Whilst most autism support organizations give in to the pressure to imitate modern trends, the Praeceptory at Towcester Abbey provides autistic people, their families, and their care providers with a timeless and trustworthy path that makes no compromises for fear of the world. We are grounded in the classical liberal arts and sciences as they have been studied for centuries by history’s wisest and best scholars. We believe that ancient wisdom is what modern programs are lacking and we’re proud to seek and present it.
In helping provide access to fullness of life, the classical liberal arts and sciences provide the canvas for our work. We welcome all who would join us in our mission to research, restore, revitalize, and teach the world about this amazing population of people. We believe that in building bridges between the neurodivergent and neurotypical communities, amazing things can and will happen.
Whilst we welcome all who seek us out, we especially welcome the autistic community and feature many program paths specifically designed to bring out the very best from within the diversity of expressions of the human mind (autistic, ADD, ADHD, SPD, OCD, PDD NOS, and etc.). Our vocational work is similarly tailored to help our neurodivergent friends find success in the well paying careers to be found in the forensic sciences. Our leadership development programs meet the human mind where it is, not where the world hopes it will be, then builds upon strengths - reinforcing weaknesses.
The Praeceptory at Towcester Abbey is a California 501(c)3 non-profit corporation headquartered in the rural mountain community of Neenach, nestled in the Sierra Pelona mountains that divide Los Angeles and Kern counties in south-central California. Utilizing state of the art cloud services, we're able to move beyond the in-person service model to meet you where and when you are, whithersoever in the world.
We welcome your support. Donations are tax deductible as allowed for by law. Please contact us to find out more about supporting our efforts in your community.
Areas of Support
- Autism Support5
- Leadership Development
- Vocational Education5
- Classical Liberal Arts5
- Christian Ministry5
- Ethical Self Defense 5
- Jim Hoerricks, PhD, Pn1praeceptor@towcesterabbey.com
- Hon. J. Bonbright Anderson email@example.com
- Mailing Address:
- 31858 Castaic Rd., Ste 176, Castaic, CA 91384
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Beautiful Holiday Valley
We feature Sambo and other grappling sports
A level of depth that you won't find elsewhere
One of the problems in living in a remote area is the lack of access to quality educational opportunities. Rural schools have wonderful, but overburdened teachers and support staff. It's very hard to attract and retain staff in the STEM, foreign language, athletic, and specialized educational areas. That's where we come in. We have a network of trained / educated specialists that can assist local schools and families realize their educational and life goals.
Our Praeceptor (head of instruction), Jim Hoerricks, PhD, Pn1, has completed research aimed at improving outcomes for autistic college students and reducing attrition within this amazing group of students (abstract). He is now working on research around the brain's wiring diagram, it's processing of time, and how these might play a factor in issues such as anxiety and depression.
Your generous donations help us fulfill our mission of delivering quality services to this underserved area of California.
Vocational Rehabilitation / Training / ServicesVocational rehabilitation is a process which enables persons with functional, psychological, developmental, cognitive, and emotional disabilities or impairments or health disabilities to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining, or returning to employment or other useful occupation. The problem many autistic people face when dealing with vocational rehabilitation agencies is one of communication. Most corporate clinics aren't equiped or staffed to manage the unique sensory and communication needs of autistic people. This is where we come in.
Our Vocational services are organized as a community rehabilitation program as defined by the California Dept. of Rehabilitation (link). But, we have chosen to not register with the state due to the overwhelming compliance costs of working with the DOR. We are able to provide all necessary services, we just aren't able to request or receive monies from the state. Our staff can provide Assessment Services, Training Services, Job Related Services, and Support Services.
Thus, much in the same way that Priories and Praeceptories of old offered goods and services for sale to the local community in order to fund their efforts, our Vocational Rehablitation / Traning / Services department offers forensic science services to law enforcement agencies, the courts, and private firms at a reasonable cost. Students learn by working side-by-side in this cutting edge work of digital and multimedia forensics. This work includes audio / video / image / and mobile phone forensics. Our analysts and technicians are certified and court qualified experts in their respective fields. Students learn alongside the industry's leading experts and prepare for a career in digital forensics, one of the fastest growing and best paying forensic science fields.
If you're interested in knowing more about our services, please feel free to contact us today.
Our Areas of Study
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Jim Hoerricks, PhD, Pn1, directs research services at the Praeceptory. His statement on our recearch services outlines the philosophy that we follow in conducting our research and the theories that guide out work. Here is his statement:
"Medical science generally classifies things as ordered or disordered. When things are working “normally,” they’re considered ordered. When things are not working “normally,” they are considered disordered. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Fifth Edition, is the 2013 update to the DSM, the taxonomic and diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). In the United States, the DSM serves as the principal authority for psychiatric diagnoses. Treatment recommendations, as well as payment by health care providers, are often determined by DSM classifications, so the appearance of a new version has significant practical importance.
The DSM treats the autistic brain as a disordered “normal” brain. As an example, the various diagnoses of Sensory Processing Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and so forth, as found in DSM IV, became “autism” and “autism spectrum disorders” in DSM V. The APA assumes a baseline “normal” then assigns the term “disorder” to those things that do not operate according to their agreed upon definitions and baseline. This change has had huge implications across our society, from insurance plan pricing and options to the educational system’s Individualized Educational Plans. People regularly seek out a diagnosis of autism because the diagnosis, the paperwork, is necessary to access services, receive accomodations, and/or receive monetary support.
The problem with this mindset, that of ordered vs disordered, can be seen in the revisions of the DSM as it relates to human sexuality. For example, the classification of gay, lesbian, and bisexual sexual orientations went from "paraphilia" in DSM I to "sexual orientation disturbance" in DSM II to "ego-dystonic homosexuality" in DSM III. The variance in human sexual identity and preference was dropped from DSM-III-R and subsequent editions. The medical community stopped looking at the variance of sexual preference in terms of ordered vs disordered – with the disordered needing to be “cured.” The legacy of this viewpoint is slowly disappearing as more states ban so-called “Gay Conversion Therapy” and more churches make the choice to include the entirety of God's creation in their Church Family. Further to the point, the roots of racial classification can be found in the Eugenics movement over 100 years ago. This movement assumes a “normal” and an “optimal” human being. In their case, themselves being of European origin, the Eugenicists’ baseline was “Caucasian.” Every variance was considered a disordered version of the baseline. Yes, this sounds ridiculous, and indeed it is. Yet, we continue this classification today to achieve certain political and social ends. Yesterday’s eugenicist is today’s geneticist. The names have changed. The goals haven’t.
Back to the human brain and autism, and our research. What if autism and so-called autism spectrum disorders aren’t disorders at all but variances in the wiring diagram of the human brain. As a Christian, I believe in an intentional God, omniscient and omnipotent. My God is teleological, expressed in the concept of Alpha and Omega – knowing the beginning and the end of all things … including our lives. I believe that God doesn’t make mistakes. I further believe that we humans lack the perspective to see the entirety of creation and God’s plan.
With this in mind, what if the wiring difference commonly known as autism isn’t a mistake or a disorder? If it’s not a mistake, what purpose does this wiring plan serve? Is autism a new thing, a new epidemic, or has it been around for a long time? As an interesting aside, it is the eugenicists within many so-called autism support groups that seek to cement the idea of the autistic brain as disordered into the collective consciousness. Their goal, the perfection of mankind, necessarily works for the day when people like me do not exist. Their genetic quest concludes with an invitro test for autism so as to advise expectant parents that it’s better to abort than keep this rather burdensome child. What they’ve done for Downs Syndrome, they seek to do for autism. It is for this reason that many autistic people, myself included, see these groups as a vile and hateful.
Back to the point, what purpose might a relatively solitary, intuitive, highly intelligent human serve? The research shows that what is now considered autism has been with us for thousands of years and has survived through the natural selection process. For example, researchers now believe that what we call autism may have had advantages in humans’ hunter-gatherer past.
For example, USC’s Jared Reser looked at how autism’s strengths may have played a role in evolution. Individuals on the autism spectrum would have had the mental tools to be self-sufficient foragers in environments marked by diminished social contact. The penchant for obsessive, repetitive activities would have been focused by hunger and thirst towards the learning and refinement of hunting and gathering skills. Their desire for peace and solitude may have pushed them beyond the boundaries of civilization – turning them into the first explorers.
Thus, if an intentional, omniscient, and omnipotent God created the autistic brain for a purpose, and that purpose is being rediscovered via research, how might we define the autistic brain as created? In my research, I liken the autistic brain to an unregulated quantum field generator. What psychiatrists see as disorder is actually the result of an untrained person in control of this powerful tool as it processes time. There are two basic ways to process time, chronologically and teleologically. The majority of humans process time chronologically – sequentially. The past is past. Here we are now. The future is ahead of us somewhere. Not so with the autistic brain.
The autistic brain processes time much like it’s creator, teleologically, albeit in a much-limited fashion. Past, present, and future are blended together with purpose and plan to form a multi-dimensional mental image of the person’s Quality World. Anxiety and depression can result when an untrained person attempts to manage their personal quantum field generator – essentially attempting to choose the “correct” path among multiple possible outcomes (or a cascading probability calculation), with the operator unanchored by time. Seeing “the problem” in this way, one can easily explain why modern psychiatry has no answer in “treating” autism. They don’t understand how the autistic brain works, so they label it disordered, then attempt to dull it through powerful narcotics. Their “solution” completely unsustainable, not to mention unethical.
Thus it is that we find ourselves focused on a two-fold mission. Our Vocational Services help our clients achieve a degree of financial freedom and our Research Services help by preparing the way for the next generation. We're focusssed on improving lives and outcomes, helping things go right.
There are many ways in which you can help. You can help is financially. We're a registered non-profit and your donations are tax deductible. You can help in spreading the word of what we're doing. You can help by volunteering. You can simply be a friend and ally to an actually autistic person, like me.
If you'd like to know more, contact us today.
Thank you for reading this far and for your support."
Acts 2:6 (GNV) describes a scene in the history of the Church that has great relevence to the autistic community. "Now when this was noised, the multitude came together and were astonished, because that every man heard them speak his own language." Within this scene, as it unfolded, a rather diverse crowd was gathered. "Cretes, and Arabians: we heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God."
If you've made it this far in our web site, you've likely realized that our focus is centered on the autistic community. Thus, consider this: if God saw fit to assure that His meassage was heard at the times described in the Acts of the Apostles, and this "translation service" as facilitated by the Holy Spirit, how might God communicate His message in modern times to a non-verbal autistic person? Once again, the Holy Spirit has intervened.
We realize that the modern Christian church can easily contribute to sensory overload. Cheerful greeters, hugs and handshakes, smells of perfumes and incense, crowds, abrupt noises, the music program ... These regular services can often overwhelm the autistic perishoner within the first few minutes. As such, many choose to avoid gathering with the Body of Christ in order to satisfy a primal safety need.
It's important to remember, God created the autistic brain within the autistic person. That person operates as designed by their Creator. Just as at the Pentacost, the Holy Spirit faciitated the transfer of information by allowing all of those assembled to hear the meassage in their own language, so does the Holy Spirit guide our work in bringing the Body of Christ to the autistic person.
Like the traveling ministers of wild west, we're bringing the Gospel to the remote parts of the world. Unlike the old preachers, we're not building large tents and gathering large crowds. We're respectfully bringing the Gospel to the place that is the most comfortable to the individual autistic person and their family.
Acts 2:44-47 continues to inform our work. Given the many financial hardships that confront the autistic community, members of our extended Church family help bear the costs and burdens as they are able. Our work is further supported by loving individuals from around the world.
If you'd like a visit, if you need help, if you'd like to join with us, or if you'd like to support our mission in some way, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just say hello or let us know how we can help you. If you prefer you can also use the contact form below.
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