Our goal is to help people with autism makes sense of the world around them and to understand and communicate with others.
Who can we help?
Anyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – including autism, high functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD NOS), and Non-verbal Autism. A medical diagnosis is not necessary to benefit from this approach. We use the term “autism” to refer to this spectrum with all its variability. (See Autism Characteristics) As well, some individuals with ADD/ADHD and those who experience confusion with everyday life and/or social relationships may find benefit.
Davis Autism Approach® Program
Who can benefit?
This program is for verbal autistics approximately age 8 years and above, including high functioning autism and those with Asperger’s Syndrome. For Non-verbal autism, click here.
How does it work?
This three part program gently takes the verbal autistic person through the following developmental stages: Individuation, Identity Development and Social Integration.
Stage 1: Individuation
In normal development, this is the stage when a developing child develops a strong sense of self, separate from others. The individuating child begins using words like” me” and “mine”, “yes” and “no”. They have their own ideas and will often oppose the ideas and will of others. We call this “the terrible twos” but it is an important step for the next developmental stage – identity development.
In order for individuation to occur, the child must bring his perceptions into harmony with the environment by developing a stable orientation. Only then can he perceive himself and his environment accurately, allowing him to learn the developmental life lessons and language skills for real-world function.
We gently assist the autistic person to harmonize his perceptions by facilitating him to orientation* using his visual, auditory and/or kinesthetic sense. As accurate perception becomes more consistent, individuation and language will progress and they will be ready for the next stage, Identity Development.
*orientation is the ability to perceive from an optimum stable point, allowing for accurate and consistent perception of the internal and external environment through all the senses. When a person is oriented, perception and reality are in agreement. When a person is disoriented, perception may be inaccurate or inconsistent.
“There was no sense of being an individual, so there was no ‘me’. There was nothing to have a sense of identity. Without a ‘me’, there was no basis for memory or knowledge.” – Ron Davis
Stage 2: Identity Development
Once perception is stable and a developing child is oriented to the environment, he begins to learn life’s lessons through his experiences.
In the Davis Autism Approach®, we help our clients to do the same. Often our clients have not begun this process, or they have an incomplete view of how life works. We gently facilitate the individual through approximately 30 life concepts, beginning with “change” and ending with “responsibility”. The client makes clay models that are picture-representations of each concept. We take time to explore each idea in real-world situations until the concept is fully integrated.
Stage 3: Social Integration: Relationship Concepts
The final piece is the ability to integrate with and navigate the world of other people. We explore ideas of another, others, relationship, and types of relationships that we may encounter in life – and we explore these ideas in a real-world way.
With all the identity and relationship concepts mastered, a new framework for understanding life and people is now in place. The person’s future life experiences will be filtered through this new more complete awareness allowing them to participate more fully in life.
Stepping Stones – Beginning Steps to the Davis Autism Approach®
Stepping Stones is for younger children or for those with limited language. It is really the early stages of a Davis Autism Approach® program and includes:
- Individuation: We gently assist the autistic person to harmonize his perceptions by facilitating him to orientation using his auditory and kinesthetic sense.
- Beginning stages of Identity Development: The child is gently facilitated through some simple early concepts such as change and consequence. Once they have matured, they will be ready to complete the full Davis Autism Approach® program (see above).
Non-verbal Autism and NOIT™ (Natural Orientation Inducing Tool)
A small percentage of autistics do not develop language skills and so are not able to participate in The Davis Autism Approach®. Ron Davis has been working on this dilemma for many years. He has developed a way to help non-verbal autistics through the first stage of the process, individuation. If this stage is to occur, a person must have a stable orientation.
NOIT™ means Natural Orientation Inducing Tool. It is a small unit that is placed on a person’s upper back. It emits a carefully recorded sound that occurs every few seconds and is heard in the same place each time it sounds, gradually drawing a person’s awareness to this stable point and resulting in periods of orientation.
Although it is relatively new, preliminary trials show that over time, NOIT users show changes in awareness and begin the individuation process. Once this happens, the Stepping Stones program and/or Davis Autism Approach® can follow.
The NOIT is also being used as a supplemental assist by individuals with attention challenges (ASD, ADD/ADHD) during and after their program, as it can help with orientation until they are able to maintain orientation on their own.
For more information about the NOIT™ please contact Kim or visit noitresearch.org.
All programs are one-on-one with the facilitator. The first step is to call us at 905 825-3153 to discuss and book a consultation visit.
The consultation visit takes approximately two hours and is very informal. We discuss symptoms and goals as well as engage the client in fun activities that help us plan his program.
The program may be delivered one-on-one with the facilitator. The facilitator works directly with the client and involves the family so that they can assist the client to experience the concepts in day-to-day life.
It can also be a coached program – the parent or caregiver meets with the facilitator and goes through the program themselves so that they may in turn guide the student through the process with facilitator support.
Timing of the program may depend on many factors – client age and ability, distance away, family and facilitator schedule…. The program may be given consecutively over 2 or more weeks. It may also move more slowly over several months. We “go with the client” allowing the process to unfold comfortably.
Davis® and Davis Autism Approach® are trademarks and service marks of Ronald D. Davis. Professional services described as Davis® and Davis Autism Approach® may only be provided by Facilitators who are trained and licensed by Ronald D. Davis and Davis Autism International or Davis Dyslexia Association International. NOIT™ is a trademark of Ronald D. Davis.