Studies have shown that there is an increase in the number of children who have been diagnosed with autism. Until now, doctors have not found a cure for this disease – which is why some parents want to try an alternative form of treatment –
Acupuncture for Kids
Acupuncture is a holistic approach in the treatment and prevention of certain diseases. Its main tool are very thin needles that are inserted into targeted points in the body. The body has about 400 of them connected through a system known as meridians or pathways. Once these are stimulated, they are deemed to create balance in the body.
Autism on the other hand is a brain disorder that is long term. This disease is characterized by deficits in language, social communication and cognition. Children who are diagnosed with this disease may also suffer from secondary problems such as aggression, irritability, stereotypes, hyperactivity, negativism, volatile emotions, temper tantrums, short attention span and obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Preliminary studies have shown that acupuncture may provide symptomatic relief to children suffering from autism. While it may be difficult in the beginning, it has been found to be rewarding in the long run. This is because while conventional therapy and treatment require that the child remain still, acupuncture does not. Some say it is just a quick poke at vital points in the body.
Autism and Acupuncture
A group of U.S. children participated in a test to see how effective acupuncture is, among children. There are 22 respondents and each of them received the treatment once a day for four months.
After treatment, 20 of the 22 participants demonstrated remarkable improvement. In fact, two of them have cerebral blood flow. The only thing unaltered before and after treatment, the blood flow between the left and right parts of the brain – where it showed no difference.
In addition to traditional acupuncture to help children with autism, there is a pilot study in Hong Kong which will try to see if tongue acupuncture can produce better results.
Some results have indicated that of 30 respondents in the test, the majority demonstrated functional improvement of various degrees – depending on the age and the severity of their disability. Some improvement was noticeable within a few TAC sessions, especially for drooling, spasticity, ataxia, and poor balance in walking. Functional improvement was noted after one to two courses of TAC. Most children tolerated TAC well, with only occasional pain and minor bleeding in a few participants.
The reason why experiments with tongue acupuncture have been conducted is: there is a connection between the tongue and the heart through the meridians that spread to all organs in the body. It is believed that the points on the tongue can influence the situation in other body organs, thus giving relief to one suffering from autism.
But many believe that acupuncture alone cannot help autism sufferers. This must be combined with other things like maintaining a certain diet to improve mood, and good school communication. Although it is only short term, it’s better than nothing – until a cure is found.
When will the cure be found? Only time will tell, as there are many other questions to be answered, for doctors to further understand neurological disabilities. Doctors who are conducting research believe that a multidisciplinary approach is necessary, given that acupuncture has shown positive results in helping kids with autism.
Autism and Kids Acupuncture (a Gentle Technique) – A Video
Web MD Video on the Benefits of Acupuncture: Acupuncture for Kids
Kids and Autism: Tell the Early Signs of Autism – Animated video
How to Help a Child with Autism – Cute instructional video (YouTube)
The Defiant Child: Ways to Deal With Defiant Children (Authority Site)
The Author also writes for Applied Behaviour Analysis Sydney Australia.