Improved Speech Following Parent-delivered Qigong Massage in Young Children with Down Syndrome: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.
|Author(s)||Louisa Silva, Mark Schalock, & Mary Williams|
|Date||November 30, 2013|
|Published in||Early Child Development and Care, 183(12)|
|Citation||Silva, L. & Schalock, M., Williams, M. (2013). Improved Speech Following Parent-delivered Qigong Massage in Young Children with Down Syndrome: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Early Child Development and Care, 183(12), pp. 1891–1905.|
Qigong massage is an eastern form of massage that can be delivered by western parents to their children with appropriate training and support. It has been shown to improve developmental measures in young children with autism when given daily for five months. A recent trial evaluating its effect on motor development in young children with Down syndrome reported anecdotal observations of increased speech beginning in the first weeks of massage. This pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) was conducted to formally assess the effect of qigong massage on speech in young children with Down syndrome. Twenty children with Down syndrome under age 4 were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. The treatment group was assigned to receive a programme of daily parent-delivered qigong massage for five months. Parents were provided with training and weekly support for the first two months by trained staff. Data analysis using pre- and post-treatment testing with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development showed a large improvement in expressive language (p?0.02). Results are consistent with published reports of improved communication in young children with autism following massage, and suggest that a larger RCT with young children with Down syndrome is warranted.