What Is Autism?

Children progress through a series of developmental steps, but some may not move through all of them, may miss some pieces of a step, or even skip a step altogether.

We all have little pieces missing somewhere, so anyone can benefit from this program.

However, the number of holes in developmental steps hinders someone from reaching their full potential, so the more pieces missing, the less the level of functioning will be. When enough pieces are missing, it can result in a diagnosis of being on the Autism Spectrum.

The Davis Autism Approach®

The Davis Autism Approach® provides programs for those 8 and up and also programs designed for younger ones. All programs respect the individual and build upon the person’s strengths to overcome challenges.

Autism Approach For 8 Years – Adults

3 Phases

There are three phases to the Davis Autism Approach®.

Individuation: The client becomes aware of themselves as an individual and separate entity. Using clay and Davis® Orientation methods and tools, the participant experiences a process of self-discovery. Once the person has individuated, they are ready to move to the next stage of development.

“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

Identity Development: Once they attain individuation, a person needs to add experiences to themselves and then attach their ideas, opinions, likes and dislikes — the personality that will develop. 

Through clay modeling many concepts and experiencing them in their environment and their roles in the world, their identity continues to grow with each new experience encountered. 

There are a series of over thirty life concepts. Each concept builds easily on the initial concept and flows naturally into the next concept. 

Explorations of each concept can be embedded into everyday activities and routines and adjusted according to age, ability level, interests, pace and environment to ensure the participant’s comfort. 

Because we are addressing the root concepts, the result is a wide range of changes to behavioural patterns. Once this foundation is established, the final stages of the program are next.

“Having come from a void, my sense of the void was not as existing as an individual, but as existing as both nothing and everything at the same time.” Ron Davis

Social Integration: This stage of the program focuses on helping individuals apply the concepts in their own lives to create meaningful change. The desired changes will depend on each person’s specific needs, goals and situation. 

The changes experienced are making good choices, self-management skills, time management and organization. Social integration can improve through exploring different types of relationships. Exploring behaviours that have had negative consequences can help create more positive outcomes.

Some of the results shown are:

  • less anxiety
  • increased ability to take  part in daily activities
  • increased willingness to try new things and cope with change
  • better equipped in relationships

The Process

Program Length: 

Ages 8 through adult
60-120 hours dependent on the client.

Overview: Highly trained facilitators work individually with each client/support person, so the program is delivered at their pace according to needs.

Initial Consultation: A Client Profile and Characteristics Profile is to be completed by parents/guardians or adult clients to determine what needs and goals are. Once a decision is made to proceed with a program. A deposit is taken to reserve your date.

 

Program Formats:

The following formats can be offered:

Individualized Program: The facilitator works individually with the client through a complete program. Family/spouse are advised to be involved as much as possible to integrate the program into their environment effectively. 

Coached Program: The facilitator takes a client through the initial part of the program and then works with a support person who goes back and implements the program with the client. This option is designed for clients who are unable to work with someone other than their support person or whined the program spread out over a more significant period of time.

Current neurological science reveals that every brain–whether neurotypical or otherwise–can create new neural networks when provided with the right tools.

Some of the positive results seen by the Davis Autism Facilitators include:

  • less anxiety
  • increased ability to be able to take part in daily activities and create order in their life
  • a willingness to try new things
  • greater capacity to cope with change
  • greater ability to cause a change in their life
  • a reduction in sensory overload symptoms
  • reductions in meltdowns
  • a greater sense of self, and
  • being better equipped in relationships

Davis Autism Approach® Programs Under 8 Years

Designed to help those on the autism spectrum and their families participate more fully in life as they choose. It is for any person eight years or over who has receptive language skills (understanding what is being said).

Available Programs

Davis Stepping Stones Program

Beginning steps to the Davis Autism Approach Program

Davis Stepping Stones is a holistic, foundational program that provides wrap-around support for individuals on the autism spectrum who are young or have limited language. The client is provided with self-regulation tools and creates a series of fundamental concepts using the multi-sensory medium of clay.

The facilitator works with each client/support person and is delivered at their pace according to their needs. Time spent one-on-one with the facilitator will vary depending upon the age and ability of the client. Primarily most of the session will focus on the facilitator coaching the support person to work with the client at home.

The support person is given a set of self-regulation tools to enable the helper to be calm and relaxed while working with the client.

Daily life experiences coordinated with fundamental concepts allow the client to integrate the concepts for themselves and build foundations for future thinking, learning and behaviour.

Some of the Positive Results Seen by Facilitators:

  • better self-awareness (e.g. expressing appropriate pain, when injured)
  • better self-regulation (can calm themselves down)
  • fewer meltdowns
  • less resistance to change
  • willingness to try new things
  • increased ability to refer to self as ‘I’ or ‘me’
  • increased pretend play
  • growth in language
  • increased understanding of cause and effect
  • can follow instructions using the ideas of before and after

Davis Concepts for Life℠

This program is suited to any individual who is open to self-development and wants to create meaningful change in their life by exploring and mastering the mechanics that make up motivation and self-responsibility.

Individuals who experience challenges with executive functioning skills, stress, anxiety, reduced focus, self-regulation, and behaviour management, will find this program particularly beneficial.

People who struggle with forming and maintaining positive relationships can also benefit from this program.

As they progress through the program, clients have the opportunity to work on their goals by experiencing, reflecting on and mastering a series of essential life concepts, which they model in plasticine clay and then explore in the world around them. This structured but flexible process promotes self-responsibility and personal growth.

It is approximately 30 hours and is typically 5 consecutive days. An extra 6 hours consultation is provided afterward without additional charge.

Outcome

The program is geared toward the client’s goals.  The program provides focus skills, helps to set goals, solve problems, increase memory, regulate emotions and monitor behaviour as well as improve time management and create organizational skills. All or any of this allows one more success in school, work and life.

Helpful For:

  • Distractibility/daydreaming
  • Lack of self-awareness
  • Impulsivity
  • Procrastination/uncompleted projects
  • Chronically being late or too early
  • Disorganization
  • Struggles with following verbal instructions
  • Overwhelming stress
  • Inability to achieve desired outcomes
  • Inappropriate social interactions
  • Negative behaviours
  • Struggles when communicating with others
  • Wavering motivation
  • Difficulty making decisions
Information used with permission by Ron Davis Autism Foundation.

Davis Concepts for Life℠ – Early Years

Davis Concepts for Life℠ provides a holistic foundation that offers powerful solutions and support for children struggling with focus, behaviour, relationships, self-regulation, executive functioning, or meeting developmental milestones.

These children are often bright, curious, creative and kind-hearted. However, these strengths can be overshadowed by the challenges they face. 

Early Years has a clear, positive focus, enabling the child to build on their strengths and overcome challenges. The program uses a team approach to supporting the child, with their support person being coached and empowered alongside the child. 

Changes people see with the Davis Concepts for Life℠ – Early Years Program:

Reports by Davis Facilitators, parents, teachers and children themselves are:

  • better self-regulation (e.g., able to calm themselves down)
  • exhibiting much less anxiety
  • reduced stress levels
  • less resistance to change
  • a willingness to try new things
  • an increase in their willingness and capacity to play with others
  • increased understanding of cause and effect
  • can follow instructions using the ideas of before and after
  • improved behaviour will go along with others ideas or suggestions in workgroups and play
  • understands why (i.e. improved reasoning)
  • more willing to share their own ideas
Information used with permission by Ron Davis Autism Foundation.

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