Yoga and Autism

At a Bronx, NY, school, children with autism have been starting their school day with something new.  “Get Ready to Learn” is a 17-minute program that includes “deep breathing, yoga poses, tensing and relaxing muscles, and finally singing, all led by the classroom teacher.”

The findings of a study on the program published this month in The American Journal of Occupational Therapy found that

“comparing children with autism who did yoga each day at school to kids who followed a typical routine instead, those who participated in the stretching exercises exhibited significantly less aggressive behavior, social withdrawal and hyperactivity,” and that “teachers’ ratings of students who participated in the daily yoga routine showed improved behavior compared with teachers’ ratings of students who did not.”

Kristie Koenig, an assistant professor of occupational therapy at New York University who led the study, reports that the program is now being implemented in 500 classrooms in New York.  In addition, teachers are now using the routine in general education classrooms in 11 other states.

Read the full article in Disability Scoop here.