Dr. Diderik Finne, RSHom LAc

Case studies

Asperger's Syndrome

When I first met Jonathan he was a tall, slender 11 year old boy. He was diagnosed ADHD at age 4 and autistic at 5. His mother related:

"He attends public school and has a "B" average. He is artistic and intelligent, but tends to think in a linear way and see issues in black and white. He has a fear of bears, for example, and thinks they should all be exterminated. He loves history, especially military history. He knows all the battles of the Civil War and enjoys descriptions of bloodshed.

His mind is always on, and he has trouble falling asleep. He unwinds by walking around and telling stories. When going to bed he likes to wrap his head in a blanket and put a stocking cap on.

He is perfectionistic and self-critical. When he gets into a funk he turns very negative and says things like 'I just want to die,' 'I want to run away,' and 'Asperger's is ruining my life.'

He is distressed by loud noises--for example, the fire drill at school. He gets anxious on days when a fire drill is scheduled. He is afraid of thunder. He used to be annoyed by the sound of a toilet flushing.

He has a fear of storm drains. He also fears being left alone.

He is well liked by classmates. He has had some problems with being bullied at school. He likes being by himself. His best friend is another autistic boy. When they get together, Jonathan talks loudly, laughs uncontrollably, flaps his hands and puts his face close up to the other boy without any awareness of appropriate boundaries.

He is easily upset. He gets close to tears when he gets angry at his younger brother. I've given him some strategies, but he can't let go of the anger very quickly. He also freaks out when his brother touches any of his things. Even if it's something he has not played with in months."

He gets frequent upper respiratory tract infections. He also has seasonal allergies and recurrent nose bleeds. He has dark circles under his eyes (shiners).

He had his first vaccination at 2 months. After his MMR he slept for an entire day. I noticed a change in him after his vaccinations, but I can't remember which one."

During our consultation, Jonathan does not make eye contact with me. There is no real interaction between us--Jonathan and his mom sit on a couch, and as I converse with the mom Jonathan sprawls out in various positions, always touching his mom.

My assessment is pervasive developmental delay due to a combination of inherited susceptibility and medical treatment.

At the time of the first interview Jonathan is suffering from a sinus infection with green discharge and canker sores on his tongue. I begin his treatment in April 2008 with Kali bichromicum. A month later his mom writes: "He seems to be doing well. Health-wise he has done fantastic. No allergies complaints while on the Kali bichromicum ."

Over the next two years I prescribed a series of medicines designed to strengthen Jonathan's immune function and his sense of self. These medicines included Tuberculinum, Calcarea carbonica and Kalium carbonicum. From a homeopathic perspective Jonathan had a typical tubercular appearance, indicating that in all probability there was tuberculosis in his family history. Tubercular people have an inherited susceptibility to allergies and recurrent upper respiratory tract infections. In addition, they tend to be restless and have a short attention span.


During the first year of homeopathic treatment Jonathan's autistic behavior did not improve significantly. Things began to change in the second year, however. He became happier and no longer prone to periods of depression. He developed more self-awareness and self-confidence. He also became more resistant to infections and recovered more quickly when he did get sick. His shiners disappeared, except when he was suffering from an acute illness.

Ten months into the second year of treatment, Jonathan's mother wrote:

"Within the last year Jonathan has become more socially aware and active. He is a Boy Scout and volunteers for activities within that group and has started to seek out some other friendships on his own within the group. He is in the History Club at school. Academically this year he has gone from a B average to an A average. His reading ability has improved, and he now reads on his own for enjoyment. He will be 13 in April and is starting to talk of his plans for the future, which include art and going to West Point. He is having less problems with noise at school and is becoming quite vocal about his opinions in his classes. We are starting to see more normal adolescent social behaviors. He is aware of wanting to fit in more with his peers. He is still a perfectionist.
I don't agree with the ADHD diagnosis; he is not hyper. He has a tendency to be somewhat spacey. The executive functioning skills he works on in speech therapy are helping him to be more focused and understand how to break things down. In the last few months he has become positive in his outlook and grown physically and emotionally.
It is my sincere belief that the combination of services he has received along with the homeopathy have brought him to this point in his development. He has never been on any medication for autism. Since we started your treatment, Jonathan has not taken any antibiotics for infections."

Jonathan has continued with homeopathic treatment up to the time of this writing (five years). Recently his mom wrote:

He tells me that his photophobia no longer bothers him since he has been on the latest medicine. This used to be a big issue for him at school.
He had another canker sore, but only one, not multiples like before. He continues to express himself more verbally. He talks all through dinner. We have to remind him to eat! He is expressing his emotions more. They had a Bullying Program at school that they brought in a guest speaker for. Jonathan said listening to it brought up old feelings from the past. He felt mad during the presentation, but was okay with the feelings. He wasn't dwelling on them.
Making good progress!!"

Learning Disability, Headaches

At six months Brooke was given 8 different vaccines in a single visit to her pediatrician. For the next several months she was crying for no reason and suffered from continual fevers. She became prone to severe headaches with neck rigidity--a clear sign of meningeal inflammation. Three months after the vaccination she had a seizure.

As Brooke grew older it became apparent that she had a learning disability. Although she was bright it would take her a long time to master a letter sound, for example, and by the next session she had forgotten it.

At age 4 Brooke began homeopathic treatment. Each episode of headache and fever yielded to Belladonna, with full recovery within 24-48 hours. I also treated Brooke for a variety of other acute illnesses: an upper respiratory tract infection and persistent cough, constipation and painful bowel movements, ear infection, and several urinary tract infections.

Gradually the headaches became fewer and farther between. There was no real progress in her cognitive skills, however, until Brooke began working with a cranial sacral therapist in June, 2012.

A year into treatment Brooke had a fever of unknown origin for five days, with regression in her cognitive ability. Belladonna had no effect this time, but Pulsatilla resolved both problems.

I continued to treat Brooke for acute issues over the next few years, with steady improvement in her general health and resistance to disease. It was not until four years later, however, that I found the key to her learning disability: Pediarix, a homeopathic medicine made from the combination vaccine given to her at six months.

Homeopathic medicines can provide the immune system with a template for what it needs to detoxify. After two months Brooke's mother wrote: "Brooke has definitely improved this summer. She recently had two weeks off of tutoring. If you recall, when we took a break in the spring she regressed significantly. When she resumed tutoring this time, on the other hand, she didn't miss a beat--she was able to recall tasks she hadn't touched for more than two weeks. For example, she listed the presidents without even looking at pictures for recall. Her headaches have been minimal and go away with sleep."

Brooke continues to do well on all fronts. Even her eyesight seems to be improving, and she may not need glasses after all.

I might add that her mother is the perfect homeopathic client: she updates me regularly, even when she and her family are doing well. This continuity plays an important role in my ability to diagnose and treat.

Lyme Disease

Carson, 60, was bit by a tick. Four days later he felt a sensation as if acid was burning his neck, and a bright scarlet rash appeared, which extended from his neck to his chest. He got chills and fever, felt completely depleted and could only lie on his sofa. He had a headache coming from the back of his neck, and pressure in the back of his eyes. During this period he lost eight pounds.

He treated himself with herbal remedies--echinacea, goldenseal, colloidal silver--to no avail. His right ear became very hot and developed a deep, intense, throbbing pain. He went to the MD and got doxycycline, which took care of the ear pain--but then he developed Bell's palsy, a one-sided facial paralysis.

With the Bell's palsy he had excruciating pain across the abdomen and up and down the spine. He was prescribed steroids and pain killers, which reduced the pain by 50%.

I prescribed Causticum. After two days Carson was able to stop the pain killers. Two days later he took his last dose of steroids. The numbness in his tongue disappeared, and he was able to whistle again. His appetite returned.

But the abdominal pain did not disappear. He described it as a severe cramp, a gripping pain that started at the seventh thoracic vertebra and extended around to his ribs. It occurred only at night. It would wake him up at midnight, and he would be forced to get up and walk around and take hydrocodone.

We had to try four different medicines before getting results. The most effective one was Nux vomica. Six weeks after starting treatment Carson left this message on my voice mail: "How are you doin', buddy? I just finished mixing 24 bags of concrete, and I think we got this thing on the run! Hey man, thanks a lot!"

Whooping Cough

Whooping cough has an insidious onset with cold-like symptoms that lead to a gradually worsening cough. The coughing fits usually increase in frequency and severity as the illness progresses and typically persist for 2 to 6 weeks or more. Even after the fit subside the cough can linger for another 2 to 6 weeks.

In thirteen trials involving 2197 participants it was found that several antibiotic treatments are effective in killing the whooping cough bacteria, but they did not alter the clinical outcome (Cochrane report; http://www.cochrane.org/CD004404/ARI_antibiotics--for-whooping-cough-pertussis, 1/16/16).

The effectiveness of the pertussis vaccine is questionable. In a recent outbreak of whooping cough at a Florida preschool involving 33 children, 28 of them had received three or more pertussis vaccinations, and 23 had received four or more vaccinations, investigators found. They estimated the vaccine effectiveness rate among all the preschool students to be only 45 percent (Scientific American, 1/14/16; http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/whooping-cough-outbreak-how-effective-is-the-vaccine).

In June, 2014, I was asked to treat an 11 month girl with whooping cough. Theresa had caught what seemed like a cold three weeks earlier. After two weeks a persistent cough developed, and a few days later the whoop appeared. She was given antibiotics.

Now she has to catch her breath after every two or three coughs. Her face turns red, then bluish around the mouth. Sometimes the coughing ends in vomiting a lot of phlegm.

I recommended Ipecacuanha, a homeopathic medicine characterized by violent coughing fits that end in suffocation and vomiting. I also gave Theresa's mom three additional medicines to hold as back-ups in case my first choice did not act.

Mom reported after one and a half days: "It's hard to tell if there is any substantial improvement." Being impatient for quick results, she decided to stop the first medicine and start the second.

One day later: "I would say remedy #1 had a better result than remedy #2." I suggested she discontinue #2 and resume #1.

Next day: "Today I have given Theresa exclusively remedy #1, and it has been her best day in many weeks. The coughing episodes went from 6-8 during the day to only 4, and they are shorter and milder. No more vomiting, and the phlegm is coming out her nose rather than accumulating in her chest. So yes, #1 is a keeper!!!"

Six days later: "Theresa continues to do very well, and I am still giving her remedy #1. She coughs 2-3 times during the day and 1-2 times during the night. The episodes are milder than before the medicine, and she seems active and energized. She continues to be very clingy and wants to be carried almost all the time--I suppose this is the natural residue from being on my arms so extensively while being sick.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart because you really helped her/us. It's my first experience using homeopathic medicine, and I am very grateful to have landed in your hands. You have been very caring and supportive."

Abdominal Cramps

Kelly, a slender, soft-spoken girl of 12, began suffering from attacks of abdominal cramping in January of 2011. A GI specialist could not determine the cause and diagnosed constipation--although Kelly had regular bowel movements. Kelly did a colon cleanse, with no improvement.

A second specialist was consulted, who disagreed with the first specialist and diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The family subsequently consulted a third specialist, who disagreed with the second specialist and sided with the first.

Kelly was treated with a laxative (magnesium citrate), which made her vomit and feel much worse. The third specialist proposed a colonoscopy and tube feeding, which the family declined. The specialist also proposed a second laxative, Miralax, which was also declined. Kelly was referred to an endocrinologist, who could find nothing wrong.

In desperation Kelly's mother turned to a local herbalist, who used applied kinesiology to determine that Kelly had parasites, as well as numerous other problems. The herbalist put Kelly on a regime of 53 pills per day-for parasites, heart problems, immune system weakness, low energy, and diverse other ailments. Kelly followed this protocol for three months without result--in fact, she got steadily worse. She became skinny and gaunt, developed dark circles under her eyes, insomnia and loss of appetite. For the first time in her life she did become constipated. She was in pain most of the time. She stopped growing.

Kelly's mom could see that her daughter was not responding to the herbal protocol but did not know where else to turn. The herbalist claimed that Kelly's symptoms were normal for the detoxification process. At one point, however, the mom broke down in despair and admitted to a friend, "I feel like Kelly's dying before my eyes."

Kelly's mom consulted me four months after the initial cramps appeared. During the initial visit I tried to determine the cause of Kelly's problem. It did not appear to be genetic, as her mother and father were both in good health. Nor could I find a psychological trigger. Kelly was home schooled, and there were no significant stresses in her life. She had been in good health up till the start of 2011. The only event that could have affected her health was a series of vaccinations that she received in the fall of 2010.

A study by a group of Dutch physicians in 1999 found that at least 30% of children who suffer vaccine injury show no acute reaction (Smits T. The post-vaccination syndrome. Homeopathic Links 2001;4:214-218). In at least 15% of cases, it takes more than six weeks for symptoms to develop.

It is well known that vaccines can cause neurological problems. The vagus nerve supplies the heart, lungs, upper digestive tract, and other organs of the chest and abdomen, so any of these systems can be affected.

Kelly's mom was new to homeopathy, and she was reluctant to try something unfamiliar. For three months she hesitated, frequently sending me questions such as:

"Kelly has had 3 nights now in a row where she didn't sleep all night long, for no apparent reason. Will your medicine help her to sleep at night and put her in a deep sleep?"
"How long should it take for the medicine to enable her to sleep?"
"Once Kelly starts the medicine, will she have worsening symptoms before she gets better?"
"Will the medicine increase her appetite and remove her food allergies, or is it only for sleep and constipation?"

I explained that homeopathy is a process, the goal of which is healing on all levels. But since various individuals respond to medicines differently, it's hard to predict exactly how the process will unfold. Generally speaking, the most recent symptoms are the first to go away, while older symptoms disappear later. Sometimes symptoms do intensify, but only briefly.

After three months Kelly's mom gave her daughter the first dose of homeopathic medicine. The next day she wrote:

"Today is day 2 and Kelly has worsening symptoms--achy all over, major nausea--could this just be her body's response to the healing process?
Also, she now has much pain in the middle of her sternum, slightly below her chest.
She developed a bright red rash on the side of her face next to her mouth.
Eczema has come out again and is itching. It was previously treated with cortisone cream."

I recommended a second medicine for the nausea.

The next day:

"Kelly is feeling better today. She slept well last night.
The rash on her face is gone. Her eczema does not itch anymore.
She took one dose of the nausea medicine yesterday, and her nausea went away, but the abdominal discomfort continued."

The following day:

"She had a really good day yesterday. Her energy was better. There were no symptoms until 6pm, when she had some nausea and abdominal pains. She slept well last night and woke up fine."

One of the most encouraging developments was the almost immediate improvement in Kelly's appetite. Her mom wrote a month after starting treatment:

"Kelly has such a voracious appetite...she had a huge amount at dinner and then got sick afterwards (first time all day).
I wouldn't say her appetite is abnormal; it's actually a healthy appetite. I'm just not used to Kelly wanting to eat 'normal' size meals."

Over the course of the next year there were many ups and downs. I prescribed about a dozen different medicines to deal with the various symptoms that came up, including eczema, nausea, stabbing pain in the neck, restless leg syndrome, allergies, back pain, and inability to urinate.

Six weeks into the treatment I prescribed Pulsatilla, which resulted in major improvements. Kelly's mom reported:

"Yesterday was a good day for Kelly...she had 3 brief symptoms: nausea in the throat, stabbing pain in her feet and cramping in her belly. Each lasted less than 5 mins.
Today, she had throat nausea for 30 mins in the morning and 15 mins mid-morning.
Both days, she had a couple of brief episodes of itching where her eczema would appear, but her skin looked normal.
Two changes: she is exhausted!! She slept in yesterday until 1 pm, and today, after about 8 hours sleep, she came home from church and took a 3½ hr nap.
Also, her appetite has decreased some.
Any idea why she is so exhausted? This is very abnormal for her to have no energy and sleep like this."

I explained to Kelly's mom the difference between exhaustion and sleepiness. Exhaustion is from depletion of energy. Sleepiness is part of the self-healing process. Mom replied:

"Kelly confirmed that she is definitely sleepy and not exhausted. It's like she's going thru the Poppy Field in Wizard of Oz.
We will lie low this upcoming week so she can rest. This is when homeschooling is such a benefit."

Five days later:

"Kelly has only had 2 very brief episodes of symptoms per day.
Her sleep at night is great. She is coming out of her sleepiness, and her appetite is picking back up.
It really seems that you nailed it with your hypothesis and remedy...5 GREAT days so far!!!"

Kelly continued to improve on Pulsatilla, which she took as needed. Gradually the intervals between each dose became longer, and her mother's emails less frequent. Kelly began to grow taller and put on weight. She became the picture of health.

After more than four years Kelly continues to flourish.

Interestingly, Pulsatilla has a long history of use in the treatment of measles. One of the vaccines that Kelly received in 2010 was the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), which contains the live virus. Further, the most dangerous cases of measles are those in which the rash fails to appear, which occurs because the immune system has been compromised. It is significant that one of Kelly's first reactions to homeopathic treatment was the appearance of a bright red rash on the side of her face, indicating that her immune system had been stimulated.

The eclectic physican, W.C. Cooper, wrote in 1889:

"I want to call attention to the power of Pulsatilla as an eruptant, so to speak. Perhaps a dozen times I have been called to children who had made only partial recoveries from measles in consequence of a recession of the eruption or non-appearance. In these cases I gave Pulsatilla with complete success. I remember one case in which the eruption had almost entirely failed to appear. The child punied along in an etiolated condition for three months. Several doctors had a whack at it, only to throw up the case at last in disgust. The parents finally sent for me. I put her on Pulsatilla, and within three days the child was thickly covered with the measles eruption.
We have had the measliest of measles epidemics, but to the glory of Pulsatilla there isn't a measle left, while the patients are all left with us."

    Case Histories

© Dr. Diderik Finne 2016

Last update March 16, 2016