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J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Nov;17(11):1029-35. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0834. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Relaxation response-based yoga improves functioning in young children with autism: a pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, CT, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The study objectives were to develop and objectively assess the therapeutic effect of a novel movement-based complementary and alternative medicine approach for children with an autism-spectrum disorder (ASD).

DESIGN:

A within-subject analysis comparing pre- to post-treatment scores on two standard measures of childhood behavioral problems was used. SETTINGS AND LOCATION: The intervention and data analysis occurred at a tertiary care, medical school teaching hospital.

SUBJECTS:

Twenty-four (24) children aged 3-16 years with a diagnosis of an ASD comprised the study group.

INTERVENTION:

The efficacy of an 8-week multimodal yoga, dance, and music therapy program based on the relaxation response (RR) was developed and examined.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The study outcome was measured using The Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2) and the Aberrant Behavioral Checklist (ABC).

RESULTS:

Robust changes were found on the BASC-2, primarily for 5-12-year-old children. Unexpectedly, the post-treatment scores on the Atypicality scale of the BASC-2, which measures some of the core features of autism, changed significantly (p=0.003).

CONCLUSIONS:

A movement-based, modified RR program, involving yoga and dance, showed efficacy in treating behavioral and some core features of autism, particularly for latency-age children.

© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

PMID:
21992466
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3221508
Free PMC Article
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