Autism Sydney

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New Research finally brings results

Posted by hoi.barbara1@gmail.com on June 3, 2013 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

After 18 months of trials on non-verbal Autistic individuals of a new device, called a NOIT (Neuro-Orientation-Induction-Telemeter), the good news are out and we are allowed to talk about it.


Here in Sydney, one gorgeous 10-year old boy, was the first person to wear a NOIT in Australia. For 9 months, the boy was wearing the device (stuck with Gel onto his back, between the shoulder blades) for about 8 hours every day. Now he too is well on his way to individuation, although in his case, the language has not fully set in yet. He displayed a much improved tolerance of stimuli, esp. noises (like noisy, screeching girls; dogs barking; lawn mowers used to set him off - not any longer), touch (it's easy now to cut his hair, his nails etc...which previously was a big challenge), patience (he now understands to wait for a meal, to wait his turn or sit patiently in a restaurant with his parents, without being noticed as having any challenges at all). When I last saw him in October, after the trials, it was like sitting next to a different child. He laughed at my jokes, held an appropriate distance (being friendly and close to me, but not too close - as before), responded appropriately to different questions, even though not much in a verbal way. It was a real pleasure to see the difference, which his parents, who had tried just about everything available today to help Autistic Individuals, commented on and also appreciated.

There will be another round of trials, with another - even more user-friendly version of the NOIT - and again the NOIT team from Davis Autism Approach America is looking for canditates. If you know of anyone, wanting to participate, please contact me on:

0402 686 327 (Barbara)

or hoi.barbara1@gmail.com

More info about the NOIT on this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU8fZn1uLBI


Hyperlexia and Autism

Posted by hoi.barbara1@gmail.com on December 13, 2012 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

What an interesting week I had with a lovely 15-year old boy - Autistic & Hyperlexic.

Had a discussion with his mum: "I prefer he was labelled "Hyperlexic". They show many of the symptoms of Autism - but  Hyperlexia can be helped, the Autistic label seems to stick"

I had more the impression that every Autistic person shows a different aspect of the genius/disability of Autism. Hyperlexia is one of the many facets. Like most others parts of the puzzle, there is a way to solve them.

What do you think?

The boy I worked with - being Hyperlexic - was reading perfectly, as far as decoding words go. However, the comprehension was very limited. For one week, we implemented tools of focus, attention, individuation and an energy dial to slow down the reading and add the meaning. 

So many things have changed, gradually the words start to become pictures, instead of confusing symbols. Wonderful to see.

It's a credit to the mum that she had already achieved much of the ground work, as H. showed great focus already and had mastered his frustration and other issues prior to seeing me.

I loved this week! Tomorrow they will return to Perth!

Autistic girl typing her feelings

Posted by hoi.barbara1@gmail.com on October 26, 2012 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I think that is a truly great insight into the mind of an Autistic girl,

showing us that there is much more than meets the eye.

"A normal child locked into a body she has no control over!"


http://www.wimp.com/autisticgirl/


Anat Baniel

Posted by hoi.barbara1@gmail.com on July 12, 2012 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm impressed with the work of Anant Baniel (trained in Feldenkrais) - and especially with her success working with 'Movement with Attention' to help young Autistic individuals.

check it out: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-9NrVePsTA

 


3 Myths of Autism explored

Posted by hoi.barbara1@gmail.com on April 5, 2012 at 3:40 AM Comments comments (0)

INTERNATIONAL AUTISM AWARENESS DAY

On Monday, April 2, was International Autism Awareness Day. From the sails of the Sydney Opera House, to the Great Buddha at Kobi in Japan and the the Empire State Building , some of the greatest landmarks around theworld were lit up in blue to mark this day.

Currently 220,000 Australians,  1 in 100, are diagnosed as Autistic.

My aim is to challenge common assumptions about Autism and shed a new light on them, to shift your perspective to Awareness, Knowledge and Acceptance.

1.      Unfortunately, one of the most common assumptions is, that Autistic people are brain-damaged, or have a lower intelligence than the average person. THIS IS NOT TRUE! Neither is it true, that most Autistic people show ‘Savant’-Traits like ‘the Rainman’ from the movie, abilities such as amazing mathematical, musical or artistic gifts. In fact, only about 2 % of the Autistic population has the ‘Savant’-label added. Because Autistic individuals often have trouble expression themselves, they are being labelled as having a lower IQ than others. However, when given the tools to orient themselves to their environment, they begin to show their true intelligence and can think in ways well beyond the average person.

Autism causes a failure of the senses to fully perceive, understand and integrate information from people or objects in the environment. In essence, Autistic people are in a disoriented state most of the time. What does it mean to be disoriented?

Most people experience states of disorientation from time to time:  our mind and with it our senses seem to split from our body, when we are overly stressed, in pain, tired, confused or frustrated. Have you ever noticed that sometimes people speak to you, and only a small part of you is actually listening, while your mind is somewhere else completely. We may give vague answers, or forget most of what we were told. Now multiply the stress or overwhelm that caused you to disorient by 1000 and see how much of what is actually said will be taken in.

So why multiply stress by 1000? Everything in the environment of an Autistic individual can overstimulate their senses, as they are not aligned to their body. There is too much smell, too much sound, too much feeling…

You cannot truly measure a person’s IQ when they are not present in their body. Without the mind present there is no personality, no individuality, no identity. Ron Davis told us that his IQ was measured below 50, before he had found a way of becoming ‘individuated’ and experienced a true sense of ‘self’, after which his IQ was re-tested at 137.

 

2.      The second perception is that Autistic people want to be alone, can’t empathize with others and have no feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth. Autistic people do have trouble making or keeping friends, but mostly they yearn to be part of a group, to be invited, included and have at least ONE real friend. In fact, making a friend is the greatest factor of motivation when working with an Autistic person.

Perhaps most saddening is the myth, that if someone is Autistic and not very good at speaking, that they don’t have feelings and can’t hear, when people talk about them. In fact, their hearing is TOO good. Having the ‘mind’s ear’ nowhere near the body means that it can travel to wherever the noises are coming from and cause huge frustration and anxiety when there are too many noises present from too many different regions in the environment. The toilet flushing next door might sound like a tsunami, the lawn mower just outside unbearable, and as intolerable as screeching children or the horns of cars.  With social interactions mainly happening in groups, schoolyards, in restaurants or at parties, you can imagine the conflict this causes for Autistic youth when faced with the prospect of making a friend.

The disorientation I mentioned before is experienced in different ways by different individuals, but invariably leads to a failure to develop appropriate executive functioning and social skills. This affects their communication, basic social interactions, understanding unwritten rules and developing friendships/relationships.

People on the AS (Autistic Spectrum) are highly sensitive and as such pick up emotions from their environment, which may lead to such an overload of energy, that this results in ways of expelling this excess, by twirling, swinging, flapping,rocking, stimming… All these behaviours aren’t exactly socially acceptable, nor does an environment filled with such stimuli help the Autistic individual to cope.

What I have found very helpful is to completely empty  my mind and my emotional landscape before I meet with these amazing beings.

 

3.      The third myth is that Autistic children are badly behaved…and if only parents would discipline them properly. That is a huge misperception.

With senses not perceiving the environment accurately, life is very confusing. Sounds and lights are overwhelming, any change provokes anxiety, labels on clothes may feel so rough that they simply cannot be tolerated, sometimes just being forced to look a teacher in the eye, can be experienced as extremely painful. Life for these families is very unpredictable, as the levels of sensitivities and behaviours change from day to day, meltdowns and socially inappropriate behaviour is only another unknown incident away. These children have no control over their own disorientation, they don’t experience life the way we do. They feel things more than us and I don’t know if I’d last one day on such sensory overload.

 

How would you feel about having one of these ‘blue’ days?

I leave you with a quote from an Autistic adult, that sums up my talk beautifully:

“ I hate looking stupid…it’s the one thing I am not.

I hate having something to say, but no-one is listening, as I can’t get it out.

I hate feeling like walking in sand – without leaving footprints,

Without the feeling of having been here at all.”

 

WHAT IS AUTISM FOR DAVIS FACILITATORS

Posted by hoi.barbara1@gmail.com on March 14, 2012 at 2:50 AM Comments comments (0)

 

What is Autism in your own words?

>> I believe that Autism, including Asperger's and PDD- NOS, are a failure of

>> the senses to fully perceive, understand and integrate information from the

>> objects or people in the environment. In essence, individuals with Autism

>> are in a disoriented state most of the time. Because each person

>> experiences this in a different way, we see a large variation of how this

>> looks for individuals, but, in most of my clients, I see that this has led

>> to a failure of the individual to develop appropriate executive functioning

>> and social skills. This affects things like focus and attention,

>> communication, basic social interactions, understanding unwritten rules,

>> and developing relationships... the list goes on and on...It also seems to

>> prevent a person from developing a complete sense of self, a true identity.

>> There is a positive side to Autism too though - because the senses of

>> individuals with Autism are different or are being used differently, they

>> are highly perceptive of many things others miss. Individuals with Autism

>> are often gifted visual-spatial thinkers too, and our history is rich with

>> contributions in physics, art, music, and business made by people who were

>> Autistic.


>> What are common assumptions about people with Autism?

>> Unfortunatley, some of the most common assumptions are about the

>> intelligence of people with Autism. Because people with Autism often have

>> trouble expressing themselves, they are often labeled as having a lower IQ

>> than others. This is not true. When given the tools to orient themselves to

>> their environment, they begin to show us their true intelligence and can

>> think in ways the rest of us can't begin to fathom. The other thing I hear

>> is the "Forest Gump" perception. Many people think that individuals with

>> Autism always have savant skills which, again, is not always true. Also,

>> because individuals with Autism often have trouble making or keeping

>> friends, people assume they want to be alone. This isn't always true. Many

>> Autistic individuals yearn to be part of a group and need to be invited and

>> included. Perhaps most saddening, is the belief that if someone is Autistic

>> and not very good at speaking that they don't have feelings and can't hear

>> people when they talk about the person. There is nothing further from the

>> truth.


>>> What does the “Autism Spectrum” mean?

>>> Each individual affected by Autism spends varying amounts of time in a

>> disoriented state and mis-perceives his or her environmnet in different

>> ways depending on which senses are affected. This adds up to huge variation

>> of the severity of the characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Some

>> people who may have the diagnosis of Autism may be socially akward but

>> highly intelligent and funtion fully in thier family, work, and community

>> while another person diagnosed with Autism may be fully non-verbal and

>> completely dependant on others for their care.

>>

>>> What do you see as the biggest struggles for people with Autism?

>> First, the day to day things. With senses not perceiving the environment

>> accurately, life can be very confusing. Sounds and lights can be

>> overwhelming, certain situations can provoke anxiety. If someone is

>> severely affected, just finding clothing that can be tolerated can be a

>> huge struggle. Taking a wider view, I believe that stereotypes are the

>> biggest problem. Overcoming the stigma to be able to show the world that

>> people with Autism have valuable gifts. I also believe that societal norms

>> are difficult for peple with Autism. For example, a child with Autism may

>> be experiencing physical pain if forced to look a teacher or parent in the

>> eye, but, as a society, we expect it and don't understand why something

>> which seems so easy for most is so hard for some. Our society lacks

>> tolerance, and this makes the world very harsh for an individual with

>> Autism.

>>>

What do you see as the biggest struggles for families supporting someone with Autism?

>> The biggest struggle I see for the families I work with is the

>> unpredictability of the sensitivity and behaviours of a person with Autism.

>> So many people with Autism become overwhelmed in typical settings and this

>> leads to meltdowns or other socially inappropriate behaviours. Also,

>> because individuals with Autism are just like the rest of us in that they

>> have good and bad days, one day a trip to the store may be tolerable, and

>> the next it leads to a difficult situation. So much of life with a person

>> on the Autism Spectrum is unpredictable. It makes it very hard to plan

>> ahead for things.

>>>

 What advice would you give to families who are supporting someone with Autism?

>> Recognize that your loved one has no control over his or her

>> disorientation and it is very likely that they don't perceive or feel

>> things the way you do.

If you could say anything to the general public about Autism, what would it be?

>> Lose the stereotypes, celebrate what each individual has to offer, and be

>> tolerant of others.


autistic girl

Posted by hoi.barbara1@gmail.com on February 17, 2012 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)

It's interesting, but nothing new. 

I know there is a better way and seeing what my Autistic boy - who I am not really talking about - who is on the device from Ron, is able to do now... wow!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vNZVV4Ciccg#!


Still, it's an insight into the world of Autism.

barbara

New Autism Program Introduced To Australia

Posted by hoi.barbara1@gmail.com on October 12, 2011 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (0)




It is estimated that autism now affects 1 in 100 children and its prevalence is growing rapidly.


New to Australia, and spreading internationally is the Davis Autism Approach® . It is a program designed by an Autistic for Autistics.


Ron Davis was born a severe autistic in 1942. At school they  labelled him uneducatably retarded and his mother was told he had the intelligence of a chimpanzee.


Around the age of nine, Davis began to emerge from his autism. At the age of 17, he took an IQ test and scored quite high.  It was decided to place him in speech therapy so that he could begin to speak.


In 1981, he performed experiments and made a breakthrough discovery in correcting dyslexia. This lead to him establishing the Reading Research Council in Burlingame, CA. Since then, Davis has published two best-selling books, 'The Gift Of Dyslexia', and 'The Gift Of Learning'. His learning programs are now being offered in over 40 nations and 30 different languages. Autism Sydney has been providing these dyslexia programs successfully for the last 8 years here in Sydney.


Davis began addressing autism in 1982. Among those who came for help in reading, were children and adults on the autism spectrum. The successes these individuals experienced using the Davis methods began his quest to develop a standardized program for addressing autism.


Davis said. "If I could find my own way through the chaos and if I could provide a 'map' for others of my kind to follow, there would be value in my existence.' This program is that map!


In January 2011, Barbara Hoi, founder of Autism Sydney, is the first Australian to be trained and licensed by Davis in the delivery of the autism program. Barbara is currently the only facilitator in Australia.


Hoi says, 'I am honoured to be representing Ron and being a part of his dream. The purpose of providing this program is to enable the autistic individual to participate more fully in life.'


Autism Sydney is offering information sessions on this ground breaking approach.


Ron Davis discusses his childhood autism, his adult dyslexia, and how he first realized that he could correct his own dyslexia.

Posted by hoi.barbara1@gmail.com on October 4, 2011 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (1)

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


For more information and videos about Ron Davis, Autism and The Davis Autism Approach® CLICK on the LINK below, then view MORE videos to the right hand side

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePsVlNhAhbI   


Need To Talk?

If you are wanting to talk to us to find out more about our specialised Autism solutions, and to find out what programes would best suit your child, please call  0402 686 327 or send an e -mail to hoi.barbara1@gmail.com  for your no obligation consultation.




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