Thursday, June 27, 2019

Autism Spectrum Disorder University Workshop Designed to Help Parents and Caregivers

“My teeth hurt.”

Bren Harris froze in astonishment when her 8-year-old son, Zach, urgently spoke these words in the produce aisle of their local grocery store this summer. Her nonverbal son, who is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), was catapulted into a sudden and unexplained outburst. Turning her back to this episode, Harris desperately began loud ujjayi (victorious) breathing. Ujjayi is an essential and often-applied yoga tool that Harris teaches to her son. After two breaths, Zach joined in. A few seconds later, Harris learned why he was so upset—his teeth really did hurt.

“I’ve spent countless hours researching, talking to doctors and experts and tracking down all kinds of help, from medical help to alternative therapies and activities like yoga as well as nutritional options,” says Harris. What she has gathered and learned will be presented in the upcoming Autism Spectrum Disorder University Workshop for caregivers of children of all ages living with autism. This unique and easy-to-apply workshop will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., November 5 at You Power Yoga.

At the workshop, caregivers will find valuable information, including “What works for my family” tips and life hacks to make day-to-day ASD easier to navigate; local resources for learning, fun and life-skills assistance; simple, calming yoga movements (no yoga experience needed); and breathing exercises presented by Denise Springer, certified yoga instructor and owner of You Power Yoga. Also promised are nutritional hints, recipes, information on essential oils and real life “next right thing” tips. The Autism Spectrum Disorder University Workshop is limited to the first 15 registered attendees. A select number of scholarships are available on a case-by-case basis.

The number of children diagnosed with autism increased fourfold between 1996 and 2012. More recently, a 2014 National Health Interview Survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics indicates one in 45 children officially receives this diagnosis by a qualified healthcare provider. In light of these numbers comes a tidal wave of increasingly confused, frustrated parents and caregivers.

Cost: Early-bird registration through October 15: $29; $49 until November 4; $59 on day of event (if space is available). Location: 1904 E. Second St., in Edmond. For more information or to register, call 405-348-9979 or visit