Autism Breakthroughs

"While research is focused on identifying specific mechanisms underlying autism, families are searching for an understanding of the disorder that will enable them to manage their child and to develop a strategy to optimize their child’s potential"
~ Dr Stephen W. Porges

This journal examines breakthroughs in autism therapy.


Organicity, non-violence, unity, whole-ism & autism

Pat Ogden​I recently listened to a wonderful talk by Pat Ogden on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and it aligns so well with my approach - which is of course so different from most.

I closely relate to Pat Ogden’s 4 principles - organicity; non-violence; unity and whole-ism being ways to embody how you relate to yourself first and then to your clients - especially when we are working with people on the autism spectrum! (of course!)

So often, well-meaning people take an approach with autism that has a directive undertone of 'I know best'; 'you need to learn as I see fit'.

They know how to take an approach that says 'you are whole'; and 'I know you have the answers inside you' with the general population, but when they work with those on the autism spectrum that courtesy is not afforded.

  • If we decide that this population 'do not know' how to deal with their issues,  the focus is on instruction and direction.
    • While this may keep people alive and safe from running out on the street, or keep their teeth clean, it does not help when we want to bring about significant change. (if indeed we believe this is possible!).
  • Even if we are working psychologically with people on the spectrum, very, very often, we dismiss this very important human proposition.

Body sensation

What I see in my work is that people on the spectrum begin to blossom when you deal with their organic, body sensation; when you alleviate the organic , learnt sensation - just as Pat Ogden is describing in her more psychotherapeutic approach. And you cannot account for the direction of that growth. It is just that - organic. It is an offence to the inherent integrity of the person in front of you to think you know what that the type and extent of growth will be.

A lot of people on the spectrum are so, so sick and tired of people telling them who/how to be - )...

My work is sometimes not taken seriously by professionals in Australia, (perhaps not understood?) and this is often from people who take an approach that is, I suggest, opposite to this. They think at base that people on the spectrum need to learn, but what I see is that they learn very, very well when they feel safe, when they feel well met and when their body system is alleviated.

I think people on the spectrum need the same as we all do: "a deep seated acceptance of the ability of the system to re-organise itself to health." and I do not see this as often as I would like.   ...yet!!!

What is happening is that, at a grass roots level, people are starting to gravitate to what they see to be true. Therein lies the potential for real change.