TRI Publications

A Model and Treatment for Autism at the Convergence of Chinese Medicine and Neuroscience: First 130 Cases

Author(s) Louisa Silva, Mark Schalock, & Robert Ayres
Date November 30, 2011
Published in Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, 7(6)
Citation Silva, L. M. T., Schalock, M. D., and Ayres, R.A. (2011). A model and treatment for autism at the convergence of Chinese medicine and neuroscience: first 130 cases. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, 7(6), pp. 421-429


Objective: 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. Methods: Children with autism under six years of age were assigned to treatment or wait-list conditions. A total of 0 children were treated and the results compared with 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. Results: The treatment had a large effect size (P<0.000 ) on measures of sensory and self-regulation. The evaluations done by pre-school teachers demonstrated improvement in the measures of autism (P<0.00 ), and were confirmed by evaluations done by parents (P<0.000 ). There was a large decrease (P<0.000 ) in parenting stress. Conclusions: 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.

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