Therapeutic Effects of Multisensory Yoga Program on Mood, Initiation of Needs and Social Skills for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder




Litchke, Lyn G.
Liu, Ting
Scroggins, Michaela L.

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Juniper Publishers


This study examined the therapeutic effects of a novel multisensory yoga program, called Kid Yoga Rocks (KYR), on five boys (5-7 years) with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). KYR was a 45min yoga program provided to children twice a week for four weeks. Each of the eight yoga sessions were videotaped and contained 31 yoga poses accompanied by multisensory equipment, chants, and songs. Children were tested before and after the eight yoga sessions on Yoga Pose Performance Assessment (YPPA), Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders Social Skills Assessment Problem Behavior Rating Scale (TSSAPBRS), and the Sparks Target Behavior Checklist. Observed changes were also documented daily utilizing a Modified Facial Mood Scale and a comprehensive narrative note. A significant increase from pretest to posttest was found (t(4)=-4.245, p=0.013) indicating yoga training elicited higher imitation performance scores in YPPA subscales. A significant improvement was also found from pretest to posttest on sun salutation series (t(4)=-3.038, p=0.038), balance series (t(4)=-8.5, p=0.001), relaxation series (t(4)=-2.814, p=0.048), and total percent change (t(4)=-4.245, p=0.013). All children were classified in the mild problematic behavior category in TSSAPBRS. Thematic analysis identified four key factors associated with the yoga experience: (a) increased initiation of needs, (b) increased time on task, (c) positive environmental mood, and (d) leadership skills and relationship building. Conclusion: In conclusion, the KYR program was effective in treating problematic behavior, mood, initiation of needs and social skills for these young male children with ASD.



autism, multi-sensory yoga, mood, behavior, initiation


Litchke, L. G., Liu, T., & Scroggins, M. (2018). Therapeutic effects of multisensory yoga program on mood, initiative of needs and social skills for children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Yoga and Physiology, 5(2): 555659.


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