Integrated Yoga therapy for Repetitive Stereotyped Behaviours in Children with Autism

Efficacy of integrated approach to yoga therapy on repetitive stereotyped behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder

Dr.  Shantha Radhakrishna  M.Sc., M.S., P.hd. CCC

Director -Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda (SGS) Vagdevi Centre for the Rehabilitation of Communication Impaired; 3rd C Main, 7th Cross, Girinagar II Phase; Bangalore – 560085. Karnataka

Ph : 080- 26727141, 65593266; e-mail: vagdevitrust@rediffmail.com

 

Abstract :  The use of Integrated yoga therapy (IYT) as a treatment for the children diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is gaining momentum, but little is known on the effectiveness IYT.  The purpose of this pilot study was to address the effectiveness of IYT in children with ASD who exhibit Repetitive stereotyped behavior (RSB). Children aged 8-14 years with ASD were randomly assigned to either a yoga or non-yoga treatment group. Pre, mid and post tests measured stereotyped, self-injurious, restricted, sameness and repetitive behaviors. Results showed significant changes in RSB in the yoga group.  The study discusses considerations for designing future outcome studies for children with ASD. Parents described benefits at home (no self-injurious behavior, reduced repetitive behavior) and at school (less anxiety, increased sitting tolerance). Parents reported feeling less self-conscious to take children to relatives and strange places and able to manage their child’s behavior. Indications from this pilot study are that IYT may offer families an effective management tool throughout their life.

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Key words: Repetitive stereotyped behavior, Autism spectrum disorder, Integrated yoga therapy, Warm up exercises, Chanting

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