When my son was 9 months old, he started walking and stopping babbling and talking. He didn’t speak again until he was four years old. Those were the hardest years of my life. 

My son was diagnosed with autism, developmental delay, and later ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), and recently ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) He’s now 11, in 5th grade, and has some services, but not as much as you would think if you knew him in those hard 3 years. Most people can’t tell he’s on the spectrum.

What got me through it? Lots of tears, a wonderful team of specialists, yoga, and a lot of hard work. One of the most valuable tools was yoga—for both him and me.

I did it with him every day. We had a book we would read in the morning, Good Morning Yoga, and one at night, Good Night Yoga. It was also a special bonding time with him. 

Now he loves yoga. 

Yoga isn’t just exercise or poses. It teaches kids so much more…like breathing techniques, coping skills, community building, learning kindness and empathy, and the list goes on. 

My son uses breathing exercises to regulate his emotions and to help him concentrate in school. We have a Mindfulness Toolbox that he uses to regulate his emotions and help him cope with the challenges he faces due to his diagnosis and life in general. I wish I had learned these skills as a child! I’m sure you do as well. 

Find yoga books you can do with your child; come to my family class on Wednesdays at 6:15 with me, Jen Leary; try our FREE community class on Saturdays at 11a in April—Kids’ Fun Yoga with Gail. We will be starting a regular kids class in May on Saturdays at 12p. 

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