Research Article

Early Intervention with a Parent-Delivered Massage Protocol Directed at Tactile Abnormalities Decreases Severity of Autism and Improves Child-to-Parent Interactions: A Replication Study

Table 5

Parent comments on changes in the child and changes in relationship.

ID #Changes in the childQChanges in relationshipQ

1She is a lot more cuddly. Her sensory issues have improved a little1This has brought us closer together. She is more friendly with family members.4

2Increased calm, less tantrums, increased communication/speech. He is now potty trained!!!!12

3He doesn’t have the long tantrums he used to have.3We’ve become closer and he’s developed a stronger bond with both his parents. His speech development has made dramatic progress. He’s using full sentences now, often to our amazement and gratitude.1

4He tolerates touching and the massage a great deal more. He now cries when he’s hurt. He makes eye contact more often, and displays spontaneous affection way more than he used to!3We have developed a closer relationship, his development accelerated, and he is much more social than he was.1

5Meltdowns are fewer and less severe when they do occur, and he is using his words much more frequently.3He has become more interactive in class, even interacting with a few other students. He has taken the initiative to ask other kids to play with him at our local park.3

6We are able to cut his finger and toe nails with very little fuss! We’ve also seen some progress in potty training.1, 3

7He wants us to touch him more. He’s more talkative, learning to use the toilet more, gained a bunch of new skills.3He loves his massage. It calms him down, he likes spending the time with me. It makes him nice and sleepy before bed.1

8Touch seems comforting to my child after starting the program. Easy transition, less tantrum.3The most obvious one is the child get a lot closer to family members.1

9Some of his sensory issues are starting to shift for the better. More eye contact. He’s more aware of what is going on around him. More tantrums from being more aware.1He is more cuddly and affectionate than before. Now he hugs and kisses his stuffed animals, as well as gives his dad and I more hugs and kisses.3

10He has started to self soothe. He tries new thing and is interested in more things than just matchbox cars. He has grown up so much. It is amazing to see the transformation. It’s like the frustrated little boy who couldn’t get his point across has finally come out and has so much to say and do.1I feel like it bonds the parent to the child. I think it opens the child up and they understand they are safe.3

11He makes better eye contact and will make eye contact when asked. He has developed some self-soothing techniques and has improved in his toileting.3He is socializing more with other children and will ask his sister to play. He uses his words to communicate a lot better than he had before the massage. He has better patience and self-control.

12She made a lot of eye contact, improving every week. Likes hugs and massages, calms her down.1Connection between father and daughter at night time.1

13Better interactions. Better for her as far as being comfortable being touched. Sleep has improved.1Better interactions. Massage builds a better bond.4

14I gave my child a haircut without a single scream. This is a huge change. He now will sit in a chair at home, wear a cape, verbally say “you cut my hair mommy” and then sit and hold still and giggle when the clippers tickle his neck.3He has made huge leaps and bounds in his social interaction with the world since starting the massage, He is beginning to notice other people and appropriately interact with them and reciprocate language. His ability to communicate his own needs has also increased an amazing amount. He is now requesting for items in full sentences the majority of the time as opposed to one or two word requests 60% of the time. I loved that the massage focused on him being comfortable in his own body.1

15Well right after we started we had an extremely difficult time for about 4 weeks with our son. My husband stuck with doing his massage and it seems to have paid off. Brenner asks for it! He also does the “massage” to us. That is huge in itself. Overall there is consistent improvement.1He likes massage with me (mom), super silly for dad. He communicates better. He does not react towards people as bad as he did before.3

16More joyful content pride self esteem.3

17He can feel pain now! It amazes me to see him cry for even the tiniest scratch or bump. He also has stopped biting me. He looks forward to the massage.3He actively hugs me if he thinks that I am sad.3

18He’s more present. Massage helps me calm him.3Massage strengthens our connection.1

19He’s more aware of his body, more eye contact. Massage gives tools to help calm him. We can use the massage to get him to sleep if we need to. Potty training progress.3Social games, increase in spontaneous language and longer sentences. Massage makes an emotional and spiritual connection between us.3, 4

20He is able to sleep during the night…his language has catapulted and he is less aggressive!3Massage is calming and brings you closer to your child.4

21He does more eye contact. He gets more concentred sic. He slept through all the night.3Massage get sic you and your kid closer. It’s like time to relax and show love with each other.4

22I has sic been able to calm him down a little bit.1Had some great momma and son time.1

23It’s probably improved his eye contact somewhat. He eats better and is not as sensitive to touching sticky things as he used to be. He is able to calm himself down much easier. He rarely has major tantrums. If he starts one, it’s usually over within a couple of seconds. He also seems to be sleeping better and it’s easier for me to clip his finger and toe nails than it used to be.3It’s been a good time of connection. About half the time, the massage seems to help calm him down before bed.1

24It helped him transition before during and after the move.1It helped him get a bit more calmed after massage and he wanted to cuddle right after.1

25I can cut her nails while she’s awake, She has tried some new foods that she used to eat when she was younger, her bowel movements are not as hard - there’s practically no pushing on her end. She uses pronouns properly now, she uses a ton more words.3It’s done by me and my husband, no outsider can do it better than we can. Every other improvement seems to be because of some professional, this is because of our touch.4

26His ability to calm himself or request aid in calming himself is unmatched, started taking an interest in potty training. Improved verbal and communication skills.3Brought us closer. We both really enjoy the time we spend doing the massage together. It’s been a great bonding experience for us. It also is a good time for both of us to de-stress and calm down together.4

27Well I could not pinpoint one in particular.3Got me more in tune with my son’s body language.1

28He moves his fingers and toes, explores them, and is responsive and ok with the feeling or sensations in them. He is toe walking less. He reacts to pain when he gets hurt. He sleeps most nights now. It used to be a couple hours. He is noticing when he is wet or poopy and will come to us to change him. He has more self awareness and self confidence. He is more engaged and will look at us more. Sometimes he will respond to his name being called. Often he will initiate a game with eye contact. He gets frustrated less often because he is able to physically do more things successfully. Seems to be interested in more foods.3Overall, he is so much happier, calmer, and life is so much more enjoyable and livable. He talks more, babbles all the time, and we can understand some words, once in a while will use one with purpose or meaning.3

29He is much calmer and affectionate. Overall he seems happier and is communicating much better. He is 100% potty trained and is much more social with children he sees frequently.3He has always cuddled with his dad, but has been very selective cuddling with me. Now he approaches me, wants me, asks for me, and it feels like he loves me whereas before it did not.1, 2

30Lots of big hugs, back patting, and hand holding - it helps with attention.2I feel like he has become more oppositional, but I think it’s more that we’re getting to know his limits and body language. At the same time, he’s more cuddly than ever and wants to be held and hugged when he has an owie. At times he wants us to pat him to get the “jellybeans” out.3

31He is more present daily and seems to be opening up. He is sleeping much better. He is less over stimulated, he can handle going into crowed places and does not run away.1He is more receptive. We have bonded more. He will now spontaneously give us hugs and show affection. His speech is coming along.3

32Most changed would be he understands more.3With the massage he is more manageable daily to live with.1

33It has built more trust when it comes to touch.3She seems to be trying to talk more - making more verbal noises. Interested in what we are doing, trying to involve herself.3

34Happier and less fighting with other children. Has lowered violence at school.1Seems friendlier and more willing to interact.1

35We saw change right away upon beginning the massage. His language increased as well as his awareness of what was happening in his environment. He began to understand much more of what we were communicating to him & also began communicating more effectively with us as his language skills & comprehension grew stronger. His frustrations & tantrums decreased due to this improved communication & understanding. He has more eye contact & is much more responsive to questions and/or instructions. He seems to be more motivated to work harder at communicating with us & others. His focus has improved greatly.3He has developed a relationship with his sister. He has become very empathetic towards others. He is extremely protective of his sister, making sure she isn’t too far behind and has even become very worried when she has a dirty diaper in public. The relationship he has with his older brother has gotten stronger. He addresses people that he knows well by name. He does “hi” and “bye” greetings often now.3

36He is becoming more comfortable with physical affection and comfort. All around vast improvements in every area that I can think of. Improvements in eating, sleeping, interactions with everyone around him, understanding and expression, toileting, concentration, appropriate play.3I feel it has brought us closer together both physically and emotionally. Before doing the massage therapy his dad and I made a point of being affectionate with him. We hugged him, kissed him, snuggled him as much as we could. He generally responded by “allowing” us to “assault” him…or at least that’s how it felt. He would generally stare off away from us and he rarely responded in kind. After several months of massage he is reciprocating and will even seek hugs and comfort. I feel that is the most significant change, for us, since starting massage therapy.1

37I truly feel it has helped him be more “present” and aware of his surroundings. His speech has come incredibly far and potty training is starting to take off right now.3It has given us a way to encourage different kinds of touch. Added in a positive way to our bed-time routine.

38More eye contact and more verbal (more spontaneous communication but not a lot). Follows directions better and seems to pay attention and listen longer when I’m talking.3It’s a practical way to engage and help your child.3

39She’s able to self feed and won’t spit out new foods.3Bonding5

40He is happier.3Massage will help parents and kids somehow get closer together.3

41In the beginning he made huge gains in speech especially (he never before seemed to be present at speech therapy or seem like he understood what was going on) and also things like being touched. I often reach for his head and his chest now to calm him. I often will just hold him when he’s acting out.3That it helps the parents to actually bond with our kids and to pay close attention to small gains.4

42He is beginning to gained the ability to tolerate touch.3Got us closer, and I was able to understand him more.1