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Using EFT for an autistic child

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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,

Claire Hayes from the UK uses EFT for her autistic daughter with impressive results. She says,
*I introduced her to tapping early on and she has taken to tapping like a duck to water.  What is fascinating is how it has given her "language" and access to herself in a way that the spoken tongue cannot."

Hugs, Gary

By Claire Hayes

Hi Gary,

I have a high functioning autistic daughter of 15. She is high functioning in that she has language, and loves to try and communicate; autistic because her disability is her inability to get communication "right".  She also has significant "learning difficulties", (mental retardation).  I introduced her to tapping early on and she has taken to tapping like a duck to water.  What is fascinating is how it has given her "language" and access to herself in a way that the spoken tongue cannot. 

Because it is hard for her to be self reflective, asking her a question like "how are you?" will always get the answer "Fine".  She simply cannot process feelings into words and I often wonder what goes on in her mind as she has different experiences.  How is she making sense of the world when her world is so different from ours?

What she does do is tap!  I introduced it as something she could do when she was clearly upset, for instance when I had been "mean" to her, i.e. if I got cross with her.  She quickly learned to tap using her own words and usually tapping all over the place but it has always brought back her smiles within the round.  This may not sound very significant, but it is actually huge. 

Tapping for herself has given her power over her own emotional states, which she does not seem to understand cognitively.  She has shifted from using tapping not just in the moment to deal with an upset but to deal with more subtle states, like something that hasn't happened. For example:

Even though I don't know what's happening tomorrow, that's OK because I deeply and completely love and accept myself. (She also uses "I am a great kid" but being autistic she tends to stick with what I learned myself first and thus taught her first!) 

Again, it is subtle but the fact that she can instigate it for herself is enormous.  With a disability like autism there is a tremendous loss of power and EFT gives this back in one fell swoop.  She taps a lot and so do I.  It is something we do together and I feel we are on a level playing field. 

There are so many stories. When she panicked at a swimming lesson and went under, I tapped immediately for her tears. What was amazing was not that it helped the immediate panic, but that the tapping brought up for her the words for her underlying fear, "There might have been no more Katy"- a fear of drowning, that I can guarantee she could not have verbalized (and maybe not have realized) without the tapping.  It is hard to put into words incidents like these, because they sound like everyday EFT and they are, but because they are happening for an autistic child, whose disability is one of cognition and communication, they are huge.

I also once wrote to you that she tapped away my migraine in a moment by tapping surrogately for me!!!! For her there is no intellectual questioning or doubt.  It works, so use it!

She has made huge and measurable improvements in indicators like eye contact, numbers of loops of conversation, increased flexibility, increased mental capacity. But what part of it is because of EFT, and what is Son-Rise, (a fantastic programme I run for her) and what is bio-medical?  I don't know.  What I do know is that I use EFT all the time, for her, for me, for my Team who work with Katy, and it works.  I suspect I have only just started to scratch the surface for what it can do for autism.  Thank you.

With best wishes,

Claire Hayes


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