By Jerry M. Kantor – Reviewed by Sybil Ihrig
Most homeopaths are generalists—primary care providers of our art-science. In recent decades, however, several subspecialties have emerged among practitioners who cater to particular client populations. Autistic children constitute one such population. Diagnoses of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are on the rise, and the potential benefits to such children from homeopathy are enormous.
Yet, shepherding autistic children and their families through homeopathic treatment is a complex task. Given the multitude of possible insults predisposing to ASD—genetic and miasmatic tendencies, maternal prenatal trauma, vaccinations, and pesticide exposures, just to name a few—there can be no simple protocol, no one-size-fits-all cookbook approach that will guarantee success in every case. The path to cure or alleviation is a long and winding road, indeed—and often high maintenance.
What this complexity calls for is a broader “toolbox” approach, and that is what Jerry Kantor offers in his newest book, Autism Reversal Toolbox: Strategies, Remedies, Resources. Kantor, who is a licensed acupuncturist as well as a homeopath, offers both a comprehensive overview of how autism might develop and an integrative spectrum of techniques that homeopaths and other CAM professionals can employ.
One of the author’s unique contributions to our thinking about autism involves the application of Sense Dimensional Analysis (adapted from Traditional Chinese Medicine five-element theory) to an understanding of the sensory processing abnormalities that ASD children experience. According to this paradigm:
Sensory issues involving touch pertain to the Heart/Small intestine axis and the Fire element;
Issues relating to taste are associated with the Spleen/Stomach and Earth element;
Problems involving smell pertain to the Lung/Large Intestine and the Metal element;
Issues of hearing and noise sensitivity relate to the Kidneys/Bladder and the Water element; and
Problems pertaining to sight and anger are associated with the Liver/Gallbladder and the Wood element.
Each of the five sense dimensions corresponds to a group of homeopathic remedies that are useful clinically when treating autistic children. Some of these remedies are familiar polychrests; others include imponderables (e.g., color and musical note remedies), Unda drainage/detoxification combination remedies, and tautopathic remedies based on hormones, environmental toxins, or vaccines.
Kantor devotes ample space to developing a treatment approach, which should include treating the whole family (or at least the mother), educating oneself in other modalities (Unda drainage therapy being one such), and managing family expectations. He also surveys a smorgasbord of contemporary homeopathic methods for the prevention and/or treatment of autism, such as Isaac Golden’s homeoprophylaxis as a substitute for vaccination regimens, Tinus Smits’ CEASE therapy, the Banerji protocols, and Farah Gron’s Environmental Never Well Since method. All of these have a place in the quest to alleviate or even cure an affected child.
The approach that Kantor and his colleague, Jhuma Biswas have developed is called the Sine Wave Method. Acknowledging the multifaceted nature of autism and the equally winding course of treatment, the Sine Wave Method involves dietary, lifestyle, and nutritional support, detoxification to remove impediments to effective classical prescribing, and, at strategic points in the case, application of classical remedies to clear the psychic imprint of trauma. All of these approaches alternate in an undulating cycle as the case progresses.
A most useful section of the book is the “Sine Wave Materia Medica,” which summarizes relevant remedies for particular aspects of a case. For example, certain remedies are applicable in pregnancy-related issues, birth trauma, dysfunctional bonding, developmental delay, failure to thrive, gut support, solipsistic states, insularity, obsessiveness, muteness, hypersensitivity, EMF exposure, vaccination reactions, and childish behaviors. Still other remedies are recommended for exacerbations that may involve agitation, destructiveness, allergies, regression, sexual overstimulation, or sleeplessness. Here again, not only classical remedies but also meditative proving remedies, gem remedies, drainage therapy, gemmotherapy, sarcodes, and tautopathic remedies can be considered.
At the back of the book, we find nutritional support information, information on flower essences, cell salts, and a variety of integrative tools; a theoretical explication of the links between Chinese medicine and homeopathy; an essay on the birth and conception ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg (the genius whose philosophy greatly influenced many of our old masters, including James Tyler Kent), and a succinct but pertinent bibliography.
With so much dense information in this compact book, I am disappointed only in the absence of an index; perhaps it can be included in a future edition so that readers can quickly re-find the many little pearls of wisdom scattered throughout. Overall, Kantor’s book is an admirable attempt at tackling a complex subject that requires every homeopath to learn new modalities and stretch our competencies as we seek to assist ASD-afflicted children and their families.