C.S. is a twelve-year-old boy, who is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the mild degree of mental disabilities. His parents would like to adapt Chanwuyi lifestyle into their son’s daily life to improve his cognitive functions and emotion control. He is hypersensitive to the high frequency of sounds and sometimes displays unusual movements with his hands. His parents have incorporated the component of the training into his daily routine. He usually practices Nei Gong every day before doing his homework for 30 minutes. His father reported that “he rarely can sit down and focus on practising certain task for a period time before. We are happy to see that he now can do so for 30 minutes every night.” He also practices the computerized cognitive training exercises for 30 minutes every day after finishing his school assignment. His diet was modified by increasing the portion of fruits and vegetables. He was also restrained from eating food that generates excess internal heat, including ginger, garlic and spices as well. Improvement could be seen reported by his parents since he is able to sustain his attention on various types of tasks, such as piano practice and school assignments, in his daily life and better control his emotion with less frequent tantrums.
Within the training session, improvement can also be observed. In the first few sessions, he struggled with one of the computerized cognitive exercises as he was easily distracted by the surroundings and his own thoughts. He tended to make high-pitched sounds and flapped his ears with his hands frequently. As the training proceeded, he was able to learn new exercises more effectively as he was more attentive to the activities arranged within the session, and displayed unusual movements of his hands less frequently. His learning ability has improved with his enhanced sustained attention.
Other than the report and observation from his parent and trainer, advancement can also be found on more objective measures. His ability in memory, attention, flexibility and language was assessed before and after 10 training sessions. Within 3 months, his language expression ability has progressed from borderline to low average (11.11 %); his scores in the attention test have also increased by 3850% (See graphs below for details).
It is motivating to see the progression C.S. has achieved after attending 10 sessions. It is believed that his parents’ active participation and their compliance of both Chanwuyi lifestyle modification and computerized cognitive training exercises are the important factors contributing to his satisfactory improvement.