Sunday, October 09, 2005

Autism Spectrum Disorder & Yoga

Yoga may be a a simple way to help kids, especially children with autism or attention deficit disorder, focus.
It's a unique approach, but it makes a lot of sense, NBC4's Dr. Bruce Hensel reported.
Yoga helps kids with and without learning disabilities, Hensel reported. It helps them physically and emotionally as well.
A very special yoga class is held at John Muir Elementary School in Santa Monica.
Yoga instructor Darlene D'Arezzo teaches kids breathing, posture and movement at schools and in private classes.
D'Arezzo has kids with many disabilities. She finds yoga helps each in a unique way.
"Yoga helps soothe, calm stress. It helps to filter out what's not necessary, what's not needed," D'Arezzo said.
That can be crucial for children like Olivia Maitra Conell, who has autism spectrum disorder.
"In general, it's a healthy, fun activity that becomes routine for her, and that's positive and healthy," said Andrea Maitra Conell, Olivia's mother.
D'Arezzo said it also helps those with attention deficit disorder.
"I have one student who was able to come off medicines and is actually doing better without medicines," D'Arezzo said.
Just a few weeks in, Olivia is already making progress.
"She's now excited," Andrea Maitra Conell said. "She's talking about it when she's home. She even says, 'Mommy' and asks to do poses with us."
Whether in school or in private class, Conell believes it helps kids with or without learning disabilities.
The key is it builds their self-confidence. That's a key in their development, Hensel reported.
Studies show physical training also helps children with learning problems get more in touch with their bodies, which also helps them communicate and adjust to social situations.