Relaxation and stress-reducing activities are also important for children with ASD who are forced to be at home due to the COVID-19 quarantine. There are many yoga and mindfulness videos for children that are free and easy to follow, As noted earlier, many children with ASD love to watch videos, and fortunately there are many good yoga and mindfulness videos designed specifically for children.
Yoga for children
- Yoga for Kids With Autism – video
- Yoga for Kids – video
- Sun Salutations & Yoga With Animals – video
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: A Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure – video
- Going on a Dragon Hunt: Yoga Version – video
- Yoga for Kids With Animals: Smile and Learn – video
Relaxation activities for children
- 5 Minutes Body Scan Meditation for Families and Classrooms – video
- 3 Minutes Body Scan Meditation – video
- Calming Exercises for Kids: Breathing and Stretching – video
- The Listening Game | Cosmic Kids Zen Den – Mindfulness for Kids – video
Some children can achieve calmness by simply listening to meditative music and lying on a bed, couch or the floor. YouTube is one source for relaxing music. A timer can be set to cue the child when relaxing time is finished. This type of relaxation activity can be used before stressful times such as before mealtime, before transitions or before bedtime.
Finally, a routine of calming activities can be created that a child can follow independently with a picture or video schedule or with the help of a parent or sibling. Parents and children know what calming activities have proven to be effective at school or at home. Below is a sample calming routine:
- Squeeze a ball for a count of 20 with the right hand, then count of 20 with the left hand.
- Breathe in through the nose and blow out with mouth (smell the flower; blow out the candle). Repeat 10 times.
- Move arms slowly overhead and down to the side. Repeat 10 times.
- Do a movement song slowly (e.g., head, shoulders knees and toes).
- Tense the face muscles for a count of five, then relax face for a count of five. Repeat for the arms, hands, stomach, legs and feet.
- Rock slowly in a rocking chair or while sitting in a regular chair or on the floor.
- Take a piece of paper and crayon/pencil and slowly draw circles for a count of 10. Rest for five seconds and repeat.
If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it on social media or linking to it from your website to help other parents. You may also want to check out our other resources on coping strategies for autism and COVID-19.
Editor's note: This article was republished with permission from Autism Parenting Magazine.