Gulf News (Bahrain) March 21, 2001
HOMEOPATHY HOLDS PROMISE FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN
An Indian doctor recommends homeopathy for autistic children as safe and effective treatment. But she warns: “Make sure the homoeopath has knowledge of autism and is open minded enough to share information with the children’s parents and other therapists as ultimately the overall improvement of the child is a team effort.
“Be wary of unrealistic pronouncements like, ‘I can make your child talk and walk’, and do not give homeopathic treatment without proper medical supervision by a qualified homoeopath” said Dr. Sonal Hattangdi-Haridas who has been specialising in problems related to autistic children.
Homoeopathic treatment, she said, was safe, the positive effects were long lasting and it didn’t have any lasting side effects. Healing took place on the physical, mental and emotional levels when the correct homoeopathic medicine to match the symptoms of the patient was given.
Physically, the children gained increased immunity and improved digestion and appetite. Sleep, and bowel habits became regular. On the emotional level they become calmer, happier children. Aggressive behaviour was lessened. There was a reduction in self -injurious behaviour and in harming others.
Sonal, who grew up in Bahrain and now runs three clinics specialising in homoeopathic treatment for child related problems in Mumbai, pointed out that homeopathy results in growth spurts in children and does not alter or suppress normal development.
Under this treatment improvement takes in the child as a whole, the immunity of the body improves and the child who is prone to recurrent illnesses, such as respiratory tract infection, becomes healthier and ceases to have regular chest troubles.
Explaining the positive results of this treatment further she pointed out that the child began to concentrate more on the task given and was less distracted. This improvement brought about far-reaching changes in all aspects of the child’s life.
Usually parents said their children’s understanding had improved, responses to requests were faster and the children were more compliant. Sonal attributed this to increased auditory comprehension and focusing.
She added that with this treatment there was a sense of calm. The child became more aware of what was going on around him. Eye contact improved and the child started giving eye contact more readily, making it easier to elicit and maintain eye contact.
There was also improvement in the child’s ability to visually follow an object around a path and this lead to improvement in looking for a particular object in a book. The improvement in tolerance of sitting helped during teaching sessions. Parents also found it easier to travel with the child and there was a marked reduction in self-stimulatory behaviour, such as hand flapping.
Experiments have shown that dependence on stimulation such as violent swinging and running in circles brings harmony and helps towards equilibrium in the overactive nervous system of the autistic individual. Besides there were numerous other benefits such as a reduction in hyperactivity dysfunction in sensory integration. On the whole the child became more comfortable in social situations and learnt to eat new foods.
She pointed out that parents often asked how long it took to see changes with this treatment. But they should be patient from six months to a year.