Moving to Center: Autism and Qigong

I sit next to him and ask him how he is feeling. His eyes quickly dart around the room as he continues to repeat a line from a Disney movie he has just seen. I tap his hand in hopes of getting his attention. Finally, he looks up. He now stands across from me and is jumping up and down flapping his arms as he continues to repeat the Disney line. I place my arms on my lower abdomen and instruct him to do the same. He begins to punch and kick the air.

Breathe in.

He takes a deep breath and lets out a yawn. His arms are momentarily calm and then he starts punching the air.

Breathe out.

He yawns and kicks the air. His movements are becoming slower now. I begin moving my arms up and down with my breath and instruct him to follow me. He is now whispering the Disney line and has his eyes closed. He anticipates my next movement and starts speeding up. I tell him to slow down and follow me. His movements begin to sync up with my own. He is becoming quiet and his body more relaxed. At the end we sit down, cross-legged, on the floor. I instruct him to place his hands on his knees, palms up. Boy in a suit in lotus position

Breathe in.

He shuts his eyes tightly and leans his head back. His nostrils flare and his chest rises as his lungs fill with air.

Breathe out.

His body slumps down. He is quiet, fully relaxed and calm. He opens his eyes sleepily and then looks at me.


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