Mindfulness for Autism
Mindfulness lifestyle education for Autistic people and their loved ones and helpers.
Living Mindfully with Autism. An hour a week for 9 weeks. Please visit our dedicated site:
Mindfulness counteracts the negative impacts of the modern world and harnesses autism as power!
Our programme consists of 1 hour sessions in small Zoom groups and includes a presentation and a guided meditation on a theme. A facilitated group conversation / Q&A session then follows, in which relevant topics are brought and shared by the participants. Experienced facilitators intuitively address the needs of the group in a semi-structured way, making it a suitable social setting for many autistic people.
As a regular group and solo practice, the benefits of a strengths-focussed mindful lifestyle aims to reduce the impact of stress, isolation and fragmentation in you, as an autistic person (or a family member of autistic persons), and to live a self-aware and more fulfilling, happier life. We have been delivering this programme since 2020 for people in Scotland via Scottish Autism and host our own programmes.
Amina has been teaching Yoga and Meditation for 7 years and has a special focus on Diversity and Inclusion. She is Certified in ‘Mindfulness Meditation Teaching’ by world leaders Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, and has practiced Mindfulness techniques herself for many years. Amina is neurodivergent and has worked with a wide range of people, enjoying taking a flexible, person-centred approach to teaching.
Jonny Drury attributes regular practicing of meditation since childhood to using autism as his superpower. Mindfulness is a core element of all of his work and that of Dialogica. As well as a Mindfulness for Autism teacher, he is an Autism Coach & Mentor, a Trainer at AT-Autism & Anna Freud Centre on the National Autism Training Programme and an Associate Tutor at University of Strathclyde.
Kate is a regular meditator and yoga practitioner with a Masters in Autism. She is a Trainer at AT-Autism & Anna Freud Centre on the National Autism Training Programme, and a specialist study skills tutor & mentor. Kate is skilled in Coaching, Conflict Resolution, Executive Coaching, Team Building and was a training manager and counsellor in the voluntary sector for 20 years.
Mindful self-awareness has always been a guiding principle of our work, which is why we created these dedicated programmes. We want to offer something more for people to be members in a community of mindfulness practitioners.
Common challenges typical in autism, such as stress from sensory overload, share a vast common ground between the ethos, language and practice of mindfulness. Social dispute and division is because of a deep and pervasive defect in the process of human thought, which leads to stressful and fragmented social and physical environments and traumatised people. Mindfulness aims to break this negative cycle.
Outcomes for participants include reduced anxiety and stress, better relationships in daily life, and empowerment with developed and claimed identity (masking). Mindfulness practice can also increase sense of community and support and frame the search for belonging and inclusion.
‘Studies found that a mindfulness-based program of nine weekly sessions for adults with ASD reduced their comorbid symptoms, such as their symptoms of depression, anxiety, rumination, distrust and interpersonal sensitivity, and sleeping problems, and their positive effect increased.’ (Kiep et al. 2015; Spek et al) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968048/
‘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)
“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/
Study and practise in your own time – watch out for our on-demand M4A programme coming soon!