This research-based treatment was developed for use by parents and Early Childhood Special Education programs starting at the time of autism diagnosis. It reduces the severity of autism by one third in the first five months and helps children benefit from educational programs. Sensory difficulties, behavior and learning improve at home and in school.
The core of the intervention is a specialized parent-delivered massage program known as QST massage for autism. Parents give the program daily and trained therapists provide parent support and child treatment during weekly 1/2 hour visits. This low-cost solution delivers positive results in four key areas.
- Autism is less severe by 32%, behavior and language improve.
- Parenting stress is reduced by 44%.
- Sensory problems improve by 38%; sensitivity to touch & texture improves by 49%.
- Children are more affectionate with their families, participate more in family life, and are more receptive to classroom learning.
QST massage is a breakthrough treatment for young children with autism on three counts:
- It is the first treatment to improve all aspects of autism – behavioral, language, and sensory, and provide a large reduction of parenting stress.
- It is the first treatment that is consistently effective for children with severe as well as moderate/mild autism.
- This is the first treatment that effectively decreases the sensory disability in autism.
The sensory disability in autism is unusual in that it involves several senses including the master sense in early childhood development – touch. Cutting hair and nails, wearing clothes and shoes, textures of food, noises and smells can be overwhelming for young children with autism. QST massage for autism works by helping to normalize the sense of touch and eventually the other senses.
Parents are trained to give the massage every day. They do not avoid uncomfortable areas, but instead attune massage techniques to their children’s comfort level. As parents work through the discomfort, sensory and behavioral problems diminish. Children start to relax, make eye contact and listen. Receptive language improves. Children become more affectionate; bonding and social interactions improve. The severity of autism decreases.
Early Childhood Special Education programs are tasked with providing parents with effective, research-based home and classroom programs to address sensory impairments and prepare children for school. Until now, they have been greatly in need of effective, affordable, research-based interventions to do so. QST massage for autism can offer real assistance to parents and ECSE programs in these areas. Work is in progress to disseminate QST training worldwide.
*QST (Qigong Sensory Treatment) massage for autism integrates Western and Eastern massage approaches to sensory abnormalities, stimulating development and improving health in children with autism.