Mindfulness Activities and Interventions that Support Special Populations

  • Veronica SmithEmail author
  • Michaela Jelen
Part of the Mindfulness in Behavioral Health book series (MIBH)


Over the past decade, a body of literature has emerged examining the role of mindfulness with children, youth, and adults with special learning needs, and with their teachers and professional caregivers. The findings from mindfulness programs that have been offered to special education teachers and professional caregivers are promising. Effects of the programs include reductions in stress and “burnout,” more effective “reappraisal” of situations and high acceptance of the programs by teachers. For children with special needs, mindfulness appears to have positive outcomes, especially in regard to decreased anxiety, improved on task behavior, and decreased depression and rumination. This review reveals that mindfulness is a promising approach for delivering needed supports for students with special needs. While there are promising effects for some targeted developmental issues, more work is needed to specify who will benefit from mindfulness programs and how the positive effects can endure and translate to other settings.


Special populations Parents Special education teachers Mindfulness programs Learning disabilities Autism Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Intellectual disability 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychological Studies in Education, Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.BC Ministry of Children and Family DevelopmentVictoriaCanada

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