Is QST Right For My Child?

Research studies show that QST for Autism is a safe and effective therapy for  autism in children under the age of 12. QST for Autism is the only autism therapy that is effective for all symptoms of autism – behavioral, sensory, social and language – and it is the only autism therapy that is effective for all children with autism, no matter how severe. The therapy can be given at home by the parent and is the least expensive of all the autism therapies. If your child has autism and does not have any of the contraindications listed below, then QST for Autism is the best therapy for your child. To read about training options for parents click here.

Contraindications to Giving and Receiving QST for Autism

There are five contraindications to QST for Autism.  Here they are, along with the reasons for them:

1. Uncontrolled Seizures

We do not recommend that parents start QST massage on children with uncontrolled seizures without the support of a QST Certified Trainer. This is because gentle tapping on the head can precipitate a seizure in these children. The QST Certified Trainer can modify the massage for children with seizures and we recommend that parents wanting to learn the modified approach work with a QST Certified Trainer or sign up for our QST Course for Parents.

2. Other neurological conditions such as Down syndrome.

The QST autism protocol is specific for autism. There is a different qigong massage protocol for children with Down syndrome (available in our bookstore).  For children with both autism and Down syndrome, we recommend working with a QST Certified Trainer (see Parent options page).

3. Parents who are on the autism spectrum themselves.

Adults with ASD also lack normal responses to touch. To attune QST to their child, parents must be able to see and feel their child’s responses to touch. If they are unable to do so, therapy is unpleasant and ineffective. In our experience, being on the autism spectrum is a contraindication to mastering the skills needed to give QST.

4. Another intensive autism therapy is planned to begin at the same time.

QST is an intensive autism therapy. Starting two intensive autism therapy at the same time can overload your child’s nervous system. If your child has a strong reaction, you will not know which therapy is causing it, or how to manage it. Therefore we recommend starting one intensive therapy at a time. When your child is adjusted to one therapy, the second therapy can be added.

5. Drugs that delay progress with QST for Autism.

Strong sedative medication. Because qigong massage works via the nervous system, certain sedatives e.g. gabapentin, can delay children’s progress with the massage. In these children, it can take much longer to see results from the massage.

Getting Started with QST

Now that you have determined QST is right for your child, the success of QST for Autism depends on parents learning the massage correctly for their child.

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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.