Can homeopathy reverse autism? The alternative treatment is an approach that may complement other treatments but its effectiveness is questionable.
What Is Homeopathy?
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the National Institutes of Health describes homeopathy as a system of theory and practice that seeks to stimulate the body's own healing processes. The principal theory is that the body battles diluted doses of substances that in larger quantities would cause illness.
Homeopathic medicine typically treats conditions that may have unknown causes and conditions that may be difficult to cure such as:
- Digestive problems
- Chronic fatigue
Should autism be added to the list? Proponents for homeopathic methods to treat autism offer a resounding "yes" but many people caution against this type of treatment. Homeopathy as a treatment for autistic disorders should augment--not replace--traditional therapies. For example, flaxseed oil and other herbal therapies should not replace behavioral interventions and activities to promote social skills.
Can Homeopathy Reverse Autism?
Homeopathic medicine differs from traditional medicine because it treats the whole person rather than the symptoms of the disease or disorder. Proponents for the approach suggest that homeopathy for autism treats the entire person rather than addressing each symptom individually.
Since the approach caters to the individual as a whole, the specific homeopathic treatments for autism vary from one person to the next.
Homeopathic Treatment and Vaccine Injury
The notion that a disease can be cured using substances that would cause the same symptoms in normal people is the "like cures like" principle. This principle appears unorthodox on the surface, but it is the method physicians use when giving vaccinations. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, "Vaccines contain the same antigens of parts of antigens that cause disease, but the antigens in vaccines are either killed or greatly weakened." Ironically, some homeopaths suggest that the Law of Similars can correct vaccine injury.
While alternative treatments for autistic disorders are appealing, they may not be suitable for everyone.
Can Autism be Reversed?
When answering the question, "Can homeopathy reverse autism?" it's important to know that there is no known cure for autism but many have experienced autism recovery. No specific treatment has been identified in all cases of recovery but behavioral approaches like applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and relationship development strategies like Floortime and RDI have impressive results. Some people have found gluten and casein free diets have led to significant improvements; others have not.
Just as each case is unique in the autism spectrum of disorders, the most effective treatments vary as well. Parents and caretakers can benefit from trying complementary approaches systematically and with approval from their child's pediatrician.