US health authorities announced in March that autism is even more common than previously thought, with 1 in 68 children now being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, about 30 percent higher than previous estimates reported in 2012 of 1 in 88 children [1}.
Autism rates are increasing by 17% a year and nobody seems to know why. Sadly, boys are five times more likely to be affected than girls, with rates being as high as 1 in 48. North America is facing an increasingly serious epidemic of autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders with no agreed-upon cause or cure in sight.
Over the past three years, I have had the privilege of working with many autistic children using CEASE Therapy, an integrated treatment method based on homeopathy and nutrition, developed by the Dutch medical doctor and homeopath Tinus Smits.
I am happy to report that there is real hope, not only for healing these wonderful youngsters but, more importantly, for identifying the causative factors for this disabling condition. In fact, CEASE Therapy has totally changed the way I practice and is possibly the most exciting discovery of my professional life.
I hope that this true story will inspire parents and colleagues to investigate this system for themselves and take on the challenge of treating autism and related conditions with homeopathy.
My phone rang at 8 am on Saturday, February 1st, 2014.
“Dr. Zimmermann, I'm really worried about my son, I think he is suddenly becoming autistic, is there any way we could come and see you today?” The father had just found me on the CEASE Therapy website.
Freddie, an adorable 15-months-old boy, had received his 12-months shots of MMR, varicella, meningococcal and pneumococcal conjugate shots about nine weeks ago on November 19, 2013.
Within four weeks two small red spots became visible around the MMR and varicella injection sites on his upper left arm.
By January 9, an unusual eczematous lesion, 2.4 cm in diameter, had developed at the varicella injection site and 11 days later his entire body was covered in patches of itchy, eczematous eruptions. But this was not the only problem.
“More concerningly, we have noticed behavioural changes", the father continued. "He has started to bump his head a lot and is rocking hard. Yesterday he toe-walked and also reverted back to crawling even though he’s already been walking for two months. And he is hitting everybody and everything.”
He now wanted to be carried constantly and was very irritable. He was grinding his teeth and had also developed greenish-black diarrhea over the past two weeks. “And he is not babbling anymore at all.”
I saw the family the same day. To me this was an emergency in the true sense of the word, as bad news was literally emerging. They drove for three hours to come to my office from up-island.
Further history revealed that the child had been seen by the family doctor after the initial skin eruptions who referred him to a dermatologist.
The dermatologist prescribed an antibiotic and hydrocortisone cream for the eczema, but it didn't help the condition and Freddie reacted to the medications with acute swelling of the ankles. The doctor then prescribed Benedryl for that reaction. (All the homeopaths are squirming in their seats.)
Previous to the immunization Freddie had received a course of amoxicillin for a respiratory infection and his mother had also taken antibiotics while breast-feeding. The mother had a history of lung problems and was a smoker.
During the office visit Freddie was very irritable and restless, whining and throwing things, needed to be held almost the whole time and frequently hit his parents and banged his head against their chests.
He made almost no eye contact with me but did give me a one millisecond flash of an amazingly beautiful smile. The parents reported that until recently he used to eat everything but was now only accepting meat, milk and sour things.
He had also started to perspire heavily on his head and feet, easily ran out of breath and coughed when running, "just like a very fat boy".
I recommended vitamin C, 500 mg/day, ascorbyl palmitate, 500 mg/day, zinc, 10-15 mg/day, a good probiotic (Natren LifeStart) 1/4 tsp once a day, evening primrose oil, 2000 mg/day and a children’s chewable multi-vitamin twice a day.
Most of these supplements are part of the standard CEASE Therapy program.
Then I gave Tuberculinum, 30CH, one dose to be administered the same day and repeated on Saturdays for the next month as a constitutional remedy, Saccharum officinalis, 6D, 2 pellets a day to support his digestive system and varicella nosode, 30 CH, 2 pellets to be given on Mondays and Thursdays for two weeks, followed by varicella 200 CH in the same manner for the following two weeks as his reaction was obviously linked to the varicella shot.
Using Multiple Homeopathic Remedies at Once vs Classical Homeopathy
Only three years ago I would have cringed at the idea of giving multiple remedies like this simultaneously and repeated this often. For twenty years I had identified as a died-in-the-wool classical homeopath.
I had fallen in love with homeopathy shortly after being introduced to this fine art in third year naturopathic college, 1989. In truth, this romance almost perished before it began as I contemplated quitting school due to seemingly irreconcilable differences surrounding the mysteries of potentization.
A dose of Lachesis mutus for a severely inflamed left tonsil quickly and fortuitously changed my scepticism and the love story flourished. Then, in the spring of 2011, I read Dr. Tinus Smit’s book, “Autism – Beyond Despair” , which describes his method of using different forms of homeopathy together with diet and supplements to help children affected by autism.
He had called it CEASE Therapy, short for “Complete Elimination of Autism Spectrum Expression". At first I thought this was quite a bold claim to make, but after the past three years of experience with his method I can see that the potential to totally heal children with autism is clearly there.
Reading this remarkable book I felt as if Dr. Smits was speaking directly to me. I had long been interested in pediatrics and especially in developmental and behavioural disorders so my mind was fertile soil for his heartfelt message of hope for autistic children.
I had already seen quite promising results with classical homeopathy and nutrition in the treatment of these conditions over the years, but his book opened my mind to a much more comprehensive treatment approach, as well as to the possibility of actually solving the mystery of autism.
CEASE Therapy for Autism
In short order I started to practice his method, then took my CEASE Therapy certification training in June of 2012, and repeated it in March of 2014. A word to the wise: Please do take the training, even twice. The book does not explain how the method is practiced completely and I lost a few cases due to less than ideal case management early on.
Back to Freddie. Two days after our initial consult the mother wrote: “Yesterday we noticed that Freddie was happier and more interested in playing. He bumped his head only 3 times. His stool was still loose but he ate all his meals without any problems.” That was the Tuberculinum.
On February 7 I received another update: "Yesterday we gave Freddie the first doses of Saccharum and Varicella 30 CH. After that he could not sleep at night and was very itchy, arching his body in distress and screaming a lot. Is it possible that only one dose of the remedy created such a change?"
As homeopaths we can all see an aggravation here, a positive sign. I advised to give Felix epsom salt and clay baths and to increase his ascorbyl palmitate to 1000 mg a day.
On February 24 another note: "Freddie is doing very well. We can see a huge change in his behviour and he is eating without any problems. His stool is still loose, but the colour has changed back to a normal brown from the greenish-black colour before."
BCG Twist - A Family History of Tuberculosis Vaccination
At the next office visit on March 1, a month after the initial consult, Freddie was like a different child. He smiled at me, laughed and was very engaging. The parents said: "It's like a miracle to us. Such a big change. We are very impressed. Now he is repeating words again and learning new words."
He had stopped grinding his teeth the day after his first dose of Tuberculinum and stopped banging his head until a couple of days ago. The eczema was also getting better.
Then, interestingly, the mother reported discovering that both her younger brother and herself were vaccinated with the BCG vaccine (a vaccine against tuberculosis) in Europe when they were only one month old.
Her brother started crying a lot after this vaccination and broke out in eruptions on his face. He was subsequently cured by a homeopath!
In the meantime, on February 7, the family had seen another dermatologist in Vancouver who wanted to put the child on extra-strong oral and topical antibiotics and steroids. The parents declined. All the homeopaths breathe a sigh of relief.
Causes for Autism
After 30 years of experience and treating over 300 children with autism Dr. Smits found that about 70% of these children had been negatively affected by vaccines and that the other 30% by antibiotics, anaesthetics and other medications. Plastic softeners and other environmental toxins as well as emotional traumas were additional culprits.
He also discovered that vaccines, medications and illnesses the parents had, even long before conception, as well as during pregnancy, could contribute to autism in their children. This is where CEASE Therapy truly shines and holds enormous potential not only for the treatment of autistic children, but also for the growth of homeopathy and possibly for radical changes in today's medical and chemical industries.
Our modern pharmaceutical medicine, as well as environmental toxins and poor nutrition all seem to be working together to harm the vulnerable, developing brains of babies and young children, causing much neurological havoc.
One in five children is now being diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder, including autism, PDD-NOS, ADD/ADHD, dysgraphia, apraxia and sensory processing disorders among others.
An Accumulation of Factors
Dr. Smits found, and I can confirm, that in most cases autism is an accumulation of many factors, from inherited miasmatic predispositions to medical interventions during pregnancy and finally to the latest antibiotic or vaccine the child received.
Of course, isotherapy in and of itself is nothing new to homeopathy, neither is the treatment of vaccine injuries. Dr. Smits simply managed to create a nice, comprehensive treatment system for autism which is understandable by lay people and very useful for professionals.
CEASE Therapy combines classical homeopathy to strengthen the child's constitution with isotherapy to address specific toxic events. Organ and drainage remedies are added as needed to support the organs of elimination and good nutrition and supplements help to reduce inflammation and to support the overall healing process.
Dr. Smits also developed another system of homeopathy which he called 'Inspiring Homeopathy' to address universal layers of human experience. Inspiring Homeopathy is also used in CEASE Therapy and is a very interesting development in its own right.
Meanwhile Freddie was working his way through the 200, 1M and 10M potencies of the varicella nosode, two doses of each potency a week for two weeks each, which is one of the protocols that can be used in CEASE Therapy.
I was attending my second CEASE Therapy training in Vancouver on March 28-29 this year when the trouble started: "Yesterday, Felix received his first dose of varicella 10M. He woke up at 4 am on Friday with a fever of 38.9C.
I put a wet cloth on his head and legs and tried to give him a lot of fluids. He woke every hour and at 6:30 - 7 am things turned really bad. He was not able to swallow, his tongue was stiff, he became absent and suddely delirious. His eyes started to close and it was noticable that he was trying to keep them open. Immediately I put him into a bathtub with cold water. Ten minutes later he threw up."
He continued with a low-grade fever until 5 pm, sleeping most of the day. "Finally, around 5 pm he woke up and came back to himself but had great difficulties walking." All this had happened the previous day. The parents had been unable to reach my right away as I was out of town and did not have a cell phone at the time - I do now, this was a wake-up call.
But I did get the email Saturday morning and spoke to them during a break at the seminar. As the mother was explaining in vivid detail what had happened, I felt deeply concerned but also somehow elated, as if Freddie's system had now truly conquered his disease.
All this after Kim Kalima, our teacher at the CEASE training, had just gone over the fact that Dr. Smits had preferred to keep children at the same potency of a clearing remedy, such as the varicella remedy in this case, until they stopped responding to it.
One of his close colleagues, Ton Jansen, had designed the protocol of using increasing potencies for a two-week time each to make things easier for some parents and also to bring order into chaotic cases.
Freddie had been responding very well to previous, lower doses of varicella nosode, so the 10M had not actually been necessary at this time. The intense aggravation could probably have been avoided.
Fortunately I had insisted that the parents read Dr. Smit's book and explained the possibility of an aggravation to them clearly enough to prevent them from taking their son to a hospital, especially as they could not reach me right away.
This was the worst aggravation I had seen in three years of practicing CEASE therapy. I also learned at the repeat training that it is better to have the children on the supplement protocols for about a month before starting the isotherapy to reduce the risk of more intense aggravations, I had only been using a one-week protocol until then.
Luckily all went well. I saw Freddie again on April 12, ten weeks into CEASE and it was an amazing visit. His eye contact had developed into a steady gaze of great depth and intimacy, he smiled his glorious smile a lot, laughed and played joyfully throughout the appointment and was highly interactive.
His skin was about 80% cleared and if I had not known about his history I would not have suspected any autism issues at all.
His eating, digestion and perspiration were normal and the parents' only concern was that he seemed to lag a bit behind with his language, although it seemed age-appropriate for me. Freddie is the youngest child I have treated with symptoms of autism so far.
Many questions could be raised about this case, including whether or not he was really becoming autistic as he did not yet have an 'official' diagnosis. A diagnosis would have likely required a wait for several weeks or months for a formal assessment though, during which time his condition would have most probably continued to deteriorate.
In my experience the earlier any intervention takes place the better. Freddie is a prime example of how quickly things can be turned around with homeopathy. One could also ask if the Tuberculinum alone would have helped him as a constitutional remedy. I think that is possible, however, the case illustrates that he had clear reactions to the varicella remedy.
It was difficult to choose a case from the many successful cases I have treated, for those interested, there are a few more on my website  and Dr. Smit's book is a true wealth of case histories.
Personally I can't say enough about CEASE Therapy, it has been wonderful for me. It certainly shook up my previous working paradigm a bit, but my practice is more emotionally rewarding than ever, something to say after 23 years in the trenches.
I now feel confident in my ability to help these desperate families and they are so grateful. In turn, seeing the little ones smile at me always makes my day.
Canaries in the Coal Mine
As one million doses of vaccines are injected around the world every day, the children with autism are the canaries in the coal mine of modern medicine. As homeopaths we are in a unique position to not only heal these children but also to help create a better health care system and ultimately a safer world for all of us. Let us set aside any ideological differences and join together to embrace the challenge and emergency of autism.
Two Years Later
It is now October 22, 2016 and Freddie is almost four years old. He is completely well and healthy and an active, normal boy.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH
This article was originally written for Simillimum, a professional homeopathic journal, and published in 2014.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic Pediatrics
209-1061 Fort Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 5A1