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Dr. Silva’s Vision

Dr. Louisa Silva was a compassionate physician who was committed to helping others in need. In 2000, when the son of a dear friend was diagnosed with autism, Dr. Silva became aware of the devastating impact of autism on families and the lack of therapy options. She realized parents needed an effective home program to lessen the severity of the disability.

Dr. Silva searched for solutions for children with autism that are gentle, effective and affordable. She believed that although not all disabilities can be cured, sensory problems can be treated, and parents can be given successful, research-based home programs to lessen the impact of the disability on their child.

As a result of hard work and following her passion, Dr. Silva founded the Qigong Sensory Training Institute in 2008. She published twenty-one scientific studies, seven books, two films, and developed courses for parents and health professionals. She worked with hundreds of families in North America, Asia, Europe, and Palestine. Her passion and dedication has guided the organization to help serve children and families all over the world. During her time as the director she approached each day with passion, integrity and love. Unfortunately, Dr. Silva passed away peacefully [due to complications with cancer] at her home in Salem, Oregon, surrounded by her family and friends. Dr. Silva’s compassion will never be forgotten and people all over the world will miss her. QSTI has developed the Dr. Louisa Silva Scholarship foundation to support families in need. The funds will support partial scholarships to help families and therapists receive QST training. Please help us continue Dr. Silva’s passion and donate to the Dr. Louisa Silva scholarship foundation.

Our Supporters

We thank the following people and organizations for supporting our work:
Spirit Mountain Community Fund – for initial funding for our autism and Down syndrome clinical studies
Curry Stone Foundation – for continued support and funding
Federal Bureau of Maternal and Child Health – for funding a major three-year study
The Fulbright Specialist Program for supporting QST training and research in Lithuania

We also want to thank our key partners:
Carlo Besta Institute, Milan, Italy
New England School of Acupuncture
The Research Institute, Western Oregon University
Dr. Sarojini Budden for ongoing support and consultation

We want to express our gratitude to our wonderful group of volunteers, especially our translators:

  • Leo Zhu, Oregon (translation)
  • Rosimery Bergeron, Oregon (translation)
  • Francoise McCuen, Oregon (translation)
  • Gerda en Sabine Baeyens, Antwerp, Belgium (translation)
  • Erika Vanempten, Antwerp, Belgium (translation)
  • Aleksandar Djeric, Bosnia-Herzegovina (for work on our technology backend)

Finally, we want to acknowledge the corporate support we receive for our operations:

  • for discounted credit card processing fees for our first six months as a customer
  • for discounted credit card processing fees
  • Google for Work for free use of their nonprofit plan
  • Google Ads, which provides $10,000 per month in free advertising on Google websites
  •, which provides free use of their nonprofit standard plan

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Qigong Sensory Training Institute (QSTI) is a nonprofit organization that developed and teaches Qigong Sensory Therapy (QST) to parents and professionals. Only organizations and individuals certified by QSTI are qualified to teach QST or offer QST services. See the list of Certified Trainers here.