2007 October

Armadillium Vulgare in an 'Asperger-girl'

by Mary Ellen Turner
A Case of Asperger Syndrome

A very delightful girl, age 5, adopted from China at 9 months old. She was diagnosed as high functioning Asperger.
Her mother is concerned about her ability to function in Kindergarten based on her pre-school experience. She is also exhausted with the time demand of this child she is so dedicated to.

The girl has a difficult time regulating her emotions (group/school setting) which has an extreme element to them (anxiety, frustration, over stimulation and obstinacy). She is > being held tightly. She is self protecting in groups (school). If left to her own devices when over stimulated, she will crawl under a desk and curl into a ball while repeating “doodle-bug, doodle-bug, doodle-bug.”

Motor planning is difficult as she has no sense of time or space and plows into people. She was diagnosed with Dyspraxia (aural motor) at 2 yrs old she couldn’t bite down on a cracker. Previous to talking (age 4) she used sign language.

She has trouble with sensory integration and responds with anxious intensity – an acute response to an exciting factor (clenches with excitement and glee, then straight to irritable, then flops around). She becomes excited and anxious (anticipatory) when startled and clings to mom with eyes shut. She does not respond to voice or eye contact. Her hearing is acute and is able to categorize music by style and composer. She responds to soft noise, not loud. At her first visit she said “Oh, mom, it’s a Jackson Pollack” (pointing to a painting done in the Jackson Pollack style).

She has a great focus of attention and “binges” on things of interest, working a topic or a particular food to death and then she is done (all things aquatic, avocados, balloons -prefers Mylar as “latex; may pop in my hand”, roly- polies, butterflies). At each consultation she spends the time busily doodling elaborate pictures with many fanciful (smiling) characters from fairy tales or movies (Peter Pan, Tinkerbelle, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach), origami, pop-up pictures (whatever she is “into” at the time).

Her imaginary playtime seems to revolve around conflict (tub toys fighting over sharing), or where she is in charge and makes the rules (“I’m making a jail…the big time-out for adults…a nice jail for people”.) She hates being small “I’d rather be a fairy godmother than Cinderella; the boss; policeman; Queen, God”. “Everyone gets to make the rules but me.” Fascinated with power: the bad witch in Wizard of Oz, tornados, hurricane Katrina (fearless). < Lightening and thunder (fearful).

Themes & Characteristics:
She is a light sleeper and is cranky when she wakes.
History of ear inflammations (alternating sides) – 5 ear infections/sinusitis between 16-18 months.
Runs hot – profuse perspiration - < damp, humid; < sun = itchy, sweaty.
Lethargic with fevers.
Strong reaction to vaccines – tantrums, goes rigid.
<< transitions (difficult to break her intense focus); sniffles with weather change; needs to know she has access to food (provided snack when she arrived or she would disregulate/panic).
Want’s to go home. “Can we go home now? I want to go home now.” Crawls into a ball on her mom’s lap.
Psychology report “The most sensory seeking and most sensory avoidant child she had encountered.
Bossy/demanding nature – “My way or the highway” (mom); screams for attention.
“I need to know NOW.”
Self protecting in groups.
Enchanted (pictures filled with fairytale character from different stories, films, etc.) “I’m into fairies now. It’s nice to celebrate on your hand. If they land on your hand you can love them.”
Interest in animals in a scientific way (nose to nose with an ant).
Lactose intolerant.
Frustrated ambition – had an interest in pop-up books, but could not replicate perfectly. Tantrums at pre-school when she can not “do it perfectly.” (Cancer Miasm?)
Bitter taste in mouth.
Hypersensitive (noise, odors, light, change of weather, transitions).
Jealousy – Interrupts other’s performance if she is not included.

I was looking for a small animal that self protects by crawling into a ball and is held together (relieved) with hard pressure (hug). Although her demanding nature can be considered “buggy”, she is very cute and her imagination is very enchanting. She is sensitive to noise (deregulates), high humidity (sniffles) sun (sweat, itch, overheat) and transitions. She is a very busy doodler. There are themes similar to insects (small, organized, busy, industrious, constant intense activity, attention seeking). She does not have the violence and aggressiveness one often sees in these remedies, and her self protection/sensitivities are similar to a shelled sea creature, protecting a soft underbelly.

Figure: Armad-vulg-analysis

Astacus Fluviatuilis (Crawfish) has themes of overpowering panic attacks, impulsivity, and the desire to go home.

Mollusks have the duality that the outside is threatening so they go into their shell, but inside they are claustrophobic.

Pediculus Capitus (head lice) are bothersome, industrious and have a mania for work. They have ailments from excessive joy as well as indifference and apathy.

Armadillidium Vulgare
Self protection, Mimicry, Small vs. Powerful, Bothersome.
Armadillidium is a genus of the small terrestrial crustacean known as woodlouse. They are commonly known as pill bugs, roly-polies and doodlebugs. They are a hard-shelled creatures, resembling a miniature armadillo that are characterized by their ability to roll into a ball when disturbed. Being Isopods, they have segmented bodies and jointed legs (7 legs that are alike); they are not insects, but rather land dwelling relatives of crabs and lobsters. Similar to these creatures, they have gills and need water to breathe. However too much water, sun or heat can be deadly, as their metabolic rate is temperature dependent: the external environmental temperature relates directly to their rate of respiration.
The coloration resembles the red hourglass marking of the Mediterranean black widow (Latrodectus Tredecimguttatus). This is probably a kind of mimicry to ward off predators that mistake the harmless animal for a venomous spider.
They are mainly nocturnal, preferring lime-rich soils which they need for making their shells. Females carry approximately 2 dozen eggs in a pouch called “marsupum” on her underside until they can fend for themselves. Although a male is usually involved, they can reproduce by parthenogenesis (partheno = virgin, genesis = creation) as well. There can be 2-3 broods per year and their lifespan is about 2 years.
The immature isopod molts 4-5 times (discarding its exoskeleton to accommodate its growth. Molting is in 2 stages. First the back ½ molts, then 2-3 days later the front ½ molts.
They eat fungus, decaying plant matter, young plant growth and sometimes dead animal matter. Predators include ants, spiders (Sow Bug Killer), shrew, toads, frogs, newts, lizards, small owls, fox, centipedes, harvestmen, beetles and other isopods.

They also have seven pairs of short legs.
Isopods have two pairs of antennae; one pair feels along the ground.
This animal is a crustacean, so its cousins are crabs, crayfish, and shrimp. Just like those creatures, Isopods have gills and need water to breathe. Since they live on land, and not in the water, Isopods must stay in moist places.

Scientific classification
PHYLUM Arthropod
CLASS Crustacean
ORDER Isopoda
FAMILY Oniscidae
GENUS Armadillidium
SPECIES Armadillidium vulgare

Picture: ArmadillidumVulgaris

Picture: ArmadillidumVulgaris2001

Scheme ArmadillidumVulgaris

Follow-up – one month:
200C Armadillidum Vulgare.
The most prominent change is a greater connectedness with her surroundings (spontaneous “good byes” and “thank you” without mom’s prompting, greater awareness/sensitivity to animals, more color to her art). Mom mentions that their cuddling is a bit more reciprocal and that her requests are less demanding. When watching a movie where the characters are dancing, she’ll jump up and dance with them (to be apart of the fun). Note to the tooth fairy: “Dear Tooth Fairy, Please take me up to Neverland.”

Follow-up – 4 months later:
Gave 1M Armadillidium Vulgare
Melt downs are infrequent and she is able to calm down and recover more quickly. Her threshold has changed (a higher threshold). Her school year is going well (Kindergarten). She is reading at a First Grade level and is able to construct a story with a beginning, middle and end. A nice steady improvement (mom). She is interested in Robert Sabuda’s pop-up books and is busy replicating pop-up art. “I want to be smarter than God. Am I smarter than Robert Sabuda? I want to be a policeman with strong arms, able to lift a very heavy book over my head.”
She has had a jump in motor skills. Her balance has much improved and she is able to hop on one foot and catch and throw. Her movements are more deliberate; less of a “bull in a china shop”.

One year later:
There is a marked reduction in obsessive behaviors. Her ability to deal with groups (camp, school) as well as her ability to self regulate has much improved. She has made a friend at school and is able to interact rather than her typical “parallel play”.

Drawing: ME-Turner

Note: There was a proving of Oniscus Asellus (Sow bug) by Hering. This Isopod differs from the pill bug in that it lacks the rear appendages necessary to curl into a ball. Characteristics include a pale face with a wild expression. Symptoms include inflammation of the right ear (boring pain), mastoid process, and cutting, burning pain in urethra (Cantharis) with tenesmus of bladder and rectum with absence of stool/urine. It has also been used to treat asthma with bronchial catarrh.

Categories: Remedies
Keywords: Armadillidium Vulgaris, Asperger, Astacus Fluviatuilis, Mollusks, Pediculus Capitus, Oniscus Asellus


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Posts: 2
Reply #2 on : Thu November 01, 2007, 23:48:03

wow, what a case! I love that she actually said "doodlebug" when she was under the desks etc.


Pat Maher

Posts: 2
Reply #1 on : Mon October 01, 2007, 14:27:27
:-) Mary Ellen,
What a WONDERFUL case!! Thanks so much for sharing it.

Pat Deacon