In a sea of misinformation and corporate sponsored outcome based scholarship, the Research Department at Towcester Abbey seeks to facilitate research that is respectful and treats the world as it is, not how a particular interest wishes it to be.
Our research domains cover the spectrum of the human experience from the point of view of the autistic person. We start with the premise that the autistic brain works as designed, then seek to explore that design. We also seek to know how best to support the autistic human body in terms of the sensory environment, nutrition, fitness, and vocation. The autistic human was designed by it's creator for a purpose. We explore that purpose across the entirety of our reseach domains?
The Praeceptory at Towcester Abbey is a California 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and maintains it's own Institutional Review Board. Our IRB is fully versed in respectfully including autistic people in research projects and studies.
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 the community.
Areas of Research
- The Senses5
- Forensic Science5
- Vocational Issues5
US HHS IRB #IORG0009727
and IRB Contacts
- Jim Hoerricks, PhD, Pn1praeceptor@towcesterabbey.com
- Hon. J. Bonbright Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mailing Address:
- 31858 Castaic Rd., Ste 176, Castaic, CA 91384
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Service & Research Domains
We feature Sambo and other grappling sports
A level of depth that you won't find elsewhere
The pathologizing of autism treats the autistic brain as "broken" or "disordered." Beginning research from this standpoint skews outcomes. Our research of the autistic brain and the autistic person starts from the premise that autism is "normal" and that autistic brains and bodies work as designed. The key to unlocking the potential of the autistic person lies in exploring their potential and purpose.
The SensesThe sensory environment in the modern world can be overwhelming. Sensory processing and integration deals with much more than just scratchy fabrics and t-shirt tags. Sensory issues involve balance, digestion, emotions, temperature regulation, and much more. If humans have six senses, sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch and, intuition, then sensory processing and integration variances will present in one, or all six of the senses.
NutritionThe high-carb / low fat western (HCLF) diet has resulted in a spike in diabetes and heart disease since governments began it's push into the world of nutrition in the 1960s. The food pyramid is based on sponsorship, not scholarship. Keeping in line with our study of the body and mind as designed, how was our body meant to be fueled. Our nutritional coaches separate scholarly fact from corporate sponsored studies to deliver the best information on human nutrition. We have found that the way humans fueled their body for thousands of generations actually does work quite well. We recommend a return to the low-carb / high fat (LCHF) diet that worked for humans since time immemorial to run the body at optimal levels.
Fitness & Self-DefensePeople with sensory issues often do not like fitness training. Noisy / smelly gyms, loud music, fast stepping combinations, aggressive coaches ... it's a recipe for a meltdown. We combine the best of East and West to create a program that's right for each student. From the ancient (Qi Gong / Tai Chi) to the modern (Sambo / Systema) from simple stretches to heavy kettlebells, we take the time to craft a program that can be done anywhere. No expensive memberships. You have all that you need right around you to keep fit.
Building on a baseline of fitness, our self-defense instruction is founded in the real world of threats faced by autistic people everyday. We feature instruction and training in the Russian Martial Art of са́мбо. The word са́мбо (Sambo) is a a portmanteau for самозащита без оружия (samozashchita bez oruzhiya), which literally translates as "self-defence without weapons". We pair this with instruction and training in Система (Systema). Система is a complete set of concepts and training components that enhance one’s life. In this case, acquiring the martial art skill is a way to improve the function of all seven physiological systems of the body and all three levels of human abilities the physical, the psychological and the spiritual.
The key principle of the Russian Systema is non-destruction. The goal is to make sure that your training and your attitudes do no damage to the body or the psyche of you or your partners. Systema is designed to create, build and strengthen your body, your psyche, your family and your country.
Systema has another name “poznai sebia” or “Know Yourself”. What does it really mean to Understand Yourself? It is not just to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, that is good but fairly superficial. Training in Russian Martial Art is one of the sure ways to see the full extent of our limitations - to see how proud and weak we really are. Systema allows us to gain the true strength of spirit that comes from humility and clarity in seeing the purpose of our life.
Together, Sambo and Systema provide the perfect skill-set that allows autistic to lead a peaceful life, confident in the fact that they can care for their own safety needs.
Forensic SciencesForensic science represents a growing and well paying field. You will find many autistic people currently working in the forensic sciences. Our research and vocational services focus on the digital and multimedia domains (Forensic Multimedia Analysis). We are actively involved in the creation of an undergraduate / graduate curriculum for a course of study in this new field as well as delivering professional training and services to the greater community of practitioners.
Vocational IssuesThe eugenics movement sees the different and the disabled as needing a cure, or needing to be prevented. The eugenicist seeks to shuffle off and marginalize the weak and the vulnerable. They have advocated for exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act in the US so that employers can pay disabled / differently abled people less than a minimum wage. We believe that all humans deserve dignity and love. There is no dignity or love in the eugenics movement. To that end, we explore the many ways in which employers can easily accommodate the range of humanity in order to make workplaces more inclusive.
Jim Hoerricks, PhD, Pn1, Director research services at the Praeceptory has spent a lifetime exploring the range of diagnostic medicine - as a patient, which now guides his work as a certified nutrition coach. Western medicine starts with a baseline of normal, then seeks to prescribe it's way back to normal. Here's his statement on nutrition that informs our nutritional work at the Abbey.
"I have sensory issues. I've had them my whole life. Sensory issues can impact bodily functions like digestion. In my case, I've spent a lifetime trying to figure out why I seemed to always feel sick and tired. I've spent almost a half a century feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I've had endoscopies. I've had radiological studies. I've had all sorts of pills. I've had all sorts of nutritional advice. I've been fat, sick, and nearly dead. When a pill's side effects are too much to bear, often another pill was prescribed. There were side effects upon side effects.
But, I'm autistic. I'm primarily non-verbal. It has been very difficult communicating just what level of suck I was feeling about a particular pill or diagnostic test. After about a half-million dollars of work, I was done with it all. I was finally in a position in life to be able to change insurance plans from an HMO to a PPO, and thus be able to have more control over my journey to health. This is when I found the right doctor.
I found a clinical nutritionist who understood the autistic body and brain. I was examined from that standpoint. After a few sessions and a few rather non-invasive tests, I discovered that I am histamine intolerant - the root of all of my discomfort and pain. Histamine containing foods can cause inflammation in the body. In my body, it was like having a truck with a flame thrower moving it's way down my digestive path. I was given a new diet to follow - time restricted (to manage my energy / hormone levels and thus sleep better), high-fat / low-carb (to run my body as designed), histamine free diet. Within a few days, I was pain free. Within a few weeks, I was medication free. Within a few months, I had dropped some of the weight that I gained from being on a lot of medication. Now, almost a year later, I have lost all of the extra weight that I gained through my journey with western medicine and weigh about what I weighed at my high school graduation. I feel great - which is the most important.
I share my story with you in order to begin a conversation about nutrition health. I've been told by doctors to be gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and all sorts of other "healthy" options. They all didn't work. Why? Because most doctors have less than 10 hours of nutritional education and are reading from some pamphlet that was sponsored by a group with a financial interest in keeping you in the doctor's office. Histamine intolerance is actually quite common in people who are from families with less than 5 generations living in western societies, eating western foods. It's also common in people with Rh negative blood types. Having a high level of sensitivity, like sensory processing issues, is also a contributing factor. Thus, it's no wonder I'm having problems. All three describe me.
I hope that, in sharing my story, you will find a bit of hope. There are counselors, coaches, and doctors out there that understand you. They understand how you, the autistic person, are designed. They understand how to fuel your body in a way that doesn't leave you fat, sick and in the doctor's office all the time."
If you'd like to know more, or if you'd like to be introduced to one of our network of specialists, contact us today.
Thank you for reading this far and for your support."