An autistic child is treated with thread embedding at the HCM City Traditional Medicine Institute. Photo courtesy of the institute
HCM CITY— The HCM City Traditional Medicine Institute will soon provide comprehensive services including psychological consultation, speech therapy, acupuncture, hydro-acupuncture, thread embedding and electro-acupuncture for autistic children next month after three years of preparation.
Dr Trương Thị Ngọc Lan, the institute’s deputy director, said: “Parents who suspect their children to be autistic should bring their children to the institute for examination and diagnosis.”
If their children are autistic, they will receive consultation about a treatment regimen, according to Lan.
In the beginning period, the services will be provided to outpatients, she said. In following years, the institute will set up a department to create favourable conditions for children from other provinces and cities in the southern and Central Highlands regions.
The institute would adopt the National Hospital of Acupuncture’s services to treat autistic children with the highest effectiveness, she said, adding that the services would be trialled until mid-2020. If they are effective, doctors at traditional hospitals in southern and Central Highlands regions would be trained so that parents of autistic children from these regions would not have to go to the institute for treatment, leading to reduced travel costs.
Dr Lan said: “Autism is a long-time burden for families with autistic children. They need a lot of assistance.”
In 2017, the institute started providing autistic children with acupuncture, aqua-acupuncture, thread embedding and electro-acupuncture after receiving training from the National Hospital of Acupuncture.
Prof Dr Nghiêm Hữu Thành, the National Hospital of Acupuncture’s former head, said the hospital’s department for treatment of autistic children had provided comprehensive services since 2012 and now offered treatment to 200-300 patients throughout the country.
“The number of children diagnosed as autistic is increasing," Thành said, adding that the treatment would take a long time.
The combination of acupuncture, hydro-acupuncture, thread embedding, electro-acupuncture, education and rehabilitation help autistic children improve.
"Acupuncture therapy helps to develop brainpower and makes it easier to obtain skills and knowledge," he said. Hydro-acupuncture, in which vitamins and nerve tonics injections are used, is also part of treatment, as well as acupressure and thread embedding, in which threads are inserted at specific points.
Thread embedding involves the use of short sections of catgut threads inserted in a needle embedded in acupuncture points on a patient’s face and other areas of the body. VNS