QST lessens sensory challenges for children with autism; it is a proven, touch-based massage treatment for autistic children administered by parents to normalize sensory issues and reduce the symptoms of autism. Research shows that pleasure and bonding is initiated with parental touch and is mediated by tiny sensory nerves in the skin. When these nerves are damaged, as in autism, children lose the ability to bond and experience pleasure through their tactile sense. Before long, social delays and abnormal behavior are evident. This damage is reversible; treatment with QST massage returns the child’s sense of touch to the normal range. After a course of treatment, sensory problems improve, tactile normality is restored, social skills increase, children demonstrate affection, receptive language improves and parental stress decreases.
CSF had supported Dr. Silva’s research for over a decade, and the results appeared in peer-reviewed journals including the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage Bodywork. Grant funding also allowed Dr. Silva to produce videos, create a website and author books, translated into multiple languages, and to train countless parents in the qigong massage method, as well as establish an international cadre of trainers to educate and support families. She retired from full time medical practice in 2016, and sadly passed away in 2018. QSTI continues to further her mission and introduce this therapy to more families dealing with autism.