Research Projects

The Efficacy of the “Get Ready to Learn” Yoga Program in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Funded By: NYU Steinhardt Goddard Award

Year Funded: 2010

Kristie Patten Koenig, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA,  Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University

Anne Buckley-Reen, OTR/L, RYT, ForKids OT, Inc.

Satvika Garg, MS, OTR/L, PhD Candidate, Department of Occupational Therapy

                                                                                   

Project Abstract

Occupational therapists utilize school-based yoga programs, but these interventions typically

lack manualization and evidence from well designed studies. An experimental pre-test post-test control group design examined the effectiveness of the Get Ready to Learn (GRTL) classroom yoga program in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The intervention group received the manualized yoga program daily for 16 weeks, while controls engaged in their standard morning routine. Challenging behaviors were assessed with standardized measures and behavior coding, pre and post intervention. Students in the GRTL program showed significant decreases in maladaptive behavior in teacher ratings as measured by the Aberrant Behavior Checklist as compared to the control condition. This study demonstrates that use of daily classroom wide yoga interventions have significant impact on key classroom behaviors in children with ASD.