Research and Development
Ron Davis Autism Foundation is committed to rigorously monitoring and assessing the impact of the Davis Autism Approach Programs.
Our internal research team continually gathers data from across the organization, including observations from our licensed Facilitators and direct feedback from our clients and their families. This information is used to monitor the effectiveness of our programs, and improve their design and delivery.
In particular, we collect evidence of the degree of change experienced by children and adults who have completed our programs. Data collected to date indicates that Davis Programs are helping to address a number of fundamental difficulties our clients experience due to their autism or autistic traits.
For example, our programs are helping individuals to improve their overall wellbeing, their ability to socialise, and their ability to manage change and transitions. Clients who have completed a Davis Program are also reporting greater self-awareness and awareness of others, leading to more effective self-regulation.
Our research data is independently analysed. More information about our research approach and findings can be found here.
“My student’s attention has improved dramatically and his speech production is the best we have ever heard from him. I really was not expecting change that quickly.”
– Speech-language therapist, Davis Workshop participant
“I can’t believe how life-changing these concepts are. I use them all of the time in my life now – it is just so easy to take responsibility for things that had always seemed impossible before.”
– Davis Concepts for Life client
“Simply put, the Davis therapy has allowed us to meet our son for the very first time. We thank God every day for answering our prayers and introducing this program to our family.”
– Daniel and Sara, parents
Internal research team
Dr Cathy Smith
Current independent research project
Clinical feasibility study
Researchers in Australia are conducting the first clinical feasibility study into the Davis Concepts for Life Programs.
The study is examining whether the programs can help people with autism or autistic traits to function better and reduce psychological comorbidity. Qualitative case study data has been gathered in a clinical psychology setting and quantitative assessments made to assess the level of clinical change immediately after completing the program and one year later.
The feasibility study, which began in 2016, is being conducted under an independent research partnership between a practising Senior Clinical Psychologist, who is also now a licensed Davis Facilitator, and the School of Behavioural and Health Sciences at the Australian Catholic University.
As part of the study, the Davis Life Concepts have been delivered to more than 20 participants, aged from 10 to 73. Final outcomes of the study are yet to be published, however early qualitative data indicates that the majority of participants have experienced ‘evident developmental gains, improved mental health and clinically remarkable change in multiple facets of their lives’.
A detailed statistical analysis of the clinical results will indicate whether a subsequent pilot study phase is viable.
To date, this research has been self-funded by the lead researcher. Funding partners are being sought to help complete the final analysis and publication requirements of this study and to enable this important clinical research to progress to a larger pilot study.
If you are interested in supporting this research study, please contact us and we will connect you with the research team.