A Certification Case Study by Julia Capistran de Early
Limited language skills, hyperactivity & attention deficit
Pablo is a 6 year old boy. He is very sweet and shy. Although distant at first, once he gets to know you he is both warm and attentive if he feels accepted. Although he cannot express it, it is very obvious that he is very sensitive to rejection. He seems to be in a world that belongs just to him and where he is comfortable. Relating to other children seems especially difficult to him. This is probably due to the fact that on one side, his language skills are very limited and, on the other hand, other children don’t know how to relate to him. He does not like other people to get close to him, even his father. When around other children, he would push them away as soon as they tried to get near him. He has been diagnosed as hyperactive, with “cerebral immaturity” [sic] and one and half years of mental retardation. He also has attention deficit problems. He is restless, does not pay attention, and is not able to be still for very long. This, together with his language difficulties, keeps him from participating in school. He is also aggressive.
Pablo seems like a different boy now, although his language disability has not been solved completely. According to the phoniatrist (specialist in speech), it will probably take about a year to start seeing results. Nevertheless, Pablo now makes an effort to communicate and does not seem to be as frustrated as before. He is now able to sit around the table, finish his meal, and “talk” to the people with whom he is sharing the meal. School is now a place where he feels comfortable and he has made friends. He is slowly making progress and is able to concentrate more.
When he first came he just said one syllable words; in the case of two or three syllable words he just pronounced the last one. He did not try to say even a short sentence. Now, even if his speech still sounds like baby talk, he participates in conversation and does not seem to be ashamed. He smiles and even tries to be funny.
He was restless and he was always moving fast. His mother said: “He never walks normally, he always runs”. Now he is able to walk slowly when someone grabs his hand or just on his own. He seems to be fully present, “talking,” laughing and playing. Also he can express affection by physical contact, not just to his mom, but to his father and brother as well. He is inquisitive and interested, whereas before nothing seemed to catch his attention. His mom says: “Before he was not interested in anything, he did not even want to watch TV. Now he asks questions and asks us to read stories to him. He is excited about school!”
He is now in the process of learning how to leave his little world and practicing little steps to be able to walk in and interact in the real world. His mother is realizing that in order to help Pablo she has to learn to accept his condition, but more than anything to understand that “my son is not sick and that he can have a normal life, probably with some limitations.”
The father is more involved now with Pablo. His mother is not as overprotective of Pablo as she was. They are noticing improvements in his condition. The first day of classes was a happy day for them because for the first time Pablo came back home excited about school, sharing his experiences and also his concern for other children, which he never did before either. They also realized that this time he paid attention to the teacher because he told them what she said and what they should not do. They both were deeply touched, and were able to express their feelings. Although Pablo’s father just said: “Did you heard what he said?” By at least saying this he expresses his emotion and concern for Pablo. It goes to show just how inexpressive he is.
Pablo lives with his mom, dad, and thirteen year old brother. His mom, who also took some flower essences, looked very sad and hopeless at the beginning. She suffered for Pablo’s wellbeing even before he was born.
Pablo’s mother had a c-section and suffered a great deal during her pregnancy with him due to small pox. Even before he was born she tried to protect him from any possible danger that could put him at risk. This was a constant anguish for her since she contracted small pox during her pregnancy. That attitude is now beginning to change. Pablo had been living in a small world that was just his and just a few could get in. His grandmother and other relatives viewed him as “poor little Pablito” a “sick” child who could not be touched by anyone or anybody. In many ways he was isolated not just by his language disability but by his relatives’ fear. His father just did not know what to do, and as a result father-son bonding had not been established.
The last 6 years she has devoted her time to take him wherever he could get help. Currently, she travels 6 hours each way, every two weeks, to take him to a speech specialist so he can get therapy. She is 34 years old.
At first she was very quiet, and disconnected, almost like if she were absent; she just talked when she thought it would be beneficial for her son. Now, she keeps record of every improvement she sees and she calls me to share it.
She had a very hard upbringing. Her father died in her presence when she was 12 years old while her mother was absent. She always felt rejected by the rest of her family and she had to start working at a very young age. She suffers tremendously when others reject her son. Now, she is more talkative and realizes that she is repeating her own story with her other son and is trying to change it.
Pablo’s father works as chauffer. His mother was a single mom and had 6 children. She raised them on her own and they all went to college except him. He is also very quiet. He has a cold personality and does not express his feelings very easily. Pablo got close to him, both physically and emotionally, just recently.
Pablo’s brother told his mom: “thanks to the drops you pay more attention to me and you don’t take your anger out on me.” Pablo was very aggressive with him. In spite of being a teenager he is very good to his brother and plays and spends time with him.
After school Pablo goes with his grandmother and his uncle, who is blind, while his mother is working. They are not very talkative either. This is not a verbally stimulating environment for him, but they have been making an effort to do more activities with him, such as reading stories and asking him questions often, and that has been reflected in the improvement of his speech.
Pablo was hyperactive, so my immediate goal was to calm him down and help him to deal with his aggressiveness so he could relate better to others - especially his father and other children. I also wanted to get Pablo more grounded; he was living in his own world. The long term goal was to improve his ability to communicate.
During the first session he did not communicate at all. My goal was to help him find his emotional center and release stressful emotions. The second time he came back he began to slow down a little bit and on the third visit he began to try to speak and listened to a story. After this visit he made a drawing of a dog rather than random lines. His artistic work changed from random lines to specific objects. He can now draw specific objects of interest and love in his world. Later he drew pictures of a house, car, and his father and mother.
Pablo was aggressive to other children and his brother and was distant from his father. He did not allow anyone to get close to him. My goal was to help him to overcome his aggressiveness and open a bridge of communication with others.
Another important long term goal was to enable him to participate at school and to belong and be part of a group.
Session one: June 28, 2006
During Pablo s first visit, changes were not very obvious. He made an attempt to communicate with me but his mother still had to speak for him. According to his mother, he has not been as aggressive as he was before and is allowing his father to get close to him. In school he is beginning to be more relaxed, less restless and paying attention to the teacher. His mother says: “He is slowly changing and we are beginning to notice it.”
Essences used prior to this session
Cosmos to help him to integrate the speaking functions of the nervous system and his ability to express thoughts with coherence and clarity.
Petunia to calm him down. For his hyperactivity. Also to help him to convey thoughts in an articulate way.
Indian Pink to help him to anchor and center, and for his inability to remain still.
Almond for mental retardation and immaturity. To help him to act according to his age. In this session the family observed a little progress. At this point, our main concern was to continue this progress and improve upon it.
Almond for maturity and mental retardation. At home, he is often treated as if he were a toddler. This essence is meant to help him “to realize” that he is not a baby anymore.
Shooting Star to help him find his right connection to earthly life, probably associated with trauma at birth and his mother’s fears during pregnancy.
Banana to help him to create a communication bridge between him and other children and also with his father.
Petunia: I decided to use it again to calm him down and to improve the progress he was making since the previous session.
Snapdragon to address problems with communication and physical contact. Also for tension around the jaw and grinding of his teeth.
Along with this, he started taking baths every night using 10 drops of Pine and 10 drops of Walnut.
Pablo took the essences orally with one full dropper in a 600 ml water bottle. Little sips all day. He also had daily baths with 10 drops of Walnut and 10 drops of Pine in the bathtub.
Session two: July 13, 2006
Pablo has been diagnosed with a year and a half of mental retardation and lacks the maturity of a six year old.
Shooting Star seemed to be working well because he started understanding the meaning of love. This was reflected in the way he is now relating to his father, his brother, and other children.
Banana also seemed to contribute to achieve this and helped him to cross the bridge that was impeding him to experience love, playing, and communication.
Petunia seemed to help him with restlessness and speech problems.
His communication improved with Snapdragon. He began to make the effort to talk to people. His mother said: “for the first time he made an effort to say a complete sentence!”
He still needed to work on his speech and learning disabilities.
Indian Pink to help him to hold focus when surrounded by intense activity or pressure.
Trumpet Vine was chosen to help with him feelings of helplessness due to his inability to speak clearly, and his impediments in speech. Also for self confidence when speaking.
Buttercup for his low self esteem and his feelings of inadequacy.
Cosmos was for his speech difficulties and his confusion specially when speaking.
Shooting Star to improve his feelings of belonging and bonding. Also, because it is a remedy for movement and activity which addresses his inability to remain centered.
Cherry Plum to help him to release himself, to feel free instead of feeling trapped, and to address the grinding of his teeth.
Session three: August 2, 2006
Pablo came this time excited about doing activities such as drawing or story telling, but more than anything now he was trying to interact and participate in conversation and express three word sentences. Although his speech is still like baby talk, he does not seem to be intimidated by that. Also for the first time he was able to draw something specific without anybody telling him to do it. He is closer to his dad and his brother, and as his mom says, "more than anything, he enjoys playing." His mother says also, that she noticed and improvement since he began taking the baths, “he seems eager to learn and asks questions, his curiosity about things around him suddenly increased.” Now, says his mom, “he can walk normally, before he always ran.” He has not been grinding his teeth either. He showed progress on his speech. However he still needs to work a lot more, and it is probably going to take a long time.
This time I decided to make two synergies: one to take in the morning and one to take in the afternoon.
I repeated Shooting Star because it seems to be his archetypal remedy.
Buttercup for self-confidence and to address difficulties with communication.
Session four: August 21, 2006
This time Pablo was angry, restless, and did not want to do anything, he was not paying attention at all. I felt discouraged because it seemed that all the progress we had made was gone. It was very difficult to work with him.
He finished the baths on August 10th. His mom says: “He has been restless, but now he does not run anymore, he walks normally. He is grinding his teeth again.” She is worried because he is going back to school tomorrow after summer vacation, and she is afraid that he is going back to his old behavior.
“His speech has improved, he can now pronounce phonemes with vowels, before he could not pronounce the letters b, m, s, and p. Now he can. He says complete sentences, although it still sounds like baby talk, he can make himself understood. His dad is happy because he can communicate verbally and emotionally with him, and his relationship has improved a lot.”
Writing this now, it makes me wonder if he was nervous and scared to go back to school.
On August 24th, Pablo’s mom called to tell me that she wanted to share something with me: basically she wanted to tell me that she and her husband were very happy because for the first time he came back happy and excited from school. He was able to explain everything that had happened in school in great detail. At first he seemed as if he had lost ground, but a few days later his parents observed a big improvement. There are still a lot of things to be accomplished, mostly related to his speech and learning disabilities. He will continue to come to therapy.
Comments on the stages of Pablo's healing process (the “4 R’s”)
Stage One: Release and Relaxation. During the first visit he was hyperactive. He was restless, not paying attention, and disconnected. On the second visit he began to slow down a bit. By the third visit he was relaxed and paying attention. So he achieved Stage One Release and Relaxation.
Stage Two: Realization and Recognition. Since Pablo cannot express himself and his feelings verbally, it is difficult to directly assess his State Two development. However since his behavior changed dramatically after the third consultation he had to have achieved Stage Two Realization of more constructive ways of behaving.
Stage Three: Reaction, Resistance and Reconciliation. During consultation five Pablo was angry, restless, did not want to pay attention and was grinding his teeth again. This indicates Stage Three Resistance. When he came back from school on the first day of classes, he was excited for the first time. He shared with his mother and dad what had happened that day at school. He was able to explain the teacher’s rules for classroom behavior and some incidents where other children misbehaved. (Before he was the one misbehaving.) This indicates Stage Three Reconciliation.
Stage Four: Renewal and Reconstellation. Just a few days ago his mother told me that Pablo for the first time came and gave her a hug and told her how much he loved her. He had never done that before. It was more than we had expected. It shows that Pablo had achieved Stage Four Renewal and Reconstellation. When his mom brought him for treatment, her main concern was his speech problem and secondarily his hyperactivity but she had not realized his need for grounding, for being present, and his lack of expressing affection. Although the speech problem is not totally solved yet, he has made tremendous progress in these other areas.
SHOOTING STAR “is a very special remedy for those souls who hold back from full participation in earthly life. At its deepest levels Shooting Star teaches such souls that the Earth is the right place to humanize one’s cosmic consciousness, for it is the place to learn about heart impelled love” (Flower Essence Repertory–Kaminski and Katz).
Pablo really fit this description: always absent, distant and kind of lost in a world that was somewhere far away but not precisely on Earth. Touching, human contact and interaction were not part of his daily experience. He was loved, but he could not express it back in return, as if he could not even feel part of his family, except his mother and his grandmother.
Pablo was able, with the help of Shooting Star, to land and walk firmly, taking the first steps to move on and be part not just of his family but other children, being able to make friends and relate in a more loving way.
Pablo still has a long way to go, and it will probably take a long time for him to be able to speak clearly, if ever. However, he has already been able to make a connection to earthly life and enjoy people, love, playing and learning.
Looking at his mom smiling and hugging him I cannot stop thinking of what Saint Augustin once said: “Faith is to believe in what we cannot see, the reward is to see what we believe.”
Here is Pablito proudly showing a kite, like he says, “I made all by myself”
Pablito continues with his flower therapy and the good news is that the neurologist released him and said that his last encephalogram came out ''normal.'' Afters years of consultation, the doctor told his mother that he no longer needed to come for treatment.
Julia Capistran de Early was born in Cordoba, Veracruz in 1947. She attended the National University of Mexico in Mexico City and received a degree in history. She taught social sciences in Mexico City and worked in the mountains of Nayarit, Mexico with Cora Indians and did research with Nahuatl (Aztec) speakers in the mountains of Veracuz.
Julia married and moved to Bend, Oregon where she taught Spanish at Central Oregon Community College for twenty-five years. She also ran a summer program for college students in Spanish language and Mexican culture in Cordoba Veracruz. Julia was also involved organizing groups in Bend promoting Human Rights in Latin America, and in organizing the Latino Community in Central Oregon during the last twenty-five years. In addition, for the last twelve years she has worked in the Western United States as a cultural consultant in death penalty and murder cases involving Mexican defendants.
Julia was introduced to flower essences by Kathleen Gault, a practitioner in Bend, Oregon. She has been practicing in Fortin, Veracruz and in Mexico City for the last five years.
Write to Julia.
P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA 95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
tel: 530-265-9163 fax: 530-265-0584
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