I have a 6 year old boy with somewhat severe ADHD. He also has been diagnosed as being on the Autistic spectrum at a low level ( my sense is that the ASD symptoms are primarily driven by the ADHD ).

I would like to practice meditation with him. I already practice mindfulness meditation myself, and I'd like to support my son in doing this as well.

I have some general questions - they are all tied together, so answering one may answer several:

  1. Is this an age appropriate goal?
  2. Any recommendations on structure, such as duration, method, "rules" / rigidness?
  3. Any recommendations on teaching, either as techniques or resources for more info?

I'd prefer not to use the "before bed" method as we already read every night and that structure works really well.

I've had some success doing this with him already, but only sporadically, and never for longer than 5 minutes.

Also if your answer is from your own experiences, I'd be interested in hearing any success stories ( if only briefly ).

1 Answer 1


I taught special needs students, including autistic students for over 30 years. We did yoga and meditation to varying degrees of success every day.

We started with 30 seconds of meditation -- yoga breathing was the 'warm-up'. We worked our way up to ten minutes over the school year. The meditation was simple, count breaths or listen to a count. It depends on the group, count 5 to 8 for inhale, hold 5-8 counts, exhale fully 5-8 counts. You can start at 2 if you need to. The meditation is the mindless rote counting. As the boy is better able to control his breathing, you can try without counting. I like counting or the alphabet because one part of the mind counts and the other part is free.

We all enjoyed this part of our day and if we had had a stressful day, like a tantrum or self abuse or someone getting hurt, meditation was a clearing time. A moment of peace to help us start again.

My students went from 5 to 11. We found that after first routines -- (washroom, putting coats away), was a good time. After lunch also helped get us back into quiet mode. So if I were to try this at home and there was time, first thing in the morning would sound good to me. If that is too stressful, how about after he gets home? In the beginning, it takes no more than a few minutes. It is never punitive. Always loving and relaxing. Music helps some, hinders others. It needs to be quiet instrumental music if you want to try it.

  • Meditation works for parents, too. I've been doing it for 40 years and it just helps me to get over unimportant stuff and keeps life in perspective.
    – WRX
    Jan 3, 2017 at 18:06

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