[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

Program Information

The Davis Autism Approach® Program

overstimulation (20K)Many of us who work and/or live with Autism recognize that autistics on all severities on the spectrum have times when they seem to be existing in a world of their own. Depending upon the severity of the Autism, their actual participation in the world around them can be limited and inconsistent.

Chaos, change in schedule or environment, and high sensitivities to light, smell, sound or texture - all can overwhelm and, in effect, cause the autistic individual to "retreat" into that place which excludes others from participating or understanding. The fact is, the physical world is filled with stimulus, confusion, and chaos - so their own world is a much safer and more comfortable place in which to exist. They have "disoriented" themselves from the physical world.

These times of disorientation can be fleeting or may go on for many hours depending upon the circumstance. With extended periods of mental disorientation (or unorientation) to the physical world, many life concepts may have been missed during peak developmental periods...those missing concepts only serve to add to the confusion and chaos.

The goal of the Davis Autism Approach® program is to allow individuals with Autism to orient themselves to, and better understand, the world around them...and, ultimately, to participate fully in life.

A Three-Teired Approach

1. Individuation: Using the tried and true methods developed by Ronald D. Davis in his highly recognized work with Dyslexia, the Davis Autism Approach will provide the tools for Autistic individuals to orient themselves mentally to the physical world (become present), as well as to better understand how to regulate their internal energy and stress levels.

2. Identity Development: Next, we can begin to address gaps in the life concepts that have been missed. The first concept is the idea of SELF ("me") - an essential piece of the puzzle that will enable individuation to start or restart, depending on the severity of the Autism. This is done via the Davis Concept Mastery® process, which involves using clay to create models that depict various life scenarios and concepts that are instrumental to making sense of the physical world around them. These concepts serve to develop a self-identity that is complete.

Some of these concepts include:

  • change
  • consequence
  • cause/effect
  • time
  • sequence
  • order/disorder
  • emotion
  • want/need
  • motivation
  • responsibility

There are 33 concepts in total that are covered during the Identity Development phase of the program. Each concept builds on the next: first the concept is discussed, then built in clay, and then explored in the enviroment and at home. So, each concept is internalized before moving on to the next one.

These concepts can be facilitated one-on-one, or can be set up as a coached program (where a parent, loved one, or caretaker is coached by New England Autism Alternatives and they subsequently work through the concepts with the client). Please see Program Logistics for more information.

3. Relationship Concepts: Upon completion of the life concepts, there is one more piece to the puzzle that will enable a person to participate fully in life - having relationships with others! During this phase of the program, we introduce the different kinds of relationships that there are in the world - some are based on rules, others on trust, etc. We then address behaviors and interactions that are appropriate within each type of relationship.

With these concepts, clients can now filter new experiences through their complete understanding of the world - making dealing with people and previously stressful situations a much easier process. Each client is different with respect to how quickly the concepts will affect behavior, but once mastered, their journey begins and there's no looking back!

As discussed in their new book, Autism and the Seeds of Change, by Abigail Marshall and Ronald D. Davis, this approach has brought success for Autistic individuals around the globe - with exciting and wildly successful trial studies being conducted with even the most non-verbal forms of Autism.

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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