Saturday, February 21, 2009

Autism and Yoga

My youngest son has autism. He is very high functioning, some people may call him "quirky". I think he's fanatastic. Lately little T has become enraptured with yoga and martial arts. He will often join me while I do a series of sun salutations and often cracks me up when he does his "om" (which he learned from the cartoon Skunk Fu).

His stepdad just took him to see his first martial arts class this week and he was over the moon. He has learned how to bow and how to do the greeting. He's raring to start his karate lessons with his big T (his stepdad).

One of the interesting things that is starting to emerge with my son is the effect that Eastern based activities are providing him. Because yoga and martial arts are based so much on the internal discipline rather than group competition, my son is beginning to recognize the control he can have over his world. A child with autism perceives the world in ways in which the "typical" person can't understand. Quite often their frustration and reaction are due to the fact that they don't "fit" and can't participate the way that the rest of us take for granted. The gift of yoga and martial arts is that it provides these kids with the opportunity to find their strength and their stillness in the chaos that autism cloaks their perception with.

So I have great optimism in what little T and I will find in the coming months as we explore our Eastern based training programs. Little T & I are working on some videos to share his progress with you!


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