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Welcome to the “mini yogis minute” weekly yoga tips for teachers and parents looking to create a more fun, engaging, and effective practice for their children. Be sure to check out mini yogis teacher training for all the tricks of the trade!

In honor of Vanessa Kahlon’s upcoming Yoga Education for Autism Spectrum Teacher Training at mini yogis on October 8 & 9, here are some tips on working with children on the lower functioning end of autism spectrum to help you connect and change lives:

1. Always let your students know what you are about to do and what will come next. Routine and predictability lessens anxiety.

2. Find out what your student really likes to do (yoga or otherwise) and let him know that first he does what you want and then he gets to do what he wants. Set a time limit for his preferred activity, say, two minutes, before getting back into the practice you want him to do.

3. Don’t give attention to negative behaviors or they will persist.

4. Telling your student that she has to three to do what you are saying is a very effective technique. Start counting, and on three, she will generally do exactly what you want her to do.

5. If your student is being very loud/screaming, etc., talk to him in a very quiet voice and he will get quiet to hear what you are saying.

Of course, this just scratches the surface of working with autism and your foundation does have to rest on trust and connection, but the learning comes from the teaching…both for you and your students.

And that’s the mini yogis minute tip of the week. Check back every week to learn something new!

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