Dialogica’s new 10-week programme starting October 2021 will take our current Mindfulness activities with Scottish Autism to the next level, for those who wish to do so. The new programme will place more emphasis on practice and support the creation a community of mostly autistic mindfulness practitioners. Booking will be available soon. The other Mindful Autism Support Groups will continue alongside, with most of those sessions being facilitated peer group group discussion underpinned by principles of mindful dialogue.
Common challenges typical in autism, such as stress from social interaction and sensory overload is addressed in all of our work, which shares a vast common ground between the ethos, language and practice of mindfulness. Dispute, division and violence is because of a deep and pervasive defect in the process of human thought (Bohm, Factor, Garrett, 1991) and traumatised people, leading to stressful societies and environments.
Mindfulness and raising self-awareness has always been a guiding principles of our dialogue and coaching work in the field of autism. Outcomes for individuals have notably included reduced anxiety and stress, better relationships in daily life, increased sense of community and empowerment and developed identity.
A regular mindfulness practice, supported by a fellowship, can also support and frame the search for belonging and inclusion. The search for selfhood and the need for a calmer, less fragmented life can be achieved by living a mindful and more natural lifestyle.
In our dialogue work, there is also increased empathy and understanding among among parents, academics and professionals, leading to further improvements in cross-cultural cohesion and reduction of mis-communication and misunderstanding across neurological differences.
A holistic mindful lifestyle that incorporates mindful stillness, mindful movement (chi-gong and yoga), body, mind and emotional attention, compassion, healing and healthy diet, relationships, learning and community, can directly address and counteract the negative impacts of autism and modern living. As a mindfulness group facilitator, Jonny Drury, himself diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD, intuitively addresses the needs of the group participants in a semi-structured way, using guided mindfulness meditation as the vehicle to self-discovery, healing and wholeness. As a regular group and solo practice, encouraged via remote learning and direct communication available with the facilitator, the benefits of a strengths-focussed mindful lifestyle aim to reduce the impact of stress, isolation, confusion and fragmentation.
The first ten-week series in 2021 will be themed around ‘Living my Best Life’ and themed sessions will consist of a facilitator’s talk on the various aspects above, a guided meditation and a Q&A style section.
Dialogica is pleased to offer something more for the individual to nurture a membership in a community of mindfulness practitioners in the autism arena.
‘The results of the findings show the benefits of mindfulness-based therapies for individuals with autism. The 23 participants engaged in the online therapies demonstrated significant reductions in anxiety. The study found at a 3-month follow up that over 75% of participants ‘demonstrated reliable reductions in at least one of the anxiety measures.’ Over 50% of participants maintained these benefits at a 6-month follow-up.’
Is Autism a Stress Adaptation? L. Hogenkamp (2018) Paper here.
“When we are stuck in an immobilised (hypo) state it can be hard to feel what is going on in your body because our interoceptive capacity has been turned off. When we are in a hyper- alert state, we can feel too much, or nothing. This skill of interoception is something that comes on and offline depending on what state we are in.”
– Holly Bridges, Author, Reframing Autism and expert of the Polyvagal Theory https://zebr.co/
Bohm D., Factor D & Garrett, P. ‘Dialogue – a proposal’. Burg, London. 1991. www.aofpd.org