Parents of children with autism increasingly turn to complementary therapies, including massage, for help. New research shows that about 21 percent of youths enrolled in a large registry of children on the autism spectrum use complementary therapies, specifically, special diets, as part of their overall treatment plan.

An estimated one in 110 U.S. children has autism, a group of complex developmental brain disorders that affect behavior, social skills and communication, according to a press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

This study conducted by conducted by the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network showed that 201 of 1,212 children (17 percent) were on special diets, most often a gluten-free, casein-free diet (53 percent). Special diets were most common among children diagnosed with autism (19 percent), followed by those diagnosed with PDD-NOS (14 percent) and Asperger’s syndrome (7 percent).

Previously, MASSAGE Magazine reported on research that shows qigong massage reduces the severity of autism.

Editor’s note: See MASSAGE Magazine’s July print edition to read “Qigong Massage Brings Touch to Autistic Children.”

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Qigong Massage Reduces Severity of Autism