Homeopathy and dyslexia
“Dyslexia” means word blindness or reading blindness; it is the difficulty to recognise letters, to make words from letters and to recognise sentences from the words that make them up. This problem is becoming more recognised these last decennia. For those with dyslexia, recognising images, symbols and even sounds as words can be a great problem, though it is recognised that the problem is independent of sensory impressions, the ability to retain them or intelligence. Speech can be affected, with difficulties translating ideas into words; abstractions, feelings, emotions and associations are also difficult to translate into words. Reading and writing problems can result and this can lead to learning problems and frustrations and can eventually limit social contact.
Learning processes are accompanied by biological growth in the brain, and nerve cells grow towards each other via neurones, so that electrical circuits are laid. Then, that which has been learned can become automated. It is possible that dyslexia is a result of a disturbance and dysfunction in the growth (learning process) or the use (automatisation) of the nervous system.
Homeopathy is known to have a positive effect on concentration, attention, peace and balance. Often, there is marked improvement in dyslexia after a constitutional prescription, and in some cases the problem disappears completely. The themes of the Lanthanides and the Malvales family are related to the themes of dyslexia.
Dyslexia can result in someone feeling different, cut off or alone, since ideas and words are difficult to understand and to express. Often, someone with dyslexia has a particular way of thinking and of choosing words. In this case, it can be a Lanthanide indication – the need to do things in one’s own way and to follow one’s own path. On the other hand, it can also be that the idea “too autonomous” applies here – too little reflection with the social environment, resulting in not forming sufficient nerve contacts.
Malvales prescriptions are useful for people with strong non-verbal communication skills, developed because they want to “feel” the world, or it could be that they have had to develop these skills because of the dyslexia. They are emotionally very sensitive to impressions, and therefore shut themselves off. Malvales have the tendency to feel their way in the environment, to get to know things by putting out feelers. This can lead to them not requiring words so much. “Non-verbal” is a theme here, and can be either cause or effect, depending on the circumstances. A Malvales way of communication is very much like the way that children with dyslexia function – going “around” the words, making an inventory of impressions, without interpretation.
The following cases demonstrate how the particular experience of dyslexia has led to healing prescriptions.
Her son is like a playful puppy. He often picks up the complaints of those near him; for instance on looking at a friend he develops the same complaint as his friend. His mother is amazed that he seems to not notice the family problems at all: “He just makes the best of things.” In sports he is very impulsive. His mother says “He is not a follower!”
The pregnancy was coloured by the day to day life of the mother. Labour did not progress until the mother took wonder oil, (ricinus oil) after which the child came quickly. For the first three months, the mother could not get used to having him and she did not recognise him since he did not look like her other children. But after three months, she was suddenly “in love with him”, and she still is.
Analysis: Experience teaches that the most prominent symptoms are the ones that lead us most accurately to a good remedy, taking into account the complaint, the cause and the subjective and objective experience. In this family, the mother is on her own, making her own decisions, and is aware of the shadow aspects (drugs, poverty). Mother and child are independent and they think for themselves. They are helpful and sensitive to others – all of which suit the Lanthanide series of remedies. Both mother and son are spontaneous, open, impulsive and naïve. There are issues around independence and autonomy (lanthanide remedies), which for the child began in the womb. For the first three months of his life there was no real contact (lanthanide) with his mother or care-taker (muriaticum). Birth: the mother did not let go (stage 17), and then after taking wonder oil the birth came in a flash (stage 1). His cheerful, impulsive, spontaneous manner and his ‘magic thinking’ combined with his independent way of thinking and choosing words led me to consider Caesium. An “autonomous, spontaneous mother” led to fine-tuning the prescription to Caesium muriaticum. Jan Scholten refers to the lanthanide remedies as strong possibilities for cases of dyslexia, especially the Lanthanum salts.
Prescription: Caesium muriaticum MK, one dose
Follow-up one month after the remedy: In the past, he used to put on a cheerful act, as though waiting until he received attention, then turning in his chair and asking “Now, what did I come here for?” This time he begins by saying straight away that it is going better with him and that he can concentrate better. His mother had been practicing reading with him for a while already, but on the second day after the remedy he exclaimed in surprise “I can suddenly see words!” Until then, there had only been letters, which he had trouble deciphering – very uninteresting for him. In general, he was easier to handle and to motivate, and he finished what he started. He did what he was asked to do, which had previously not been the case. These days he asks to read. The next year shows considerable improvement at school and in his general behaviour.
A first prescription of Lithium muriaticum brought about a short improvement in his behaviour.
“At school, I let myself be overwhelmed by everyone – due to dyslexia I had the feeling that everyone was against me. That made me insecure and restless. Sometimes, I couldn’t find my words. I used to be teased at school and at home I would sit in my room being angry. I fell behind at school because I couldn’t read well and I was sent from one school to the next, and was put through one test after another. I used to think “What is happening?” It was never talked about at home; my parents just told me to do my best. I find it hard to take initiative, to take on a confrontation. I am sensitive to everything – to atmospheres, to what people are thinking. When I start something I begin enthusiastically and like to help, but then I get blocked and I have to write things down. I don’t want anyone to notice that I am not managing (hiding, stage 4, starting and then hesitating, stage 4). I work in the care sector, but I think I want to change jobs. I doubt myself a lot and wait until I make a decision. I know what I want but I don’t dare to voice my own opinion. I sweat under my arms if I am talking to someone.” Dreams? “About people from my past.”
She makes a vulnerable, timid impression, with a disarming smile. When she makes contact it is as though she is ‘feeling’ with her whole face and not just with her eyes. Her expression is often one of surprise. When asked about sensing things she says “Yes, I always knew things about my parents, for instance about their health. I feel the atmosphere in a place. Because of my insecurity, people put themselves above me and I don’t dare to voice my opinion. But my own nature is rather direct – in the past, I used to hit out, now I hold things in."
Analysis: Malvaceae: holding in speech. Afraid of
what she says, unclear in her speech. Strong non-verbal approach. Soft,
Prescription: Dirca palustris MK, one dose
Follow-up after one month: She pulls faces to express nuances and to explain what she is experiencing. On the inside, she knows what she wants to say but she still has to search for words to “translate” her feelings to the outside world. At home, she is more peaceful and not so grumpy with her husband and children. She has dry skin on her calves, sometimes hard and crusty. Her menses was painless this time, though she had sensitive breasts and some acne, like in the distant past. She says that her joints feel better, and that reading is easier for her.
Follow-up four months later: “I am not afraid to talk and not afraid that I am going to stammer. If I can’t find my words I just think 'It’s alright, we understand each other anyway.' I can express my feelings better and go up to people. I’ve started a study.
“The dyslexia problem is much better, and it is easier to type these days. Now, I can hear from the sound of a word how it should be spelled, for instance with a double consonnant or not. It’s amazing – now, I can actually hear it! Reading is easier and faster, and I don’t just read the headlines anymore – I read the whole article. These days, I see a text, but in the past, it was just a muddle of words and I couldn’t make out the meaning. Dyslexia has cost me a lot of energy – I had to be 200% on the ball.”
The following three years have gone very well for her. After problems in the family, her dyslexia returned briefly and was helped quickly by Althea, placed at stage 2 (*) of the Malvales family.
*The stage differentiation of Malvales differs in my experience from that of Jan Scholten.
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