Dr. Kanyang Wu, Ancient Acupuncture Center

I have read many articles about autism. Some talk about alternative therapies in western medicine, which might be of some help to certain individuals. Others talk about the experiences of parents on how to conduct effective functional training, which is very impressive for their persistence. But all these articles have one thing in common: they focus mainly on the functional training, not on the treatment of this medical condition.

This is a very strange phenomenon. Modern medicine considers autism incurable. So those people who believe in the modern medicine have concluded that functional training is the only way to go for autism. They hope to improve these autistic children with functional training only. This is so called “training as medicine” phenomenon. With such belief, they would regard any cured cases as fraud and do not pay any attentions.

Certainly this phenomenon does not mean that parents are not willing to see their autistic children cured. It only reflects the deep-seated or quasi-religious belief that people hold towards the modern medicine. People often think modern medicine is superior and its conclusions cannot be surpassed. Let alone the hard to understand, non-substance based, and holistic medicine — Chinese Medicine. Due to such ill-informed opinions they miss chances of recovering their children.

As a matter of fact, modern medicine is still a developing medicine. It does not understand many illnesses well and does not have effective treatments for them. So it considers these illnesses difficult to treat or even incurable. But countless clinical cases have proved that many of them have been cured by Chinese Medicine. Such cases are often called “the clinical miracle”. For example, I have cured three autism cases during last few years in America.

Believing that autism is incurable, many parents consider functional training the only hope to help their children. Therefore, they will ignore news of effective treatments and focus their hope only on the training (note: some are unable to obtain such information regarding effective Chinese medicine treatments). Because the training can help children obtain some specific ability, people often consider the results of training as the treatment results. But strictly speaking, functional training belongs to the nature of education and autism’s clinical treatment belongs to the medical practice. They should not be confused conceptually.

Autism is definitely treatable using Chinese Medicine, which is also an undeniable fact. Here is a question people often ask, “How can you tell the difference between improvements from treatment and training?”

When elements of initial autism diagnosis have changed and autistic symptoms disappear, we can consider autism cured because the autism diagnosis no longer applies. If there are some improvements but autism diagnosis still applies, it is still autism and not cured yet. We know that some autism cases have specific learning capability in certain area. Some of them have various talents such as language, drawing, and music and so on. Through training autistic children can improve specific capability, but their autistic behaviors still exist. They are still separate from the community and are hard to live a life like normal people. As a comparison, for my three successful cases, they can be considered “cured” because their autistic behaviors basically disappeared and the original diagnosis no longer applies.

During my clinical studies, some cases still lags behind normal children in certain category after they are initially cured. Thus some parents have doubts about the statement of “Cure”. They even consider the lag as illness. Sometimes they found that their children are still not ready to enter the normal class of their age even though their autistic symptoms have disappeared. Due to such thinking, some parents might conclude that their children are not yet fully recovered.

In fact, this is also one of the misunderstanding regarding treatment and training. Skill is a different concept from symptom. Because autistic children are slower in learning, the amount of information they can absorb is much smaller than normal children. Thus right after they are fully recovered, there are still some gaps regarding their skills. This is where functional training can come to play a major role since they now have normal learning capability. At this stage I ask parents to increase the input intensity so they can learn things in one year for what normally take one and half years. With such extra efforts, it is possible for them to catch up with their peers on the knowledge accumulation.

Once I asked Brown’s parents, “If you think of him as a two year-old, do you think he still lags?” “Of course not” They answered. When they are autistic, their learning falls behind normal children and so there is lag from their peers. Brown’s parents compared him with his non-autistic sister and thus felt he still lagged.

Some parents put my treatments in the same category of western medicine’s therapies. This is incorrect. The whole western medicine has already labeled autism as incurable. So its therapies and training cannot fully recover autism either. It is very important to distinguish between functional training and Chinese medicine’s treatment. Both can complement each other but are not replaceable. Treatment provides the foundation for training and training reveals the results of treatment. A lot of parents said that their children had obtained better training results after my treatments. Some of them were used as good examples for promoting the training. During my treatment process, I often ask parents to do some specific training activities. Functional training is also an important component during my treatment period. Because my treatment improves the learning capability, teachers often find these children progress much faster.

With effective treatment, the progress is full-blown and shows in multiple aspects such as acceptance, language, social skills, etc. But training can only help certain specific area and emphasizes only the contents of class. So it is hard to fully recover autism via training only.

In conclusion, parents need to understand the relationship between treatment and training. They need to understand the medical efficacy and necessity of Chinese medicine treatments. Do not rely on training alone. To those who don’t know Chinese medicine, it’s fine to have some doubts. You don’t need to understand every concept of Chinese medicine before taking treatments. But you should give your child a chance. You can try this treatment for two months to observe the clinical results yourselves.