the capacity of the nervous system to develop new neuronal connections: the brain's natural ability to form new connections in order to compensate for injury
HANDLE combines an understanding of neuroplasticity and the interplay among mind, body and environment to help the brain gently change itself. It’s designed to enhance neurological systems that are causing learning or life difficulties, without force or judgment. HANDLE gets to the root of what some might consider problematic behaviors by listening and observing, not pushing or judging. It can assist children and adults labeled with, but not limited to:
ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, Tourette's Syndrome, Anxiety, Depression, Seizure Disorders, ODC, ODD, PDD-NOS, Issues of Aging, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Genetic Disorders, and more.
The Origins of HANDLE
Judith Bluestone: From Adversity to Founding a Worldwide Institute
Judith Bluestone was a remarkable woman, born with numerous neurological challenges and structural irregularities as well as injuries that left her paralyzed and in a wheelchair for two years. She had nearly unintelligible speech as a child, became profoundly deaf at age 8, suffered from clonic/tonic seizures, had groundbreaking reconstructive facial surgery, experienced repeated encephalitis and meningitis, once leading to loss of speech, and other differences for which she was teased as a child and worked all her life to overcome.
Despite all of this and more, Judith triumphed over her differences, finding ways that helped her make it through her early years. She instinctively protected herself in her areas of greatest vulnerability, guarding her sensitive systems while using her strengths and talents to successfully make it through school and into graduate work. Among her extensive studies were neuroscience, neuropsychology, neurorehabilitation, human development, visual processing, sensory-motor integration, education, counseling and more. Not stopping there, she studied as many alternate approaches as she could, all the while striving to understand from the outside in what she had learned and experienced from the inside out.
During her years Judith was given numerous labels in an attempt to define her: epilepsy, autism, ADHD, PDD-NOS, OCD, ODD, paralyzed, traumatic brain injury, synaesthesia and more! She would simply claim, “I’m just me!”
Judith spent eleven years in a kibbutz in Israel, developing her ideas into a functional program that continued after she left, winning the 1989 National Prize for Early Childhood Education for the State of Israel.
Encouraged to share what she had learned and developed, Judith founded The HANDLE Institute in 1994, now present in 31 countries and growing. Since that time, research and studies have been conducted to demonstrate some remarkable outcomes for which Judith received numerous awards and recognition.
Judith Bluestone passed away unexpectedly in February of 2009.
Read more about Judith’s remarkable story in The Fabric of Autism, Weaving the Threads Into a Cogent Theory by Judith Bluestone.
HANDLE® is about transcending limiting labels and providing tools that enable and empower every human being to live the most stress-free, inspired life possible.
The HANDLE Institute educates and supports clients and HANDLE providers by offering informational HANDLE resources, and networking services.
We ensure the quality of HANDLE providers through competency based certification.
Based in the philosophy of Gentle Enhancement®, the concept that slow, steady, supportive movement over time provides the best results, the HANDLE program helps enhance the functioning of the brain and body through a compassionate approach that taps into the body’s natural ability to reorganize and improve itself.
Every individual is unique, so HANDLE is not a one size fits all approach. In fact it is a philosophy that is rooted in acknowledging, validating and working with each individual’s differences.
Gentle Enhancement describes the HANDLE process of respectfully supporting sensory processing in small steps without undue stress, recognizing that sensory over-stimulation can interfere with attention and learning. The HANDLE paradigm encourages people to apply Gentle Enhancement in their daily lives. Clients and support people are taught to watch for subtle signs of stress as indicators of when to stop a HANDLE activity.