Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

pp 2134-2137

Patterning (Doman-Delacato Method)

  • Robert LaRueAffiliated withDouglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Email author 


The Doman-Delacato method, commonly known as patterning, is designed to improve a child’s “neurological organization” through a series of specific prescribed sensory and motor experiences conducted on a rigorous daily schedule. These methods were presumed to improve functioning of the central nervous system in children with severe brain injuries (Doman, Spitz, Zucman, Delacato, & Doman, 1960).

Historical Background

The Doman-Delacato method is an approach to address neurological functioning by a series of motor activities thought to alter the structure and function of specific areas of the brain. The method was developed by Glen Doman, a physical therapist, and Carl Delacato, a doctor of education. Doman and Delacato focused on maximizing the development of typical children. Spurring what Doman coined as the “Gentle Revolution,” he began to publish books aimed at teaching parents how to make their babies mentally and physically superior. Titles of ...

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