The most well-known and evident manifestation of autism spectrum disorder is failure to develop “neurotypical” social relationships. It may be severe, as in children who spend most of their time rocking, twirling objects, or seemingly locked in their own world. It may be mild, as in individuals whose social behavior is seen as “odd”, usually resulting in the individual being shunned or ignored by peers. The degree of difficulty with verbal and social abilities will help to determine where the individual sits on the autism spectrum, and what intervention may be appropriate.
All individuals on the spectrum will display many of the following characteristics to a greater or lesser degree. No individual will have all of the characteristics. If you have a loved one that seems to have many of these characteristics, we can help.
Davis Autism Approach consists of three parts, each one addressing the fundamental challenges experienced by individuals with autism as they develop the ability to participate fully in life.
Part I – Individuation
The first step in opening doors for individuals with autism is to help them be more fully present in the real world. We do this through a process called orientation. With orientation, perception of the world becomes accurate, individuation begins to take place, and the client can then start sorting out where s/he ends off and the rest of the world begins. We assist the client to create a model of ‘self’, which will represent the client throughout the next parts of the program process.
change: something becoming something else
Part II – Identity Development
Typical children begin a developmental journey at birth, and meet what are known as ‘developmental milestones’ in a more-or-less organized and predictable trajectory and within a generally predictable time-frame. Because an individual with autism is disoriented much, or even most, of the time, development does not follow the typical pattern. Once individuation takes place, the individual is able to move through those developmental steps. The identity development phase of Davis Autism Approach speeds up the process and makes sure that it takes place in a logical, sequential, and thorough manner.
We accomplish this by leading the individual with autism through a concept mastery program which instills core concepts, necessary for functioning effectively in this world, into his identity. We do this by using clay for creating models to represent the concepts, and then exploring the real world to see how these concepts actually work. There are over forty concepts that are mastered in this way, leading finally to the concepts of motivation and responsibility. Each concept builds on the ones that came before, so knowledge is constantly being built.
others: you represent others meaning individuals separate from “me”
Part III – Social Integration
This segment of Davis Autism Approach leads the individual into the world of other people. This is accomplished through the same process of concept mastery: using clay to show the meanings of ideas regarding how relationships work. It is here that empathy can begin to develop, as we explore how other people think, why they think differently, and how relationships work.
This one-on-one program can be delivered by a Davis Autism Approach Facilitator/Coach. This is usually done in one-week blocks, and can take from three to six weeks. Alternatively, a parent or loved one can be trained and mentored by a Davis Autism Facilitator/Coach to deliver the program, or can attend 2 to 5 day workshops to learn the skills necessary to complete the program at home.
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. For more information go to www.davisautism.com