In thinking back over the years of practice, it is astonishing to realize how many children have been pulled out of their emotional and mental handicaps to grow up into well- balanced citizens, in many instances to reach a most satisfactorily high development of usefulness in the world.
The hardest and best part of such work is done in the first year or two of it. I have had the privilege of watching the fruition in a goodly number of these cases, but for now let us consider the initial effort in very early childhood, to learn what we may from observation of a small group of nine children.
Cultural background of two of these children is quite high, of the rest mediocre.
Inherited physical handicaps are considerable and these bear rather close relationship to each other, being in the sphere of high physical and emotional tension; of poor resistance to atmospheres, to environments, to colds, to digestive disturbances, to high fevers; sufferers from many forms of inhibition, suppression, misunderstanding, poor reactions to punishment; unbalance of physical and mental activity, also emotional and mental unbalance.
Such attributes these children have in common but the variations in manifestation are most interesting. I have am outline of the symptoms of each child and how reactions toward normal took place, but the recital her would take too much time, instead I might give you a comprehensive statistical evaluation.
The ages of the children at beginning treatment varied from four months to four years.
The length of treatment ran from one year to nine years with two still under treatment.
The result of treatment, with many handicaps to contend with, might be summed up thus; 100 percent of normal after six months; 95 percent after seven years; 90 percent after five and a half years: 90 percent after five years; 80 percent after six years; 80 percent after four years; 75 percent after two years; 50 percent after one year; 40 percent after seven years (this child was away in Texas under other suppressive treatment for three years in the middle of the seven returning as bad as ever, if not worse).
Prescriptions made were twenty: Calc. c. three times, Calc. p. twice. Phos. twice, Stram, twice, Ferrum met. twice. Tarentula twice, and the following once: Lach., Kali bi., Nit. ac., Nux. v., Bar. c., Puls., Sil. In all cases, it took more than one of these remedies to do the work, for example.
Such an over-all statistical picture might be made by the group method in other aspects of homoeopathic prescribing. Perhaps our colleagues on the other side, the doubting Thomases, might like to see this kind of effort.
DR. ALLAN D. SUTHERLAND [Brattleboro, Vt.]: Mr. Chairman, I have a feeling that many of the conditions we find i children, especially with reference to their emotional behavior, are based on environmental factors which I hardly see can be overcome be the indicated remedy. True enough, perhaps the childs reaction to his environment is predicated, to some extent, on his constitutional make-up, but also it is predicated primarily on the environmental factors which surround him. For instance, a child who shows very evident aggression and hostility toward his parent will probably find the counterpart in such an attitude of his parents toward the child.
If you are not able to overcome those environment factors, it might be difficult to get too per cent improvement in the child.
I am reminded of some incidents in my practice. A child was brought into the office one afternoon several years ago, without appointment, and came in while I was engaged with another patient.
During this time I heard from the waiting room constant commands such as, “Sit down, Dont move, I told you to stay right here”.
I thought, “Well, why do the ladies bring their dogs in here if they have to make such a commotion and disturb everybody else?” But, strange to relate, the commands were being given to a four-year-old child.
The complaint about the child was this, that he was losing weight, didnt eat well, didnt sleep well, was irritable and hard to manage.
Well, obviously, a child in the type of environment that the mother showed unconsciously to me wouldnt be happy, would be rather hostile and aggressive, would be a child that was hard to manage, wouldnt eat and wouldnt sleep. The difficulty was in the mother, not in the child. When this was explained to the mother, she left the office with her child in high dudgeon. That is something patients always have in reserve, this high dudgeon. I never saw her again and I wonder what has happened to the child.