Everyday Health: No-Cost, Drug-Free Therapy for Autism

by Bibi Tran on March 06, 2014
Student meditating

Students practice TM during their twice-daily “Quiet Time” sessions

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect one in 88 children. A recent article from Everyday Health reports that Transcendental Meditation may be a valuable “no cost, drug-free, add-on therapy ” to help families cope with ASDs.

“Some symptoms can be treated with medication, but many parents prefer nondrug therapies,” reports Beth Orenstein in the article. “As an addition to traditional treatments, 10 minutes twice a day of Transcendental Meditation (TM) has been shown to help some children manage the condition. It may also help children who have varying degrees of social, communication, and behavioral challenges.”

For example, listen to the story of Joey Lowenstein and his mother Roberta in this moving video.

Initial research findings are highly promising and larger-scale studies are underway. Ms. Orenstein says “One small study published in 2011 in Mind & Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry, found that parents of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other learning disorders reported significant improvement in certain symptoms after 6 months of practicing TM.”

For parents with concerns over their child’s ability to learn, Bob Roth, DLF Executive Director, advises, “Any child on the autism spectrum can learn TM as long as the child is old enough. It may take children with autism longer to learn than those without developmental disabilities, but it’s not difficult nor frustrating for them. They will find it very relaxing and very satisfying.”

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Read the full story on Everyday Health

One Comment

  1. I just want to say that I have been a long time fan of all manner of David Lynch’s work. I’m an artist as well and I just love how he uses all kinds of forms of art in his work. But this foundation is by far my favorite of all his work. I have a daughter who is on the spectrum for Autism but functions highly and to me her imagination is incredible. I also have a son who is developmentally delayed and I suspect lies somewhere on the spectrum as well. He is very thoughtful and sensitive and feels deeply. I work with my kids to breath and close their eyes and practice imagery when they are overwhelmed. I can relate to their anxiety and over stimulation when they have melt downs. I’ve had them since I was a kid as well. I spent literally days in my bedroom working on art, hyper-focused the entire time, and I feel that focus was very therapeutic to my anxiety. But meditation would have been a great cooling off exercise for my mind. I gave meaning to my reserve of nervous energy by focusing on drawing very detailed and realistic copies of book covers and actors portraits. I would be so focused I could see the image on the paper before I would draw it. This made for a great artist but a overly analytical adult on anti-anxiety med. I feel meditation could work in tandem with art. It’s like going for a long hike/jog then taking a nice long shower.

    Trista Malcome

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A message from David Lynch

I started Transcendental Meditation in 1973 and have not missed a single meditation ever since. Twice a day, every day. It has given me effortless access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity and happiness deep within.

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