Researchers have studied the effects of acupuncture for autistic children, and in particular whether scalp acupuncture may help with their language development. Twenty autistic children aged between four and seven years, were divided into two groups, and both received a nine month course of language therapy, aimed at stimulation of cognitive and verbal abilities, in order to help language impairment. In addition, one group received scalp acupuncture (treatment which makes use of some of the many acupuncture points on the scalp). Both groups showed significant improvement in cognitive and expressive language skills, but there was a markedly greater improvement in the group which had received acupuncture.
The researchers conclude that scalp acupuncture is a safe complementary modality when combined with language therapy, and has a significantly positive effect on language development in children with autism
(Scalp Acupuncture Effect on Language Development in Children with Autism: A Pilot Study. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, March 2008.)