Autistic children who have trouble relaxing are finding peace through “pretzel” and “superman.”
These yoga poses and a dozen others, performed in sequence each day at Coconut Creek Elementary School, offer students in the school’s autism classes a way to calm themselves when the stresses of life — such as loud noises in the cafeteria¸ bright classroom lights or a skinned knee — agitate them.
“It helps me when my back hurts,” said River Zartler, 10. “We lay down on our mats and close our eyes.”
Louise Goldberg, a yoga teacher and one of the founders of the program, known as S.T.O.P. and Relax, hopes upcoming academic studies prove her theory that special-needs students learn self-pacifying techniques through yoga that they can translate into their lives outside school.