Ron Davis’ approach is described in his book on Autism:
People on the autistic spectrum are not broken – they do not need fixing. They have their own unique gifts and talents and they have the right to retain their beautiful uniqueness.
Often, though, what these individuals want is understanding – they want to have a sense of self, to be able make sense of the world and relate positively to others.
It is widely agreed that individuals on the autistic spectrum do not undergo childhood development at the same harmonious rate that their non-autistic counterparts do. They may be extraordinarily developed in one particular area whilst considerably challenged in another.
[Cited from Davis Autism International]
Ron Davis defines three childhood development stages that ‘neurotypical’ people naturally go through:
- Identity Development
- Social Integration
The Davis Autism Approach is Ronald Davis’s way of providing a type of road map for an autistic individual to be able to move through these three stages in a way that is harmonious with their way of being.
Davis Autism Approach Roadmap
STEP 1: INDIVIDUATION – Creating an awareness of ‘Self’
The starting point in a Davis Autism Approach program is to assist the individual in the Individuation process by becoming oriented to the world, creating accurate perception and gaining self-awareness. This is achieved through the Davis Tools of Orientation, Release and Dial.
STEP 2: IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT – Exploring life concepts
When Individuation is complete, we can then begin to look at Identity Development. Developing a core identity is the foundation for new knowledge, experiences and behaviors. Because autistic individuals have not yet completed identity development, we provide a gentle, structured way to do this by having them explore’ ‘life concepts’. This is done by guiding the individual through making a simple clay model of each concept, followed by many hours exploring that concept in their environment.
STEP 3: SOCIAL INTEGRATION – Relationship concepts
Social Integration is the final stage of the program. Individuals need to have a sense of self and a functioning identity to provide the foundation for building an understanding of relationships. The relationship concepts are also explored in clay, allowing the individual to explore different types of relationships they can have with others.
None of the concepts explored are a set of ‘rules’ – they are a framework for the individual to be able to make sense of their experiences, and begin to establish order, take responsibility, and form and maintain successful relationships.
What kind of results do people see with the Davis Autism Approach® program?
Clients who have completed the program have experienced many positive changes. These are some of the most common results Davis Autism Facilitators see in their clients, which have been confirmed through independent research:
- 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