Book Review

A Drug-Free Approach to Asperger Syndrome and Autism: Homeopathic Care for Exceptional Kids
by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, LCSW, DHANP,  Robert

Ullman, ND, DHANP & Ian  R. Luepker, ND, DHANP

 

(2005; Picnic Point Press; Edmonds, Washington; 290 pages; $22.95)

Reviewed by: Amy L. Lansky, PhD

The Reichenberg/Ullmans, along with Ian Luepker, have once again made a valuable contribution to the homeopathic community, especially those patients and practitioners dealing with children on the autism spectrum. This straightforward and clearly written book will serve as an invaluable guide to parents thirsting for hope and guidance in their quest to find healing for their children.

A Drug-Free Approach to Asperger Syndrome and Autism provides, in a very practical fashion, a wonderful “beginner’s manual” for families who are considering or embarking upon homeopathic treatment. It outlines what homeopathic treatment can achieve, responds to commonly-asked questions (often in a direct FAQ format), and also addresses several key issues that are important to this community, including: the interaction between homeopathic and allopathic treatment; the pros and cons of allopathic diagnoses; and the value of other treatments such as special diets (e.g, the glutein-free and casein-free diet) and chelation. Particularly insightful and helpful is the discussion of the special role of family dynamics in autism spectrum cases. For example, parents are given tips about handling stress, discipline, and other coping skills. They are also encouraged to seek out homeopathic treatment for the entire family – which can be an important factor that promotes success in this particular patient community. Wonderful examples and testimonials from the authors’ own cases bring explanations to life and make this book a lively read.

Where this book can also provide instructional insight to homeopathic practitioners is in the many stories of healing provided in the central five chapters of the book. Cases of various “categories” of children are presented in chapters with titles like Awkward and Alienated, Preoccupied and Persistent, etc. Parents will be able to see their children in these stories and take away hope and some understanding of what homeopathy can offer them. Practitioners will learn the various characteristics that are common in this community, and through the authors’ description of their reasoning and choice of remedies, gain insight into treatment strategies. Among the remedies utilized are the Baryta salts, Lyssin, Stramonium, Helleborus, Nuphar Luteum, Mercurius, Cina, China, Carcinosin, Panther, Syphillinum, Oenanthe, Chocolate, Spigelia, Theridion, and Belladonna.

While this book does address many issues that pertain to all children on the autism spectrum, the primary focus of the book and its cases is really on Asperger Syndrome. Asperger children are at the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum, and the Reichenberg/Ullmans and Luepker have a particular expertise in treating this population. It is my suspicion, however, that the needs and characteristics of more severely autistic children are more specialized and nuanced and may even differ in character. Ultimately, I hope that a similar book can be written that focuses more specifically on these patients. Such a book should also discuss in more depth the role of vaccination in causing the autism epidemic, as well as its role in determining homeopathic treatment. More detailed information about interactions between homeopathy and the myriad alternative treatments used in this community would also be helpful. Nevertheless, A Drug-Free Approach to Asperger Syndrome and Autism is an excellent beginning; it will be beneficial for all families dealing with children on the autism spectrum.

Because I am the author of a book that also touches upon the homeopathic cure of autism (Impossible Cure), I am quite grateful for the contribution this book makes. My own book is actually a comprehensive introduction to homeopathy rather than a book specifically about autism; it uses the story of my son’s cure from autism as a springboard for a more general discussion of homeopathy. For that reason, when I give talks about the homeopathic treatment of autism to parent audiences, I am often asked questions that are not specifically addressed in my own book. The Reichenberg/Ullman/Luepker book nicely fills this gap by providing practical and quick answers and tips that are especially tailored for this community. I am sure it will be warmly received by both practitioners and patients,

Amy Lansky is an executive board member of the NCH and author of Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy (www.impossiblecure.com).