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Articles & Ideas


Impressive results with autism

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to peruse our Free Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tutorial™ for a more complete understanding.

Hi Everyone,

A big thank you to Steve Botuchis for sharing this important story about EFT's possibilities for autism. This case was doubly challenging as the client was a restless 2 year old boy. Note that surrogate EFT was used for part of the session (often very useful for restless autistic clients) and that a long list of improvements were gained from only one session. Also not how the benefits held over time.

Hugs, Gary

By Steve Botuchis

Hello Gary,

I have the opportunity to work with a lot of children both in my practice and through volunteering at a local school district where the school psychologist is a friend of mine.  I have worked with four children that have been diagnosed with Autism or Asperger’s syndrome.  One case produced outstanding results, one showed marginal improvement and the other two showed marked improvement. 

The outstanding case involves Andy (not his real name), a two year old diagnosed with Autism.  It is interesting that in each of the four cases there has been either a difficult delivery or stressful pregnancy and there is always an allergy.  Sometimes it’s only a couple of items such as wheat or high fructose corn syrup. In others it’s been a slew of items.

Andy’s grandfather called me about a year ago to make an appointment. He ended up bringing his wife and daughter along as well.  The wife was dealing with extreme grief from the death of her son and his daughter was struggling with the strains of her marriage, autistic child, and the death of her brother.

Andy presented with the following symptoms, many of which are indicative of autism. He was very hyper and restless, wouldn’t make eye contact, didn’t really talk and was quite loud when he attempted a rare word or two.  Andy cried quite often and was very shy.  He wouldn’t play with others and would cringe in fear in the presence of unknown adults. Most of the time he walked and ran on his tip toes instead of his feet. Finally he was allergic to many items such as peanuts, nuts, eggs, cats, perfume, and several more substances.

During the intake it had come out that there was some difficulty with the birth itself as the umbilical cord was wrapped around Andy’s neck and there had been undue stress in his mom’s life with her husband during her pregnancy.  Also Andy had been dropped by grandma when he was eight months old and incurred a pretty good bump on his head.

As you can see there was no shortage of challenges.  I decided to work on mom and grandma first in case I needed their support when I worked with Andy.  I wanted them as clear and centered as possible.

When preparing to work with Andy we first spent time building rapport.  I have a small but useful set of books, toys and games to use with young kids. After I played and read with Andy for five to seven minutes I asked mom to sit in a recliner and hold him while I tapped on him.  Sometimes I would tap on his mom or I would take his hand and tap on my head to have some fun and keep his interest. Keeping interest can be challenging with any two year old especially a hyper one.

When it was time to tap I started at the beginning… literally! First we tapped on issues surrounding the delivery from Andy’s point of view:

Even though I’m not ready to come into the world just yet…

Even though I feel stuck and trapped…

Even though I was warm & comfortable and now everything is so cold, bright and loud…

Even though I was scared because I was choking…

Even though the harder they pulled the more I choked…

Even though my throat was so sore I didn’t want to cry or make sounds…

Even though I’m afraid to stick my neck out and take chances on new experiences…

Next we tapped on the stresses of some of the parental arguing that had been taking place.  Even though I’m not sure everybody’s happy about my arrival…

Even though Mom’s upset and I feel her fear…

Even though Mom’s angry and her stomach is shaking…

Even though I feel tension in mom’s belly when she argues with dad…

We then tapped for allergies – one or two rounds on each item

Even though my body doesn’t recognize this food I ask my body to produce the necessary enzymes to digest it…

Even though I am having this negative reaction to (this food)…

Even though my immune system thinks it’s helping me I’m asking my system make peace with (this food)…

Even though my body and brain are confused and I’m attacking myself I choose to accept all of these different foods and substances as part of natures’ perfect plan.

Next we tapped on being dropped by Grandma.

Even though Grandma dropped me and it hurt…

Even though it’s not safe out here…

Even though I can’t trust grandma…

Even though adults don’t seem very friendly…

Even though I’m afraid of being held in the air…

We ended with a round of gratitude ;

I’m grateful that the doctors fought so hard to bring me into the world.

I’m grateful that grandpa loves me so much he drove all the way to Cincinnati to find help for me.

I’m grateful that Mom and dad love me and are so patient.

I’m grateful that everybody loves me unconditionally.

As mentioned, I started out tapping on Andy as his mother held him.  After 20 to 25minutes Andy couldn’t sit still any longer despite our attempts at holding his interest.  Fortunately I had prepped his mom on the concept of surrogate tapping as experience had taught me a two year old would be hard to contain for any length of time. We let him run around the office and play with grandma while I finished up tapping on his mom using her as surrogate on Andy’s behalf.

I was pretty worn out having spent most of the day with this family.  I knew grandma and mom had good sessions but I had no idea where Andy was in the healing process. There isn’t a lot of testing and feedback with a two year old. There were so many issues we had to deal with and on top of that we incorporated surrogate tapping which at that time I hadn’t had a lot of experience with. He seemed a bit calmer but I didn’t know if that was wishful thinking on my part or reality.  I was going to need patience.

His grandfather called me several weeks later to make another appointment and indicated there was improvement but was vague.  He later emailed me with specifics as follows.

Steve, F.Y.I. Andy’s improvements.

Wakes up happy –smiling with eye to eye contact & is not hyper

Is in better mood - low key throughout the day

Semi-routinely makes eye to eye contact

Is not as loud in trying to talk

Does NOT run on tiptoes since visit-walks and runs normally

Has more long term attention and actually plays interactively

Does NOT routinely cringe and exhibit fear with unknown adults- (e.g.) went to dermatologist & let doctor look and touch face in detail with NO problems.

As you can see- the improvements are PROFOUND – I just wanted you to know what your efforts have accomplished so far & give you time to assess this visit’s treatment options.  We will see you Tuesday at 2:30

Thank you


The entire family came back for another session.  Andy was much better as the email had indicated so we worked on expanding on the improvements that had previously been accomplished.  Once again everything seemed to go well I heard from his grandfather one more time several months later.  Everything was fine; all the improvements appeared to be holding.  He thanked me and said he would call me if he felt the need.  I haven’t heard from since and I’m taking that as a good sign.

Best Regards,

Steve Botuchis


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.