[New England Autism Alternatives logo]New England Autism Alternatives
110 Haverhill Road, Suite 314
Amesbury, MA 01913
phone: 978-337-7753
email: newenglandautism@gmail.com

What is Individuation?

Individuation is a natural developmental step...

Individuation simply means: Creating an awareness of self.

Individuation usually naturally takes place around the age of two. The child is becoming aware of his/her environment, his/her likes and dislikes, and is seeing himself/herself as an individual. We often hear this development referred to as the “terrible twos” - but it is a very important developmental step!

Individuation is necessary for us to operate in the physical world as a "single unit" - and gives us accurate perception of the environment.

Children with autism either fail to complete this step in development, or regress after beginning down the path. The effects of this can be an underdeveloped sense of self, high sensitivity to the environment, heightened perceptual senses (see/hear/feel things that others cannot, or not see/hear/feel what others can), issues with balance and space around them - appearing awkward or clumsy while trying to navigate the physical world and their interactions with others.

When we are individuated, we have a full sense of our bodies - with our senses and perceptions aligned with it. We know where we are in relation to the space and individuals around us. We are oriented, mentally and physically, to the physical world.

How do we start/restart the process of Individuation?

Using the methods developed in Ron Davis’ work with Dyslexia, we use a combination of auditory, visual, and/or kinesthetic means of establishing "Orientation."

Most of us already have a natural and stable orientation place from which we perceive, make sense of, and navigate our surroundings. Severely autistic individuals may not have established this place. Higher functioning autistic individuals may have a natural orientation place which is not ideally located - causing skewed perception in some areas and dead-on perception in others.

The Davis techniques for establishing Orientation are well-known around the world, particularly with their success in correcting the disabling effects of Dyslexia, and are pivotal in the process for enabling autistic individuals to perceive the physical world accurately.

The goal is to establish a stable orientation place that is centered and optimal - typically above and behind the head. Depending upon the level of Autism and the communication abilities of each individual, your licensed Davis Autism Approach Facilitator/Coach will determine which method of achieving Orientation will be most effective for the client.

Orientation brings a sense of certainty, calm, and stops the chaos and confusion that is typically present when functioning in a disoriented or unoriented state.

Once we have achieved Orientation, the first step in creating self-awareness is for the client to create a clay model of “self.” This model then becomes a concrete representation of themselves that can be used in future modeling of missed life concepts.

Depending upon the person, and the severity of the Autism, the process of stabilizing this new orientation can take some time and practice. We look for changes in perception (perhaps changes in sensitivities), behavior, and/or communication ability - at which point we can move on to the next phase of the program: Identity Development.

Davis Autism Approach® is a trademark of Ronald D. Davis. Commercial use of this trademark to identify educational, instructional, or therapeutic services requires licensing by the trademark owner.

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