How Meditation Helps Alleviate Autism In Children

A recent study by Sonia Sequeira and Mahiuddin Ahmed has made a connection between the potential benefits of meditation and the mental disorders of children born with autism.

According to the scientifically verified benefits to brain functioning that accompany regular meditation, autistic children might benefit from the rewiring that occurs during meditative repose. The study points to mantra-centered meditation, which utilizes the repetition of a phrase to center the mind, as the most attractive option for children as it is often cited as the simplest and most effortless.

It has been postulated that a prenatal or neonatal exposure to excess testosterone may explain the fact that autism is much more frequent in boys than in girls, who are less vulnerable due to the protective effect of oxytocin [129, 130]. These observations suggest a beneficial role for meditation to mothers during pregnancy and postpartum periods. It is also possible that meditation in young children, particularly boys, may reduce symptoms of autism by increasing the release of oxytocin in the brain.

Autism is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder of unknown cause that affects approximately 1-3 percent of children and four times more boys than girls. Its prevalence is global and its social impact is devastating. In autism, the brain is unable to process sensory information normally. While it is critical to treat the physical symptoms, it is equally vital to offer an evidence-based holistic solution that harmonizes both their emotional and physical well-being as they move from childhood into adult life. Here, we summarize evidence from clinical studies and neuroscience research that suggests that an approach built on yogic principles and meditative tools is worth pursuing. Desired outcomes include relief of clinical symptoms of the disease, greater relaxation, and facilitated expression of feelings and skills, as well as improved family and social quality of life.