I'm feeling demoralized and much more tired. I want to get in the habit of getting better grades, not be left behind. Being held back would be the thing I definitely would not want to happen. I would feel really bad. I was held back in kindergarten. I didn't really care then, but I sure would now.

Return visits are opportunities for us to get to know our patients more deeply. Once a child is doing well, we can relax and spend more time letting him say whatever comes into his mind. What he chooses to talk about and how he expresses himself confirm for us whether the medicine is correct and whether he is progressing steadily. It's delightful for us to hear straight from the child himself that he is doing better. Jimmy obliged us.

I really don't like to stand out. It's one of those things you can't put a face to, you know. Maybe if you said something really crazy or dumb. Say you fell over in your chair. They wouldn't exactly be laughing at you, but they would think you were a strange, weird person.

Self-consciousness is a prominent issue of Silica, which reassured us we had made a good choice. Jimmy went on:

I'd like more of that homeopathic stuff again. About seven or eight weeks ago, after I had that Ricola cough drop, I got more tired and it was harder to concentrate. Your medicine makes me more focused and less tired. It makes it easier to do school work. It makes everything a lot easier. The Concerta doesn't really seem to work. Explaining how it's supposed to work is like describing how a bird flies or how you walk. You just can't.

Eighteen months into treatment, his mother proudly announced that the child's IQ had gone up 20 points from the last time he had been tested and that he had been accepted recently into the gifted program at school. Jimmy's teacher told his parents that, in his 25-plus years of classroom experience, he had never seen a child make so much progress in one year. It has now been two-and-a-half years since we first met Jimmy. He is almost six feet tall, plays cross country and soccer, won five Boy Scout badges, is in all honors classes, and was rewarded for his rescuing his fellow scout by being invited to throw the first pitch at a major league baseball game. He sits with other kids at lunch, which is a real leap for any child with AS, is witty, and, in the words of his mom, has "made a world for himself."

Two Down and Three to Go
Once Maggie had received help for her two ASD spectrum sons, she was the next in line to come for homeopathic care. But, that's another story, one we will discuss in our next column.

Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are licensed naturopathic physicians board-certified in homeopathy. Their books include Ritalin-Free Kids, Rage-Free Kids, Prozac Free; Homeopathic Self-Care: The Quick and Easy Guide for the Whole Family; Whole Woman Homeopathy, The Patient's Guide to Homeopathic Medicine; and Mystics, Masters, Saints and Sages-Stories of Enlightenment. They teach and lecture internationally and practice at The Northwest Center for Homeopathic Medicine in Edmonds, WA and Langley, WA. Their latest book, co-authored with Ian Luepker, ND., is A Drug-Free Approach to Asperger Syndrome and Autism: Homeopathic Medicine for Exceptional Kids. They treat patients by phone as well as in person, and now by videoconferencing. They can be reached by telephone at (425) 774-5599, or you can visit their website at


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