My private Yoga Therapy practice has taken off in the last six months, thank God. I get to help people doing what I do very well: sharing experiences, resources and the Light of Yoga. In the process of consulting with prospective clients, I ask a lot of questions, filtering, curiously, listening for compatibility. I am learning a ton – about boundaries, my scope of practice, who I can actually help with Yoga therapy and meditation… and that I have a trove of supportive tools that I would like to share, as a survivor and as a holistic healer. I share what I can in hour-ish-long calls and I follow up, because I care deeply about our community.
I received an email from a very worried, almost frantic single mom whose ten year old son is experiencing extreme combativeness and rage. He has turned tables over at school, he is bored and probably very bright. His father has addiction issues, parents separated. He lives with his mom and toddler sister at his grandmother’s house. They’ve moved a lot,changed schools. One of his school therapists has suggested Oppositional Defiance Disorder as a diagnosis, stating that, for a boy with no history of trauma, he sure is acting out. Excuse me? No trauma? Are we… talking about the same kid? Yeah, but we are observing from totally different angles, listening for different things.
I suggested that his mother use critical thinking concerning her son and the system’s rejection of his cries for understanding. She was heartbreakingly worried about her boy, and financially strapped, and exhausted. I offered her hope, thank God. I would like to share some of what might have helped her through the next few weeks while she waited to hear about being hired for a new job that would offer more stability and choices for care.
- Alateen – looks like ages 13-18 but keep it in mind. http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/try-an-alateen-chat-meeting
- Weighted blankets/swaddling/tucking him in /deep pressure/gentle stroking
- http://www.exercisebuddy.com Created for but not limited to children with autism, may be helpful since it’s on a device and he responds to that. Reward him for five minutes in the morning, perhaps? Get him moving regualrly, ten minutes per day and have him notice how he feels before he starts and after so he has direct experience of the results.
- Martial Arts
- Swim and other “free” activities without structure
- Finding the right teacher(s) that he resonates with
- Remembering that R isn’t wrong, he is maybe perfectly right in a world full of wrong; his self-soothing techniques of humming and hugging are appropriate. Consider avoiding using touch as punishment or reward but possibly as a short-term soothing technique for three minutes each evening, for example.
- Practice your own five minute daily meditation. Even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom. This may be the most difficult suggestion of all! He’ll model you, though. The effects will be noticeable. You might not mention that you are doing it at first. Try morning or evening or both – try evening after everyone is in bed. Meditation may refer to a moving meditation, like a sun salutation or Energization Exercises. R might respond to this video more – quick and cool Australian surfer guy adapting the Energization in less than three minutes. Morning or morning and night might be good.
- deep breathing before sleep, six or twelve breaths
- alternate nostril breathing
- Humming Breath as Yogic Science for Stress Relief:
- Quiet Time and Transcendental Meditation in Schools: