Diagnoses of disorders along the Autism Spectrum continue to rise throughout the United States, now affecting nearly one in 68 children, according to the CDC.
As more and more children struggle with the wide range of social, emotional and intellectual struggles that come along with living with Autism, treatment options are seemingly rising to the occasion to help, too.
While we're well aware of the physical benefits of acupuncture treatment, a recent study from Hebei Province has yielded some promising results — that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine can help children with autism.
How? According to the study, acupuncture has shown to be able to potentially improve, “communication, language, physical movement and sensory perception.” Additionally, it reports that children whom participated in the study also demonstrated improvements in self-care, another area that some children on the spectrum struggle with.
Within the study, 92 children were randomly assigned to either receive “standard rehabilitation” or treatment that included acupuncture and herbs. With results measured using the ABC Checklist (Autism Behavior Checklist) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) both groups showed significant improvements, but the effective rate in the group that received acupuncture was 89.96%, versus 65.22% in those who did not receive the added holistic therapies.
Overall, the conclusion is that the addition of acupuncture and herbs are, “both safe and effective for the treatment of children with autism.”
If your child, or someone you know has been diagnosed on the spectrum, acupuncture may help to provide supports in addition to traditional therapies including speech, physical and occupational therapy, and education.
While acupuncture may not be for every child, it’s worth considering and speaking with providers to find a potential fit for your child’s unique needs.