Written by Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Chelsea was almost four years old when I first met her. She had curly brown hair and hung on tight to a stuffed toy animal throughout our visit. The mother had brought her for a consultation because Chelsea refused to speak to anyone but her.
She attended a Montessori preschool and would not speak to any of the other children or interact with them at all, even though she had been there for six months. She did not speak to the teachers either, who were quite concerned about the child. Chelsea did not even speak to her own father
At this point she had been diagnosed with selective mutism. She did not say a word during the hour-long consultation. I asked all the usual questions, thought about it a bit and prescribed a remedy which - did nothing. I gave another one - nothing again. I felt that I did not have enough information and asked the mother to come back and tell me everything about the family history, especially about any people in the family who were somehow similar to Chelsea.
A Good Clue
"Well, her grandmother is a very peculiar lady. She does not interact with anyone either. She lives alone in the country on a farm with a lot of animals, horses, dogs, cats and birds. She just loves her animals. I'm sure she prefers animals over humans any time. She is absolutely devoted to them and takes in rescue dogs and horses. She's been like that all her life."
Then I remembered a lecture by a famous homeopath, George Vithoulkas, which I had attended in New York about five years prior to meeting Chelsea.
He had vividly described a case of a man who was totally devoted to animals and did not interact with people at all. I don't remember what the man was being treated for, but in homeopathy the remedies are generally prescribed for the person rather than the specific condition.
The remedy was called Aethusa and it stuck in my mind as I've also been very fond of animals all my life. Aethusa is usually thought of in infants who can't digest their milk and in various neurological symptoms. Not all of Chelsea's symptoms fit the remedy, but the animal connection was interesting and perhaps the selective mutism could be considered as a neurological symptom.
It was worth a try. Please note that this is not a remedy for selective mutism per se, but rather for the total state of the person. There are many other remedies that might help a child with selective mutism.
Recovery with Aethusa cynapium
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH, Classical and Modern Homeopathy, Sooke, BC
Questions? I offer a free 15-20 minute meet-and-greet consult. Distance consultations available via skype or zoom.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH is a professional homeopath with a special interest in children with developmental and behavioural concerns. Cases are all from her practice. Names have been changed to protect privacy. The cases were published with permission and are intended for education only. They are not intended as medical advise or solicitation. Homeopathy treats the person, not the condition.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Classical and Modern Homeopathy
Sooke, BC, Canada
Serving families in Sooke, Metchosin, Langford, Colwood, Victoria, Greater Vancouver Island, BC, as well as internationally via zoom/telehealth.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4