Author(s): Silva LM, Schalock M, Gabrielsen KR, Budden SS, Buenrostro M,
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Abstract Tactile abnormalities are severe and universal in preschool children with autism. They respond well to treatment with a daily massage protocol directed at tactile abnormalities (QST massage for autism). Treatment is based on a model for autism proposing that tactile impairment poses a barrier to development. Two previous randomized controlled trials evaluating five months of massage treatment reported improvement of behavior, social/communication skills, and tactile and other sensory symptoms. This is the first report from a two-year replication study evaluating the protocol in 103 preschool children with autism. Parents gave daily treatment; trained staff gave weekly treatment and parent support. Five-month outcomes replicated earlier studies and showed normalization of receptive language (18\%, P = .03), autistic behavior (32\%, P = .006), total sensory abnormalities (38\%, P = .0000005), tactile abnormalities (49\%, P = .0002), and decreased autism severity (medium to large effect size, P = .008). In addition, parents reported improved child-to-parent interactions, bonding, and decreased parenting stress (44\%, P = .00008). Early childhood special education programs are tasked with addressing sensory abnormalities and engaging parents in effective home programs. Until now, they have lacked research-based methods to do so. This program fulfills the need. It is recommended to parents and ECSE programs (ages 3-5) at autism diagnosis.
This article was published in Autism Res Treat
and referenced in Alternative & Integrative Medicine