How meditation and mindfulness can help children with autism
Why a simply, mindful approach can bring calm to an autistic, young person
A Compassionate Guide
At Connected Kids, we have a deep commitment to helping children in meditation, with a particular enthusiasm for sharing mindfulness meditation techniques with children on the autistic spectrum.
Through our libros y Connected Kids program, we emphasize the potential benefits of meditation for children on the spectrum. Yet, navigating through the unique challenges when working with these children requires a compassionate level of understanding.
Sensory Overload: A Formidable Challenge
Children with autism seem to lack filters on their physical senses, rendering the world overwhelmingly noisy, smelly, and bright for them. What might appear as peculiar behaviour to us is, in fact, a natural response to their heightened sensitivity. Picture standing next to a pneumatic road drill – we cover our ears to shield ourselves from the loud noise. Children with autism face similar challenges with all their senses, including sight, smell, taste, and touch but with regular day-to-day objects (so a hand dryer in the public bathroom is their equivalent of a pneumatic drill).
Seeing life from their perspective can foster greater patience and compassion. Simple breath meditations can serve as valuable tools to help them cope with the sensory overload they experience.
The Impact of Energy Centers
Drawing from our expertise in teaching healing and meditation, we frequently explore the concept of energy centers, or chakras. For children with autism (and ADHD), grounding poses a significant challenge. Feeling grounded instills a sense of safety and security while being ungrounded can result in an overactive mind, poor sleep, fidgeting, excessive physical energy, clumsiness, and an inability to complete tasks. Focusing on the root energy center through grounding meditations, which use imagery linking individuals to the earth, can be very beneficial.
Mirror Effect: Reflecting Energy
Parents and teachers often note that children mirror the energy they receive. Maintaining a centered, calm, and grounded state through mindful meditation techniques can positively influence the behaviour of children, acting as mirrors to our own mental and emotional states.
The Deeper Meaning of Autism
In our meditation practice, we seek insights into the increasing prevalence of autism. We discovered that allowing our thoughts and emotions to dwell on the past or future creates challenging energy for autistic children. Paradoxically, these children offer us a profound gift – the opportunity to embrace the present moment and cultivate inner calmness. Interacting with children with autism encourages us to embody peace, balance, and harmony, ultimately benefiting both them and us.
A Mother’s Testimony
A mother (who follows our campaña de facebook shared a remarkable story of using mindfulness practices to connect with her children, particularly her son with Asperger’s.
“I had to begin to put into use what I was reading years ago when I was a tired, stressed-out mother of two young boys. My oldest was two and my youngest was a newborn. I began by bringing myself to be present at the sink whenever I was hand washing dishes, using all my senses to connect deeply with myself and my immediate experience of hot soapy water. I found over the first few weeks that every time I calmed my mind, my son would become just as calm. I realized we were linked, bonded, energetically, and that on some level my babies could sense and feel everything that I was feeling. This served as motivation to keep up my practice.
The most important way this has helped my son with Asperger’s is that it gave me the ability to look at him more deeply and to look beyond the immediate hysteria he was experiencing, and into what was behind his fear, or anger. It taught me to take the time to center myself, breathe deeply, and ask myself what it was that I could not see that he could see (or feel). It taught me compassion and equanimity.”
(M Romine, Estados Unidos)
Curious about trying to teach meditation?
Life is an ongoing journey, and every experience shapes our awareness and choices. Children, including those with autism, are unique individuals, and no single solution fits all. Embracing mindful moments with these children, centering our energy to guide them through the challenges they face, allows for temporary moments of peace. There is no definitive conclusion, just an opportunity for continual growth and understanding.
The founder of our Connected Kids program offers free 15-minute calls to chat about your needs.