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๐Ÿ’™ Qigong Sensory Treatment (QST) is an evidence-based, proven, touch-based autism intervention for children that parents perform daily with their child to effectively treat sensory issues and decrease symptoms of autism. QSTI (2014).

๐Ÿ’™ Results are cumulative and can be apparent in as few as 30 days of treatment. QSTI (2014).

๐Ÿ’™ QST is based on practices used in the East for thousands of years. QSTI (2014).

๐Ÿ’™ QST is the intervention with the most positive outcomes for treating sensory challenges in children with autism. Bodison & Parham (2018).

 

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QST is unique in 3 ways:
  1. It improves all aspects of autism โ€“ sensory, behavioural, social and language. QSTI (2014).
  2. It is consistently effective for children with severe as well as mild autism. QSTI (2014).
  3. It effectively treats the sensory abnormalities in autism. QSTI (2014).

 

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Typical Outcomes of QST* include:ย 

โœ“ Improved sleep

โœ“ Improved digestion (relief of constipation or diarrhea)

โœ“ย  Increase in appetite

โœ“ Helps with picky eating

โœ“ Counteracts toe walking

โœ“ Reduces or eliminates head banging

โœ“ Helps with potty training

โœ“ Improves receptive and expressive communication (speech and language)

โœ“ Promotes eye contact and social connections

โœ“ Restores normal sensation to the skin (reduces tactile defensiveness)

โœ“ Boosts the immune system

โœ“ Clears toxins from the organs and promotes organ health and function

โœ“ Promotes self-soothing and emotional regulation

โœ“ Increases tolerance for frustration and reduces aggressive behaviour

โœ“ Helps with transitions

โœ“ Increases attention/focus

โœ“ Improves learning

โœ“ Decreases parenting stress

โœ“ Autism severity can decrease by 10-30%

Silva (2011).

 

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*Success is dependent on parentsโ€™ commitment to provide the intervention daily at home and participate in training sessions with a QST Certified Trainer. Individual results may vary. Younger children (Age 6 and under) typically have better results but the intervention has been proven to be successful up to the age of 12 according to research published in scientific journals, and beyond the age of 12 with anecdotal results.

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What To Expect

๐Ÿ’™ The intervention consists of a sequence of 12 different movements that are completed in a specific order. The movements are based on the principles of Chinese Medicine and have been developed specifically to treat sensory and self-regulation challenges in children with autism.

๐Ÿ’™ QST is completed on the full body, over the clothing.

๐Ÿ’™ For optimal results, 20 treatment sessions are typically required over a 5 month period.

๐Ÿ’™ During treatment sessions, the occupational therapist, who is also a QST Certified Trainer, will provide the intervention to the child with parents participating, as well as train parents in how to provide the intervention with the correct form and attune it according to the childโ€™s responses and changing needs.

๐Ÿ’™ The first appointment will take approximately 1 hour and will include a sensory assessment of the child (including standardized and non-standardized assessments and a health history). During the next appointment (typically lasting 1 hour), parents will be taught how to perform the intervention and the intervention will be introduced to the child by the occupational therapist.

๐Ÿ’™ Subsequent appointments will take approximately 45-60 minutes and the child will receive the intervention by the occupational therapist and parents. Sessions will focus on parent training and modification of the intervention based on the childโ€™s responses and progression.

๐Ÿ’™ Parents are required to be present and participate during every visit. Reading materials and resources will be provided to parents prior to and during the intervention to help them understand and provide the intervention effectively.

 

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Additional Resources

Click the video below for a discussion on how QST works.

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It is highly recommended that parents purchase and read this manual prior to starting the intervention. The manual also contains access to a video demonstration that parents can watch.

QSTI:

https://www.qsti.org/product/qigong-massage-for-your-child-with-autism/

or

Amazon:

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3lMOiJwย ย 

Kindle edition: https://amzn.to/3lQel2z

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Please visit qsti.org for further information about Qigong Sensory Treatment

 

References

QSTI (2014) About Qigong Sensory Treatment. QSTI. https://www.qsti.org/qigong-sensory-treatment/

Bodison, S. C., & Parham, L. D. (2018). Specific sensory techniques and sensory environmental modifications for children and youth with sensory integration difficulties: A systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72, 7201190040. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2018.029413

QSTI (2014) QST for Autism is a Breakthrough. QSTI. https://www.qsti.org

Silva L. (2011). Qigong massage for your child with autism: A home program from Chinese
medicine. Singing Dragon, London; Philadelphia

QSTI (2014) A Different Sense of Touch: Autism and Qigong Massage. QSTI. https://www.qsti.org/qst-autism-parent-resources.

 

Additional Research Studies:

Silva, L., Schalock, M., Gabrielsen, K., Horton-Dunbar, G.(2017).ย  QST Massage for 6-12 year olds with Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Extension Study. Published by Western Oregon University

Silva, L, Schalock, M., Gabrielsen, K., Horton-Dunbar, G. (2016). One- and Two-Year Outcomes of Treating Preschool Children with Autism with a Qigong Massage Protocol: An Observational Follow-along Study.

Silva, L., Schalock, M., Gabrielsen, K., Budden, S., Buenrostro, M, Horton, G. (2015). Early Intervention with a Parent-Delivered Massage Protocol Directed at Tactile Abnormalities Decreases Severity of Autism and Improves Child-to-Parent Interactions: A Replication Study.ย