Last week, the director of Asana Alphabet was lucky enough to speak at a professional development day, in conjunction with WildChildYoga, for teachers and therapists who primarily work with high school students with ADHD and/or are on the autism spectrum.
Though certainly there are alot of qualitative studies speaking of the positive benefits of using yoga techniques with children, it is very exciting that there are quantitative studies now that show that yoga does work on students with ADHD. You can read about the first study done by clicking here. If you are going to try to help students with ADHD, apart from designing a good lesson plan, is to make sure your students practice on a regular basis. For instance, doing yoga 3 times/week for half an hour would have more lasting benefits than doing it once a month for 6 hours.
For children on the autism spectrum and/or with a variety of sensory challenges, many yoga techniques work well in helping these children become comfortable with their bodies and greater self. One I use in particular is an abbreviated version of Kirtan Kriya which I learned when studying Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Kirtan Kriya, though not given the yoga credit at times, has also found its way into workshops for those studying to become occupational therapists. To see a sample of our latest professional development video on kirtan kriya, click here.
Though many school teachers are not yoga practitioners, it is easy enough for them to learn a few simple yoga exercises and games that go a long way. Attending a teacher training can help that! Asana Alphabet currently has teacher trainings scheduled for Nov. 14 in Princeton and Dec. 4 and late winter in NYC.