In Memorial to Judy Bluestone
Dec. 12, 1944 -- Feb. 18, 2009



Recommended Reading by the founder of The HANDLE(R)Institute

 Judith Bluestone The Fabric of Autism: Weaving the Threads into a Cogent Theory, Seattle: The HANDLE Institute, 2004.
 The Churkendoose Anthology, Seattle: The HANDLE Institute.










What is HANDLE?

HANDLE is an approach to neurodevelopmental irregularities that is simple, non-invasive, empowering, non-drug. It is an approach designed to enhance neurological systems that are causing learning or life difficulties. 

Many Disorders, One Approach

Just as no two fingerprints are alike, no two people have the same arrangement of pathways that carry messages to, within, and from their brain. That is, each of us acquires slightly different neurodevelopmental patterns. Many children and adults who experience difficulties in learning, task performance, or social interaction have neurodevelopmental irregularities which interfere with processing. HANDLE has helped individuals diagnosed with a wide variety of labels and disorders, by understanding that neurodevelopmental irregularities are the root cause of most difficulties.

HANDLE helps each person reach or regain their full potential with an individualized program of seemingly simple, organized movement activities that require virtually no special equipment to gently enhance functioning.

HANDLE prefers the the term "differences" rather than "disorders," in celebration of neurodiversity and the uniqueness of individuals. However, HANDLE acknowledges mainstream labels and diagnoses as a form of shorthand to describe clusters of symptomatic behaviors.

HANDLE views all behavior as communication, rather than symptoms to be masked or controlled. HANDLE takes a "systems" view of the body and mind through which human behaviors can be seen as expressions of the functioning of the various parts of the body, especially of the nervous systems and the brain. These systems interact with each other dynamically, and when one is stressed or disabled, another may reflect the stress, like eyestrain causing a headache. Through skillful observation and analysis your HANDLE provider can discern which systems need to be protected to reduce stress and gently enhanced to reduce symptomatic behaviors.

Distinctive Features of HANDLE

  • Views the person as a whole
  • Looks beyond the labels for root causes of perplexing behaviors
  • Strengthens systems without stress through Gentle Enhancement®
  • Considers the person in relationship to his or her environment
  • Assists the brain to create efficient pathways through a "systems approach" (an understanding of the connections and interactions between components of a system)
  • Works globally, affects specifically
  • Provides a nonjudgmental observational evaluation

HANDLE employs nonjudgmental observational assessments and in-depth interviews to develop a "Neurodevelopmental Profile" instead of determining a score and providing a label. From the profile, understanding emerges of the root causes of the presenting concerns. Then, an individualized program is designed to enhance function.

While HANDLE is an individualized approach, in some cases a group program may be developed using HANDLE activities designed to suit the group setting and the individual needs of the group's members.

Official HANDLE website.

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