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Stepping Stones

Delivery of Program

How is the Stepping Stones program delivered?

The Stepping Stones program takes a gentle, interactive, non-rote method to support individuals with autism and help them reach their full potential.

The program is delivered through a 4-step process. 


Initially providing tools to the support person to remain calm and relaxed while working with the client.


The client is then guided through a series of exercises to develop accurate perceptions of self and their place in the world.


Next, the client explores life concepts from their own and others' perspectives, such as change, consequence, cause and effect, and before and after.


Finally, the client integrates these concepts through experiential learning, exploring them into real world experiences.

Davis Stepping Stones I is a 4-step process:


  1. Tools provided to the Support Person
    The support person for the client is shown the mental strategies of Release and Dial. Thereby giving the support person the ability to remain calm and relaxed as they work with the client


a) Release

This allows the helper to release tension with in themselves before working with the individual.

Since people living with autism have an inherent ability to sense emotions it is important that those working with the individual are in a calm and relaxed state.

b) Dial -

is a method used to become aware of ones self regulation and energy level. A dial is a visual aid for the individual to become aware of their energy fluctuations.

2. Client Self Awareness
Through various tools and techniques the client is guided through a series of exercises to help center the client in the present world to develop accurate perceptions of Self and their place in the world.

a) Auditory Orientation
The client is given an auditory sound to listen to leading up to the program, and if required, during the program sessions. Hence providing an accurate understanding of the client’s perception of the world by providing a stable orientation point.


b) Release –a method to enable the client to release the tension in their body and better manage their stress and anxiety.

3. Discover the existence of “Self (3 parts), another, others”
We explore these concepts through clay to provide experiential, and kinesthetic learning and to stimulate their inherent visual ability.

4. Davis Stepping Stones Concepts

Now that the client is oriented in the world, they are ready to explore the concepts that may have been missed or misunderstood until now. These concepts are discovered from the perspective of “Self” but also from “others” perspective too.

Each concept is discussed in layman’s terms. The client is then guided to create the concept with clay, to represent each particular concept from their own unique perspective.

The concepts discovered are:



cause and effect

before and after


Integration of concepts:

As humans, researchers have noted that experiential learning is the most practical method for us to understand and learn new ideas. On this premise, we realize that the best way to integrate these new concepts is to have the client explore them in a playful, interactive way in the real world. The more the facilitator and the client's support person can show examples regarding each concept, the better the concepts become solidified within their identity. Once the are incorporated into their identity they are then able to implement them in the their future experiences and decisions in life.


Following the integration of these concepts the client will be seen to take an interest in the next set of concepts.

You will know the client is ready when he/she begins to ask such questions as:


  • “ How long ..?”

  • “When will we …?”

  • “What are we doing next?”

  • “Where does this go?”


At this point the client is ready to take in more information. Speak with your facilitator to show your loved one the next stage of the program; Davis Stepping Stones 2.

Davis® Stepping Stones 2

Davis® Stepping Stones 2 is the next stage of the program, which introduces more concepts such as time, sequence, order, and disorder. The client is also provided with Davis self-regulation tools to reduce anxiety, manage internal stress, regulate internal energy levels, maintain focus, and reset when focus is lost. As with the previous concepts, these new concepts are demonstrated to the client through discussion, clay, and observation, relating the new information back to their daily lives and interests.


In this section of the Program there are 3 Davis Self Regulation Tools segments introduced to the client. Including exploring more life concepts, to further broaden their development. Namely,  “time, sequence, order, and disorder” are covered.


Davis Self Regulation Tools

  1. Auditory Orientation

  2. Koosh® Ball exercises

  3. Dial setting

The self-regulation tools are shown to the client.
With these tools the client will be given the ability to:


  • reduce anxiety

  • manage internal stress

  • regulate internal energy levels

  • maintain focus and reset when focus is lost


Davis® Stepping Stones Life Concepts

Including the concepts of:

  • Time

  • Sequence

  • Order/disorder


Once again the concepts are demonstrated to the client in basic steps.
Exploring each of the ideas with the client through discussion, clay and finishing with observation of the particular concept experientially in their environment. Always paying close attention to linking the concepts to the clients interests.


Integration of Concepts

As with the previous Concepts it is important to integrate these new ones into the clients developmental identity similar to the integration experienced by their neurotypical peers. Thereby enabling the client to be more focused and have the ability to better understand their world, free of chaos and confusion. Once the client realizes that there is a past, present and future the client is able to share toys and take turns in a game. With “time and sequence” they realizes there is a time line, in space, that follows an order. Then they are ok realizing that their ‘time/turn’ will come back to them. Ideas such as this are explored until the client better understands their world. Once the world makes sense, the chaos subsides, the anxiety will also reduce. These concepts are addressing the root of the issue, rather than just addressing the symptoms. Leading to a easier life going forward for the client, and their family!

Module One (Stepping Stones 1) will generally take one week full time ($6000/week). Module Two (Stepping Stones 2) will generally take one week full time ($6000/week). This 2 step program can be spread over a couple of months to allow for the learning from Step One to be digested and applied to daily life. 

How We
See It

Program Background

Benefits and Results

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