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Waldon Teaches

Bishopswood School June 2013

Schools in Oxfordshire

Young Adult


Teaching aids


About Geoffrey Waldon


Sorting and matching

Waldon's Book (early draft)

Walter Solomon

Chris Holland

Mary Jo Middleton

With a foreward by
Prof. Colwyn Trevarthen

Chapter abstracts

Author's preface

1st two pages

Child development



Autism and Understanding on Facebook twitter page Walter on LINKED IN

© Walter Solomon 2020

April to May 2016 News on Walter's presentation in New York City and the opening of the Jerusalem Waldon Center.
Read more about it on his new website:


December 14 2015 The Young Child Expo and Conference in New York April 13-15 2016 has invited us to present a half day pre conference workshop on Tuesday April 12th from 09.00 - 12.00
It will be crowded so book your places early.

Please see The Young Child Expo website for more information.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 (9:00am - 12:00pm)

The Waldon Approach - A Sensory-Motor Intervention for Neuro-Developmental Disorders

Walter Solomon, MA, Waldon Practitioner, The Feuerstein Institute, Israel, Stephen M. Shore, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Special Education, Adelphi University, NY, & Daniel Posner, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital, NY

During this workshop, we will review the literature on the essential role of intentional sensory motor activity in the growing understanding of the typically developing child and how abnormalities in movement interfere with the cascade of typical development. Principles of the Waldon Approach will be outlined as described on the Waldon Development Chart. We will provide case studies within a multi-media presentation of the Waldon Lesson using children with both CP and ASD and demonstrate how parents can learn to work with their own children. Ongoing research on the effectiveness of the approach will be discussed and we will then proceed to a hands-on workshop using audience volunteers.


December 8 2015 Important review of my book in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Please click here, or the image below to download the PDF file.

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


November 30 1015 Website updated with new blogs one for parents and one for professionals, new research pages and new training and certification pages. See Blog Page.


This, the first blog in what is planned as a monthly series, is about how understanding arises in the typical child and what may get in the way of, or obstruct, 'normal' development 'Meaning from movement' is an expression Geoffrey Waldon used constantly; it is foundational to his theory of learning. Waldon believed that movement is the most consistent and regular source of experience and provides the structure of understanding, which develops alongside the movements.


October 19 2015 Just back from Cracow where there was an international autism conference and we held a side meeting to discuss the details of the study. All participants will use the same evaluation systems, which will be:

Waldon Assessment. This will be performed by the facilitator with video back up, and scored by a designated person who will carry out the evaluations at the sites in Jerusalem, the UK and New York
Vinelands Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS-II). This will be completed by the parents with assistance from the Social Worker at PBS.
Mullen-scales-of-early-learning. This will be performed by the designated person
Harimata Play.Care I-Pad app. This will be applied by the facilitator

Evaluation of the six children in the trial at PBS will take place before the first session, hopefully in October 2015, and in April and October 2016. If any of the trial participants will not be present in the following school year their evaluation will be brought forward to July 2015

Each participant must have a documented diagnosis of autism. All treatments as usual are permitted but must be declared. All co-morbidities must also be declared.

Parents must agree to give a 40-minute Waldon lesson each week and must declare each week how many lessons they gave in the previous week. This will be recorded. Parents must provide informed consent for the trial.

The six children who are enrolled in the autism classes at PBS but who are not a part of the trial will be the control group. As such they will be tested three times a year in the same manner as the treatment group. They must also provide informed consent.


September 17 2015 Met today with the six parents whose children will be enrolled in the study in Jerusalem. They are all keen to participate and to do their share by giving lessons at home. I am looking forward to getting started. But first I am going to Krakow in Poland for an autism conference next weekend. I will be meeting there with Jonathan, Mary Jo and Maria who have designed the study to ensure that we are following the same protocol.


September 13 2015 Have just signed my second year contract as Waldon Approach Consultant with the Princess Basma School. My job is to work with the children and to train parents and other therapists. This year will be special as there will be a new class of 3-4 year olds as well as the existing class of 7-8 year olds. We will be conducting the Jerusalem arm of a three location study to test the efficacy of the Waldon Approach including also Edinburgh and New York City. In Jerusalem we will work with three children from each class leaving three in each class as controls.


July 31 2015 I was invited to the inauguration ceremony of the newly renovated Child Rehabilitation Department at the Ptincess Basma Centre in the presence of His Beatitude Archbishop Suheil Dawani and the Governor of Jerusalem who is also PA Minister for Jerusalem


May 30 2015 I was present at a Waldon Study Group in Leeds on Saturday May 16th. There were about 20 people all deeply interested in Geoffrey Waldon's ideas. I gave a short paper on neuroplasticity which may be of interest to friends of this site. Contact me for a copy.


April 20 2015 Brick Building with Deji at the Feuerstein Institute


April 20 2015 World Autism Day at Princess Basma - recognise my handprint?

End of training on the Waldon Approach at Princess Basma for 10 therapists who you see taking the final theory test. Next they will have practical training working with the children there.


March 2015 New Cover Photo


March 2015 I was visited at the Princess Basma school by Chris McDouall an old college friend from Cambridge who still lives there in his retirement. He is an active member of the university church in Cambridge - Great St Mary's, and persuaded them to chose to support my work with autistic Arab children at the Princess Basma School in East Jerusalem, as one of their two Christmas charities. They raised 1620 UK pounds. It was a truly ecumenical project - a Christian church raising funds for a programme run by a Jewish Israeli in a school for Moslem Arab children directed by a Christian Arab under the auspices of the Diocese of Jerusalem!


March 17 2015 On February 1st I gave an invited lecture to the therapists at the Clalit Child Development Center in Talpiot, Jerusalem. Over 60 therapists and psychologists were present and asked interesting questions at the end of the talk.

I have also been continuing to see children and to train therapists both at The Feuerstein Institute and at The Princess Basma School. At the Feuerstein, I have begun to see more children with Cerebral Palsy. In this case I use the same approach but with added physicality as I have to encourage more of the movements which these children find difficult, each in their own way. It is wonderful to see the determination with which they approach the activities.


February 1 2015 I have been invited to give a lecture on February 1st on The Waldon Approach, Waldon's Philosophy of Child Development and the Waldon Lesson to assorted therapists at the Clalit Child Development Center in Jerusalem. They anticipate an audience of more than 50 people.


January 8 2015 SAGE have agreed to publish chapter five of my book Autism and Understanding as a stand alone pamphlet in Hebrew.


November 14 - 15 2014 Milan, Italy Wonderful two day training session at Imparole in Milan. Imparole works closely with the Feuerstein Institute in Jerusalem and having seen the Waldon Approach in action there invited us to go to Milan to train their staff. Richard and Annie Brooks joined me and we all enjoyed the experience. We gave both theory alessons and hands on practice and included two live lessons with their children. Annie and Richard made the Tree of Understanding as a marvellous way of explaining Geoffrey Waldon's Development Chart


March 2014 A large selection of sorting, matching and sequencing cards are now available from the on-line shop.


Summer 2014 Princess Basma Centre I work every Wednesday at the Princess Basma Centre for Children with Disabilites on The Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem where I give a Waldon Lesson to five or six children with ASD and train other therapists and teachers in the Waldon Approach. Here are some photos of last week's class which was on the use of tools - scribbling - and some of my students signed their masterpieces! - at Princess Basma Centre for Children with Disabilities


15 August 2014 In the USA Am in the US staying with Robert and Yelena and their two gorgeous daughters!


June 2014 Save a Child's Heart I continue to work at Save a Child's Heart associated with the Wolfson Hospital in Holon near Tel Aviv. Here are a couple of photos of one year old Joshua from Tanzania who is waiting for open heart surgery. These photos emphasise the importance of the older children working at activities which they find difficult whilst little Joshua picks up and places these large bricks and manoeuvres them onto the poles on his own.


May 2014 Waldon Approach / Functional Learning Workshop Saturday May 17th

Waldon Approach/Functional Learning Workshop

Saturday May 17th
Bishopswood Special School, Sonning Common, Oxfordshire, England

10.30 Registration and Coffee

11.00 Welcome and the Israeli experience - Walter Solomon

11.30 How do children learn to be adaptable? Can we teach adaptability? Richard Brooks

12.30 Plenary Session - Richard Brooks, Jane Blatt and Mary Jo Middleton, Alan Proctor

13.15 Lunch

14.00 Hands-on Demonstrations - Early Development and Sequencing

Participants will be divided into groups according to experience and will move around three workstations. The sessions will cater both for people new to, and people already with experience in The Waldon Approach.

16.30 Wrap up
17.00 Close

Richard Brooks is an Advisory Teacher and Area Manager in the Oxfordshire Communication and Interaction Service and was responsible for introducing the Waldon Approach into the county special needs system

Jane Blatt is a Teacher and Waldon Approach/Functional Learning Practitioner. She was trained by Geoffrey Waldon and worked alongside Alan Proctor for her probationary teacher year

Mary Jo Middleton is a Physiotherapist and Waldon Approach Practitioner. She was also trained by Geoffrey Waldon and is a co-author of Autism and Understanding SAGE 2012

Alan Proctor is an experienced counsellor and was headmaster of the School Group at High Wick Psychiatric Hospital for Children where he used the Waldon Approach/Functional learning for many years.
He is a co-author of Every Child Can Learn SAGE 2008

Walter Solomon is a parent turned practitioner
He is author of Autism and Understanding SAGE 2012

Cost £35.00 to include buffet lunch
(at)waltersolomon (twitter)

RSVP to walter(at) by April 15th, but early booking is advisable as these workshops are becoming increasingly well attended.


April 2014 An article has appeared in Ha'Aretz. Ha'Aretz is "Israel's oldest daily newspaper, and enjoys a reputation of quality reporting" (Wikipedia). You can read it here.


September 2013 Waldon Approach / Functional Learning Workshop Saturday October 19th

Waldon Approach/Functional Learning Workshop

Saturday October 19th
Bishopswood Special School, Sonning Common, Oxfordshire, England

10.30 Registration and Coffee

11.00 Welcome - Walter Solomon

11.10 Waldon in the Classroom, Playground and Beyond - Alan Proctor
Followed by Plenary Session with Alan Proctor, Richard Brooks, Jane Blatt and Mary Jo Middleton

13.15 Lunch

14.00 Hands-on Demonstrations

  1. Picking up and putting in - which leads to
  2. Separating and sorting - which leads to
  3. Intersectional sorting
Participants will be divided into three groups and will move around three workstations. They will learn to appreciate how these activities all form part of a continuum of the development of the sorting tool

16.45 Discussion and wrap up
17.30 Close

Alan Proctor was headmaster of the School Group at High Wick Psychiatric Hospital for Children where he used the Waldon Approach/Functional learning for many years. He is a co-author of Every Child Can Learn SAGE 2008

Richard Brooks is an Educational Psychologist in Oxfordshire and was responsible for introducing the Waldon Approach into the county special needs system.

Jane Blatt is a Teacher and Waldon Approach/Functional Learning Practitioner. She was trained by Geoffrey Waldon and worked alongside Alan Proctor for her probationary teacher year.

Mary Jo Middleton is a Physiotherapist and Waldon Approach Practitioner. She was also trained by Geoffrey Waldon and is a co-author of Autism and Understanding SAGE 2012.

Walter Solomon is a parent turned practitioner
He is author of Autism and Understanding SAGE 2012

Cost £35.00 to include buffet lunch and workshop DVD
(at)waltersolomon (twitter)

RSVP to walter(at) by September 30th


August 2013 First introduction in the USA

7.00 - 9.00 PM Thursday August 22
Novel Places Bookstore
23341 Frederick Road (Rte 355)
Clarksburg, MD 20871

The author sets out an approach based on Dr. Geoffrey Waldon's philosophy of the development of understanding which centers on helping children learn-how-to-learn.

Both parent and author Walter Solomon and recovered autistic Robert Solomon will be present.
Cheese, wine and cookies and soft drinks will be served.

RSVP to walter(at)


June 2013 Waldon Approach Workshop Saturday June 15th With thanks to Stephen Passey, head teacher at Bishopswood Special School the following workshop has been arranged.

Date: Saturday June 15th 2013 Registration and refreshments: 11.00 Workshop: 11.30 am to 5.00 pm Location: Bishopswood Special School, Sonning Common, Oxfordshire Nearest mainline station: Reading.

Cost £25.00 to include buffet lunch

Programme: The day will start with an introduction covering the Waldon theory including a 48 minute video demonstration of an actual lesson with live discussion. The rest of the day will be devoted to hands on participation in the use of the Learning to Learn Tools and their precursors.

Mary Jo Middleton will introduce this with a session devoted to space structuring, bodily integration and the emergence of continuant activity and how these underlying aims are developed within each of the learning-to-learn tools. Then the attendees will be split into groups with enough time for everyone to have a good session at each of about five work stations - including suitable tea breaks. Mary Jo was a student of Geoffrey Waldon as were most of the facilitators manning the workstations.

This is an incomparable opportunity for parents and teachers whatever the stage of their learning of The Waldon Approach/Functional Learning.

Please reserve your place ASAP by email to: walter(at)
(replace the ‘at’ with an@)


Spring 2013 Yet another excellent and comprehensive review. This time by the Union Aspect in their quarterly magazine /Improvement/ which goes out to their four thousand members who are school inspectors, advisors, consultants, SIPs, Sure Start heads, education social workers, youth service managers, school welfare managers, Early Years practitioners etc. other education and some social care trade unionists, some journalists and academics in the field. Read more >>> on the Reviews Page


2 March 2013 'This is a book I am going to treasure' - excellent new review from the
National Autistic Society in the Spring issue of their magazine.


25 February 2013 “This is an important book for mental health professionals…..” see new book review Walter will be working again at the Bishopswood Special School in Sonning Common for a week from March 11th and giving a workshop for the parents Last bookings this week for The Waldon Association Workshop in Leeds on Saturday March 16th. Contact Terry Buchan -


20 November 2012 The Edinburgh workshop was a great success with over thirty people participating. The interest in the Waldon Approach/Functional Learning increases daily and this time participants were able to see Videos and participate in a hands-on workshop with experts demonstrating the learning-how-to-learn tools. Here are some photos of the event. Edinburgh workshop and book launch Edinburgh workshop and book launch Edinburgh workshop and book launch Edinburgh workshop and book launch 'Waldon Works' a Waldon Approach/Functional Learning workshop and Book Launch was held in Edinburgh, Friday November 16th. Waldon Works double launch


20 October 2012 The TES Special Needs Show was last Saturday. I spoke to a group of about 50 people and there was standing room only at the lecture space in the exhibition hall

TES Special Needs Show TES Special Needs Show
TES Special Needs Show TES Special Needs Show
TES Special Needs Show TES Special Needs Show Waldon Association Q&A and workshop
Organized by The Waldon Association


Saturday 20th October, 12 - 5pm, at the Quaker Meeting House
188 Woodhouse Lane Leeds LS2 9DX.

The idea is to address questions about any aspect of Waldon, using hands-on practice and demonstration to explore why lesson activities are carried out as they are. If people send questions to me beforehand it will help in grouping them and working through them systematically, but of course you may raise them on the day. Please let me know by the end of September if you would like to come, and do pass on this email to anyone not already included who you think might be interested - parent, carer, practitioner, other professional, etc. I'll send participants a programme for the day in October; but the session is essentially about focused discussion arising from participants' questions, combined with practical work with equipment. There is no charge for the event. Refreshments will be provided and a vegetarian lunch will be available. Contact: Terry Buchan: (Replace the at with @)


Friday November 16th
Quaker Meeting House, Edinburgh Scottish Launch for Autism and Understanding and Every Child Can Learn. Both books published by SAGE about the Waldon Approach to Functional Learning. Programme in preparation.

Contact: Chris Holland: (Replace the at with @)
On-line shop now open for business with books and teaching aids to help with the Waldon lessons.


18 July 2012 Ask the Expert page from Taech primary Magazine

The Ask the Expert article which was published
in Teach primary magazine recently, is available
as a PDF here. (1.3Mb)


22 June 2012 An article has appeared in the Ham&High. You can read it here. Ham and High article click image to read PDF


14 June 2012 Two new articles about the book now on the Media Page. Click the image to read PDFs Fresh Outlook article Camden New article


31 May 2012 A Podcast of Walter being interviewed by Marianne Lagrange is on the Media Page. We suggest that you download it to your MP3 player to listen to in your car; when you are running; or even while doing the laundry.


30 April 2012 NASEN 2012 is in Bolton May 23-24 and I will be attending both days. My book will be on display at the meeting. Register at Nasen LIVE, TOP RIGHT


30 April 2012 Teach Primary Magazine Walter has been invited to write the Ask The Expert column in this month's Teach Primary Journal.


30 April 2012 June 14th - Waldon Approach workshop in London. Maximum 15 participants. Contact through the website for more information. June 14th - BOOK LAUNCH - in London for Autism and Understanding. Contact through the website for more information.


30 April 2012 The Autism Show The Autism Show 2012 will be at ExCel June 15 and 16 and I will be attending
on both days.


11 April 2012 I am starting to make arrangements for my tour of South Asia this autumn. The plan is to talk to both parents and teachers of autistic children, the younger the better, and to introduce them to the Waldon Approach. Following the old Chinese proverb: 'Teach me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand', the workshops will be in three parts: Teach me 1. Talk on Geoffrey Waldon
and his philosophy of child development 2. Talk on The Waldon Approach Show me 3. Demonstration of the asocial lesson Involve me 4. Hands on practice of the components of the lesson SAGE India have promised their help in organizing this. Map of India


03 April 2012 Just heard that Waterstone’s will be stocking the book at its main stores - about fifteen of them. Which means that the others will be able to order it quickly as well. Such brilliant news.

Link to Waterstone On-Line
Waterstones logo
Hardback | Paperback
Waterstones Logo


20 March 2012 I am back from four weeks of work at the Autism Bases at the four Oxfordshire schools. It was very interesting to see how most of the time the children concentrated on their tasks, usually deriving pleasure from the activities. Much of their avoidance or self pleasuring behaviours dropped away whilst they were working. Usually but not always; but when they seemed to feel under pressure it was easy to drop back to a simpler activity which they understood. Here are some photos of the work. I hope to return in September and have another training session including the parents. It has been an invaluable learning experience for me so many thanks to the schools involved. Working in Oxfordshire schools Matching Working in Oxfordshire schools Sequencing Working in Oxfordshire schools Boatmen


03 March 2012 Twelve people, mostly experienced teachers with some still learning about the Waldon Approach met at my flat last Saturday March 3rd to discuss how best to help parents interested in giving their children Waldon Approach lessons. Our toymaker came and showed the teaching aids which are basic to the work and these should be available on the website before the end of the month. We then had a delicious curry from Guglee - my favourite local Indian restaurant - and set out to establish a working group of teachers ready to help people get started. It was a brilliant meeting with many old friends seeing each other after sometimes 20 years or more. We are hoping to arrange a workshop for teachers before the book launch on June 14th. Waldon teacher's group at Walter's flat


03 March 2012 Two weeks into giving lessons at schools in Oxfordshire and I have given over thirty lessons mainly to autistic children ranging in ages from four to nine. It has been a rewarding process and I have learnt a lot. As one of the teachers said: ‘You have benefited, we (the other teachers) have benefited and the children have benefited’. For me it has been yet another validation of everything I believe passionately about. It has not always been easy; I have met with plenty of resistance, especially in the first lesson I have given them. But these children have been focusing for up to an hour and giving up their self-delighting behaviours and working hard and usually enjoyably at their learning activities. Walter will be recording a podcast next Friday.


20 February - 20 March 2012 Walter will be acting as a volunteer classroom assistant in four schools within the Autism Resource Base of the Oxfordshire Education Authority. The schools are St Nicholas in Oxford, Chinnor Primary School, and the infant and primary departments of Bishopswood School in the south of the county. This will be for four weeks between 20 February and 20 March 2012.


20 February 2012 Walter will be participating in a Waldon Approach teaching or inset day at Bishopswood Primary on Monday, 20 February 2012.


Saturday 03 March 2012 There will be a meeting of Waldon Approach teachers and prospective teachers in Belsize Park on Saturday March 3rd. Anyone interested in joining this group please see the Getting started page and use the Contact form. Research


Friday, 9 March 2012 Walter will be making a Podcast at the SAGE offices on Friday, 9 March 2012.


End of May 2012 The book will be published towards the end of May 2012.


25 January 2012 A long lost Waldon patient has surfaced in South Africa.
See his email under testimonials. Top