Classrooms can be very stressful environments for autistic children for reasons such as sensory difficulties and the requirement for high levels of social interaction. Many autistic children will also experience high levels of anxiety which can present with breathing patterns that are out of regulation.
Frequent shallow breathing and breathing through the mouth consistently stimulate the sympathetic nervous system at a low level. This means that being ‘stressed out’ becomes the norm. When the nervous system reacts with a fright or flight response, breathing quickens and becomes shallower. When we slow the breath we change the physiological response.
By consciously slowing the breath, especially the exhalation, we can facilitate the relaxation response and develop some control over how our nervous systems responds to our environment. We develop the ability to change our emotional state.
Working with the breath can therefore effectively ‘wake up’ or ‘calm down’ the child. We might for example:
The Benefits of Yoga
Some of the many benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness practices include:
Videos such as Cosmic Yoga can be used within classes and homes to help our children regulate.
Cosmic Yoga Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/CosmicKidsYoga
Cosmic Yoga Space https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZAaZDVqCiA
Cosmic Yoga Hungry Caterpillar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhWDiQRrC1Y
More information can be found: