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The Case of a 'Naughty Boy'

by Dr Neil Slade(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 109 - March 2005

Oliver's mother was despairing of him; he was only five and was being threatened with suspension from his primary school for his behaviour. She had heard that homeopathy can treat behavioural difficulties in children and also address such things as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – not that he had been diagnosed with either of these.

Oliver had been a nightmare ever since he had reached the 'terrible twos' and as he had got older his behaviour became more extreme.

Initially when chastised he would sulk and not speak to whoever had pulled him into line, now he was shouting back and smacking Mummy or Daddy for telling him off. He was destructive at home, breaking toys and always wanting what somebody else had. His mother had reduced the number of times she invited his friends over to play as he would always cause trouble through not sharing.

She cringed every time he was invited to a friend's house, as his return was also accompanied by a rather frazzled parent regaling her of all of Oliver's misdemeanours. I thought that this behaviour was classic for a child that had been supplanted in its parents attention by a new baby, but when I enquired I was told that he was an only child (along with a withering look from mum as if I was mad for suggesting a second child!).

During the consultation Oliver was an ideal patient; he exhibited the behaviours in question to a tee. Within five minutes he had pulled up the carpet rod that covered the point where two pieces of carpet meet. This was followed by a knob broken off a drawer, the toy box tipped up in the middle of the room and the privacy curtain that pulls round the examination table off its hooks. I finally stepped in when he was making for the wires under the desk leading to the computer! During this time Oliver's mother was trying very hard to calm him down but to no avail. How a child behaves in the consulting room and observing how it interacts with its parent and myself provides vital information about the case.

From a physical point of view Oliver was tall for his age and slim, his skin was pale and he had floppy, curly blonde hair – very angelic in fact. He suffered from a cough that had never really gone from a bad cold he had a few months earlier. He would wake most nights coughing which would then subside through the day, only to return again when he had gone to bed. He had a strong liking for meat; he would always eat the meat from his meal first and then it was a struggle to get him to eat his vegetables. Most interestingly he had a desire for smoked meats, his favourite being smoked sausage – very unusual for a child of his age. His favourite drink was a glass of milk. He was very much an outdoor child; his mother told me that he was at his happiest when he could run round the garden making lots of noise. He could not concentrate for long on one thing, constantly changing what he wanted to do.

When I came to analyse the case one remedy came through loud and clear – Tuberculinum. This is a remedy par excellence for children who are difficult from a behavioural point of view; they overflow with energy that they do not know how to channel, thus it often comes out in naughtiness. Typically they are prone to break things, can be abusive or bullying with other children and will not do as they are told. Tuberculinum, or Tub as it is generally referred to, also has a great affinity to the respiratory system. A typical Tub patient also has a strong desire for smoked meats and milk. I prescribed Tuberculinum 1M as a split dose i.e. just two tablets.

Four weeks later his mother brought him back for a follow up. After he took the remedy he developed a very nasty cough for 24 hours which then stopped suddenly after a day. However, a couple of weeks later his cough had come back, but not as bad as it was originally. His behaviour was improving and he would sometimes do as his mother asked him. She found that she could reason with him a little more as to why he should not smack people or break things. In short, he was easier to manage. From my point of view the newly fixed carpet runner remained in place, the examination curtain survived, but one of the plants ended up on the floor and two toys succumbed to Oliver's 'examination'. I repeated the Tub 1M, but this time I only gave him a single dose, this was in order to try and avert any aggravation – especially of his cough.

The second follow up produced even better results. His cough did not aggravate and over the first few weeks after the second prescription, it simply faded away. His behaviour had improved to such a point that the school had made a point of writing to Oliver's mum to commend him on his improvement. He was getting on with his school work and not being disruptive in class. Oliver had also been invited to a party and, apart from one or two small indiscretions typical of any five year-old, had a great time joining in and playing with his friends. Both mum and I were pleased with the result. I gave her a single tablet of Tub 1M to hold just in case his improvement slipped back and did not book him in again.

I have seen Oliver on several occasions since for general childhood illnesses and his behaviour is typical for a child of his age, the extreme picture is history. Yes, he is still naughty at times, but that's half the fun of being a child isn't it?

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About Dr Neil Slade

Dr Neil Slade  PhD LCH RSHom. Neil is a senior lecturer at two leading complementary therapy colleges and has two busy homeopathic practices. He is the Deputy Director of Pure Medicine in London's Harley Street. He regularly contributes articles to the national press, radio and television. Neil can be contacted on Tel: 01372 361669;  NeilSld@aol.com     www.neilslade.co.uk

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