Sunday, July 30, 2006

Homeopathy

As a big fan of Classical Homeopathy, having used it very successfully for a variety of problems with both my animals and my family, I naturally turned to Homeopathy the minute I suspected Autism. Actually, that's not true, I had already started working with an on-line Homeopath (located in India) before I even realized what the problem was. I began working with her during The Storm, when Jacob was in the midst of his misery. The consitutional remedy she started him on had an incredible effect, and was able to pull him out of the depths of despair almost instantly. Unfortunately, the effects did not stick with him through continued stress, so we had to mess around with the potency and method of administration for a couple of months before we saw lasting effects. I think the arrival of the puppy helped to stabilize his environment enough to allow the remedy to have it's full, lasting effect.

Homeopathy is a holistic alternative to Allopathy (modern medicine). Homeopathy uses diluted and potentized remedies made from natural substances. (The remedies are, in fact, so diluted that there are no actual molecules of the original substance remaining -- it is the energy from the substance that works on the patient.) Prescribing works on the "law of similars", so a substance that produces certain symptoms can be turned into a remedy to treat an illness/disorder that produces those symtpoms. Prescribing is very specific to the patient, and the patient's emotional state is taken into equal consideration with their physical condition.

Classical Homeopathy differs from Sequential Homeopathy (which seems to be the most popular type of Homeopathy for Autism treatment) because it looks for the one perfect-fit remedy that will return the child to their normal state (normal for them), as opposed to a series of set remedies to treat various ailment stages. Most health food stores carry lower potency single remedies, and also combination remedies (the use of which is yet another type of Homeopathy), that can be helpful for first-aid type treatment. For constitutional treatment and treatment of chronic conditions, higher potency remedies can be purchase at on-line Homeopathic pharmacies and directly from some Homeopaths -- these higher potencies should only be used under the supervision of a professional Homeopath.

Jacob's remedy is in the form of small pellets that he lets dissolve in his mouth. Homeopathic remedies also come in liquid (tincture) form and in fast-dissolving tablets.

We give Jacob a dose of his constitutional remedy whenever he has a series of meltdowns for no apparent reason or a string of extreme emotional reactions to things that he should be able to handle (or, as we refer to it, when he's acting crazy). Initially, we were giving him a dose several times a week, then it was every couple weeks or so, then about once a month. At this point we go months between needing to re-dose him. He has learned to ask for it (he calls it "medicine") when he feels like he needs it.

We also use Homeopathic remedies when our kids (or oursleves) are sick. Jacob has never had any "regular" medicine of any sort (well, he did have one dose of Tylenol once as an infant, which he immediately vomitted up), and has never been to a Pediatrician for illness. We believe that keeping him away from western medicines has helped him to develop a strong immune system -- it certainly seems to be working, he is very rarely sick, and when he is, he has incredible self-healing ability.

Unfortunately, we stopped using the Homeopath that was so helpful for Jacob. She did not support our decision to pursue a diagnosis of Autism -- she said that it didn't matter what the reason for his problems were, all that mattered was that we used the right remedy. I don't want to underplay the benefits he's received from Homeopathy -- emotionally it has been extremely helpful, and it has really helped to keep him on even ground with regards to that. But I just don't see it as being able to help at all to remediate the core deficits of Autism. And here's why: the "normal" state for Jacob's physical body to be in IS with an autistic brain. I feel that we have to physically change the structure of his brain to bring about changes. And I don't see how Homeopathy can help with that.

Our Homeopath did not agree with us, and we parted ways. But she was a great help to us during our worst time, and succesfully treated both Jacob's extreme emotional problems, and my own feelings of inadequacy and doubt in myself at the same time by finding the right remedy for me as well. We'll always be grateful to her for that. Posted by Picasa

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