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Great Turnout for Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices Workshop

Dr. Deborah Gruber MEd, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

A presentation on teaching yoga to children with Autism was given by Dr. Deborah Gruber

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, April 24, 2018 / -- NEW YORK, NY, April 24, 2018 Over 100 people attended a Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices workshop at Touro College in Manhattan. The presentation was focused on teaching yoga techniques to children with Autism. The room was filled with parents, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and special education providers. With over 30 years of professional experience, Dr. Deborah Gruber, MEd, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA, presented the workshop and kept the audience engaged with her knowledge of yoga. She discussed the different strategies of teaching yoga poses including various types of prompts, graduated guidance, and other components to guide physical activities to children with all ranges of ability.

Dr. Gruber demonstrated different traditional yoga techniques and behavioral strategies when teaching yoga to children with Autism. She noted that it is not all about performing the poses, but there's a greater importance in the process of learning these physical skills along the way. For longer poses with more steps, such as the half moon pose, it is broken down into feet together, arms up, while bending to the side. If a child can only put their feet together and not raise their hands up, it is better to focus on helping them reach that next step. Dr. Gruber also discussed introducing play into activities. This included imitation games such as "Be the Yogi", (similar to Simon Says), or songs that encourage moving around the room. The audience got to participate in an activity by doing a traditional triangle pose in pairs. One person acted out the pose, while the other acted as the teacher and prompted their partner to make sure the poses were done correctly. The session concluded with a Q&A session.

Dr. Deborah Gruber is the president of Lotus Behavioral Consulting, LLC and is an adjunct professor at Queens College. She has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education for over 30 years.

Shema Kolainu - Hear our Voices, is a School and Center for Children with Autism, and is a leader in the field of special needs education. Our workshop series is a great opportunity to gain knowledge from some of the best resources in the field of autism. Joshua Weinstein - Ph.D., M.B.A., CEO & Founder, Suri Gruen - Program Director, Gili Rechany - MA, SBL, BCBA, LBA, Educational Director

This workshop was made possible New York City Council Autism Initiative who provided the necessary funds for this program. The next workshop, Opening Doors for Employment: Tips on Promoting Success for Individuals with Autism will be on Tuesday, May 29th featuring Dr. Stephen Shore. To register and to view videos from previous workshops, visit

Jamie Friederick
Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices
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