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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

Amazon Reviews

Reviews from Amazon UK

To see these reviews on Amazon UK, please click here

5.0 out of 5 stars like many other learning difficulties, 9 July 2014
By M. Nathan (London, England)
I found Walter Solomon's first hand account of Robert's history very moving and inspiring. The idea that autism, like many other learning difficulties, isn't always a lifetime condition is something I hadn't considered before. This book has been an insightful introduction to Waldon's approach to learning and development.

4.0 out of 5 stars Simple activities to help children with autism, 31 Dec. 2012
By Sibylle Janert
I use Waldon's ideas all the time in my home consultations with families and children with autism and I am most grateful to Walter for bringing this invaluable approach to remedying developmental delays to the attention of a wider public. The exercises are simple, using materials everybody can easily collect or already has in their house and that cost almost nothing, which makes this a most valuable approach for parents to use at home. I just wish more schools with autistic children knew about and used Waldon's methods! The children would make a lot more progress. In my experience, both parents and school staff are so relieved, when someone finally shows them activities that they can do with their child, and that make sense, because they are both so simple, yet so fundamentally basic, e.g. endless variations of 'picking up and putting down', - with small or heavy, identical or different objects or cards, into containers or onto game boards, using rhythm, visual differentiation or categorisation, depending on the child's developmental level. Lots of children with an autism diagnosis don't really do this. And parents and other caregivers often feel as lost as the child. So here are ideas and activities to help them discover other things to do than their usual flapping or stereotypical movements. Gradually the world begins to take on new meaning, for both the child and the adults things begin to make sense. Have a look! Also at the videos of children and adults doing these activities!

5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and gratifying, 22 Nov. 2012
By Peter Harris
When Robert Solomon was just two years old doctors gave his parents the heartbreaking news that he was "remote and subnormal" and that eventually he would not be able to be looked after at home and would have to be admitted to an institution. It was a diagnosis they refused to accept, entrusting their son's future instead to a doctor who, during a routine hospital appointment, told them that Robert was 98 per cent deaf to the sound of the human voice but that he believed that he would be able to help him. Through his "inspiration and genius" Robert's entrapped persona was gradually released and today, now in his 40s, he leads a normal life in America with his wife and two children. The remarkable story of his recovery and that of Dr Geoffrey Waldon, the late Manchester neurologist and educator who made it possible, is told by Robert's father, Walter Solomon in this inspiring - and very readable - book. As the former medical correspondent of the Manchester Evening News I interviewed Dr Waldon at the time he was working with Robert and I am gratified to note that Walter Solomon has included the article I wrote within the pages of his book. More importantly, I am even more gratified to have played a small part in helping to spread the Waldon gospel and to know that "Autism and Understanding" is now playing its part in helping other children like Robert. It is a must-read for any parent with an autistic child or, indeed, any health or educational professional who is working with children diagnosed with this condition.

5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading by all concerned with autism, 16 Nov. 2012
By Nigel
Autism and Understanding draws on the author's experience as the father of an autistic child who has benefited from a revolutionary teaching approach pioneered by Geoffrey Waldon for children born with a neurological disability. The book chronicles the author's son's life and development and explains how he has ultimately learnt to cope with the disorder, enter mainstream education, work for his living and successfully bring up a family of his own. It tells a most encouraging tale of perseverance in the face of adversity, it contains numerous other case studies of children at various levels on the autism spectrum and has an extensive bibliography on the subject matter. With a forward by Professor Colwyn Trevarthan, this important contribution to understanding and living with autism is written in a style and language which makes it a must for anybody with an interest in autism, with experience of autism and for educational and health professionals alike.

4.0 out of 5 stars Towards a life worth living, 12 Nov. 2012
By socrates
What a splendid work. The integrity and purpose of the authors shines through and dull indeed would he be of soul who did not appreciate the goal and hope they get there. Of course there were difficult passages and all sorts of resonances. I found the book both fascinating and moving. It offers a beacon. A way forward. It is a "must" for anyone looking after children with learning difficulties.

5.0 out of 5 stars Needful inspiration, 9 Nov. 2012
By MichaelG
This book brings autism into the realm of everyday understanding. It's not an academic book but takes the reader through Walter Solomon's personal research and experience in his heroic efforts to understand and to respond intelligently to his son's autism. It is both a moving record of his family's struggles and a source of information about the issues that so many parents of autistic children have to face. For anyone dealing with these issues, or for their supportive friends, this book offers much needed inspiration.

5.0 out of 5 stars Support for Learning, 9 Nov. 2012
By Mrs. Jane Blatt (Glasgow)
This is a heart warming book by a father of an autistic child who describes in vivid detail the learning approach created by the gifted Dr Geoffrey Waldon in the 1980's. This little boy was enabled, through years of hard work by Waldon and his parents, to grow up and out of his autism, to marry, have children and hold down a fulltime job. 'Autism & Understanding' by W. Solomon is a wonderful companion book to the Parent's Handbook: 'Every Child Can Learn' (Stroh et al)[[ASIN:1412947952 Every Child Can Learn: Using learning tools and play to help children with Developmental Delay (Book & CD-ROM)]a practical guide for parents and carers which describes in detail the Waldon Approach.

4.0 out of 5 stars Autism and the family, 1 Sept. 2012
By Magda
A most interesting and intelligent, well written book, dealing with an emotionally charged subject with admirable objectivity. The parents' dedication must have contributed to the successful outcome at least as much as the doctor's method. A fascinating read, highly recommended.

5.0 out of 5 stars A real insight and very useful for autistic child., 30 Nov. 2014
By D. Hyner "David MASSIVE GOALS Hyner" (UK)
Excellent book which gives a real insight into the Waldon Technique. I've started using some of the techniques with my severely autistic child (8 years old) and after a week can already see the difference. What I'd like to know is why isn't this technique used more in schools?

Reviews from Amazon USA

To see these reviews on Amazon UK, please click here

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for Parents with Children in Difficulty, December 3, 2014
By Beyondtheseacoast
G. Waldon was a pioneer neurologist whose work revolutionized the way children with delays are being helped -I should say in Great-Britain mostly, as it is ignored in the US. Waldon created a extraordinary method, all his own, that allowed the child who had missed milestones in his early years to catch up. It is impressive by its cleverness and its originality and it opens doors of hope for parents who are trying to help their child.

Most remarkably, G. Waldon's extraordinary work doesn't apply to children within a specific diagnosis. In his biographical tale, Walter Solomon retraces the progress of his autistic son towards a happy life, yet in a later chapter, he explains how the Waldon approach can help any child with delays, whatever the cause. You want to know how? Well, read this book. It is a mine of knowledge, the tale of a long family journey and a beautiful hope for all.

5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligently Written, Detailed Yet Accessible, Candid and Thought-Provoking, September 5, 2013
By Alianna J. Maren
In "Autism and Understanding," author Walter Solomon with co-authors Chris Holland and Mary Jo Middleton vividly portray the challenges - and potential way forward - for helping an autistic child. This book was inspired when Mr. Solomon's own autistic son, Robert, was significantly helped through the protocols developed by Dr. Geoffrey Waldon. I was initially intrigued by the book's intellectual premise, and then had an opportunity to hear both Walter and Robert speak at a book signing for this book. Their story was moving and eloquent. Robert, in particular, was inspiring - he holds down a professional job and is happily married. His ability to lead a successful life in mainstream society bears tribute to the Waldon Approach's effectiveness. The phrase, "meaning comes from movement," is foundational to the Waldon Approach - and is now being found relevant to other forms of learning and creative expression. This premise also underlies the importance of early mother-child play; particularly play that involves moving with the child. Waldon's unique insight that motor facilitation should be "asocial" is pivotal to this entire approach; this is something that is a bit novel to those of us who think that talking something through or giving verbal and visual feedback are essential to learning. Instead, this offers a radically different - yet extremely effective - approach. I am particularly intrigued by this book because it offers, in Chapter 5, a calm and lucid synopsis of Dr. Waldon's theories and the neurological and developmental insights underlying the Waldon Approach. Much as Piaget offered his developmental stage theory as cognitive development arising from progressive reorganization of mental processes (resulting from increasing biological maturity as well as a child's experiences), the Waldon Approach couches learning in terms of a succession of increasingly complex motor acts. These begin with banging, which infants do naturally when they are very young, and move onwards to acquiring and disposing of objects, and further into using tools. These are very complimentary approaches to understanding how a child grows in cognition and other abilities. In this sense alone, Waldon's work is very worth considering in the pantheon of early child developmental studies. For the lay audience - in particular, for parents, teachers, and school administrators - this book by Solomon offers a candid insight into the practical aspects of applying the Waldon Approach, as well as offering a useful and reasonably complete summary of the intellectual premises underlying the method. Many people will find the human interest aspect of this book both fascinating and relevant to their needs. Chapters 1 - 4 present Robert's story in some detail, tracing how he matured from an infant diagnosed with autism, to a young man who successfully completed his Bar Mitzvah ceremony, to an adult who took responsibility for learning computer programming skills, acquiring a job, creating a relationship with a young woman, and forming a successful marriage. Later chapters present shorter - yet still valuable - case studies from a variety of sources. One sentence from this book is particularly poignant: "Today it is not the class teachers that one has to convince, but the executive and managerial layer who are often looking at cumulative targets as the outcome rather than the developmental gaps which precede it." [p. 98] In short, the challenge with bringing the Waldon Approach into full and widespread application is not so much a problem with parents or teachers, but rather with school administrators and the entire legislative system that enforces a limited perspective on the true nature of education. Creating change in our school system structures and mandated expectations is the task that will take the longest time and the most focused attention. On a more personal note, I am excited about applying some insights gained from this book - very indirectly - to working with adult dance students. Although I have a long-term interest in the brain and in neurophysiology (my first book, the Handbook of Neural Computing Applications, Academic, 1981, built on that interest), it is not the research represented here that intrigues me as much as the potential for using these insights in a practical way with people who are already very functional - and typically highly-qualified professionals with full and active social lives. It is these people who may benefit from a more holistic approach to dance that helps them reconnect with early childhood experiences. This may potentially lead to a less intellectual, and more spontaneous and playful self-expression through dance. If this proves to be useful at all, then Dr. Waldon's work will have influenced far more than the community helping those afflicted with autism. Further, Mr. Solomon's work, together with his co-authors, will have brought a great deal of insight and understanding - a possible avenue for greater personal integration and healing - to a wider audience. I thoroughly endorse and recommend this book, not just to parents, teachers, and school administrators dealing with autistic children, but also to those who use movement for any form of expression, including dancers and actors.

Alianna J. Maren, Ph.D.
Author (under the nom de plume Alay'nya) of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
Mourning Dove Press, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, compassionate and inspiring book, March 4, 2013
By HomeSchooler100 (USA)
An interesting book about the Waldon approach, which is used widely in some countries to treat autism and is virtually unknown in other countries. A wonderful and inspiring personal account of how a child was helped out of autism by his parents, and he has gone on to lead a productive and happy life with a stable job, and loving wife and children. Easy to read, and very educational.