Researchers testing the effectiveness of combined acupuncture and herbal medicine on children with autism have found the treatment to be more effective than standard rehabilitation. They concluded that acupuncture improves communication, language, physical movement, and sensory perception. In addition, the children in the study demonstrated improvements in self-care.
A total of 92 children with autism were randomly assigned to receive either standard rehabilitation or treatment with acupuncture and herbs.
Treatment outcomes were measured using the Autism Behaviour Checklist (ABC) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). The ABC scale rates a total of 57 items in the areas of self-care, communication, language, physical movement, and sensory function. The CARS scale rates a total of 15 items on a scale of 1–4, with 1 indicating normal behaviour for the child’s age and 4 indicating severely abnormal behaviour.
Both groups showed significant improvements in ABC scores after six months of treatment (p<0.05), with the acupuncture and herbs group showing significantly greater improvements compared with the rehabilitation monotherapy group (p<0.05).
The total effective rate was 86.96% in the acupuncture and herbs group compared with 65.22% in the rehabilitation monotherapy group.
The researchers conclude that acupuncture and herbal medicine are both safe and effective for the treatment of children with autism. Clinical improvements are significant and acupuncture and herbal medicine are appropriate treatment options for inclusion in standard medical protocols. Learn more by contacting local licensed acupuncturists.