Yoga for Children with Autism | Occupational Therapy

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Yoga for Children with Autism | Learn the benefits of yoga for autistic children | Easy to do, perfect for beginners or experienced

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 our son’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 afterward.

Yoga for Children with Autism | How his occupational therapy turned into a great bonding exercise for us

 

 

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 yoga pose for autism 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

  
  
  
  
  
Yoga for Children with Autism | How his occupational therapy turned into a great bonding exercise for us. Perfect for children and beginners!

Do you do yoga for your autistic children?  

Let us know what works for you in the comments below!

By TheMomKind

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

72 Comments

  • I have just sent this over to a family member who has a child with Autism. I never knew this would be such a help and great therapy. Never really put yoga and children together

  • Jen Walker -

    I’ve never really thought about teaching a child with autism yoga, but it sounds like it can really work well! I’m trying to get my 2 year old to enjoy yoga as well and should schedule it more often.

  • I’ve never thought about utilizing yoga for children with autism, but it totally makes sense. Plus, yoga is just so much fun, I’m sure kids think so as well.

  • A good friend of mine’s daughter is autistic. She’s 15 and they’ve been doing yoga together for years now. It really helps her stay calm in situations that she finds stressful, because she pulls from an inner strength that not many without autism can even pull from.

  • theterrificfive -

    I’ve only ever heard benefits about yoga (for all) so I’m glad to hear it’s working for you son. Thanks for all the positions which I’m going to try with my little ones.

  • I had never thought about yoga and children at all, but what a lovely idea of a way to spend time together. It sounds like it is especially beneficial to those with autism.

  • This could be a lot of fun. My son has autism, but I’m not sure if he’d like this or not. I personally can’t do Yoga because it give me the giggles. But maybe he’d enjoy it.

  • Glitter On A Dime -

    This is wonderful and I know it could help other families! My daughter and I love yoga and I need to get back into with her.

  • Neha Kulshrestha -

    This is interesting and good to see that it helps autistic kids.
    Though i do yoga with my 3 year old daughter and do most of the poses that you mentioned. She loves it, especially lifting on my legs and being a plane. We even do Yoga clock song that she loves and even sings.
    Good luck with your kids.

  • This is the first time I’m hearing of this but it totally makes sense! I bet the calming and relaxing effects of yoga can do wonders for the little ones.

  • This is such an insightful post – thank you so much for sharing. The last few photos are too adorable! xoxo

  • This is so interesting, I never heard of yoga being beneficial for autistic children before. I think it must really help to focus them, my daughter isn’t autistic but has a lot of tendencies, she may benefit.

  • This looks a lot of fun! If it helps to improve the flexibility and strength that is really beneficial! If they are enjoying themselves, that the real bonus for me!

  • My little sister does yoga too and you are right in saying that it does help them to listen, especially as she has William’s Syndrome and Aspergers. Beautifully put x

  • Anne Yedlin -

    What a great idea!! I never would have thought that Yoga could help out with Autism. Sharing this with a few friends! Wonderful post.

  • TheMomKind -

    I had never though of it before his OT told us. It is definitely a blast, and I am sure we will both get better in time 🙂

  • TheMomKind -

    Awesome! I hope they find it just as useful as we did!

  • TheMomKind -

    Scheduling helps me more than him, lol! If it is written down, I am more likely to accomplish it! It does help that it is just so much fun seeing toddler do yoga!

  • TheMomKind -

    Yes it is! The older kids like it too because they think they are being “cool” (even though I am sure there is some new word for cool, but I am not that hip lol)

  • TheMomKind -

    Aww, Thank you! You have to have a little fun with it 😉

  • TheMomKind -

    That is so awesome to hear! Getting teenagers to do anything can be hard, lol!

  • TheMomKind -

    No problem! Make sure to make a few of your own as well, that’s half the fun!

  • TheMomKind -

    It was a new concept for us as well, but we absolutely love it now! I wish I would have thought of this when the girls will little!

  • TheMomKind -

    You can do it Momma! I am not any good at all, and I am sure there are some die hard yoga fans that look at my images and cringe, lol! It’s all about spending time with your little one and helping them find some calming techniques and building the muscles! 🙂

  • TheMomKind -

    That is so awesome that your daughter loves yoga too! It is such a great bonding experience as well!

  • TheMomKind -

    That is awesome! It is really a blast to do with the little ones, and being a plane gives everyone the giggles!

  • TheMomKind -

    Absolutely! Especially since they have so much energy, calming can be helpful for parents as well as kiddos!

  • TheMomKind -

    Thank you 🙂 My teenager is learning some photography and had a blast taking pictures of us goofing off.

  • TheMomKind -

    I am sure she would! Our middle daughter is ADHD, so we are starting to work with her and yoga. All the kids seem to really enjoy it, and everyone of us can benefit from exercise and calming techniques 🙂

  • TheMomKind -

    Absolutely! I am not a graceful person at all, but seeing my kiddos happy and enjoying an yoga makes it all worth it!

  • TheMomKind -

    Thank you so much! That is awesome that it is working so well for her as well!

  • A very helpful article on yoga for children with autism. Lovely tips and I would like to share with all my friends. For me all children should do yoga once or twice in a week. Great post!

  • Love this! We started an evening yoga routine with our autistic daughter and she absolutely loves it. It helps her practice calming herself through breath. Your sweet little man’s boat pose is completely melting my heart right now. ?

  • TheMomKind -

    You’re welcome! Hope they enjoy it as much as we do!

  • TheMomKind -

    Thank you , I am very happy we came across it. Hope you’re friends enjoy it too!

  • TheMomKind -

    That is so awesome to hear! He is quiet the character 🙂 He has definitely made me slow down and enjoy these small moments! (and I love that my teen did such a great job as our photographer, she caught a ton of fun moments!)

  • TheMomKind -

    Thank you. I really have seen the benefits that everyone can enjoy with yoga.

  • Nice post and I really liked the last photos! I think yoga should be something for everyone to relax, so maybe I should start i with my kids also ?

  • This is very interesting and thinking about the benefits yoga has on both mind and body, no wonder that it can be very suitable for children with autism. It’s great that you’ve transformed your own sessions into fun yoga with your son.

  • Claudia Krusch -

    Yoga is great for kids. I will have to share this with my friend. Her Daughter is Autistic and could really benefit from yoga.

  • I know that yoga is calming and relaxing, so I completely understand why it is so helpful for children with autism! Lovely post!

  • I was aware of all the benefits of yoga but this is the first time I am reading of it’s benefits for children with autism. I guess it’s a great way to help your child and introduce this amazing practise early on. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Absolutely love yoga and totally admire how you motivate your son to do it (and made it fun too!) Sharing this friends will benefit.

  • Yoga is so amazing. I love practicing it. Its good to see your son enjoys it, hopefully your daughter gets to like it as well

  • What a fun way to interact with your kid. This is just a great way to love on them and exercise while you are at it!

  • What a great idea, I’m glad that it went well and had fun bonding and making memories. I like the “Momma I be an airplane pose”, he looks like he is having a lot of fun.

  • What a wonderful idea for your little one! Yoga is such a great, gentle form of exercise that keeps up flexibility and can be fun for kids to join in with. I loved your personal yoga poses at the end there! So cute and fun!

  • I know from experience how difficult it can be to find ways to work with kids with Autism. This is so awesome that they have something that helps promotes health benefits and at the same time helps kids with these special needs.

  • Yoga is great for everyone especially for relaxing. I love the idea of doing yoga with the children with autism and even without autism. Thanks for sharing the information.

  • My friend has an autistic girl and I know for sure that they have not tried yoga so far. I am forwarding this post to her now.

  • fashionmommywm -

    I know a boy with ADHD and he struggles to concentrate and sit still so I am bookmarking the post to send to his mother. This is so interesting and could be such a powerful aid for concentration and focus.

  • What a wonderful idea, teaching children with autism the love of yoga! I know, in my case it truly helps calm my mind. Whenever I’m feeling stressed, if I come back to my breath, it takes the edge off every time! x

  • I’m always so amazed by the amazing health benefits yoga has on everyone who tries it. That’s amazing that he enjoys it and relaxes. When I do yoga I def feel more centered.

  • Yoga is a great way to keep the kids happy and relaxed.I also try kids yoga with my kid.Although there are yoga poses,my kid loves to create his own poses.However,finally it is a great bonding time with him!

  • Yoga seems like a nice bonding experience. I believe that exercise, especially yoga, will be of great help for kids with autism. I will share this to my mommy friends who has kids with autism.

  • Check out these Top 6 practical tips for a Stronger Family Bond -

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