CASE OF AUTISM TREATED WITH OPIUM – DR. RAJAN SANKARAN MD(Hom)
CASE OF AUTISM TREATED WITH OPIUM
RAJAN SANKARAN MD(Hom)
Edited by- Dr. Alifiya Dedanwala
A 4 yr old boy suffering from Autism was brought to Dr. Rajan Sankran of the 18th march 2015. He came with delayed speech and autistic behavioral traits. His CARS (Childhood Autism Rating Scale) was 30. His hearing ability was fine. He attained milestones on time. He started holding his head and turning on time. He had short span of interest, even while watching videos- he would keep flipping. If he liked something, he watched it very often e.g. spider man, Salman Khan (Indian Bollywood actor) songs- and imitated him. When he watched spider man videos, he imitated him as well. He would keep doing this repeatedly throughout the day.
Another notable behavior was his lack of sense of danger. He remained aware of upcoming danger. Moreover he did not cry even when he was hurt, unless it is very bad. Though he was sitting in one place at present, he was a very restless child at other times.
He was interested in watching movies. He would get glued to the television. He enjoyed action sequences especially played by Salman Khan (Indian Bollywood actor). He was a stubborn child and refused to budge when he wanted something. He was silent when he wore his mask. He often lied down on the floor with eyes open staring in one direction for couple of minutes. No sooner he would get up and starts running about, jumping on sofas and chairs. Presently he was obsessed with opening and closing doors whereas earlier it was switches. He continued this activity for long time; going in and out of doors.
He perspired mainly on the head. He would wet his pillow in sleep with sweat. He craved chocolates and pastries. His sleep was fine. He would take longer to sleep at night on days he had taken an afternoon nap.
An incident wherein he was less than a year old he had suffered an episode of febrile convulsions. He was taken to a park and on returning he came up with fever. His eyes had rolled upwards and after splashing cold water on him he started crying again. Such an episode had taken place only once.
During pregnancy, his mother had undergone cervical tightening. She was not allowed to lift weights, nor walk much. She also had difficulty in gaining weight in the initial months. Her labor was prolonged and she experienced excruciating pain. She wanted to deliver as soon as possible as the pain was unbearable. She was weeping and shrieking in pain. He was delivered using a vaccum. She did not have any specific dreams. She craved for home food cooked by her mother.
ANALYSIS OF THE CASE:
We may often find in cases with disorders like Autism, it is difficult to elicit symptoms from the child. As a known fact, Autistic children have very poor social and communicative skills and at times they are completely absent. In such cases, we strongly need to rely on observations made and behavioral pattern exhibited by the child. At times, information provided by parent may be biased or exaggerated. We also need to be critical of what is true and what needs to be addressed first in the case. The key to treating such cases to be sure footed and rely on symptoms that are clear, reliable and sure shot which cannot be denied or doubted by any chance. In doing so, we increase our chances of a more definitive prescription.
The main symptom here is delayed speech. The other milestones such as teething, walking have been on time except the speech in his case is delayed. Second important thing is his diminished sensitivity to pain. A child of his age does not complain of pain when hurt is strange and peculiar symptom. Moreover, he also lacks sense of danger. He does not possess the ability to foresee danger.
Besides, we also see the quality of imitating people. But there’s more to that. He not just imitates them but is addicted to doing that. He watches the same video, same costume again and again. He keeps repeating and playing it again and again. This brings us to understanding of an addictive phenomena. So basically he get addicted to watching them.
We also have history of convulsion during fever. His eyes turned upwards during convulsion. Another observation made by parent was he often lied on the floor staring in one direction lost in his own world. And the very next moment he is restless and jumping about on the sofa or chair. On the whole, he is friendly, enjoys dancing and active child. He is hyperactive at times and at times lost in his own world.
We see 2 opposite kind of behaviors in the child; one where he lies still doing nothing but gazing; and the other where he is hyper and restless.
When we simply take the child’s symptoms into consideration and repertorize, we get:
Interestingly we see Opium coming up here. We known Opium for its following characteristics.
- Alternative states seen in Opium
- Painlessness of complain which are painful:- child fall but no complaint, no experience of pain. No sense of danger. So it is not that it is dangerous and I am not scared but it is no awareness. This is a very good symptom in opium by Dr.Hahnemann:- “Undaunted in danger”. Intrepidity in danger :- means not alarmed , not anxious.
- Opium is an addictive personality. People get addictive and it is very addictive substance. For instance- opium derivatives such brown sugar, morphine are some of popular substances in drug addictions.
- Lying on the floor is there in Opium but mentioned in the remedy is like he searches for cold place. It is not exact in this child as we don’t know why he lie on floor.
- Opium is an excellent remedy for febrile convulsions with high marks in the rubric eyes turned upwards.
We have confirmed Opium from the Materia Medica point of view.
Let us understand this case from a System point of view. We already know the Sensation of Papaveraceae family is to do with ‘Extreme pain, violence, trauma and fear’. Now where do we see it in this case? Well every plant sensation has an Active and Passive reaction. While the Active reaction in Papaveraceae family being Extreme pain, trauma, violence, fear and fright, the Passive reaction is numb, shock, paralysis, fainting, collapse. In case of the mother we see the active reaction/ sensation, where she experiences extreme, violent pain with shrieking, screaming- prolonged labor. Whereas in case of the child, we find him desensitized to physical pain, not foreseeing the upcoming danger, lying listless on the floor starring in one direction.
Though the system component may not elaborate and prominent in this case, and cannot be confirm in all other areas, this is an important case to learn and understand what is to be given utmost importance in a given case. It may happen we may neglect symptoms like ‘decreased sensitivity to pain’ or we may interpret rubric in a different manner and tend to get lost with the pool of remedies. However, relying on sure and exact symptoms always keeps us grounded and prevents us from losing the true essence of the case.
He received Opium 1m followed by Lm 8.
Follow up 20/7/15
He is communicating well. He has started making sentences.
Academically he is now recognizing alphabets, started writing as well.
His immunity has improved. Earlier he had fever which would rise up all of a sudden. Nowadays his fever does not go beyond 101 & the frequency of fever has become less. Moreover he is active during fever unlike earlier he would be dull and just lying.
His gets bouts of cough & cold but it subsides on its own.
His attention span has improved.
He keeps demanding for things again & again.
He is yet unaware of danger. He imitates things he watches in movies. For example tries tying a rope around neck how they show in films which is dangerous.
His sensitivity towards pain had improved. He would now complaint whenever hurt.
Earlier he would not respond to his mother scolding. But now starts crying when she scolds him. Emotionally he has become sensitive and there’s a visible difference in him reported the mother. His pronunciation of words were better and clearer. Earlier his speech was limited to monosyllables such as water, biscuit. He can now frame short sentences.
His constipation has improved.
He was undergoing speech and occupational therapy simultaneously. He was more attentive during therapy sessions.
Rx- Opium 1M followed by LM 8
Follow Up April2016
His community was much better. His immunity had also improved significantly. He started getting a good feedback from school authorities.
Earlier he was very restless. He would be jumping on the benches and scribbling in the books but now his energy is channelized to more productive outcome. He has started participating in activities at school. He knows to color drawing and his writing skills had improved a lot.
He can now respond to questions appropriately. For example when asked, “How are u?”, he replied, “I am fine”. “Wat is your name?”, he said, “Zeeshan” and so on, Which school you go to? Who is your teacher? What is name of your friend? What you like to eat? Etc.
As compared to 5 yr old child, he was lagging behind with respect to his ability to answer to multiple questions. At the age of 3 ½ yrs he was unable to speak a single word or express himself. On the whole he was much better but yet lagging behind compared to other children of his age.
Rx- Opium 1M followed by LM 8
Follow Up 2019-
He responds to all the questions asked. His mother had discontinued treatment for a period of 5-6 months in between as he was doing well. His attention span had greatly improved. He could sit in one place for longer period of time.
He was finding difficulty in coping up with Mathematics. His communications skills; especially manner of expression was much better. He was able to describe incidences in more detailed and accurate manner. He had started complaining whenever hurt. He does not complaint of any fears. He had never expressed any dreams.
When asked, “What do u like?”, he said, “Chicken & rice”. He had become very friendly with other kids now and started sharing his toys. He wanted to play & be around younger kids. He liked to imitate the character of a police inspector, whenever he watches one on television. Recently he saw the movie Simba, and he would exactly imitate Ranveer Singh who played the role of a police in the film. He desired to go to a school where no one teaches.
His immunity was significantly better. Mother had not reported any episode of fever, cold and cough in the recent. He was more approachable and friendly among his people.
Rx- Opium 1M followed by LM 8.
Dr. Rajan Sankaran MD(Hom)
Dr. Rajan Sankaran, MD (Hom) is an internationally renowned thinker, teacher and writer of the homoeopathic system of medicine. He is reputed to be a clear and original thinker and is best known for his path breaking concepts in homoeopathy. His understanding of disease as a delusion followed by his discovery of newer miasms, classification of diseased states into kingdoms (viz. plant, mineral and animal) and the seven levels of experience, brought in much more clarity into understanding diseased states. This paved way to one of the most path-breaking concept of eliciting the vital sensation in the patient, the common thread of experience which runs through the patient at all levels. This method, popular as ‘Sensation method’, was yet not the end of the untiring efforts to simplify the system of homoeopathic practice. The Sensation method has now evolved into a more comprehensive and synergistic approach, which strongly advocates to encompass and integrate the old, classical and traditional approaches with the latest advances. This approach –‘The Synergy of Homoeopathy’, has resulted in a far greater predictability of results than ever before.