Parenting a Child on the Autism Spectrum

Tools

Story Updated: Jul 22, 2014

Mothers raising children with autism or other developmental disorders are themselves particularly vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and depression.

But new research suggests that meditative techniques that focus on relaxation can help. The finding published in the journal Pediatrics stems from work with 243 such moms about 2/3 of whom cared for children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

About 85% of the women suffered from elevated stress. Nearly half were clinically depressed and more than 40% had an anxiety disorder. Half were randomly assigned to a "stress reduction mindfulness" group and for 6 weeks they were tutored on breathing, meditation, relaxation, and movement techniques. The other half, assigned to a "positive psychology" group that helped mothers counter feelings of guilt, conflict, worry, and negativity with optimism and forgiveness.

Both interventions helped. But ultimately, the mindfulness approach seemed to offer greater stress relief suggesting that it may be a more effective way to address the mental health concerns of moms in need.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading Ð health news that matters to you.

Add a comment

Name:

Comment: 250 Characters Left

KOFY and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.