There have been several studies analyzing the effects of yoga on children with autism in the last 7-8 years. While more rigorous research is still needed, preliminary findings suggest that a daily yoga routine can help produce positive behavioral changes in preschool and school age children with autism spectrum disorder (e.g., Koenig, Buckley-Reen, Garg, 2012; Rosenblatt et al., 2011). We also know that special interests and preferences can increase a child’s level of motivation (e.g., Koegel & Koegel, 2006).
Recently, I was introduced to Cosmic Kids Yoga* (http://www.cosmickids.com) and I immediately thought it could be a great resource for kids with autism! I am a huge fan of video modeling (e.g., Cardon, 2012), so teaching via video is a go to resource for me, but my favorite part about Cosmic Kids is that it combines yoga and special interests! If you have a child that loves Minecraft or Frozen or Harry Potter, there is a yoga episode designed just for them! She has so many options and they are very user friendly. I got a kick out of trying several of them with the kids in my life. Of course, no research has been done on her particular brand of special interest yoga that I am aware of, so please keep that in mind.
*I am in no way affiliated with Cosmic Kids Yoga, just thought it was a fun resource and wanted to share
Cardon, T. A. (2012). Teaching caregivers to implement video modeling imitation training via iPad for their children with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6(4), 1389-1400.
Koegel, R. L., & Koegel, L. (2006). Pivotal Response Treatments for Autism: Communication, Social, and Academic Development. Brookes Publishing Company. PO Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285.
Koenig, K. P., Buckley-Reen, A., & Garg, S. (2012). Efficacy of the Get Ready to Learn yoga program among children with autism spectrum disorders: A pretest–posttest control group design. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(5), 538-546.
Rosenblatt, L. E., Gorantla, S., Torres, J. A., Yarmush, R. S., Rao, S., Park, E. R., ... & Levine, J. B. (2011). Relaxation response–based yoga improves functioning in young children with autism: A pilot study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 17(11), 1029-1035.