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Autism Spectrum Disorder - Does CranioSacral Therapy Help?

By David Frome, PT, LAc.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental disorder is often diagnosed in babies under the age of two. The symptoms of autism occur within a wide range from mild to severe. Frequently, people with ASD have challenges with learning, communicating, behaving, and interacting with others.


Children with autism often have speech and language delays.  Social challenges often include temper tantrums and difficulty making eye contact. Autism can make functioning difficult.

Self-stimulating behaviors also known as “stimming” are characteristic of ASD. Movements or mannerisms such as full-body rocking, flapping of the hands, or repetitive sounds or noises are common forms of stimming. Self-stimulation may help individuals with ASD manage sensations that are difficult for them to process.

There are no definitive biomarkers for ASD. Research indicates that the immune system plays a significant role. One common marker amongst children with ASD is elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the cerebrospinal fluid.


Understanding CST and ASD

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) has been shown to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD.) This gentle, hands-on therapy helps the body and brain move towards balance.  

Dr. John Upledger found CST to be an effective, hands-on approach to reduce the symptoms of ASD.  The Craniosacral system includes the brain, spinal cord, surrounding soft tissue membranes (dura), spinal vertebrae, and cranial bones. Chronic tensions within the body can impede normal function within the central nervous system, inhibiting the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood around the spinal cord and brain.


The practitioner of CST releases soft tissue and bony restrictions in the head, spine, sacrum, and tailbone. As the patterns of strain are released, the body moves towards balance and the client experiences a sense of well-being.


Craniosacral Therapy complements other therapies including Rolfing, Acupuncture, Sensory Integration, Neurodevelopmental Therapy, Homeopathy, and Speech Therapy.


In my 40+ years helping children on the spectrum, I have witnessed children becoming calmer, more engaged, and better able to communicate as a result of receiving Craniosacral Therapy.

Rebekah and David Frome are students of The Society of Nanlaoshu, a NYC Tai Chi, Qigong, and Meditation center committed to the preservation of the teachings of Master Koo. They have been teaching in  Asbury Park for the past 5 years and have a small but devoted following. You can learn more and sign up for our Tai Chi and Qigong classes at our website, or contact




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