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Meditation for kids

BunksBunks Australia Veteran
edited April 2016 in Meditation

Hi guys.
As some of you know, my six year old daughter has Aspergers (High Functioning Autism).
She has always struggled with sleep which affects her mood and behaviour and obviously has an affect on the rest of her family!
She has been taking melotonin for a few years and that has worked reasonably well but recently appears to be losing its effectiveness. The next step is some kind of sleep medication and I would rather explore all other avenues before going down that path.
My wife suggested we could try meditation with her.
Can anyone suggest any references or meditations to help her relax and perhaps sleep better? Her mind just seems to be racing all the time!
Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • Would this sort of guided meditation work?

    Shoshin
  • Kale4DayzKale4Dayz California Explorer

    I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's sleep problem. I know that Thich Nhat Hanh's tradition involves children in mindfulness practice a lot and this video is an example ("Pebble Meditation"):

    I'm not sure if their channel posted anything else similar, so feel free to browse of course. I noticed they also have animated films targeted towards children to educate them on mindfulness practice as well. Maybe that's something worth looking at together with your daughter. I hope you find something that helps!

    Shoshindhammachick
  • CiaraCiara Dublin New

    Hello (this is my first post ever),
    I would first like to start off saying that I too have aspergers as well as sensory processing disorder. I have always struggled with getting a full nights sleep and have recently found that meditation can help me help me to settle my mind when I'm finding it extremely hard. However I feel though you may find it difficult to teach your daughter considering her age (I would have found that level of concentration impossible at her age). Recently I have been finding it especially hard to sleep and was on the verge of going on medication for it but my occupational therapist recommended that I get a weighted blanket to help with it and honestly it worked like you wouldn't believe. They can be a little on the pricey side so I opted to make my own ( and it turned out very well considering my lack of sewing skills).
    Honestly if you don't believe me just Google it these things work wonders for in this sort of situation.
    I know not exactly what you were looking for but I thought I'd share my experience considering the similarities.
    Hope this helps

    ShoshinpersonDavid
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I might start with something that helps her learn what it means to focus her mind so that you can draw on that to explain meditation. Perhaps something she already enjoys, coloring maybe? Or something else that takes concentration, balance moves on a beam, that kind of thing?

    My oldest is AS as well, and for him the key is physical activity, but he is 19 and able to do it himself now. When he was young it was hard, until endurance sports were a possibility. Once he started that, he slept well. Does she, or is she able to do sporting types of things, like maybe soccer? Expending that energy might help her quiet her mind better as well.

    Also, if you haven't already, perhaps look into diet changes for AS kids. Their diet can play a big role in helping to calm the mind (though it can be extra hard if they have sensory stuff built in, which my son does as well).

    What @Ciara said about the weighted blankets makes sense. That extra pressure helps to calm their overactive systems. Have you read any of Temple Grandin's stuff? Amazing information from her if you haven't yet, she talks about this kind of therapy a lot.

    Yoga might be an option, as it will teach her how to focus on her breathing in another way as well. There are a lot of kids yoga videos that make it fun for them.

    With kids, it seems to help the most to start out with just a couple minutes, have them put their hand on their belly to feel it move, and just have them count their breaths slowly to a certain number. My youngest is 7, and they do this in school and it works really well.

    Shoshinlobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Thanks a lot guys! I'll check this stuff out.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Ciara said:
    Hello (this is my first post ever),
    I would first like to start off saying that I too have aspergers as well as sensory processing disorder. I have always struggled with getting a full nights sleep and have recently found that meditation can help me help me to settle my mind when I'm finding it extremely hard. However I feel though you may find it difficult to teach your daughter considering her age (I would have found that level of concentration impossible at her age). Recently I have been finding it especially hard to sleep and was on the verge of going on medication for it but my occupational therapist recommended that I get a weighted blanket to help with it and honestly it worked like you wouldn't believe. They can be a little on the pricey side so I opted to make my own ( and it turned out very well considering my lack of sewing skills).
    Honestly if you don't believe me just Google it these things work wonders for in this sort of situation.
    I know not exactly what you were looking for but I thought I'd share my experience considering the similarities.
    Hope this helps

    Thanks @Ciara - my daughter was given a large weighted unicorn toy for this sole reason. I might look in to the weighted blanket though as the doll will slip off her or she just doesn't use it.

  • CiaraCiara Dublin New

    Thanks @Ciara - my daughter was given a large weighted unicorn toy for this sole reason. I might look in to the weighted blanket though as the doll will slip off her or she just doesn't use it.

    I found mine very helpful a word of caution though mass produced weightdd blankets can be very expensive and often very uncomfortable (stiff like trying to wrap your self in cardboard) so if your interested in getting one you're probably better off getting one from a shop that makes them to order. I have a friend who bought a mass produced one and its almost completely useless it's so hard. Again sorry that this is not about the topic mentioned it would just be a pity to spend money on something you can't use (custom ones can often work out less expensive which is an added bonus and fabric textures can be adjusted to suit the person)
    I really hope you find a solution that works well for you and your daughter.
    Best of luck with it.

    Bunksdhammachick
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