Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Course Overview

This program is designed to give yoga teachers and yoga therapists a comprehensive overview of how they can support students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

To provide you with a general foundation, yoga teacher and psychotherapist Kathryn Templeton explains what ASD is—and what it isn't—and then offers a detailed road map for how you can build successful yoga practices for this population. You'll also get three complete sequences for people with ASD that you can use with your own students, and you'll learn how to integrate ayurvedic principles into the experience.

Even if you've never thought about working with people who have ASD, if you teach public classes, you never know if someone with ASD might show up. Use this as a resource to create a safe and welcoming experience for all of your students. 

Kathryn Templeton

Kathryn Templeton, MA, RDT/MT, E-RYT 500, is an Ayurvedic practitioner who has devoted her life to the health of others. A psychotherapist for more than 30 years, Kathryn is a master teacher in the field of Drama Therapy and continues to work both clinically and as an educator specializing in the treatment of individuals with complex trauma. As an E-RYT 500, NAMA Certified Ayurvedic practitioner and senior Para Yoga teacher, Kathryn has worked to develop specialized treatments integrating the principles of yoga, Ayurveda and clinical psychology.

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

Course Outline

2 hrs to complete

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Section 1
  • In this module, Kathryn shares what autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is—and what it isn't—to provide a general foundation for yoga teachers and yoga therapists who want to work with this population. She also touches on the history of ASD and how we can support people who have ASD in our everyday interactions with them.
  • Don't worry if you're new to ayurveda, as Kathryn begins with a quick overview of this "sister science" of yoga. She also offers an additional ayurvedic resource (which you can find here) if you want more information.
  • In this module, you'll get a general overview of how yoga can benefit people with ASD. You'll also learn four key tips that can help you create supportive and successful practices for students with ASD.
  • This is a yoga sequence for people with ASD that integrates the four key tips you explored in the Yoga and ASD module: structure, routine, visual model, repetition. Through recurring flows that integrate both energizing and grounding techniques, Kathryn (who demos for her students the entire time) establishes a rhythm that’s both rewarding and comforting. Class concludes with sandbag breathing in savasana, which is followed by a simple seated practice of self-reflection and gratitude.
  • As with the yoga practice you did in the previous module, this pranayama practice for people with ASD works with structure, routine, visual model, and repetition. The sequence includes three different breathing techniques (done twice and in the same order) designed to activate the parasympathetic ("rest and digest") nervous system. You'll need a sandbag and a handheld mirror for this practice.
  • This is an example of a class that teachers could use to guide students with ASD toward a deep state of relaxation. This sequence includes a restful savasana(which features sandbag breathing and guided visualization) and a grounding seated meditation.
  • Scope of Practice

  • Resources

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Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, you can include this course in your Yoga Alliance training hours, with each hour equivalent to one continuing education credit.
This course is entirely self- paced, allowing you to learn at your convenience.There are no imposed deadlines or time constraints for Course completion.
No prerequisites are required; this course is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and practice.
No, the course is accessible to all individuals interested in enriching their understanding and practice of yoga.Yoga teaching certification is not a prerequisite.

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