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Yoga Creates Calm for Children with Autism - featured May 11, 2011

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Thanks to our friends at Your Therapy Source for the heads up on this article

[Source: Orlando Sun Sentinel]

 


Autistic children who have trouble relaxing are finding peace through "pretzel" and "superman."

These yoga poses and a dozen others, performed in sequence each day at Coconut Creek Elementary School, offer students in the school's autism classes a way to calm themselves when the stresses of life — such as loud noises in the cafeteria¸ bright classroom lights or a skinned knee — agitate them.

"It helps me when my back hurts," said River Zartler, 10. "We lay down on our mats and close our eyes."

Louise Goldberg, a yoga teacher and one of the founders of the program, known as S.T.O.P. and Relax, hopes upcoming academic studies prove her theory that special-needs students learn self-pacifying techniques through yoga that they can translate into their lives outside school.

In the meantime, she will show parents and teachers in workshops later this month how to teach the poses to developmentally disabled kids.

"Children with autism don't like change. They like predictability," said Goldberg, a former reading teacher at South Florida State Hospital who teaches yoga at the Yoga Center of Deerfield Beach. "We have a ritual beginning and ending, which gives them comfort. We offer challenges gradually. The postures make them feel better and teach them to redirect their energy before an [emotional] explosion."

Read the Rest of this Story on the Orlando Sun-Sentinel Website



Tags: Autism News of the Week Yoga Newsletter 13 May 2011