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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (JADD)
April 2016, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 1498-1499 Daniel Posner MD: Review of W. Solomon, C. Holland, M. J. Middleton: Autism and Understanding: The Waldon Approach to Child Development
SAGE Publications, London, 2012, 240 pp, $50.00 (paper), ISBN-10: 1446209245

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Case Report on the Use of the Waldon Approach on an Adult with Severe to Moderate Intellectual Disability with Autistic Tendencies
Walter G. Solomon and Eran Greenbaum

An unpublished paper on the Waldon Approach by Jiri Berger Ph.D in Iceland can be found on the companion website

THE FIRST CONTROLLED STUDY into the efficacy of the Waldon Approach will be a multi-center study designed by researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

In the UK
Practitioners from Glasgow, Leeds, London and Oxford will take part. See study design below. They are currently awaiting Helsinki Ethical Approval.

In Israel
The study has already started at the Princess Basma Centre for Children with Disabilities in Jerusalem with five children in the experimental group and five children in the control group. The Center for Autism, newly opened by Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem is also planning to participate.

In the USA
Discussions have started with researchers at Sinai Hospital New York.

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Participant Information Sheet – Experimental group

Name of department:  School of Education
Title of the study: 
Intensive Motor Training for Autism: Waldon Approach.


Movement patterns are now recognised as likely early indicators of health concerns. In fact, children learn by doing and inter-acting with the world. However, children with ASD show less motor exploration, which are observed at different levels such as in motor mannerisms (repetitive behaviour), in language (echolalia) and in general behaviour (strict routines).

The Waldon Approach is an intensive motor training that focuses therapeutic work on children’s physical exploration of the world. Waldon practitioners work within the child’s abilities and toward the creation of new patterns of self-generated experience to help the child to gain general understanding.

This research project will evaluate, for the first time, the effects of the Waldon Approach on young children with ASD. Dr. Delafield-Butt and PhD student Ferrara are collaborating with Ms Middleton and experienced Waldon Practitioners to evaluate beneficial effects that Waldon Approach has on children’s motor development. Possible impacts on children’s social abilities will also be investigated.

What is the purpose of this investigation?

This research study aims to evaluate the beneficial effects that Waldon Approach has on children over a period of 12 months. In particular, we are interested in evaluating:

  1. Waldon Approach’s efficacy over a period of 12 months.
  2. Waldon Approach’s efficacy compared to other therapies.
  3. Changes in children’s motor profile during and after Waldon Approach therapy.
  4. Changes in children’s social and adaptive behaviours during and after Waldon Approach therapy.

Your child will engage weekly with a Waldon Practitioner in a 40 minutes lesson. During the week we will ask to you to continue the training home for a total of 4 hours per week. Ms Maria Ferrara (PhD student at University of Strathclyde with background in Cognitive Psychology) and Ms Mary Jo Middleton (Waldon Practitioner) will assess your child’s ability 3 times during a period of 12 months: before the treatment, after 6 months and at the end of the study.