Baryta carbonica. [Bar-c]
The second group are all very much of the same type; they all apply more or less to the backward child, either a case of delayed development, or a definite mental defective. The outstanding drug in this group is BARYTA CARBONICA, which is more typical of the backward child than any other drug in our Materia Medica.
The characteristics of the BARYTA CARB child are very definite it is a dwarfish child, dwarfish mentally and physically. I have never seen a BARYTA CARB child who was up to standard height, but they may be up to standard weight. The next glaring characteristic is that the BARYTA CARB child is always an excessively shy child.
That shy characteristic covers quite a lot of the BARYTA CARB child It is nervous of strangers; scared of being left alone; very often it is terrified of going out of doors; a town-bred child going to the country is terrified in the open fields. They often get night terrors without any clear idea of what the terror is; and they always have a fear of people.
Another characteristic linked with that fear of people is that the BARYTA CARB. children are always touchy; they do not like being interfered with; they are very easily irritated. The next thing is that throughout their lives they have been late in everything-late in speaking, late in walking, late in dentition slow in gaining weight.
Another marked feature is an exaggeration of the normal child’s forgetfulness. Every child is forgetful, every child is inattentive, but in the BARYTA CARB. child this is very much exaggerated. If they are playing they never stick to it for any length of time, they pick up a toy, play with it, and drop it; you may hold their attention for a minute or two, then they turn round and look at the nurse or mother or whoever happens to be there.
They pick up a thing from your desk and fumble with it for a minute or two, and the next moment they are playing with the handle of a drawer. It is that lack of concentration that is the outstanding characteristic.
As they get older the same report comes from school-the child is inattentive, never concentrates on a lesson, appears to learn something today and has completely forgotten it tomorrow. The mother would teach the child its alphabet a dozen times over and ten minutes after it knew it, it would be allowed to go out and play and half an hour later it was all forgotten.
Another thing is that they are very easily tired out; any attempt at sustained effort exhausts them. When they are young they become cross and irritable as they get older any sustained effort brings on very troublesome headaches-usually a frontal headache with a feeling as if the forehead were bulging and sitting right down over the eyes, and it is awful effort for them to keep the eyes open.
The next point about them-and it is pretty constant to all the BARYTA CARB children is that they are liable to get colds, and their colds are characteristic. They always start as a sore throat, and most BARYTA CARB. children have hypertrophied tonsils.
To the hypertrophy of their tonsils can be linked the other glandular tissues; the BARYTA CARB. child very probably has enlarged cervical glands, possibly enlarged abdominal glands. With the enlarged abdominal glands linked the fact that the child stands badly, there is often marked lordosis and a very prominent abdomen.
With the abdomen condition is the symptom that the BARYTA CARB. Child is usually worse after eating-more inattentive, more irritable, more touchy, and very often more tired after eating.
The next thing about them-linked with the tonsillar hypertrophy is that if that get enlarged tonsils and get cold they are very liable to develop a quinsy. Here is a tip that is worth remembering. To a typical BARYTA CARB. child with an acute tonsillitis it is wiser to give a dose of BARYTA MURIATICA rather than BARYTA CARB. during the acute phase; and very often they will need an intercurrent dose of PSORINUM after the BARYTA MUR. before reverting to BARYTA CARB.