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Autism and Homeopathy
by Amy Lansky, Ph.D.
www.ImpossibleCure.com
Reprinted by permission.  March 2007.

Read Amy's Article: The Hope of Homeopathy by Amy Lansky, PhD. (PDF)  Mothering Magazine article, January 2006

Homeopathy isn't a "take this for that" medicine. Ten different autistic children might be prescribed ten different remedies. Choice of remedy depends on a child's individual characteristics. However, there are some remedies that are more commonly used than others to treat children in this community.

Autism, unfortunately, is a very serious condition and is not an easy cure. For example, while ADD (ADHD) has an 70% cure rate in many homeopathic practices, autism is much more difficult. However there are definitely many cases of homeopathic autism cures besides Max's. Although complete cures cannot be expected in most cases, the homeopath who treated Max (John Melnychuk -- see below) and many other homeopaths who treat autistic children are seeing significant progress in a majority of cases. If treatment begins early -- especially before age 5 -- there is room for great hope! Even later treatment can find success. But you must have commitment and view treatment as a long term process that will take months and years, not days or weeks.

Note that by "cure," we mean cure without the ongoing need for a heavily restricted diet, therapies, etc. -- i.e. complete recovery, not just functioning better. If you met Max today (at age 14) you would never suspect he had been autistic. He attends regular school at age level, is an excellent student who gets all A's and B's, and is outgoing, friendly, and popular socially. He no longer has any food sensitivities. He still sees his homeopath once or twice a year and takes occasional remedies. But even in Max's case, it took two years of treatment until he was testing at age level and another four or five years until we felt he no longer had any vestiges of autism. So cure is possible, but it requires commitment on your part.

Because autism is difficult to treat, we recommend that you seek out a very experienced classical homeopath (one remedy at a time, no mixtures) and stick with it for at least a year. Do not try to treat your child yourself. If you read Impossible Cure you will learn what classical homeopathic treatment is all about and how to discern if a particular practitioner is classical. Ideally, select a practitioner whose entire practice is devoted to homeopathy.

Many people have inquired about homeopathic "detox" treatments or "sequential therapy" approaches to homeopathy. These kinds of therapies have been successful in some cases. However, such protocols are sometimes implemented in ways that can be drastic and harsh. My own preference and recommendation is to find a well-trained and open-minded classical homeopath instead. Not all practitioners who use nonstandard homeopathic protocols have thorough training. Be sure that you check practitioner qualifications and training in homeopathy. A practitioner who treats autistic children should have at least four years of training in homeopathy and preferably several more years of clinical experience. Ask for patient references.

In our view and experience, properly and individually selected remedies can naturally detox the body in a gradual and natural way. Predetermined protocols that are not tailored to the specific symptoms being exhibited by a child can sometimes be misguided, given the acute sensitivity of autistic children.

As far as sequential therapy goes, it can be used in beneficial ways in the hands of a skilled practitioner. In our view, this approach should be applied in a way that is guided by the presenting symptoms of the child -- which is, after all, the very foundation of the homeopathic approach. The way sequential therapy works is, based on the history of symptoms of a case, a remedy is given to address each "event", in reverse order. The remedies chosen are often based on an idea of "specifics" (see page 157 in Impossible Cure). So you'll get one remedy to treat this vaccine, then a month later another remedy to treat the previous vaccine, etc. Sometimes this approach is applied in a very routine way rather than being based on the actual symptoms being presented by the patient at the given time.

Please be aware that many classical homeopaths will use variants of detox and sequentialist approaches if they need to. For example, if treatment is not progressing using the indicated remedies, a vaccine in potency might be used to unblock a case. Similarly, classical homeopaths will use nosodes as remedies when they are indicated. So don't worry that a classical homeopath won't use "detox" or "sequential" techniques if they need to. They just won't do it in a routine way, which (in our view) is very wise. Each case must be treated individually. This is our opinion, based on our experience as well as reports from other parents.

Please also remember that it usually takes a practitioner time to find a good remedy and dosing regimen -- sometimes months of trial and error. In Max's case, there was slow and steady improvement throughout, but that's unusual. It's really a long term process -- but well worth it! Your child's life is at stake -- and your own life as well. Once you begin to see improvement, you will have an easier time sticking with it. Try to be patient. Autism cures are usually slow -- but slow and steady wins the race. If you have no success over a period of time with a particular homeopath, try another. Successful homeopathic treatment, unfortunately, depends on the ability of the practitioner to successfully find the right remedy for your child. See referral information below.

Don't give up hope for recovery.

So many parents with autistic kids become despondent and don't believe their kid can recover. This really works against them. Don't give in to despair. Try as hard as you can to be loving, accepting, but confident that full recovery is possible. In addition, try not to become accommodated to or invested in your child's illness. Don't try to convince yourself that your child is just fine as an autistic person; they will be much better off if they aren't autistic! Striking a balance between love and acceptance of your child and confidence in their improvement can sometimes be difficult, but you can achieve it. Moreover, don't be afraid of potential disappointment. What's worse, experiencing disappointments or never trying at all? You owe it to your child to not let your own fears get in the way.

The sooner you seek treatment the better.

In a way, autistic children "leave" us and the further away they get, the harder it is to bring them back. Besides, as the brain grows and matures, it becomes more set in its ways. When allopathic drugging comes into play, the situation becomes even more difficult. Ideally, you should treat before age 5 or 6. However, even older autistic children can manifest significant improvement that will improve their quality of life.

Give the issue of vaccination serious thought.

There's been a huge rise in autism in the USA over the past twenty years -- from about 1/10,000 to 1/150 -- and the most suspected culprit (at least within the autism community) is vaccination damage. Some believe it is the mercury in the vaccines. Some believe it is the vaccines themselves -- the most suspected ones are the MMR and DPT. If your child experienced convulsions, fever, and shrieking before the onset of autism, DPT is highly suspect. If the onset was more insidious, especially if accompanied by gut problems, MMR is more likely. The Hepatitis B vaccine is also suspected by some parents. Whatever the reason, many believe that vaccines are the cause of 99% of the cases of autism and the reason for the dramatic rise over the past 20 years. The vaccinations trigger autism as a kind of auto-immune disorder. More children are experiencing other kinds of auto-immune diseases as well -- diabetes, severe allergies, etc. The vaccination trigger for autism may be one reason that homeopathy is successful, because it has a good track record in correcting vaccination damage.

Pay attention to potential food allergens.

Many autistic children improve significantly if they adhere to dietary restrictions. It is likely that the vaccinations have triggered severe food allergies in these children that affect their brain, resulting in autism. Eliminating the allergens can unburden their systems and provide relief, though usually not a cure. Homeopathic treatment can then go in and, over time, remove the allergic tendency altogether. However, as this can take a number of years, it is best to remove foods from the diet that are aggravating your child's condition. As homeopathic treatment creates improvement, you can slowly introduce foods back in.

One of the most implicated problem foods is milk -- especially cow's milk. A study at the University of Florida on the effects of milk protein on the brain found that eliminating dairy helped something like 95% of autistic and psychotic kids! Goat milk is not as bad (it contains less milk proteins), but try to cut out all cow milk and dairy in general. Some people also believe that pasteurization is the culprit and advocate using raw milk instead.

Other common food allergens are wheat and gluten. You might also experiment with eliminating corn (why add genetically engineered foods into the problem?) and avoid food colorings as much as possible.

Try to keep things constant when you embark upon homeopathy.

Most homeopaths will request that you not add in or remove other treatments in the initial stages of homeopathic treatment. In this way, the homeopath can assess the effects of a remedy on your child. If you change many things at the same time, it is hard to assess what is achieving what effect.

Other Therapies

Besides food elimination, there are many other therapies being recommend for autistic children. In our experience, none of these are likely to cure autism, but many can greatly improve your child's condition. Some of these treatments may interfere with homeopathic treatment; you might wish to try them before homeopathic treatment or to forego them until you give homeopathy a thorough try. Others are highly complementary and work synergistically with homeopathy. We are not experts in any of these treatments besides homeopathy. So the following should be taken as our opinion rather than as gospel.

Traditional Hands-On Osteopathic Treatment (or Cranio/Sacral Therapy).

Osteopathic manipulation is very gentle and was very helpful in Max's case. It works very synergistically with homeopathic treatment. Make sure the practitioner you select is very experienced in this kind of treatment -- not simply a massage practitioner who has taken a course on cranial-sacral treatment. Ideally, find a certified D.O. who only does hands-on work, not conventional medicine.

Energy Healing -- Reiki, Prayer, etc.

These kinds of treatments, if performed by yourself or a knowledgeable practitioner, can be very helpful and can boost the effects of homeopathic treatment.

Chelation

The goal of chelation therapies is to remove toxic metals such as mercury from the body. While these treatments can have striking results, they are sometimes short-lived. They can also be very harsh in their effects, and they may interfere with homeopathic treatment. Be aware that successful homeopathic treatment can also effectively, though often slowly, chelate harmful metals from the body.

Supplements

A variety of supplements are often recommended for autistic children -- e.g., Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C, DMG, Magnesium, Omega-3 fats, and others. We are not experts on these supplements, but many have reported significant improvements when using them. If you use them, you should do so under the guidance of a practitioner. They will probably not interfere with homeopathic treatment. You should discuss the issue with your homeopath. (Max did not use any nutritional supplements.)

Behavioral, Auditory, Occupational, Language and other Therapies

These kinds of therapies are very helpful in helping autistic children learn to communicate with and navigate within their world. While these therapies may provide only limited help without homeopathic treatment, with homeopathic treatment, a child will benefit much more greatly from them and truly begin to blossom. If you pursue homeopathic treatment, you should continue such programs until they are no longer necessary.

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