I have worked with so many children but one, in particular, stood out for me. Her name is Jane. Jane is 9 years old, who was sent to many mental health services that focused on severe psychiatric disorders. This often did more harm than good in her Jane’s instance. Jane attended an ordinary school however like many don’t have the funds or a program or a teacher’s aid to help. Jane has Asperger’s, ADHD and autism, ( all considered on the autism spectrum) and she has behavioural issues, poor social interactions, fixations, odd speech patterns, and other peculiar mannerisms.
Jane also has few facial expressions and has difficulty reading the body language of others; she engages in obsessive routines and display an unusual sensitivity to sensory stimuli, eg: bothered by light, she covers her ears to block out sounds in the environment; and often will only wear clothing made only of a certain material. Considered so behavioural-ature, often relating better to adults than peers, and may be seen by others as odd or eccentric.Jane can experience motor delays, clumsiness, limited interest in things, and peculiar preoccupations.
When Jane and her mom first came to me, they were both distressed and Jane, you could tell was a handful. Our first session she sat in the womb position in the hammock, with no interaction and would stay like that as long as she could. Often rocking and crying. I then got in the hammock, next to her and copied her behaviour except I was over the top, really loud and crazy. After 5 minutes of me screaming and imitating her behaviour, Jane poked her head out of the hammock and said, “I was silly and why am I acting like a child”? Over the months we played a lot of games, exercises that I have created and designed to empower Jane to feel good about herself. I created exercises that are fun and even tug of war.
We focused on rehabilitation, speech therapy and counselling for mother and daughter, which all helped Jane to function academically and socially. We also did lots of breathing techniques, mindfulness techniques, affirmations, mirror work and lots of other exercises and of course antigravity yoga. Jane loves the yoga postures as these postures helped refocus reset and centre Jane. As Jane’s attention span is limited we limited the time in each pose. I utilised all the training’s and education, each exercise would only go for one-minute maximum then move on to the next one. At the start of each session, we had to use all her energy up so that she could then quieten and we could focus on mindfulness and breathing techniques in the womb position and cocoon.
One year later Jane now, at every session teaches me some of the anti-gravity yoga moves exactly how I have taught her. She has changed so much, is so much happier and healthier in her mind, body, and spirit. Occasionally when I am teaching Jane I leave out some of the vital information regards to safety tips, ( on purpose) and Jane corrects me. It’s so fantastic. Often we chant repeats “Hold on Tight” or name of pose and if I do not say this, she will scream it out.
It’s very rewarding watching the transformation and changes .she has so much more confidence and connects with you when speaking. She has transformed so much I feel blessed to have made a difference