Dr. Bruce Semon, M.D., Ph.D.

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Autism

AUTISM

This page is based on the clinical experience and research of Bruce Semon, M.D., Ph.D., a Board Certified child psychiatrist and doctorate nutritionist, and parent of an adolescent with autism.

A review on Amazon.com talks about success:

 

5.0 out of 5 stars This book has changed my grandsons life!, March 20, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
We are blessed to live near Milwaukee and thus Dr. Bruce Semon’s practice. The difference in our our 5 year old grandson with autism is beyond words to express. Within 6 weeks following the start of this diet his speech has gone from occasional one word commands to 4-5 word sentences and much greater vocalization (even if we can’t understand it all). We are discovering that our grandson has so many food and chemical sensitivities that the diet must be strictly followed. It is amazing how maladaptive behaviors can be predicted simply by tracking his food intake. This diet is not a cure, and the road is still a difficult one at times, but I want to scream from the rooftops a HUGE thank you for this book and treatment!

 

For more information about the personal story of Dr. Semon’s son, see Reversing Autism: the story behind Feast Without Yeast.
This page contains information about autism and how to treat autism by channging diet and using homeopathy. This is not intended to be specific medical advice for specific individuals. Dr. Semon is available for consultations and new patients. Call toll-free 1-877-332-7899. For more detailed information, we suggest that you make an appointment to see Dr. Semon or read our new book, An Extraordinary Power to Heal, which has a chapter devoted to Autism, and explains how anti-yeast therapy helps people overcome Autism. Dr. Semon also explains, in great detail, the interrelationship between yeast free diets and gluten/wheat free and casein/milk free diets. Wisconsin Institute of Nutrition’s new cookbook, Extraordinary Foods for the Everyday Kitchen, is completely free of yeast, gluten and casein as well as common allergens of soy, rye, corn, peanuts and other food. It is also Kosher

 

 

AUTISM AND COTTONSEED  Posted 9/29/12

I read recently in Nature that a child is more likely to be autistic if the father is older at time of conception.[i]  The risks increase starting at the age of 25.  The risk for older fathers can be up to 2%.  Older fathers are more likely to have an autistic child because as men age, they are more likely to have accumulated “spontaneous” genetic mutations in their sperm cells.  Sperm cells reproduce and divide every 15 days so that over time small changes in the genes may gradually accumulate.  By contrast, women’s eggs do not continue to divide, so there is no increased risk of autism for an older woman than for a younger woman giving birth.

No one can truly account for the “spontaneous” mutations and where they come from.  Men who are between the ages of 25 and 35 are considered young.  Their skin, organ, and other cells keep dividing with very few mutations. So why should sperm cells accumulate mutations which may cause some autism?

Maybe we should look for an answer in something that is known to target sperm cells.  This is a toxin that comes from the seed of the cotton plant called gossypol. As we will see below, gossypol causes major problems with DNA but is found in our food.  Why?  The cotton gin separates the cotton fiber from the seed.  The fiber becomes our clothing.  Cottonseed remains.  Cottonseed contains valuable protein, so farmers feed it to animals instead of disposing of it.  The only problem is that cottonseed is loaded with multiple poisons, one of which is gossypol.  When too much cottonseed is fed to animals, they bleed to death or die due to failing hearts and lungs.  Scientists have spent many research years determining how much cottonseed can be safely fed to farm animals such as pigs and chickens. Even in non-lethal amounts, cottonseed toxins accumulate in the animals. This means that  the cottonseed toxins, including gossypol, are still in the animal products and human beings then eat these toxins daily as they eat beef, pork, chicken and dairy products.

The cottonseed toxin gossypol does a double whammy on sperm .  Gossypol prevents the assembly of microtubules, a necessary process in the development of sperm.[ii]  Too much gossypol fed to male animals leads to infertility .  They can’t produce sperm.

But gossypol has another effect.  Gossypol causes breaks in DNA and can cause exchange of genetic material between chromosomes.[iii]  Both of these effects are genetic mutations.  Gossypol is called “genotoxic” because it is toxic to DNA.

But these effects do not prevent the presence of gossypol containing cottonseed in animal feed. The gossypol is then present in the meat that people eat. Human beings are therefore eating a toxic chemical which can cause toxic effects on DNA.

I do not know of any other “genotoxic” chemical that is regularly found in our food. Gossypol, however, is found at about 4 parts per million in a piece of chicken .  While this may not seem like a large quantity, remember that for most people this toxic chemical is coming in every day and some will find its way into sperm producing cells.

We cannot know without further research whether gossypol is responsible for “spontaneous” mutations in men’s sperm as they age.  But before writing off an increased risk of autism to older fathers to “spontaneous” mutations as an effect of simple aging, may be scientists should look further. Maybe they should ask whether something in our food could cause these “spontaneous” genetic mutations.  Gossypol could account for some of these mutations, and should be further investigated.   The only reason cottonseed can be fed to animals is that people do not know that these toxins are there .

There are many other cottonseed toxins that pose several other major health risks including heart disease and Alzheimer’s.  These risks are detailed in an upcoming book by Dr. Bruce Semon about Cottonseed, Alzheimer’s and Your Brain. Look for it in January 2013.  For more information on how you can contribute to research on the relationship between cottonseed and a myriad of health problems, click here.



[i] O’Roak, B. J., Vives, L. Girirajan, S., Karakoc, E., Krumm, N., Coe, B. P., Levy, R., Ko, A., Lee, C., Smith, J. D., Turner, E. H., Stanaway, I. B., Vernot, B., Malig, M., Baker, C., Reilly, B., Akey, J. M., Borenstein, E., Rieder, M. J., Nickerson, D. A., Bernier, R., Shendure, J., Eichler, E. E., Sporadic autism exomes reveal a highly interconnected protein network of de novo mutations. Nature. 2012, Apr. 4; 485(7397):246-50

 

[ii] Medrano, F. J., Andreu, J. M. Binding of gossyol to purified tubulin and inhibition of its assembly into microtubules.  Eur. J. Biochem 1986;158(1):63-9.

[iii] Nordenskjold, M. and B. Lambert  Gossypol induces DNA strand breaks in human fibroblasts and sister chromatid exchanges in human lymphocytes in vitro.  Journal of Medical Genetics, 1984, 21, 129-132

 

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SPEECH LOSS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY!

If you are reading this webpage, you probably already know or suspect that a loved one has Autism. However, you might have been told to “wait and see” what happens. This advice is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. If this young child lost use of an arm or leg, or became blind, you would treat this condition as a medical emergency. You would not put up with “wait and see.”

The same is true for loss of speech. ANY loss of speech in a young child is a medical emergency. To see why, click here.
How I treat Autism as a Medical Emergency–because it is! And you CAN do something about it!

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ANTI-YEAST TREATMENT OF AUTISM

 

Carl came in at the age of five with a diagnosis of autism from the age of 2 and a half. At 18 months he had lost his language. He could speak the alphabet but no words. He went to a number of doctors and received a diagnosis of autism about a year later. He was having subclinical seizures on EEG (electroencephalogram, a test of brain electrical activity). DMG (dimethyl glycine) calmed him and helped his mood. Some other supplements had been helpful. He had started behavioral therapy at the age of three. He learned some reading through the association method.

He had had an elevated lead level at 18 months at a prior residence. Mother tried homeopathic remedies but could never find anyone to do chelation therapy (a procedure to take toxic minerals out of the body). The family moved and the lead level went down in six months. He had been continued on supplements and behavioral therapy. He had had loose stools as an infant. He had never had an ear infection. He was taking Depakote, an anti-seizure drug, at 125 mg twice a day. He had never had a seizure.

 

He had walked on time. Some speech had begun with behavioral therapy. He had a rash on his buttocks. In the room he was active and responded to some questions with rote answers. He was echolalic (Echolalia means the repeating of phrases said to a child. Echolalia is a sign of autism) and he was not destructive.

He was started on the anti-yeast diet and nystatin. A month later he was talking more spontaneously without prompts. He could nod yes or no. He was relying less on body language. He was more spontaneous. He was more naughty, more like a normal kid. He was eating better and was in a growth spurt. He was trying new foods with less difficulty. He was not running away from the dinner table. He was helping to set the table. His appropriate play had increased. He was interacting with his brother and was generally more interactive and could say, “that’s mine”. He was taking nystatin 1/4 tsp. four times a day and he was taking Depakote.

On exam he was playing appropriately and he showed me his toys. He was smiling spontaneously and appeared comfortable. He fought with his brother over toys and appeared more normal. Rash on buttocks was better.

He came back at six months and his mother said that he was doing much better. He was off Depakote for two months. He cried more easily, and he hit if he was frustrated. He seemed more clear headed and more present (not withdrawn). He was very verbal, saying appropriate things and was responding to what other people were saying and he would greet people spontaneously. He would make appropriate comments to others. He was working on these things in therapy. He said phrases to himself. Mother said that he looked more normal. He was more easily frustrated now. He liked to take the nystatin. He had filled out and he was refusing dairy. He no longer had dark circles under his eyes. He could read and write. On exam he made appropriate comments and repeated some phrases. Overall he was much more verbal. He responded to questions and played appropriately. His skin was clear.

A year after beginning treatment, he was in a full day kindergarten shadowed by a therapist. He was eating better, growing well, was not pale, and was more spontaneous. He no longer echoed, although he still reversed pronouns. He had trouble with first and last and with abstract concepts. He played very appropriately with toys. He skin was clear. He was taking 1/4 tsp. nystatin four times a day and was on stage 1 of the diet. On exam he answered questions appropriately and he played appropriately and he smiled and interacted with his mother. His mother also noted that he could verbalize when he had pains, which he could not do before. He could toilet himself and dress himself, and he was not running away. I commented to mother that one had to look closely at him to see that there was anything wrong. He was not totally normal but close observation was required to see his deficits.

This child is now eight years old. He is no longer diagnosed as autistic. He has some speech and language delays and some social delays. He is close enough to normal that kids do not know how severe his handicaps used to be. They tease him.

Explanation of anti-yeast therapy and Autism

The following is based on a handout used at the Detroit autism conference in April, 2002. This set of pages is being reviewed in January 2006. A paragraph has been added about the specific carbohydrate diet and more information about homeopathic remedies and autism is added. This handout explains why anti-yeast therapy helps in autism.

 

 

Autistic disorder is a severe developmental disorder, which was first described around 1940, about three years after the introduction of the first major commercial antibiotics, the sulfa drugs. As antibiotic usage grows, so do rates of autism. Autistic disorder is a disorder of the antibiotic era. Why? Because antibiotics help the yeast Candida albicans grow in the intestinal tract. Candida albicans makes toxic chemicals which hurt the developing brain.

The yeast Candida albicans can be found inside of our intestinal tract, mouth and in the female genital tract. Sometimes this yeast overgrows and the doctor recognizes this overgrowth of yeast as a yeast infection of the female genital tract or in the mouth, where this infection is commonly called thrush.

Bacteria are also resident inside the intestinal tract, sharing space with the yeast. Antibiotics kill bacteria, not yeast. After the use of antibiotics the yeast grow to fill in the space left by the removal of the bacteria. Yeast make chemicals which kill bacteria, which enables the yeast to grow at a higher level, even after the antibiotics have been stopped.

Yeast make a number of chemical compounds which are then picked up and absorbed into the body. These compounds are quite toxic to the nervous system. These compounds include toxic alcohols and acetone, as well as the powerful nervous system poison hydrogen sulfide. Alcohols depress and slow the nervous system and acetone causes coma. These chemicals slow the brain down so that the brain no longer works correctly. These chemicals should be cleared by the liver so that these chemicals never reach the brain. However in some people, these chemicals are apparently not cleared, reach the brain, and cause mental symptoms.

Slowing of the brain, especially in speech areas has been found in brains of autistic children. Alcohols are well known to disrupt brain development.

There are also chemicals in the diet which slow the brain down. Barley malt, the raw material for making beer, contains twenty chemicals which slow the brain down. Vinegar also contains such chemicals.

The combination of chemicals from internal yeast and from food could partially account for the finding of the brain slowing in autistic children.

The important reason to look at yeast as a major contributor to autism causation is that yeast is easily and safely treatable.

The way to reverse this yeast problem is to take the anti-yeast drug nystatin. This drug is not absorbed and kills the yeast living in the intestinal tract. Then the yeast can no longer make the toxic chemical compounds. Second, the diet contains many foods which contain yeast compounds. Some of these yeast chemicals are toxic to bacteria and will clear space for the yeast to grow again. If these yeast chemicals are left in the diet, nystatin will not do much good because the yeast keeps growing back. To treat yeast these foods must be removed from the diet. Removal of these dietary yeast products enables nystatin to kill the yeast without the yeast growing back. Malt contains chains of sugar molecules which most likely inhibit the body’s immune system. This inhibition makes it hard for the immune system to fight Candida. Malt must be removed to clear Candida.

Fortunately, because nystatin is not absorbed, nystatin causes no side effects except for a little nausea. Therefore there is no risk to this therapy.

The diet for Candida problems consists of removing fermented foods from the diet. The worst offenders are alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beer, vinegar, barley malt, chocolate, pickles, soy sauce and aged cheese. This diet is described in the books An Extraordinary Power to Heal and Feast Without Yeast .

Every child I have seen who has followed this anti-yeast therapy has improved. Children who can speak always speak better and more. Children under two and a half who can talk a little can be brought back to normal or near normal. Behavior and sleep all improve. Children are calmer and easier to teach.

Gluten Free Casein Free Diet

Where does the gluten free casein free diet fit in? This diet comes from research on schizophrenia, in which these gluten and casein protein fragments were found in the urine of schizophrenic patients. Similar urine profiles were later found in the urine of autistic children.

The role of opioids in autism is as follows. Milk and dairy contain a protein called casein and wheat contains a protein called gluten. Inside of both casein and gluten are structures which are difficult for the body to digest completely. The structures or peptides remaining after digestion of casein and gluten react at certain sites in the brain called opioid receptors. These sites are so named because these sites are where opiate drugs such as morphine act. The internal chemicals which react at the opioid receptors in the brain are called endorphins. These peptide structures from the diet have several names, one of which is “opioids”.

In experimental studies, opiate drugs such as morphine have been found to bind to brain opioid receptors and this binding leads to decreased glucose (sugar) utilization and decreased metabolic rate. In other words structures which bind to opioid receptors in the brain slow the brain down. As already noted, the one finding that stands up in the brains of autistic children is that the brain is slowed down (metabolically less active) as shown by decreased blood flow, especially in speech areas.

Presumably these casein and gluten protein fragments also slow the brain down. This has led to the treatment of excluding casein and gluten from the diet of autistic children. There are many commercial products available to support such treatment.

How good is the gluten free casein free diet? The main studies show that children do better in school. In my experience some children improve, some only modestly and some barely at all. Why? The gluten free casein free diet is not an anti yeast diet. The gluten free casein free diet allows some major yeast offenders such as vinegar, pickles, chocolate, peanut butter and corn. Both peanuts and corn are often contaminated with mold. Chicken are fed much cottonseed and cottonseed is contaminated with mold.

So if a child is taken off gluten and casein but is continued on vinegar and is put on more chicken, peanut butter and corn, what will happen? Whatever benefits there are from removing gluten and casein will be taken away by adding to the diet more mold in the form of chicken, peanut butter and corn. The intestinal yeast will still be there making toxic chemicals. The child will show only minimal improvement and the improvement and behavior will fluctuate, depending on what the child has eaten.

This gluten free casein free diet is often recommended today as the main thing to do for autistic children. However, I recommend the gluten free/casein free diet only after the anti-yeast diet has been started. The gluten free casein free diet allows eating of vinegar, pickles, and other foods containing toxic yeast chemicals which are quite toxic to the brains of autistic children. Except for elimination of malt, there is no overlap between foods eliminated on a gluten free/casein free diet and foods eliminated on Stage 1 of the anti-yeast diet (as described in An Extraordinary Power to Heal and Feast Without Yeast). Malt (which is actually a specially sprouted barley product) should be eliminated on a gluten free/ casein free diet and malt is the number 1 item to eliminate on an anti-yeast diet. However, too many other foods containing toxic chemicals can be left in on a gluten free/casein free diet, to use this diet as the only therapy.

High Dose Vitamins and Minerals

What about high doses of vitamins and minerals? Vitamin B-6 neutralizes one of the yeast chemicals and this yeast chemical takes the place of magnesium at important sites in the body. The neutralization of this chemical may explain why vitamin B-6 and magnesium are sometimes helpful. However, I think it is much better to clear out the yeast, so that the chemical is no longer made rather than to try to neutralize it. There are many other yeast chemicals which are not affected by vitamin B-6 and magnesium.

Parents who continue the high doses of vitamins and minerals and then try to add nystatin often find that nystatin is not helpful. I suspect that one of the vitamins, perhaps vitamin B-6, binds to nystatin, making it ineffective. I now recommend to parents not to use the high doses of vitamins and minerals while giving nystatin.

Acidophilus

I often get asked about Acidophilus. I do not recommend it, because Acidophilus helps yeast grow. Initially, Acidophilus may seem to help because it clears out another bad microorganism, Clostridia, but acidophilus does nothing for yeast. Acidophilus makes an anti-bacterial chemical. Acidophilus should only be used short-term, not long-term.
Some people for their autistic children try the specific carbohydrate diet. This diet is used for people with major allergic reactions. This diet is not an anti-yeast diet. This diet consists of simple food molecules which the yeast Candida can easily use to grow. For fighting yeast, the specific carbohydrate diet has no place and may make the yeast and the autism worse.

Yeast and the Immune System

Why can the body’s immune system not clear Candida? The Candida has many tricks to evade the body’s immune system. The immune system then calls in the reinforcements. These immune cells attack the yeast and generate the signals for inflammation. Inflammation is a defense, like a wall to keep out the Candida. The Candida is still there, which means the inflammation remains.

In the intestine, this continued inflammation leads to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Sometimes these immune cells circulate and find yeast cells in other places. There is yeast on the skin. Again the yeast is evasive and the immune cells generate the signals for inflammation. The yeast is not cleared and the inflammation remains. This leads to skin problems from itching and eczema to psoriasis.

The Candida has also evolved to look like our own cells. Candida has the body’s own connective tissue receptor on it, which it uses to anchor itself into our tissues. Sometimes the immune cells, as they attack the yeast, attack anything which looks like the yeast. What else looks like the yeast? Body cells which have the connective tissue receptor. This attacking of body cells leads to “autoimmune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. In these diseases, the body’s immune system appears to be attacking the body’s own tissues. The immune cells are attacking the yeast and then attacking anything which looks like the yeast.

The yeast chemicals slow the brain down. The gut has its own brain to make sure all the food goes through the intestinal tract at the right rate. What will happen if yeast chemicals put the gut’s brain to sleep. The result will be constipation, sometimes very severe. Diarrhea is the body’s attempt to clear the yeast. The diarrhea can be present at the same time as the constipation, which is why they can alternate.

What happens if the yeast chemicals slow down the body’s nerves and put them to sleep? Then the child can’t feel anything or nothing feels right. The hardest parts of the nerves to numb up are the parts which carry pain. This is why light touch, instead of feeling pleasant, now feels painful. If the nerves are numb, sometimes pain feels better than nothing at all. This is why these children bang their heads. Even the pain feels better than numbness.

The lack of proper sensation in the mouth is a reason why these children can become picky eaters. Foods, especially new ones do not feel right to them. The picky eating improves with anti-yeast treatment.

Sleep Problems

Why do autistic children have such trouble sleeping? There are many chemicals which put their brains to sleep. But the brain does not want to go to sleep from these chemicals. How does the brain fight these chemicals? The brain stays awake. When the chemicals are removed, children sleep better.

These chemicals also cause headaches and abdominal pain.

Melatonin is a natural hormone made in the brain when it is dark. Melatonin is a signal for people to go to sleep. For unknown reasons, Autistic people do not seem to make enough melatonin or perhaps they make enough, but don’t respond to it, so they stay awake for long periods of time when other people would be asleep.

Giving melatonin at night is helpful in promoting sleep.

Melatonin is available in health food stores and other places. However, be sure to get a brand that contains only melatonin, and is not mixed with vitamins or other substances. Some brands may also contain other allergens, such as wheat or dairy or casein. Look for melatonin mixed in powdered rice. Start with 1/2 capsule (about 1.5 mg.) mixed in a small amount of food, given at the start of bedtime routine, preferably when it is already dark.

Melatonin is not a sleeping pill and does not act like one. You will not see the person drop off suddenly to sleep. Rather, it promotes natural sleep.

Pregnancy

What about pregnancy after having an autistic child? Pregnancy may seem about the scariest thing imaginable after having an autistic child. If we understand that the yeast chemicals cause major disruptions in development, we can reduce the risk of autism by clearing these chemicals. How? A woman who wants to have another child should follow the anti-yeast diet and take nystatin for a few months before becoming pregnant. She should continue this program during pregnancy and while nursing. The child should not be given antibiotics. The child should not be given any foods which help yeast grow. This program will substantially reduce the risk of a second autistic child.

Antibiotics and Autism

It is better to avoid giving antibiotics to children who have yeast problems because the antibiotics help yeast grow. However, in case of serious illness, you need to be guided by your doctor.

How does one avoid giving antibiotics to children? In my experience, children who are treated for yeast generally have fewer infections, and those that they have are less severe. Why?

Back in the days before high tech, researchers asked much simpler questions. They asked whether Candida and tuberculosis like each other. Do they grow better together. The answer is yes. Candida’s capsule helps tuberculosis to grow. This kind of experiment has been done with other infectious microorganisms and yeast helps other bad microorganisms to grow. I suspect that Candida helps the microorganisms at the back of the mouth to grow and to grow back after antibiotics. The Candida helping the bad microorganisms is why children get ear infection after ear infection.

If your child gets a cold, for example, and you want to stop it in its tracks instead of allowing it to develop into an ear infection, you might try some homeopathic remedies for colds. Because the remedies are specific to particular symptoms, I cannot list them all here. However, a good reference is Homeopathic Self Care by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman.

 

Homeopathy and Autism

Another alternative treatment is homeopathy, a non-toxic alternative medical system which has many treatments for acute illnesses.

This page presents only a basic explanation of homeopathy, then some particular remedies useful in treating Autism.

The main reason for explaining how homeopathy is useful in treating Autism is to demystify the subject. Reading the literature and websites devoted to this subject, one could easily conclude that homeopathy is bizarre, that it is too complicated to be useful, and that pursuing homeopathic treatment seems impossible. This is far from the truth. The reason why every source seems to give different answers to the question of how to treat Autism with homeopathy is that one needs to treat individual symptoms and emotional states, which vary from person to person. I explain this below. Only by understanding the unique individual can one find remedies that are useful. Thus, to benefit from homeopathy, one needs to consult a homeopath or a doctor who has studied homeopathy. Homeopathy for Autism is difficult to do on your own.

A Brief History and Explanation of Homeopathy

Homeopathy is an alternative form of medicine which was discovered and developed by a doctor in Europe named Samuel Hahnemann starting in about the year 1800. This doctor was experimenting with quinine, a treatment for malaria. He took quinine and found that in him, who did not have malaria, quinine caused fevers. He thought this result to be very interesting because malaria is a disease of fevers. He restated what other medical philosophers had said before, a law, like cures like. That which causes a symptom in a healthy person, can knock that same symptom out of someone sick with that symptom. This concept is totally opposite to the concepts of western medicine.

Dr. Hahnemann took his research further. He diluted and shook and diluted and shook the quinine. He was hoping to get rid of the bad parts of the quinine and preserve the good parts. He found that not only did he get rid of the bad parts but the resulting dilutions were actually more powerful than the original quinine. In fact, he diluted and shook the quinine so much that nothing was left of the original material. Yet, the mixture was still more powerful.

No one in allopathic medical circles believed him but some people learned his methods and developed his insights and knowledge further. When antibiotics came out, academic medicine organized to eliminate homeopathic medical schools. In the United States, all such schools closed or became traditional medical schools and very little homeopathy was taught.

Dr. Hahnemann and others after him investigated other compounds found in nature. He found what symptoms these other compounds and natural materials might produce in healthy people. Then he would know which natural substances to use when he was treating a sick person. He would match the symptoms of the sick person to the symptoms he knew the natural substances could produce in healthy people. For each natural substance he shook and diluted it to make it more powerful.

Natural substances have effects on the mind. He found many “mind” symptoms which are produced by natural substances. These symptoms range from anxiety to recurrent thoughts to confusion and many others. These symptoms can be matched to those of a person with either a physical illness or disorders such as ADHD and autism. If the natural substance in homeopathic form is taken by the person with a disorder such as ADHD, then the ADHD symptoms improve.

Applying Homeopathy to Autism

How does homeopathy apply today to treatment of problems such as autism? The following descriptions are not complete but are intended instead as a starting point for discussion.

Recall that in homeopathy, that which can cause a problem can also help that problem if the harmful substance is prepared homeopathically.

 

As described above, the classical approach to homeopathy means that the practitioner follows the principles laid down by the founder of homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. Dr. Hahnemann instructed that doctors should listen to their patients, treat the whole person by listening carefully for symptoms which would help the doctor find the appropriate remedy. The right remedy is arrived at by considering rare or peculiar symptoms, mental and general symptoms and lastly local symptoms. Only one remedy is given at a time.

Autistic children have many symptoms that are difficult to treat. It would seem hard to believe that homeopathy could help autistic children. Many symptoms are common to autistic children, such as problems with speech, problems with paying attention, and problems in relationships. In classical homeopathy, these problems do not define the individual as a person for purposes of finding a remedy. Rather, they are symptoms that are common to the disorder.

A classical homeopath looks for symptoms which define an individual person rather than symptoms of a syndrome or illness. The homeopath might use problems with sleep or thirst or bowel movements which are not part of autism. For example, children needing tuberculinum are very sensitive to milk. Children needing Sepia may have or had very smelly stools. Another factor might be eating inedibles, which some people, but not all people with autism do.

There are other important ways to define a person with autism as an individual for the purposes of finding a remedy. For younger children, one way to look at them is to look at the emotional state of the mother during pregnancy. For example, if the mother went through tremendous grief during pregnancy, the baby might need a remedy for grief. The doctor could only find this out by talking with the mother.

Traditional or allopathic medicine does not recognize such emotional states as important. However, homeopathic physicians have been able to use such information to arrive at helpful remedies. The emotional state seems to carry over into the child.

The other important factors are something called miasms. This word comes from Greek meaning pollution, taint. It was first used to mean the unknown cause of a disease, for example, something infectious. Hahnemann used the term to mean family patterns for disorders, which may predispose a child to certain disorders. Not everyone, even in homeopathy accepts this idea but many, including Dr. De Schepper, have found these ideas clinically very useful. Certain remedies apply to certain miasms. For example, the syphilitic miasm includes destructive disorders such as alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide and violence. A family history which includes some of these problems would help a homeopathic doctor when looking at an autistic child. Such a child might need a remedy from the same miasm.

When such factors as individual, unique symptoms not part of autism, plus emotional state during pregnancy and miasm are taken into account, it is possible to arrive at a remedy. Some of the remedies may be remedies which are commonly used to treat children. For example, grief during pregnancy plus thirst for large gulps of water plus a craving for salt might indicate the remedy natrum muriaticum. This is a commonly used remedy in children. The reason for making this point is that some writers use rarely used remedies. These are only arrived at by more esoteric methods and are much harder to use.

In my experience using the classical approach to homeopathy, I have found some remedies helpful that would not be obvious. For example, syphilinum has been helpful for a child who had the symptoms of general developmental delay. It improved balance and muscle control. I developed a special remedy for people who have bad reactions to molds, Special Remedy #230. This remedy has been helpful for many people with autism. The remedy of Calc Carb has been helpful for a patient who had a problem eating non-food items as food (PICA).

I have used two remedies for relief of the pain at the end of the fingers. The first was made from moldy leaves (special remedy #230) and is available as described in the next paragraph. This remedy at least partially relieves the terrible pain at the end of the fingers that autistic people may experience. This remedy also calms at least some children. Because this remedy did not completely relieve this pain in one patient, I tried to find another mold which could be made into a remedy. Some molds and fungi make poisons which constrict the blood vessels, preventing blood from circulating properly. The second remedy was made special for me by the same lab in Madison and is called Taphrina deformans. Taphrina is a very toxic fungus which destroys young peach trees in the southern United States. When this fungus is made into a remedy, it also relieves fingertip pain in a different way than special remedy #230. This remedy may also calm children. Whether this remedy has more use is not yet known.

Some health practitioners have used special remedy #230 for allergic symptoms that autistic kids and others experience in the fall in America. This remedy may be very helpful for this purpose. “Special Remedy #230″ is only available from National Homeotherapeutic products, because that is a custom-made remedy that I had made.

Some people feel that autism has been brought on by problems with vaccinations. There are two remedies that are used for problems after vaccinations. These are Thuja and Silica. Thuja is used when there is an allergic constitution, multiple congenital malformations, delayed convalescence after antibiotics, lack of expression of more subtle emotions and eye inflammation. There may also be physical and mental retardation.

Silicea is also used after vaccinations. Indications for this remedy are anticipatory anxiety, timidity and basfulness with lack of self confidence, conscientiousness about trifles. Every injury turns into a boil containing pus.

Some other homeopathic practitioners use the vaccines made into homeopathic remedies.

 

Other remedies could also be considered. I have used in addition syphilinum. This is a remedy for general developmental problems. I have found it helpful for delays in gross motor development. Syphilinum is one remedy for poor sleep at night.

Hellebore is used for stupor and indifference, numbness and dullness of the senses.

These are just a few examples, and show that one needs to look at the whole person and the entire history to determine which remedy or remedies may be helpful to treat a person with Autism.

I highly recommend anti-yeast treatment and homeopathy to parents who have not been able to calm their kids and the schools are demanding that the parents start medicines such as risperidone.

Practitioners who practice homeopathy have reported results with certain other remedies. These are some of the homeopaths who have written about treating autism:

Dr. Paul Herscu reports that he has used Stramonium. He describes Stramonium as being used after a child has withdrawn in response to a fearful situation. The child may remain withdrawn or become fearful and may become aggressive if frightened further. He has written a book on Stramonium and its use. He considers the development of autism to be a very frightening situation for the child.

The Indian homeopath, Dr. Farokh Master, reports two remedies for Asperger’s. The first is Hyoscyamus. This remedy is used when the child exhibits shameless behavior such as exhibitionism, exposing themselves, talking in a lewd or vulgar manner, being loquacious, meddlesome, boasting, violent temper outbursts with fighting, hyperactivity and restlessness. There may also be loss of speech after frightening experiences (also Opium and Stramonium).

The other remedy Dr. Farokh Master discusses for Asperger’s is Antimonium crudum. Children who need this remedy become anxious when touched, become angry over attention paid to them, are averse to company and to being touched, are discontented, averse to being disturbed, are irritable when spoken to or looked at and may shriek when they are touched.

Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman, report a case in which they used the remedy Oenanthe crocata. This remedy has a theme of suddenness about it. People do things suddenly but it is potentially much more important in autism. The plant is also called “Dead Tongue” because it paralyzes the organs of speech. Oenanthe also causes delirium in which the person moves from place to place. People may become violent if crossed. I have used this remedy when there has been very little speech and people do better.

The professional homeopath who wishes to learn more about this subject may wish to consult the works of Dr. Farokh Master and Dr. Luc De Schepper. Both Dr. Master and Dr. De Schepper approach autism homeopathically as they approach any medical problem homeopathically, in the classical way. They are some of the noted homeopathic physicians in the world.

How to get Remedies

Remedies are available from a variety of sources. I recommend a lab in Madison, Wisconsin, called National Homeotherapeutic Products (http://www.nathompr.com/nhpnew/store/admin/); toll free phone 1-800-888-4066. Just as a disclaimer, neither I nor Wisconsin Institute of Nutrition has any financial or other interest in this company. I use National Homeotherapeutic Products because they have the capability of making up special remedies but they also have available all the standard remedies.

National Homeotherapeutic Products also makes and sells remedies based on vaccines such as MMR and DPT. Some practitioners have found such remedies very helpful.

Potency:

Remedies come in different potencies. Start with a potency of 6C in a bottle size of one ounce pellets.

Dose: Give two sugar balls at the same time in the morning every day. If you find the remedy helpful, the same dose of sugar balls can be given up to three times per day.

Remedies are also available from other places.

 

 

Other Resources

For IEP information, click here.

For Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

For Travel Information, clickhere.

For advice on eating in restaurants, click here.

For an an introduction to homeopathy, call us at 1-877-332-7899, to order The Consumer’s Guide to Homeopathy , by Dana Ullman.