WE C.A.R.E 2: a parent-child community yoga program that promotes the health and well-being of caregivers and their children autism spectrum disorder
MacAlpine, Heidi Maryanne
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The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased two percent from 2012–2014 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018) and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has considered ASD to be a major health concern. The demands of caring for a child with developmental disabilities, including ASD can be overwhelming and the caregivers are experiencing heightened levels of stress in comparison to rearing typically developing children (Argumedes, Lanovaz, & Larivée, 2017; Lindo, Kliemann, Combes, & Frank, 2017). There is a need for more family support to implement more effective coping strategies to deal with the maladaptive functioning of the child with ASD (Hall, & Graff, 2011). The WE C.A.R.E. 2 Program is a nine-week evidence-based community pilot program that will provide an inclusive opportunity with additional family support and effective coping strategies e.g., breathing techniques, yoga postures and positive coping cognitions (e.g., positive self-talk and reappraisals) to decrease the stress levels of caregivers and promote healthy behaviors and healthy child development with the support and training from trained facilitators and a network of caregivers. This individualized plan will tailor to the needs of each dyad to create the necessary mechanisms of change (behavior, cognition, physiological, and sensory modulation) among the children and adults in the yoga group. The professional collaboration of different disciplines (occupational therapy, yoga therapist and teacher) will provide the appropriate modifications to the environment and provide the necessary input for the “just right” experience for a positive outcome.