Getting Started with QST
Learn About QST for Autism
The ultimate key to success with this program is for you to learn to give the massage correctly and keep the massage going every day for a year or two. In all, there are three parent training options. All utilize our parent training book and DVD to teach basic skills and our year-long workbook to help you keep the massage going during the first year.
Put a Back-up System in Place
It is very helpful for more than one family member to learn the massage so they give the massage if you are sick or away from home.
Get Your Child Ready
We have two picture story books, Qigong at Home (for children with lots of language) and My Qigong Book (for children with little or no language), to help you prepare your child for daily massage. Choose the best one for your child and go through the book several times with your child before starting.
Choose A QST Certified Trainer
Ideally, all parents also have a QST Certified Trainer who can train and support them or support parents by working directly with the child. Both methods are effective, however research indicates that children with severe autism make more progress when a QST Certified Trainer is on the team. If there are no QST Certified Trainers in your area, you can sign up for our online Course for Parents and have access to distance training and supervision from one of our QST Certified Trainers.
What To Expect
The success of QST for Autism depends on parents learning the massage correctly, adapting it to the individual child’s symptoms and responses, and following through on a daily basis for long enough to get the maximum benefit for their child. Less than daily treatment, or stopping the massage too early results in less benefit. Working with a QST Certified Trainer helps parents master the skills and stay on track to give long-term treatment.
Starting The Massage
It can take several weeks for you to get comfortable with the massage. Some children have immediate improvement in sleep and behavior, other children take longer for parents to notice improvement.
Initial Period of Difficulty
Initially, children may resist touch on several areas of the body, e.g. ears, fingers, and toes. We do not avoid these areas. These are the areas that need treatment the most. The QST for Autism protocol has specific techniques for each area of difficulty. As parents adapt the technique to their children’s responses, children work through the difficulties and touch normalizes.
Changes in the Massage
After several months, many children can go through a hypersensitivity phase and the massage techniques have to be adapted. By now parents have learned to understand their child’s body language in response to massage and can consult the books for guidance on how to modify the massage.
After several months to a year, improvement of all the components of autism is seen. Take a look at the graph to see how things change over two years.
Recovery From Autism
By the end of two years, research shows that overall autism severity is 44% less, and more than half of the higher-functioning children have moved off the spectrum. We recommend that parents continue the massage until touch and other sensory responses are completely normal.
Qigong Sensory Training Institute (QSTI) is a nonprofit organization that developed and teaches Qigong Sensory Treatment (QST) to parents and professionals. We are the only source in the world that teaches QST, and only organizations and individuals certified by us are qualified to teach and treat. See the list of QST Certified Trainers here.