Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

December 21, 2012

Just Another Form of Exercise?

1 Beautiful Rose

Bill Douglas of the World Tai Chi & Qigong Day site shared this in his most recent email newsletter.

Autism & Tai Chi, Kung Fu & Qigong

Helping children with special needs can be a challenge. And while a number of state and local agencies exist to help parents with special needs children, several avenues of help are often overlooked or ignored: Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, and Qi Gong. In 2004, I began training a group of ten children; doctors thought my approach was voodoo. But eventually all of the autistic children dropped out of the medical treatment programs in which they were enrolled and stopped taking the drugs that were part of the medical treatment. Working with the kids, I began by teaching beginning Shaolin Kung Fu stances and footwork (to work the inner yin and outer yang pressure points in their feet). The students then began learning Tan Tui’s, which allowed them to work both sides of their bodies. Working both sides of the body made changes in the brain, connecting the two hemispheres. Most Kung Fu systems use the same basic training, stances and forms, and most of these forms teach right / left and circular movements. The kids practiced gentle tai chi movements, again to improve their left-right coordination and body control. I also had them run, tumble, jump, throw, and catch balls as well as practice coordinated kicks. When I started working with this group of kids I spoke to my Sifu Grand Master Kam Yuen seeking his advice. He gave me some instructions on changing the children’s energy field using Chinese Energetics. And he said don’t label or lump them together as Autistic; each child is unique. Barbara Soraniono, whose pediatric therapist referred her and her son Max to the class was ecstatic: “I’m so happy this class is offered. Already we see improvement in his motor skills and greater a body and self-confidence.”

Sifu Ford Edwards runs Little Tao Dragon (www.littletaodragon.com); you may contact him at fordvedwards@verizon.net

Special thanks to Dr. Sifu Nadine Shozuya who also taught these classes, and to Larry Barkley for helping with the article.



  1. http://www.challengeautism.co.uk/#/autism-me/4543515032 perhaps you will be interested in this lady’s story? she is a karate martial arts instructor who teaches children with autism in the UK. I read about her a long time ago but your kung fu and autism article reminded me of her!

    Comment by epilepsymeandneurology — December 22, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  2. Thank you for printing my article. This group of kids were 6 & 7 years old at the start of training in early 2004. They continued to improve up to late summer of 2005. At that time Sifu Nadine began teaching the kids in her school in Torrance Ca. I received good news about the group over the years from her.

    Comment by Ford Edwards — February 24, 2013 @ 5:30 am

  3. There are limits even to the benefits of tai chi but, by far, the benefits are so much greater than many people ever hope for, expect, or experience. This is a wonderful example.

    Comment by DrD — February 24, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

  4. […] Check out the success story here of what is happening in the little town of Hemet, CA. […]

    Pingback by Autism Misconceptions – Wellness Book — January 26, 2016 @ 6:50 pm

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