Vol 2 No 3 (2019): Volume 2, Issue 3, Year 2019

A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Based Screener for Autistic Spectral Symptoms

Xie Guo Hui
Board-Certified Educational Therapist, Special Needs Consultancy & Services, Singapore
Published September 9, 2019
  • autism screener,
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine,
  • yin-yang concept of dualism
How to Cite
Hui, X. G. (2019). A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Based Screener for Autistic Spectral Symptoms. Asian Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 2(3), 97-107. https://doi.org/10.34256/ajir1938

Plum Analytics


Unlike most of the autism screeners that use the classical triad of impairments in social interaction, communication and stereotyped behaviors to identify autism, the present screener is based on the yin-yang concept of dualism relying on the eight principles of the Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) to understand autism. Though not validated yet, it can still be used as an alternative screening tool by parents, teachers and other interested parties, such as the TCM practitioners, to make an initial identification of someone displaying prodromal autistic spectral symptoms, ranging from one end of the continuum that shows signs of low passivity (yin) to the other end that shows signs of high activity or reactivity (yang) in responding to either eternal or internal stimuli. The screener is strictly not to be used as a diagnostic tool. However, its results may be used for a possible quick referral to the professionals for a formal assessment to be conducted so that early intervention can be provided before the condition becomes more serious over time.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


  1. C.L. Lynch, (2019) “It’s a spectrum” doesn’t mean what you think, The Aspergian, Retrieved from:https://theaspergian.com/2019/05/04/its-a-spectrum-doesnt-mean-what-you-think/.
  2. G.H. Xie, The spectral symptoms of autism: The scriptural-nosographical narrative from the Christian perspective, World Wide Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, 4(2018) 25-37.
  3. J.L. Cai, J.Q. Lu, G. Lu, S.N. Guo, L.J. Wan, Q. Li, J.J. Xu, Autism spectrum disorder related TCM symptoms and TCM herbs prescriptions: A systematic review and meta-analysis. North American Journal of Medicine and Science, 8(2015) 20-30.
  4. C.H. Hsiao, C. Magyar, The Effect of Socio-Cultural Context on Conceptualizing Autistic Disorder In the People’s Republic of China, International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 11 (2006) 51-60.
  5. L. Tang, B. Bie, The stigma of autism in China: An analysis of newspaper portrayals of autism between 2003 and 2012, Health Communication, 31(2016) 445-452.
  6. V. Wong, Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD): Comparison of Chinese and Western culture, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39(2009) 454-463.
  7. G.H. Xie, (2019) Part 1: A brief insight into understanding autism spectrum disorder. Workshop presentation at Crossland Education and Enrichment School, August 1, Singapore.
  8. Y.N. Han, (2014) Essence of traditional Chinese medicine, Asiapac, Singapore.
  9. Shen-Nong, (2009) Properties of yin and yang: What is the five elements theory, and qi from a TCM perspective, Retrieved from: http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/front/index.html.
  10. M.S. Pam, (2013) What is social interaction? Definition of social interaction, In Retrieved from: https://psychologydictionary.org/social-interaction/.
  11. M. Casanova, (2017) Autism and the sedentary life, Retrieved [online] from: https://corticalchauvinism.com/2017/10/09/autism-and-the-sedentary-life/.
  12. O. Therox, (2008) Socially inept: Top definition, Urban Dictionary, Retrieved from: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Socially%20Inept.
  13. C. Sanford, (2018) Elopement and autism. Organization for Autism Research, Retrieved from: https://researchautism.org/elopement-and-autism/.
  14. National Institute of Elopement Prevention and Resolution, (2015) NIEPR definition for elopement, Retrieved from: https://hospitalelopement.com/index.html.
  15. C. Ganos, T. Ogrzal, A. Schnitzler, A. Münchau, The pathophysiology of echopraxia/echolalia: Relevance to Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, Movement Disorders, 27(2012) 1222-1229.
  16. F.R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, D.J. Cohen, (2005). Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders, diagnosis, development, neurobiology and behavior, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.
  17. L.C. Richman, K.M. Wood, Learning disability subtypes: Classification of high functioning hyperlexia, Brain and Language, 82(2002) 10-21.
  18. J. Jankovic, Differential diagnosis and etiology of tics, Advanced Neurology, 85 (2001) 15-29.
  19. R. Bergemann, (2013) An Asperger leader’s guide to living and leading change, Jessica Kingsley publishers, London, UK.
  20. G.M. Cowell, (2004) Help for the child with Asperger’s syndrome: A parent’s guide to negotiating the social service maze. Jessica Kingsley publishers, London, UK.
  21. V. Foley, (2011) The autism experience: International perspectives on autism parenting, ReadHowYouWant, New York, NY.
  22. E. Bailey, (2011) Autism spectrum disorders and anxiety, Retrieved from: https://www.healthcentral.com/category/autism.
  23. J.L. Luby, (ed.) (2009) Handbook of preschool mental health: Development, disorders and treatment, Guilford Press, New York, NY.
  24. S.M. Edelson, (2019) Self-injury: Understanding and treating self-injurious behavior, Retrieved from: https://www.autism.org/self-injury/
  25. N.K.H. Chia, & B.H. Lim, Effects as a means to socio-emotional behavioral reactions/responses in psychosocial complexes, Unlimited Human! (2017) 5-7.
  26. W. Dunn, (1999) Sensory Profile, The Psychological Corporation, San Antonio, CA.
  27. A. Morin, (2019) Sensory seeking and sensory avoiding: What you need to know, Retrieved from:https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/sensory-processing-issues/sensory-seeking-and-sensory-avoiding-what-you-need-to-know.
  28. North Shore Pediatric Therapy, (2019) What is sensory modulation? Retrieved from: https://nspt4kids.com/healthtopics-and-conditions-database/sensory-modulation/.
  29. N.K.H. Chia, & B.H. Lim, Understanding how attention can be affected by different task behaviors, Unlimited Human! (2016) 5-7.
  30. A.V. Manzo, Psychologically induced dyslexia and learning disabilities, The Reading Teacher, 40(1987) 408-413.
  31. C. Gillberg, I.C. Gillberg, L. Thompson, R. Biskupsto, E. Billstedt, Extreme (“pathological”) demand avoidance in autism: a general population study in the Faroe Islands, European Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 24(2015) 979-984.