Hi Guys, Welcome back to Meditation24x7.com. Some very encouraging words from people after the last post. Lot’s to think about moving ahead and keeping the momentum going. So for today’s post, I will be discussing something very special and personal to me Meditation for Children with Autism and ADHD.
It’s maybe a bit of a sensitive subject but something I wanted to address in a positive light. Definitely, a topic that has had some coverage online already and I can see why. It is something that I believe could be potentially very beneficial to both adults and children. With any type of learning difficulty or special needs.
Why I decided to write this post and not about something else? Funny story. I actually had a bit of brainstorm of different ideas. It was on a Saturday morning and I am riding the bus back home. Initially, I was thinking about writing something about Meditation and Stock Trading because of a post I read about Astro Investing.
Then somebody just said something on the bus and it hit me. The title of my next post – Meditation for Children with Autism and ADHD.
Alright now in case your wondering personally I don’t have any children with disabilities. In fact, at 34 years of age, I do not have any offspring. As for my immediate family the same really. As in that none of them, out of my brothers and sisters have any children with any real distinct problems.
They have their moments for sure but which children don’t.
Actually one of the ideas behind this post was something I heard in a podcast I was listening to. It was something like Childhood is not a Disability! What a statement. – I don’t want to offend anybody by saying this but in these days and times, how many children out there are being labeled as having a disorder or disability? I could be very wrong here but could it not just be that there just Children? All with their very own little distinct characteristics and personalities.
I think honestly it’s shocking how many children are being diagnosed with either Autism or ADHD. Really I can only think of one word and that is epidemic for the last 20-30 years. I do accept there is something a bit more to this sure. What exactly though is what baffles me. Toxic food, vaccines? or authority figures jumping the gun. I don’t know
My point though is for this section of the post…
My Personal Experience with Autism
So what does all this have to do with me? I’ve actually had quite direct experience with learning difficulties, as my primary school I went to was a special needs school. I actually went to another school for a short time before this but it’s maybe fair to say I didn’t really fit in here. Why I ended up moving schools.
It never really occurred to me at the time why that I did move. In my mind, I thought it was my own choice because another kid was giving me grief and my older brother went to this other school. As a 5-year old boy I didn’t feel that much different from any of the other kids but the older I got the more it became apparent to me that I was different. For many years this became more clear but this was never official until I was finally diagnosed with ASD at 26.
It wasn’t a big shock to me really but it is what it is. I like to think that maybe this is something that I can relate to people about. How I think that Meditation maybe might be used to help people like me. Especially for Children with Autism and ADHD.
Meditation Vs. Medication
I really want to tread carefully here. For ADHD especially I get that for some parents medication really does make the difference. Personally, though, I don’t really agree with it. They call all the undesired effects the side effects but they aren’t side effects these are the effects of the actual drug. Yes, they might make somebody calmer than usual for example but when they cause paranoid delusions and psychotic episodes I really question if it is all worth it.
What I hate seeing especially is when people and children even more so are not being given the choice. I’m fortunate enough to have not had to go through this experience of taking medication myself but I think it is horrible. Very sinister I have heard Ritalin what they give to children with ADHD is similar to Crystal Meth.
I am not a Doctor no but the way I see it is that these drugs create more mental problems than they solve. There is nothing natural about them in my opinion and the only one who’s really benefiting is the Pharmaceutical Companies. Conspiracy theory maybe but I have seen some things in my time, put it this way. I won’t go on too much of a tirade about it but what really makes me think about Meditation being used instead of Medication.
The Benefits of Meditation for ADHD and Autism
The benefits of Meditation for the brain of anybody with any kind of mental condition are clear to see. It’s a proven fact that after prolonged periods of mediating that the brain actually shows in scans increased grey matter density. Especially in areas such as the hippocampus. Meditation is if you like an exercise for parts of the brain that are often underutilized. Frequent meditators often begin to experience improved cognitive abilities, increased awareness and memory function.
This says it all to me. Learn to meditate or take drugs that have nothing to do with your actual physical health that have horrible effects. I apologize to anyone that has different views on this. Truly you are welcome to think what you want but to me, Meditation has a lot to offer people of any background.
In my logic, both ADHD and Autism are different ways that our brain operates. I think most of us have different ways we function mentally but both conditions I think are extreme cases of this. So somebody could be stronger in different parts of their brain, and weaker in others. The fascinating thing to me is how some people for example with some forms of Autism have such extraordinary abilities.
Both word and picture memory spring to mind but I’m very sure these aren’t the only incredible gifts that somebody on the spectrum might possess. As for myself me writing this post right now is some kind of special talent I’m pretty sure. For a good example of someone else though to me is artist Stephen Wiltshire. An amazingly talented man who can draw in fantastic detail pictures from nothing else but his photographic memory. Things any regular person would blink and miss. Just watch the video below and you will see what I mean. What he does should be impossible.
Meditation for Children with Autism and ADHD
Back to the subject. My logic is if Meditation for the regular person can help improve brain function in unused areas than would it not also work for those with ADHD and Autism? By stimulating the underused areas of their brains I find myself my biggest problem is maybe communication and social situations. It is said that to socialize in a comfortable way it takes every part of the brain. This is nonsense I think because in general the Human Brain has been found to only use 8%.
I won’t shoot the messenger about it but I guess whoever said this must only mean the 8% used by the regular person. For example, you would use one brain function to identify social cues, one for communicating in the correct way and another for recognizing faces. I think this is my big problem actually, recognizing faces, and I suffer a lack of confidence because of this. Why I think Meditation could help me.
By improving this part of the brain which is associated with the picture or photogenic memory called the fusiform gyrus. It is why I think I have a superior word memory, as my brain overcompensates for not using my picture memory. For somebody like Stephen Wiltshire, I can only imagine it is something else.
Somebody with ADHD I can only assume it is a different thing with the part of the brain that controls hyperactivity. This unfortunately medical professionals choose to treat chemically. The amazing thing is all of our brains as an organ create and release its own chemicals. Usually based on experiences and situations. Meditation I think can work as this can trigger a chemical process also. Why some schools are even trying out for themselves to improve the behavior of its students though I believe this is also to improve the ability to learn as well.
In fact, the post I did about the best Mindfulness and Meditation Apps. I had a teacher contact me about using mindfulness training in her class. From what I could gather this is becoming more popular all over the world. It may be that Meditation for Autism and ADHD at schools one day becomes a very real possibility.
Meditation Products that Can Help
1.) ‘Mindfulness and Meditation Apps‘
See my list >>HERE<<
2.) Mindful Monsters –
A program by registered Charity Scope aimed at Children 3 to 8 years teaching mindfulness meditation through a set of cue cards. You’ll receive 7 cards a month inspired by mindfulness with different activities. This is a 12-month subscription of £7.50 a month with a further option to carry on donations.
3 – Calm Kids, and Connected Kids Books by Lorraine B. Stanley
The first book by Author Lorraine Murray – Calm Kids – Help Children Relax with Mindful Activities. This book is targetted at teaching Mindfulness Meditation to all Children but makes a point to mention how studies have shown these exercises to help children with both ADHD and ASD.
Purchase Here: https://amzn.to/2WAEtTl
The Follow up to Calm Kids by Lorraine Murray is – Connected Kids: Help Kids with Special Needs (and Autism) SHINE with mindful, heartfelt activities. This book specializes even more on the aspect of children with special educational needs (SEN). After the popularity of the first book, the sequel if you like delves even more into teaching children of any age or background mindfulness and meditation but especially with learning difficulties.
Purchase Here: https://amzn.to/39affOu
My Final Thoughts
It has taken me a bit longer than expected to write this article. It hasn’t been too difficult to write. I had to look up a couple of things but come together quite nicely in the end. My final thoughts – well this is a bit more than something I’ve just dreamt up it’s actually something that has actually worked for a lot of people. I joined a forum yesterday at autism.org and there were a few things on there about using meditation. From what I can assume a good lot of these people posting had either autism or cared for somebody with this condition and had written about their experiences with using both transcendental meditation and mindfulness.
As for ADHD, I think the work of the author Lorraine Murray I mentioned above says quite a lot about this in her books and she also does courses for parents. If you look at the links below the last one teachchildrenmeditation.com has the links for booking her events for teaching teachers and parents about mediation.
In conclusion, I think everyone should meditate and I know I have put a huge emphasis in this article about disabilities if that’s even the word for people with such incredible abilities, but what more can I say It is an actual thing. Something I would recommend for any teachers and parents in the care of children that need extra support. Even for people like myself adults that struggle with things like anxiety, fitting in socially and general day-to-obstacles. Meditation is definitely something worth looking at and something that could potentially help a lot of people.
Please feel free to comment and write your reviews below as it will be great to hear from you, and I will try my best to answer as soon as I can. Also please spread the word – Like, Share, and Subscribe!