By Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH. Written for Naturopathic Doctor's News and Review
An Integrated Treatment Protocol
In April of 2013 I received a call from Janice, the mother of one of my little autistic patients: "Owen's eye contact has gone from one second to several minutes at times! I’m actually almost a bit uncomfortable with the intensity of his gaze now." Not only that, but he learned to use the word ‘no’ and was trying to say other words, all major improvements after only eight weeks of treatment with a new integrated treatment protocol designed to address the multiple, underlying causes of autism.
Owen, an adorable three-and-a-half-year-old boy, was born healthy and strong but started to show changes in his health after intensive IV and oral antibiotic therapy at only nine weeks old. Signs of regression were noted by about 16 months, preceded by intensive dental treatments with conscious sedation and more antibiotics. He began toe-walking, started banging his head on the floor when angry and lost the eight to ten words he already had one by one until he couldn’t even say ‘uh-oh’ anymore. A sadly familiar story for many parents of children diagnosed with autism.
The Dramatic Increase of Autism
US health authorities announced in March of 2013 that autism is even more common than previously thought, with 1 in 88 children and 1 in 55 boys now being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder compared to 1 in 1000 only 20 years ago. Even more recent statistics from 2016 show that rates are now 1 in 36. Numbers are expected to be similar in Canada. Autism rates are increasing by 17% a year and nobody seems to know why.
According to the statistics only ten percent of individuals diagnosed with autism are ever expected to work and the average lifetime cost of a person with autism to society is estimated at around $3.5 million. North America is facing an increasingly serious epidemic of autism with no cure in sight.
Conventional and Biomedical Treatments for Autism
Conventional treatments for autism include behavioural therapy which is definitely helpful but expensive, time-consuming and not necessarily curative.
In naturopathic circles biomedical therapies, especially the DAN protocol, have become popular and are clearly helping many children, but these protocols can also be costly and difficult to follow and are therefore out of reach for many parents.
A number of medications are also being tried with Owen with temporary success, including antifungals and antivirals like Fluconazole, Nystatin and Valacyclovir which helped temporarily.
Diet Changes and ABA Therapy
Owen had already been on a gluten, casein and soy-free diet from 24 months old which helped him to sleep through the night and reduced hyperactive behaviour. He had been given numerous supplements as well as courses of antifungal and antiviral medications which all helped temporarily.
The family had recently switched to the GAPS diet which somewhat improved his sleep, eye contact and behaviour.
He has also had intensive ABA therapy for the past five months. "The eye contact is something we've been targeting with ABA since November of 2012 for 12 hours a week", the mother reported. "He was expected to look for at least "1-Mississippi" each time we called his name."
Sudden Improvement in Eye Contact
"His success rate with this was about 30% until about the beginning of April when it suddenly jumped to 80%, for several seconds at a time, where it has remained. Recently he has been turning almost every time we call and on several occasions has sustained eye contact for over a minute."
This dramatic change was noted after only two weeks on Polyantibioticum, a homeopathic remedy made from several antibiotics. He has steadily improved since then, in fact, as of the latest update in May, he now makes eye contact 100% of the time and he has also started to play with toys for the first time over the past week.
treatment for these conditions, it helps to identify the causative factors, a radical discovery.
Dr. Smits observed that children who developed physical problems after vaccinations or antibiotics often improved mentally and emotionally if they were treated with isotherapy, homeopathic remedies made from the offending substances. Over time he applied this discovery to children with many different problems, including autism.
Responses to the correct remedies are dramatically obvious, often creating an aggravation followed by improvement. Dr. Smits found that about 70% of autistic children had been primarily negatively affected by vaccines, the rest by medications, plastic softeners and other toxins. He felt that these stressors were cumulative and could also include vaccinations, medications, illnessess and traumas the parents had before conception.
Flashback to July 26, 2011. The phone rang at 8 am. I picked up the receiver and was greeted by bloodcurdling screams. Suddenly I was wide awake. "Hi, it's Sue, Adam's mother. We gave him his first dose of Pediacel 30CH yesterday and he woke up at 6 am screaming like this. He is unconsolable. What should we do?"
"I'm sorry, Sue, I'm afraid he'll have to scream it out."
I had just read Dr. Smits's book, and having practiced mostly classical homeopathy for 20 years, I figured I should just go right ahead and try it on the next innocent victim, yes, little Adam, 22-months old.
Oh, the perils of ignorance.
I had read that children can have various detox reactions from the remedies but I didn't really learn how to manage these properly until I took my some certification training in June of 2012.
Words to colleagues: Take the training! I lost a couple of cases due to improper case management at the beginning, which is not the way to grow a new, important therapy.
And words to parents: Make sure any practitioner you are seeing is actually certified in the method, ask to see their certificate. Also ask about their training in homeopathy, they should have at least 3-4 years of formal training and a few years of experience before you trust a child with autism to them.
Fortunately, Adam's mother was already familiar with homeopathy as well as very forgiving. He screamed for a total of five hours straight but a week later I received an update via email:
"In the last week, we have noticed that he has been more active mentally. He is using hand signals. We had taught hand signals before but he wasn't using them at all until just this past week. He is starting to make more sounds, like "beh" and he hasn't done that for the last several months. He is screeching less."
Adam's family had delayed vaccinating him until he was over a year old, but then the doctor decided to catch up and gave him everything all at once.
After that he stopped babbling and became withdrawn. He was never diagnosed as autistic, but rather as suffering from a language disorder, and qualified for speech therapy.
Adam recovered beautifully within about six months between homeopathy and nutrition to clear any vaccine damage and speech therapy.
By December his speech therapist discharged him and the family was told that he was probably just a late talker. I think he was on the brink of autism and homeopathy saved the day.
Benefits of Integrated Homeopathic and Nutritional Protocols
From the beginning of my career I have had a strong interest in pediatrics and particularly developmental and behavioural disorders. Classical homeopathy helped many of my little charges, but not all.
With Tinus Smit's approach my toolbox quadrupled, at least. There is logic and order to the system, it is effective, affordable and addresses the root causes of these disorders.
In addition, parents who feel their child has been harmed by vaccines or medications feel validated and are offered hope.
Is Help Possible?
Dr. Smits thought that most children with autism could be helped and that the main factor limiting this was a lack of knowledge of the causative agents.
Most children with autism have complex histories and it takes time to identify and clear all the layers.
Although initial changes can often be seen within days of starting treatment it may require years of ongoing care for complete recovery as the following case illustrates.
Head-Butting Doors, Hitting and Biting
He was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at age 4. Presenting concerns included non-compliance issues at school, lack of social interaction with peers, hyperactivity, aggression and language delays, as well as eczema.
James was born in a foreign country and received the Hep-B vaccine when he was only three days old and the TB vaccine (BCG) at 13 days old.
The family moved to Canada when James was one and he was given some extra vaccines to catch up to the schedule.
I started him on an MMR clearing with minor improvements, followed by a Pentacel clearing. His interventionist commented that he seemed much calmer.
During the next visit the father reported that James was suddenly telling big, wild stories, lies even. We looked at each other for a moment and then the penny dropped:
He was developing his imagination! He had never told stories like that before. He even started to write short stories rather than just one or two sentences.
All along his eczema would flare up slightly with each remedy but became severe when we started the BCG clearing last June.
At that point the family disappeared for about six months. I contacted them in January to check in on James and learned that his eczema had much improved after some cortisone cream.
But the behaviour issues had relapsed and he was more difficult to manage again.
The cortisone cream had set him back. We restarted the BCG clearing, more gradually this time, and he is continuing to improve.
This case illustrates the importance of patient education, as well as the need to keep in touch. James may need another two years of ongoing support with homeopathy and nutrition.
This integrated protocol not only uses isotherapy but also classical homeopathy to treat miasmatic and constitutional layers, as well as certain supplements such as fish oil, zinc and ascorbyl palmitate, a fat-soluble form of vitamin C, to support the detoxification and healing process.
Another superbly helpful tool Dr. Smits discovered was the use of Saccharum officinalis, a homeopathic remedy prepared from cane sugar, for the treatment of the many digestive problems as well as picky eating most autistic children suffer from.
Carson, a four-year-old autistic boy who has been under my care since last June, is a great example. He was diagnosed as autistic at 2 1/2 years old.
His mother reported that he regressed following his MMR shot at 16 months.
"I will never forget being out on our country road, calling him and witnessing him totally not responding to his name, he always would before. I gasped for air, he was - different. It was heartbreaking."
Presenting concerns included toe-walking 95% of the time, stimming, being spaced out and staring. He had his own language, was unable to dress himself, not toilet trained and had major digestive issues with undigested food and foul-smelling diarrhea 50% of the time.
Carson's medical history was complex with exposure to too many medications, interventions, vaccines and toxins to list here. I started him on a clearing remedy twice a week as well as Saccharum 6D 2 pellets once a day.
The mother wrote: "I keep a journal of my son's day to day progress and overall health. Since taking Saccharum I have noted the following changes: He now has solid stools, more frequent and more normal bowel movements (helps both constipation and diarrhea), less odour and better colour of stools, and fewer adverse reactions to food."
"Saccharum has continually and consistently worked for my son."
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, NC, FCAH, Naturopathic Doctor and Homeopath, Sooke, BC
Questions? I offer a free 15-minute discovery session. Please call 778-352-0806 or book a time online
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Classical and Modern Homeopathy
6550 Throup Road
Sooke, BC, V9Z 0W6
Serving families in Sooke, Metchosin, Langford, Colwood, Victoria, Greater Vancouver Island, BC, as well as intenationally via skype and zoom.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4