We did find this child to be shy and not overly communicative during his first visit to our office. He had the habit of repeating what his mother said and talked to himself often. His facial grimaces were odd. However, when he spoke to his mother, he verbalized well. In fact, he appeared to be very bright. He was curious about his surroundings. His mother reported that, although he was shy, he did interact appropriately with other children. We did not feel the diagnosis of autism was accurate.
The first two remedies that we thought of for this child were Arsenicum album and Stramonium. We considered Arsenicum because he was slight with dark hair and looked frightened and because he woke at 12:30 to 1:30 a.m. every night and 4:00 to 4:30 a.m. most nights with fear and agitation. He was averse to fat, like Arsenicum, and was very upset about the bird dying. Arsenicum is listed in italics in "Mind; SENSITIVE; to noise". We thought about Stramonium because of his fearfulness and the grimaces. We wondered if he had a strong fright that his mother didn't know about, which sometimes creates a Stramonium state. Perhaps his mother's failure to dilate during labor may have resulted in birth trauma for him. We also considered Silica, again because of Danny's delicate appearance, his passivity and mild nature, and his disinterest in physical activities. But none of these remedies felt exactly right.
When we looked at the case again, it seemed really clear that the key to Danny's case was sensitivity to noise. It wasn't that he was waking with night terrrors or because he was afraid of being alone. It was the sound of the wind or cars on the highway that caused him to wake up. Then he became agitated. He also struck us as being a particularly sensitive child, in fact oversensitive. He was sensitive to noise, to slights, even to new situations.
We felt the remedy forhim should be in the rubric, "Mind; SENSITIVE; to noise". Aconite. Asarum, Coffea, Silica, Theridion, and Tuberculinum were all bold type in this rubric and, we thought, all possibilities. However, one remedy seemed to fit the best.
We had just returned from the Maui homeopathic seminar where Roger Morrison, MD had presented a case of this remedy. He told us it was a remedy to strongly consider for the combination of insomnia, oversensitivity to noise, and restlessness. This information comes from George Vithoulkas, the Greek master of homeopathy. Allen says of this remedy, "All loud noises make a strong impression...". Boericke describes it as having a "nervous hyperaesthesia" and as having an affinity for the tubercular diathesis. This child definitely had a tubercular body type. "Great inclination to be startled" was found in many provers of this remedy. All of the materia medicas emphasize the tremendous sensitivity to noise. Boericke: "SENSITIVE TO NOISE; IT PENETRATES THE BODY, ESPECIALLY TEETH. Noises seem to strike on painful spots all over the body." Farrington says, "At night an imaginative excitement in the head..."
This is the picture of Theridion. Theridion is a small spider which inhabits the West Indies and is frequently found on orange trees. It is interesting to note that both this child and his mother had very strong reactions to bug and spider bites. They would develop large, open sores. We had never given this remedy before but it seemed to fit quite well. What was most interesting to us about this case is how the remedy picture of Theridion became more and more clear as the case developed. This case really helped us to gain a personal feeling for the remedy and that is why we wanted to share it at this conference.