Mindfulness can be a valuable practice for children with autism, helping them develop focus, self-regulation, and emotional awareness. By engaging in mindful activities, children can enhance their overall well-being and enjoy a greater sense of calm. It’s important to note that each child with autism is unique, and not all mindfulness techniques may be suitable for every individual. The experts at Blossom Children’s Center will tailor a plan that includes mindfulness to suit your child’s specific needs.
Does Mindfulness Help Autism?
According to ABA Centers of America, mindfulness does help individuals with autism. Mindfulness creates an impact on individuals with autism because it allows them to better understand their emotional processes, which is a challenge for children on the spectrum to make sense of. Also stated by ABA Centers of America, ‘Children may learn to better understand their feelings and the feelings of others through mindfulness. It can also increase awareness of one’s influence over others. Mindfulness-based programs help a child develop empathy and a theory of mind.’
At Blossom Children’s Center, we implement mindfulness-based programs, which can support children in many ways, such as:
- Improvements to the child’s neurocognitive issues may improve
- Their ability to develop a sense of self may increase
- and potentially their executive functioning.
By implementing mindfulness-based programs children learn to shift their attention, reflect on environmental experiences, and notice their automatic impulses. When it comes to mindful activities, we’ve compiled a list of 10 different ways children with autism can practice mindfulness in their everyday lives! Let’s take a dive in!
Practicing Mindfulness for Autistic Children
Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing exercises provide a simple yet powerful way for children with autism to cultivate mindfulness. Teach them to take slow, deep breaths, and guide their focus on the sensation of air entering and leaving their bodies. This practice promotes relaxation and helps them stay present in the moment.
Mindful Sensory Exploration
Encourage children to engage their senses mindfully. Provide them with various textures to touch, calming sounds to listen to, or nature scenes to observe. By paying attention to their surroundings, children can heighten their awareness and experience the present moment more fully.
Follow these 4 easy steps to help engage your child in mindful observation exercises! 🌷First: select an object (you, or your child can choose) 🌷Next: engage in visual observation (shape, color, size, etc) 🌷Then: explore with touch (notice how the surface of the object feels) 🌷Lastly: engage other senses (taste, smell, etc) . . . . #minfulness #mindfulparenting #mindfulobservation #engagethesenses #blossomchildrenscenter
Mindful Movement Activities
Engaging in mindful movement activities, such as yoga or tai chi, can greatly benefit children with autism. These practices promote body awareness, balance, and focus. Guided movements and poses help children connect with their bodies and cultivate a sense of calm.
Guided visualization exercises allow children to imagine peaceful and calming scenes. Encourage them to create mental pictures of their favorite places or engage in storytelling that stimulates their imagination. This practice enhances relaxation and fosters creativity.
Mindful Coloring or Drawing
Coloring or drawing mindfully can be an engaging activity for children with autism. Provide coloring books or drawing materials and encourage them to focus on the colors, lines, and shapes they create. This practice promotes concentration, self-expression, and relaxation.
Teach children to eat mindfully by encouraging them to focus on the taste, texture, and smell of their food. Encourage them to eat slowly and pay attention to their body’s cues of hunger and fullness. This practice promotes better digestion and a mindful connection with food.
Guide children through a body scan exercise, where they systematically pay attention to each part of their body. This activity helps develop body awareness, release tension, and foster a sense of calm and relaxation.
Engage children in mindful listening activities by playing calming music or natural sounds. Encourage them to notice and identify different sounds they hear, promoting auditory awareness and focus. This practice helps children develop attentive listening skills.
Take children for mindful walks in serene environments. Encourage them to focus on the sensation of each step, their breathing, and the sights and sounds around them. Mindful walking promotes grounding, a connection with nature, and a sense of peace.
Encourage children to create and tell their own stories, emphasizing details and engaging their imagination. This activity promotes creativity, focus, and emotional expression. Mindful storytelling can be a fun and engaging way for children to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness activities can significantly benefit children with autism, helping them develop focus, self-regulation, and emotional awareness. By incorporating these ten mindful practices into their daily routines, children can experience improved well-being, increased calmness, and enhanced overall quality of life. Encourage children to explore these practices, adapting them to their unique needs and preferences, and watch as mindfulness becomes a valuable tool in their lives. These techniques can also be practiced at home.
Blossom Children’s Center and Mindfulness
At Blossom Children’s Center we utilize ABA therapy, which is an evidence-based practice treatment. Our ABA clinicians are specially trained on trends that are well-supported by science, such as mindfulness. The practice of mindfulness can add ease to your child’s life-each day! For more information about how we can support you and your family with your child’s autism journey, please fill out this form for a free consultation or give us a call today!