Children's Autism and Neurodevelopmental Optimization Program


The CAN DO Program has been developed by a team of allied health professionals based on the five stages of neuroplastic healing as outlined by Norman Doige in his book "The Brain's Way of Healing": Correct general cellular health of neurons and glia• Neurostimulation• Neuromodulation• Neurorelaxation• Neurodifferentiation.

The elements of the Program which all aim to support these goals include:

               Psychological Assessment

               Use of Herbs and Supplements

               Auditory Training

               Social Skills Training

               Support for Parents


Children with autism and other neurodevelopmental problems can struggle with school work, with making friends and regulating their emotions and behaviour. A thorough psychological assessment can help to identify the specific areas in which a child needs help. Quite often an underlying problem in language processing can underlie many of the issues a child may be having, which can then become the focus of treatment.


The aim of treatment is to achieve the first stage of neuroplastic brain healing (restoring cellular health in the brain), as defined by the distinguished psychiatrist Dr Norman Doidge. When affected nerve cells in the brain are restored to cellular health, a great deal of the “noise” they emit is quietened, making the person’s nervous system less disrupted and more amenable to the next four stages of neuroplastic brain healing.

Specific issues with ASD for example that have been identified by the scientific research as being helped with herbs and supplements include support of the immune system, reducing allergies, enhancing detoxification, improving the health of gut bacteria, balancing hormonal function, assisting sleep and mood,and reducing brain inflammation (which is often behind a “noisy” brain).


What is Auditory Processing? It has been defined as “what we do with what we hear”or the “ability to receive, sequence and process sound”. Disorders in Auditory Processing can mean problems for listening, developing language skills (both expressive and receptive), impairments in cognitive and learning abilities and behavioural difficulties.Studies between 1994 and 2013 found Auditory Processing Disorders to coexist with the condition of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 9-53% of children diagnosed with the condition of ASD.

What is Auditory Training and how can it help?Auditory Training uses a combination of electronically modified words and phrases, audio vocal activities and music that is dynamically modified to stimulate the auditory system and its pathways.

How does it help? Auditory training assists in developing receptive language and listening skills. It also assists in increasing the awareness of expressive language skills and voice control. This has positive implications for better educational outcomes for children. Auditory training has also been found to stimulate the auditory nerves and contribute to improved social engagement.


Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder and Learning Difficulties may have difficulties in their social development. Auditory Processing issues in particular impact on the child’s ability to communicate. Usual developmental experiences are often not sufficient to ensure normal social development so these children need extra targeted support in the form of social skills training which can address the specific issues of each child.


Helping a child with autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders can be very challenging and stressful for parents. The group provides support and guidance in how to help your child as they work through the CAN DO Program.


Assessment & Auditory Training: Mark Cary & Clive Savage (Psychologists)

Herbs & Supplements: Nina Gudkovs (Medical Herbalist)

Social Skills Training: Donna Drinan & Sharon Fern (Developmental Educationist)

Parent Support: Jan Dugan & Jan Gudkovs (Psychologists)




Tags: Autism ASD, Neuroplasticity, Children, Learning difficulties, Auditory processing, Holistic Treatment, Psychological Assessment