P came to Autism NSW in November 2015. P is an adult male with Asperger’s Syndrome. P worked in a busy technical environment, along with a noisy boisterous group of colleagues. P was good at his job, but work was getting too much for him. He was working long hours and feeling overwhelmed. P reported finding it hard to prioritise jobs. It appeared that the company wanted him to do all jobs that came his way, but that was not possible. P was experiencing over-stimulation from having too many jobs and other responsibilities, such as keeping up with emails. He was feeling anxious and having melt downs. He felt angry and frustrated and felt it was difficult to take time out. His noisy colleagues were distracting and annoying him and he felt he had no way of helping this.
Two weeks later, P started working with me doing a Davis Autism Approach program. Over the course of the following 5 months P came to me occasionally for a few hours at a time. P learned some tools to help him be more in control and have less meltdowns. He started using the Auditory Orientation device – or ‘ting’, which is listened to through headphones and helps to ‘ground’ the individual. We worked our way through all the Davis Autism concepts – such as consequence, time, sequence, emotion, motivation, responsibility…
During those months P gradually started to feel more on top of things. He communicated to me, that it was like he had been rebooted! P reported that he was using his tools successfully. He used them when emails were stressing him out. He sometimes popped in his earphones and used the ‘ting’ for a while. P reported improvement in social relationships; Indicating that he is more likely to stand up for himself and to tell an individual what he needs/feels.
A few months later P took a new job. It involved a lot of responsibility. There was a necessity for lots of public speaking, almost every day. P says that he is getting more and more comfortable with this. He feels it is his biggest achievement. He would never have done that prior to doing the Davis Autism Approach Program. He also reports that his communication skills have improved tremendously.
Last year P did an extreme-walk for a charity organization. This involved many months of training in preparation for the extreme physical and emotional pressures that would be experienced. P spent many days on this walk, in the most stressful environment – both physically and mentally. But he managed beautifully and without any meltdowns.
In general, P appears much less stressed than when we started working together. He seems more confident and in control. P has not had a ‘public’ meltdown in months. P is more aware of his preferences for smaller crowds and for being able to anticipate his environment. But he understands that sometimes this is not possible and he can manage it more easily.
P is now in the situation where his natural talents and friendly personality can shine through. His future appears to be one of open-ended possibilities, unbridled by fears and anxiety.
K.T. is a 9 year old mildly autistic boy. He is lovely! I had the pleasure of working with K.T. and his mum over the course of about 6 months. K.T. was not the stereo-typical autistic, in that he made nice eye contact and was friendly. But he was struggling socially and was not participating in many activities beyond iPad games. He lacked dexterity in his motor skills and was somewhat hunched over and lacking coordination. He had a shrill high-pitched speaking voice and walked on his toes. He did not have many friends.
1st day of Autism NSW Davis Autism Approach Program; K.T. looks a little disconnected from the ‘here and now’
But initially, not everything was great as far as mum was concerned. K.T. was looking for more independence, refused to shower and acted out in an unexpected way, which appeared like a step backwards. He was finding family members annoying and required more personal space. It is common for autistic individuals to ‘act-out’ when they start to ‘individuate’ – become more self-aware. They want more input into decisions. This is actually a good thing and a sign of ‘normalisation’ – however, it can be tough on mum. Luckily, these apparent setbacks didn’t last long.
As K.T. progressed through the program, he started to participate more at school. Homework was not as much of a challenge and his social group expanded. K.T. started to play handball and was more social.
K.T. started trying new things – trampolining; scary exciting, fun slides on holidays; new types of food, among other things. People close to him noticed he looked more ‘alive’ and connected in his eyes.
It is now 6 months since we finished working together. K.T. is still improving and changing. He looks different. He is more upright and his posture is better. He speaks differently. Gone is the shrill, strange voice that was commonplace originally. K.T. is more confident and participates more fully in life!
Final day of Autism NSW program – K.T. looking more connected
The Davis Autism Approach has been used successfully now for many years. Autism NSW has been using these methods in Sydney, Australia to help autistic individuals change and develop into the confident people they want to be.
Phone: 0414 013 490