Yoga for Autism Case Study 1

Increasing self-esteem and relaxation response through Yoga Therapy in a child with ADD.

*Please note that all identifiable information has been removed from this document and names changed to maintain confidentiality. Consent from carers to share the case study received.


This case study offers a yoga therapy case example of working with a 11-year-old boy, who has been diagnosed with ADD. The boy was referred for yoga therapy session by his mum due to struggle with sleeping. During the sessions however it became clear that low self-esteem creates a lot impact on his daily life. That was also noticed at school by his teacher. The aim of the sessions was changed to help with creating positive image. After 6 weeks it was noticed by parent that after the class, boy feels sleepier and calmer. Over the course of 6 session some improvement with self-esteem was noticed by therapist.


Background Information

Child was referred to Yoga Therapy by mum due to problems with attention and problems with sleep. He was already attending my group yoga classes and having 1:1 would be beneficial to him. He was diagnosed with ADD, has problems with attention and social skills according to mum. He also can be quite impulsive, showing low self-esteem and control of emotions. Child has got problems with falling asleep and he takes melatonin at present. Support from TA 30h a week in place. Triggers known are siblings and feelings of injustice or not being heard.

Child’s Feedback:

After yoga I feel more relaxed. I enjoyed wobble jelly and finger ring and didn’t like the sun salutation.

Mother’s Feedback:

  1. Did you child enjoy yoga therapy session? Yes, he enjoys coming to the class and has a lovely relationship with Anna.
  2. What did he enjoy the most? The relaxation at the end.
  3. Did you notice any changes after the class? He is calm after the class and feels sleepy. He loves the sensory ring he got and additional resources for negative thinking are very useful.

Outcomes from Yoga Therapy

  1. Breath awareness – was able to use breathing technique – equal breath, to self-regulate without guidance after 6 sessions.
  2. Motor Skills Management – was able to perform 30% of poses without me showing them.
  3. Coordination – At the end of the sessions, was able to stay in tree pose for 5 seconds (initial falling after 1 second) .
  4. Engagement – After 6 sessions was engaged 70% of the time, comparing with initial 30%.
  5. Emotional Intelligence / Self-regulation – can recognise negative emotions and take appropriate actions. Toolkit for negative thinking was provided and used by mum.
  6. Self-esteem – During session 1, he couldn’t accept any complement without negative comment. At the end of session 6 he was talking about himself in a positive way twice during session, however when he caught himself on that, he laughed and used negative sentence again.