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Little man is not one to sit still. He does a ton of spinning around and bouncing into everything and everyone! This is just another aspect of his autism. Over the last year and half, we have been working with speech and occupational therapist that come in home. Recently, his new occupational therapist introduced us to the benefits of yoga for children with autism.
The Benefits of Yoga for Children with Autism
Yoga is a benefit to everyone, but I had never thought of how it may help my two children with autism. Even if I had, I would have never thought I could keep little man’s focus long enough to teach him yoga. His therapist showed us several moves, and he instantly loved it! For a two-year-old, that is pretty impressive work on her part!
Since then, we have started practicing yoga ourselves. I have been wanting to get into yoga to try to help with my constant back and neck pain. Little man enjoying yoga was the perfect final push to get me going!
So Why Yoga for Children with Autism?
All children can gain enormous benefits from yoga. Most of us understand the physical benefits it provides. Yoga helps children (and adults) with their strength, coordination, and flexibility. Yoga also helps with concentration, awareness, calming and relaxation. These are the ideal attributes a child with autism can truly benefit from!
Yoga, Autism, and Listening?
It may be hard to imagine, but I can already see the positive benefits of yoga on little man’s listening skills. Though he still doesn’t answer his name nine out of ten times, he does listen well once we start yoga. He becomes relaxed and wants to do more yoga poses. He is able to follow instructions and is much more peaceful afterwards.
Yoga, Autism, and the Stubborn!
For our daughter, it has been more of a struggle. At nine, she is very set in her ways and stubborn. I am in the process of scheduling a yoga session twice a week in her routine. The great thing about yoga, is it can actually build as a routine!
There are other benefits that I am looking forward to that build over time. Yoga is a great way for children to gain better posture (to avoid that video game back!). Yoga also brings about a healthy body awareness. This gives them confidence in themselves as well as bringing a sense of strength.
We absolutely love the journey we have started with yoga for children with autism. It is perfect to add to our sensory diet, and helps get Momma healthy too! Let’s face it, I needed a real excuse to wear those yoga pants from Fabletics other than the car line!
Yoga Poses for Children with Autism
Little man and I truly have a blast doing yoga. Now, I will say I am no wear near a yoga guru! I am bound to fall over a minimum of four times every time we do yoga. My yoga partner is a two-year old, so I am pretty clear of judgement. Unexpected comments and being asked if I farted, well that is just to be expected!
Check out some of our poses below. Remember, this is also a great relationship building exercise. Have fun with it! Go outside or turn on some fun kids songs and do what makes you both calm and happy!
Yoga for Children with Autism | Poses
Do you do yoga for your autistic children?
Let us know what works for you in the comments below!
Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families. She is one of the head creators behind the #WeLoeveMoms campaign and is also featured in the “Amazing Moms” coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho. She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.