Background: Autism spectrum disorders pertain to neuro-developmental disorders
that threaten not only the quality of life and social activities of children (or adults) with
these illnesses in their lifetime if no proper training is provided, but also multiplies social
costs such as public health expenditures. A variety of treatments, including complementary
and alternative medicine, demonstrate improvement, among which acupuncture shows impacts
on the autistic symptoms.
Method: This literature review includes 37 empirical projects with 2,743 children in mainland
China, Hong Kong, the UK, and Egypt. It offers an overview of the effectiveness of
acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medical practice, on enhancing impairments that affect
these disorders; for example, communication and social skills, sensation, speech, motor
skills, behaviour, emotion, cognition, intelligence, and self-care. Performed in different
forms (for example, scalp and tongue acupuncture, auricular point pressure), this method can
be used alone or with other therapies, supported by advanced technology such as electroacupuncture
and laser acupuncture.
Result: Although the findings are encouraging, well-designed randomised controlled studies
are suggested for further research.
Conclusion: In summary, acupuncture is a potential measure for treating autism.