How yoga can promote embodiment, connection, sensory integration, and anxiety-reduction in children

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Recent figures estimate that approximately 1% of the population in the United Kingdom has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is almost twelve times higher than estimates made in the 1970s. According to the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, individuals with autism experience communication difficulties alongside repetitive and restrictive behaviours and sensory hypo/hyper reactivity. Those of us who parent and work with children with autism, however, know this is only part of the story.

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The word AUTISM spelled out in letter cubes.

I consider that the treatment of an autistic child is an opportunity to observe and investigate the origins of verbal symbols and the creation of language, as well as the way the logic of thought is constructed.

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Refining the Spectrum: We Need Better Diagnostic Distinctions for Children with AS

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Lonely, isolated, unwanted, mocked, shunned, rejected, denigrated, despised, ostracized, misunderstood and friendless: stringing together so many negative adjectives may seem a little bit exaggerated – but that’s exactly the point I am trying to make. My recent book, Asperger’s Children: Psychodynamics, Aetiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment shows how Asperger’s children have exactly these kinds of negatively ‘exaggerated’ perceptions and feelings. Adjectives like these have been applied to these children many times over the years. This is the way they most frequently describe and experience themselves. Their inner experience of the social world can with few exceptions be summarized in three words – untrustworthy, unjust and unfair.

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