Monthly Archives: September 2016

Scalp Acupuncture and Autism


I recently went to Chicago for official training in scalp acupuncture.

Scalp acupuncture is an interesting form of acupuncture, in which needles are applied in the scalp over particular anatomic brain regions.

Using this techniques allows us to treat a variety of neuromuscular conditions, including weakness (due to strokes, concussion or other conditions), speech disturbances, frontal lobe issues(such as attention, executive functioning and brain fog).

As I have a strong interest in autism spectrum disorders and have a daughter on the spectrum we decided to give it a try on our 12 year old daughter.

Our daughter has had difficulty with speech apraxia, attention and she also struggles with delayed processing and learning disabilities. She does quite well in her home environment where her language is well understood, but she struggles to make coherent conversations in the school environment.

Upon learning the technique of scalp acupuncture I proceeded to needle areas of the scalp that overly the attention, receptive and expressive speech areas(Broca’s and Wernicke’s for those who are knowledgeable in neuroanatomy), Speech motor area and apraxia areas of the brain. These are all areas that my daughter struggles with. I also needled an area known as the frontal triangle in acupuncture, this focuses on frontal lobe functions. Finally I needled over Foot motor sensory area bilaterally. All the needles were maintained for approximately 30 minutes( stimulating them 2 times each).

It was amazing to see the results! With blinding, her TSS immediately noticed an increased attention span when working and much clearer and more concise speech.

I also noticed differences, but I am unblinded, therefore my observations, are likely biased. Our daughter has always been aloof, she would have friends over, but would lose attention in them, she would do inappropriate things to gain their attention, and often times they would wind up doing their own independent activities.

After three scalp acupuncture sessions I found Becky spending an entire day with her friend and an amazing improvement in reciprocal interactions. This was something I had never witnessed. She also had an expansion in her vocabulary and length and appropriateness of her comments.

I proceeded to investigate the use of scalp acupuncture in autism further and found several articles, including the one listed below.

Interestingly, in studies they found the same results that I observed with my daughter. It has also been suggested by several practitioners that scalp acupuncture may offer a quicker neurologic response in this patient population, than many other therapies.

If your child is struggling with developmental delays, especially speech delays, consider this safe and beneficial treatment!
Be wise and be well!