‘He’s more animated, more social’

  • Melanie Dupres (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Melanie Dupres (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Melanie Dupres (Photograph supplied)

    Melanie Dupres (Photograph supplied)

  • Melanie Dupres (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Melanie Dupres (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Ashande Rubaine (Photograph supplied)

    Ashande Rubaine (Photograph supplied)

  • Alvina Brangman with her daughter Eleah Basden (Photograph supplied)

    Alvina Brangman with her daughter Eleah Basden (Photograph supplied)

  • Ashande Rubaine (Photograph supplied)

    Ashande Rubaine (Photograph supplied)

Homeopathist Melanie Dupres invited families of children on the spectrum to take part in her free homeopathy and autism trial last October. An initial hour-long consultation was followed by two 30-minute appointments before the children were given a homeopathic “preparation”. Their parents spoke with Lifestyle about the results as part of Autism Awareness Month.

When you’ve exhausted all options, nothing to lose is as good a reason as any.

Mother-of-two Angela DeRosa called Melanie Dupres’s autism and homeopathy trial a “no-brainer”.

Her 17-year-old son Ashande Rubaine is on the spectrum.

She’d tried everything from craniosacral therapy to language services. It all “helped” but she felt let down by the island’s education system.

“I’m wearing a double hat, as an occupational therapist and a parent. I know more than the principal; I know more than the teachers. I’m not bragging about it but because it’s my child; I had to do my research.

“It’s been a long and difficult journey just trying to get the things that he needs through school. We have always been one step ahead of them so he hasn’t benefited from a structured programme.

“Going through primary school was hell. Middle school was hell. They keep looking at him and his behaviour instead of looking at what programmes we can offer to help him and others like him,” she said.

It was the promise of improved communication skills that sold Ms DeRosa on the autism trial.

“[That] is what my son needs. He doesn’t talk a lot. He doesn’t express himself either orally or on paper.

“Three weeks into the programme, I started noticing a shift in him. He seemed more relaxed and he started talking to me a bit more.”

It felt like she was meeting Ashande for the first time.

“He’s become more animated, less anxious, more verbal, more social,” Ms DeRosa said.

“It’s not 100 per cent, but I can’t say that I’m looking for 100 per cent. I’m looking for things to help him and this homeopathy has been wonderful.”

Her older son Ashton also noticed a change.

“When he came home at Christmas time, they were chatting and laughing. He said, ‘You’ve got to keep doing that homeopathy because Ashande’s getting better’.”

Ms DeRosa suspects her child was “vaccine injured”; something shifted at three years old.

“When it comes to autism they look at ‘joint attention’ — that is having a child being able to attend to an object or an adult. He had all of that. He met all his milestones. He was on point and then he just changed.

“I know it’s been denied by the American Paediatrics Association, but it has to be something environmentally driven because all of these children with autism were not around years ago.

“I had my older son as a measuring tool. I’d actually thought Ashande was more engaged than my older son — with eye contact, with conversation and babbling. He was very happy and that changed.”

It wasn’t until he was in primary school that doctors officially diagnosed autism.

“I wasn’t in denial. I just knew I had to get him the help that he needed,” Ms DeRosa said.

“I work in the community. I have given and given and given, trying to help others and it always felt like I couldn’t get any help for my son.

“Finally, with this intervention, for me it’s like God has answered my prayers and sent somebody to help me. Mel didn’t have to volunteer her time.

“I’m grateful because I have a different child now. It’s done a lot for him socially, cognitively especially with his receptive language. Now we laugh, we talk more. He’s willing to go out with me socially, whereas before he would stay home.”

Ashande will now “open his arms and embrace people” whereas before he would never hug. According to his mother, he also feels less anxious since taking Ms Dupre’s prescription.

For those who call it “quack therapy” she says: “No way.”

“I have seen it. I’ve seen him change,” Ms DeRosa said.

“I look at it like an onion where you’re peeling back layers so that my son can shine.

“I would tell anyone to definitely try the homeopathy. It’s a wonderful tool outside of traditional medicine.”

Alvina Brangman was medicating her autistic daughter every night to help her sleep.

She saw Ms Dupres’s free trial as a good chance to help the five-year-old.

“It doesn’t hurt to try,” she said. “I thought, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’

“Eleah’s a very active child. She still doesn’t really sleep through the night. Her brain doesn’t shut down like the rest of us.

“Mel suggested I take her off the melatonin and prescribed a different type of medicine for Eleah.”

She believes it worked.

“She has been on it for three months now and I’ve seen major improvement. Her speech is improving, her social skills, even her work in class,” Ms Brangman said. “She used to have meltdowns two or three times a day, every day, and now it’s maybe twice a week.”

Ms Brangman suspected autism when her daughter wasn’t picking up speech like other children her age.

They flew to Toronto where she was diagnosed as “medium” on the spectrum.

Upon their return, an ADHD therapist helped “a great deal”, but Ms Dupres’s “remedies” have had a greater impact.

“She’s a lot more social. As soon as she sees anybody, she gives them a hug. She never used to do that before. She never used to make eye contact.

“Before, she would never interact with other children. So she has come such a long way.”

Her daughter’s listening skills have greatly improved and she follows directions better, Ms Brangman said.

“Eleah has become more independent and she is more talkative and sociable as well. These are huge milestones for her while being on the meds. “Many times before I would have to prompt Eleah to say things but most times now, she says things on her own and even asks for things on her own.

“I’m amazed when she comes to me saying things that I haven’t taught her to say.”

Eleah Basden is in the autistic programme at West Pembroke Primary.

“Hopefully in September if she continues the way she is, she will be able to mainstream in a regular classroom,” her mother said.

What’s behind Cease Therapy?

Homeopath Melanie Dupres’s free trial was designed to improve the lives of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

She used methods suited to each patient’s specific circumstances, recording their mother’s journey from before pregnancy through to birth. Ms Dupres, right, believes vaccine damage, genetics, toxins, medications and emotional stress are all contributing factors of ASD.

She used a method known as Cease Therapy to detoxify her patients from them.

“Tinus Smits, the man who formulated this method, realised that 70 per cent of cases were caused from vaccination,” she said.

“Homeopathic preparations are the crude substance, so the vaccine itself is diluted and then succussed. That process is called potentisation. With autism, the nervous system is jangled, so what can cause that are various things — toxicity being one of them. When you analyse a case you look at where the toxicity could possibly be.”

Her trial promised advances in speech and communication, reduction in tics and OCD behaviour, improvement in eating habits, lessened infections and fewer incidents of rage.

“The progress is steady, but it’s slow,” she said of the results. “It takes a body a while to come back to where it should be – where the person is thriving at their optimum.”

Studies in Australia, Britain and the US have found little evidence that homeopathic remedies work. According to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council “people who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness”

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Published Apr 13, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 14, 2017 at 3:10 pm)

‘He’s more animated, more social’

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