Please help me continue to improve the lives of children with special needs. They can be helped, I am helping many, but funds are needed now if the work is to continue and the next generation of Waldon Approach practitioners is to be trained and the ongoing clinical research is to be expanded and completed.
Neurologist Dr. Geoffrey Waldon developed a movement-based approach to treating children with atypical development and in the past three three years, since I moved to Jerusalem, I have personally worked with over 75 children with autism, cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders.
My son Robert, at age 2, was written off by the medical establishment as “remote, retarded and with challenging behavior”. Today he is married with two beautiful daughters and holds a good job as a web developer. Robert’s case took several years of patient although rewarding work—and as the case studies in my book Autism and Understanding attest, dozens of affected children have made remarkable gains.
The Waldon Approach is used at several schools in Oxfordshire in the UK and is now being introduced into the USA, France, Germany and Italy. Your help is essential to bring this potentially transformative, inexpensive and family friendly treatment to a much wider population of families and practitioners
The practitioner’s task is to train the parents to work with their own children and I need to develop a research and training centre in Jerusalem where we can train therapists from around the world. I already have teachers trained and ready to start working with children. Once the centre is fully open it will be self supporting.
In the last three years in Israel I have progressed from practitioner, to trainer, and to researcher. I have been invited to run workshops internationally (Florence, Berlin, and New York), on autism and early learning. The free on-line training section on my website supports the hands-on training which is so essential http://www.autismandunderstanding.com/professionalSite-new.php
My book Autism and Understanding (SAGE 2012) was favourably reviewed in the Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders and I just returned from presenting a three-hour workshop at the Young Child Expo and Conference in New York where we engaged with over 60 parents and therapists from around the world.
Up to now I have funded all this from my own pocket and now I must raise additional funds to move up to the next level. The New York workshop cost £7,000 and excited over 60 parents and therapists who attended; £3,000 will finance the open access publication of peer reviewed papers – you have to pay for this these days – and my peer reviewed paper about an adult with autism whose life I was able to change is now on line http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00050.
£30,000 is needed to develop the Jerusalem Waldon Center for clinical research, for the treatment of children and for training new Waldon practitioners. This includes £20,000 to subsidise fees for low income families who have children with developmental delay. £25,000 will support a research study to validate the Waldon Approach together with the new Centre for Autism at Hebrew University/Hadassah Hospital. This study which has already commenced at the Princess Basma School for Children with Disabilities will be the Jerusalem arm of an international study designed by the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.
The benefits children achieve through their Waldon Lessons is permanent and appears to be both more effective and less expensive than the behaviourist treatments currently in vogue. Please see my website http://waldonapproach.org/ for information on the Movement Perspective and how the repetitive and effortful movements exercised in the Waldon Lesson help to develop new neural pathways in the child’s brain. Simulating the action of a young child in solitary play we recreate the critical learning activities which may have been missed in the child’s early years.
Together we can ensure that more children can be helped and make certain that we train the next generation of therapists. With your contributions very many more children can be saved!
Please contribute: £10,000 – £5,000 – £3,000 – £1,000 – £500 – £100 – £50 – £25 or the equivalent in whatever currency suits you best. Any amount will will be more than welcome and most are rewarded with a copy of my book and generous free lessons for children over Skype with ASD or other problems, who you may sponsor. The greatest reward will be knowing that you’re helping hundreds of children start to enjoy and to engage with the world.