World Autism Awareness Week 2018

 

This week (commencing Monday the 26th of March) is World Autism Awareness Week. The purpose of the week is to help raise the overall awareness surrounding autism, so that more people can gain a greater understanding of autism.

 

Information on Autism

 

Over 1% of the total UK population are on the autistic spectrum, which means autism has a daily effect on 2.8 million people’s lives, when including families. People living with autism or that can be affected by autism are at a greater risk of developing mental health issues through feeling isolated.
The National Autistic Society (who are fundraising from World Autism Awareness Week) have released some statistics on children that are on the autism spectrum:
  • 34% of children on the autism spectrum say that the worst thing about being at school is being picked on.
  • 63% of children on the autism spectrum are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them.
  • 17% of autistic children have been suspended from school, 48% of these had been suspended three or more times and 4% had been expelled from one or more schools.
(National Autistic Society)
These alarming stats show that there is a need not only for more awareness or autism, but to support those that are on the spectrum, especially more vulnerable young children.

 

How Yoga can help children with Autism

 

Yoga is a physical activity that is not only non-competitive, but is also all-inclusive – meaning children can develop at their own pace and not feel ‘pressured’ to win or progress quickly. By combining simple yoga postures with breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, a foundation can be built for autistic children to help grow and thrive.
This combination of breathing and relaxation allows children to focus their mind and the movements of their body, improving their mobility, memory and communication skills. Research Autism also believe that yoga can be a useful way to help autistic children improve their behaviour and social skills, as they begin to imitate others.

 

The work YogaBugs are doing

 

Through working in hundreds of schools and running community classes across the UK, YogaBugs are getting lots of autistic children physically active and aiming to help provide them with greater support. YogaBugs sessions differ from regular yoga sessions, as children do not just learn poses, but follow stories and adventures to become more engaged. Autistic children enjoy routines, familiarity and stability – so following structured stories can help them understand sessions easier.
Children with autism may feel extreme anxiety and stress for a number of reasons during school. YogaBugs sessions help children to relieve this stress and anxiety, whilst boosting their confidence and self-esteem levels – which in turn helps to reduce their behaviour levels. Children will gain a sense of belonging within their class through joining in the same activity together and by following stories, help focus on their listening and social skills/interactions.

World Autism Awareness Week 2018

For more information on YogaBugs’ work within schools or community classes, please visit our website here. World Autism Awareness Week is focused on raising awareness of autism, so that more and more people can help support and understand those with autism. This is especially important within schools to help reduce bullying. Please visit the National Autistic Society to find out more information and how you can get involved.
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