A model and treatment for autism at the convergence of Chinese medicine and Western science: first 130 cases.

Author: Silva LM, Schalock M, Ayres R.
Affiliation: Teaching Research Institute, Western Oregon University, P O Box 688, Salem, OR 97308, USA. lmtsilvaqigong@comcast.net
Conference/Journal: Chin J Integr Med.
Date published: 2011 Jun
Other: Volume ID: 17 , Issue ID: 6 , Pages: 421-9 , Word Count: 223

To present a model for autism showing that impairment of sensory and self-regulation is the core deficit that underlies delays in social/language skills and abnormal behavior in autism; and to demonstrate the efficacy of a treatment for autism based on Chinese medicine.

Children with autism under 6 years of age were assigned to treatment or wait-list conditions. A total of 130 children were treated and the results compared with 45 wait-list controls. Treatment is a tuina methodology directed at sensory impairment--Kai Qiao Tuina. The treatment was a five-month protocol that was implemented daily by trained parents via trained support staff. The effects of treatment on the main symptoms, autistic behavior, social/language delay, sensory and self-regulatory impairment, as well as on parenting stress, were observed and compared.

The treatment had a large effect size (P<0.0001) on measures of sensory and self-regulation. The evaluations done by pre-school teachers demonstrated improvement in the measures of autism (P<0.003), and were confirmed by evaluations done by parents (P<0.0001). There was a large decrease (P<0.0001) in parenting stress.

Sensory and self-regulatory impairment is a main factor in the development and severity of autism. Treatment of young children with autism with Kai Qiao Tuina resulted in a decrease in sensory and self-regulatory impairment and a reduction in severity of measures of autism.

PMID: 21660676