Treating Challenging Children
Children are increasingly being diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, autistic traits or with Pervasive Developmental Delay.
Whether there has been a true increase in the occurrence of these problems or whether early diagnosis with the help of attentive parents, teachers and psychologists has helped to understand the challenge that some of these children face, one thing is certain. There are many approaches being taken to help the child function most optimally in family, school and community environments and it is clear that natural treatments without side effects are a welcome appearance on the treatment horizon.
As naturopathic physicians we use a natural multifactorial approach in treating children. Firstly, diet and nutrition are essential to optimal functioning as are the removal of food and environmental allergens. We encourage our patients to work within a psychological team framework which can help support the whole family. Each of these modalities help enhance the action of our most powerful medicine and what, we are well known for-homeopathy.
Homeopathy is a medical art and science which uses small doses of natural substances to stimulate the patient's own inherent healing abilities. The homeopath strives to understand each patient's unique mental, emotional and physical makeup aiming always at individualization of treatment.
As homeopathic practitioners we view a person's health as a condition of the entire individual rather than in terms of the presence or absence of isolated symptoms. Homeopathic remedies are selected which best correspond to the person's total state. The job of the homeopath is to match the symptoms/behaviors of the child mentally, emotionally, and physically to a remedy that has cured exactly the same state in others. Therefore, we will want to know exactly how the child is most challenged, how the difficulties manifest - is it learning problems, behavior problems, emotional problems, impulse control - all or some of the above? We want to know what techniques worked for encouraging proper behavior or learning and which definitely have not. And in great detail the homeopath will try to understand the exact nature of the patient: what are the most troubling symptoms, what makes the symptoms better or worse; how has medication been tolerated; were there strong external events which seemed to bring on the problems, etc.
The hour and a half first interview is spent delving into these types of questions as well as seeing how the behaviors fit into the overall health of the patient. We will want to look at results from any previously administered neuro/psychological evaluations as well as relevant medical records. A traditional review of symptoms from the respiratory tract to the digestion, from sleep to urinary habits are explored as they can often reveal certain tendencies which would aid in the homeopathic remedy selection.
The reason this is so important in homeopathy is that there are approximately 5,000 remedies and for the treatment to be effective we need to find the one that best matches the specific way the child manifests his or her symptoms. We weave our way through the patient's life to try and understand his or her concerns from every conceivable angle.
The following partial list shows the breath of problems that homeopathy can address. We have worked with children who have been diagnosed with: ADD, ADHD, PDD, failure to thrive, learning disorders, autism, behavioral problems depression, anxiety, sleep problems, Tourette's and epilepsy. We have also worked with many children who have no allopathic diagnosis, yet the parents can clearly tell you, 'Something is wrong with my child.' In fact, the diagnosis is not essential in homeopathy because we are treating the whole person, not the diagnosis. Homeopathy is not a ‘cure-all’ medicine but for the vast majority of our patients, there is improvement seen and for many the improvement is great.
We support the work of many of our colleagues doing orthomolecular medicine. osteopathic and other physical approaches as well as behavioral medicine. Working as a team realizes the greatest improvements for these, our special pati