Yoga and Autism Focus of Autism After 16 Article

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Website Autism After 16 looks at the potential benefits of yoga for autistic adults in article by new writer.

Man in ypga pose in yoga class.

Yoga may help autistic adults improve health and well-being.

“There is no doubt in my mind that yoga can be a tool... for so many adults on the spectrum to feel more comfortable in their bodies as well as creating a social environment to bring them out of isolation," says teacher Reegan Lessie.

For most families living with autism, treatment involves a combination of interventions—educational, medical, and often ones to help manage day-to-day challenges. Increasingly, families are turning to yoga to help individuals with autism get more exercise, learn relaxation skills, and improve general health and well-being. Autism After 16 has hired a new writer, Stewart J. Lawrence, who covers this subject in his first article for the website.

In “Stretching Treatment Options: Yoga and Autism,” website Autism After 16 takes a look at this practice, focusing on its use with autistic adults. The article provides interviews with yoga teachers working with autistic adults, such as San Diego-based Reegan Lessie and New Jersey-based Sharon Manner. Manner’s 21-year-old daughter has autism, and has been practicing yoga since for 10 years. Manner states that she believes that yoga has allowed her daughter to reduce her dependence on medications and has taught her to calm herself when needed.

“She’ll say things like ‘Kerri you need to take a deep breath and need to chant Om now.’ Then she’ll lie down and put her hands in mudra [a prayerful hand clasp in front of her heart]. She doesn’t do the sun salutations or other poses but she’s found a way to achieve ‘mindfulness’ for herself, which is the essence of yoga anyway,” Manner notes.

The Autism After 16 article also examines the movement toward conducting more scientific study regarding yoga’s health benefits. Finding evidence to support an intervention is extremely important, not only in helping families assess the intervention’s value, but also in opening up possible funding streams to help pay for services.

Autism After 16 is a website devoted to providing information and analysis of adult autism issues. Over 50 percent of its contributing writers are autistic adults, while many others are family members. Autism After 16 provides informational articles on accessing adult services, commentary, links to useful resources, and a library of videos to help teach independent living skills.

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Merope Pavlides
Autism After 16
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