FAQ’s

1. How can HANDLE work with so many different conditions – Autism, learning disabilities, and brain injury – and be successful with all of them?

2. This seems too good to be true, does HANDLE always work?

3. What exactly is “Gentle Enhancement” and why is it so important?

4. What does a HANDLE program look like?

5. Can I bring food to the appointments?

6. Do I give my child her medication?

7. Are the Program Reviews every month? What if I get sick and miss an appointment?

8. What if we have an evaluation and you don’t find anything out of balance, do we get our money back?

9. How do I convince my 16 year old son to do HANDLE?

10. I am an adult, 50+ years old, can HANDLE do anything to help me or is it too late?

11. How much does HANDLE cost?


~ How can HANDLE work with so many different conditions – Autism, learning disabilities, and brain injury – and be successful with all of them?

HANDLE is a paradigm, a way of looking at conditions and the functional limitations associated with them. It is not a technique that is the same for everyone. It is an approach that individually and uniquely addresses neurodevelopmental irregularities. Behaviors are communication from these systems as to their individual and inter-related levels of organization. Regardless of how the irregularities manifest (which in turn generates a set of behaviors that are grouped into a diagnosis), the same systems are involved. A HANDLE program works with these underlying systems. Therefore, HANDLE activities effectively address the root causes of the situation, independent of diagnosis. When the neurodevelopmental systems and functions are regulated and organized, functionality becomes more efficient.

~ This seems too good to be true, does HANDLE always work?

Always is an interesting word.  There are several conditions under which HANDLE is less or not successful. These are:

1. The client does not do their program.  The program can only work if it is done regularly.  We don’t have the HANDLE Police out, it is your program and therefore up to you to make it a priority to do.
2. The client does not adhere to Gentle Enhancement® and ignores signs of stress, overworking the systems they are attempting to strengthen.
3. The client identifies herself as a person with a disability and is unable or unwilling to shift this self-image to incorporate increased functionality, no matter how desired it is.  Sometimes it is the client’s family or caregivers that hold the client (unconsciously) back from developing new levels of ability for fear of losing their own identity as the “helper.”

~ What exactly is “Gentle Enhancement” and why is it so important?

Gentle Enhancement is a foundational concept in HANDLE.  It means that “stressed systems shut down, they do not get stronger.”  In other words, once the body is stressed it moves into a defensive “Fight or Flight” mode and learning processing slows or stops.  That is why when your child is stressed out doing math homework, they cannot do that last problem, all the information flies out the window. But, so often in our culture we are encouraged to keep at it, no pain no gain, etc.  It actually works the opposite way.  When there is stress (pain), there is no gain when it comes to learning. So, in HANDLE we teach the signs of the body’s stress and urge clients to stop an activity at the first indication of stress.  Thus an activity done for 3 seconds when the neurological systems are open and ready for new input is far more helpful than an activity done for 2 minutes; of which 117 seconds are in stress mode.

~ What does a HANDLE program look like?

Please see the Services section of this website or call the Center for more information.

~ Can I bring food to the appointments?

Yes, of course. It is fine to bring snacks to your appointments.  I ask that you do not bring sugary foods. I am personally very sensitive to onions and garlic. The smells of these can be toxic to me, so I request you do not bring foods with strong smells of onion/garlic into the office.

~ Do I give my child her medication?

Although HANDLE is a non-drug approach, I am not medical professional. Do not stop taking medication without the recommendation and guidance from a medical practitioner.  If your child is on medication for ADHD or ADD, we request that you check with your doctor and if it will not harm your child to refrain from taking the medication for one day, it would be preferable for you not to give the medication on the day of the appointments, especially the evaluation day.  Bring the meds so if your child needs to take it, you will have it with you.  And it is fine if medication is taken, the assessment will still be valid.

Please be sure to let your practitioner know of any medications the client is taking.

~ Are the Program Reviews every month? What if I get sick and miss an appointment?

Program Reviews are scheduled every 4-6 weeks.  We have found that this is the most effective way to monitor the maturing systems and keep clients on course in their progress.  Life presents circumstances such as illness or emergencies that occasionally require appointment rescheduling. As long as notice is given 24 hours or more prior to the appointment, accommodations will be made.  Clients that do not schedule appointments or do not cancel will forfeit that month’s program review.

~ What if we have an evaluation and you don’t find anything out of balance, do we get our money back?

If we do an evaluation and determine that there is no need for HANDLE services you will be charged for the evaluation and no more.

~ How do I convince my 16 year old son to do HANDLE?

If your son is frustrated with the difficulties he is experiencing school or life in general, he is probably interested in changing something. He also is probably scared that it won’t work and he will be left disappointed and back at square one. There are no guarantees, so I wouldn’t recommend making any promises. What you can say is that you have researched this approach and you think it will help make life easier for him, IF he does it. It will only work if he puts in the effort. Describe the time commitment. Practitioners and teen clients are available to answer questions if your son would like to call the Center. Then you must let it be his choice. If he does not “buy in” to the HANDLE approach, at least to checking it out, then it will not be effective and the process will be miserable for all of you. Of course you can commit to him to support him in the process and assist him in any way you can.

~ I am an adult, 50+ years old, can HANDLE do anything to help me or is it too late?

The neurological system continues to change throughout the lifespan, this is called neuroplasticity. It is never too late to make changes. They may not happen overnight, and with patience and dedication remarkable integration and balancing can occur at any age.

~ How much does HANDLE cost?

Please call the Center to discuss the cost of your specific program needs.