Who Created HANDLE®?
“My mission is to move hundreds and thousands from dysfunction to function, from despair to hope.” —Judith Bluestone
The HANDLE paradigm was developed by Judith Bluestone (1944–2009) over more than forty years of working with children and adults with neurodevelopmental differences. HANDLE incorporates research and techniques from a variety of other methods and disciplines, including neurology, rehabilitation, psychology, education, traditional medicine, and nutrition.
“There are ways that we can get into our minds, brains, sensory areas. No matter how old we are, no matter how scarred we are, no matter how many deformities and problems we’ve had, we can get in and make little adjustments that will make us functional and keep us going.”
Born in Chicago, Judith Bluestone suffered from brain damage, cranial abnormalities, seizures and sensory hypersensitivities, probably as a result of exposure to toxins in utero and as an infant. She struggled to articulate and could only eat pureed food. She required eleven surgeries to repair the bones and nerves in her face and surgery to recover her hearing, which she had lost at age eight.
As an adult, Judith founded the HANDLE Institute in Seattle, Washington (now in Marin County, California) in order to train others in the practice she had developed.
Awards & Recognitions
As a result of her dedication and service, Judith received the following recognitions:
1989 National (Israel) Annual Early Childhood Education Award for the program of screening and early intervention that she designed and supervised its implementation in Givat Olga. The program reduced the need for special education in that problematic population from nearly fifty percent to approximately four percent.
2002 Case Western Reserve University Distinguished Alumni Award for her outstanding contribution (through HANDLE) to the fields of education and neuro-rehabilitation and to those served through those fields.
2004 National (USA) Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service, for creating and sharing HANDLE to enhance the quality of life of individuals and families in her community, country, and the world.
2004 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for public service. This award is considered the “Nobel Prize” of volunteering.