From 1992 until 2017 I had the privilege of working at the Feuerstein Institute in Jerusalem, headed by the late renowned psychologist Prof. Reuven Feuerstein.
For nearly 25 years, I specialized in the dynamic (descriptive) assessment and play-based treatment of children who had been diagnosed as autistic, PDD, Asperger's or autistic spectrum (ASD). I also provided guidance and consultation to the parents.
I found that many of the children had been misdiagnosed elsewhere. Sometimes other underlying difficulties were being masked by the too general autism diagnosis.
Feuerstein's methods, DIRFloortime, and my background in play therapy—all helped advance the work that proved to be a labor of love.
Children grow. Children can change. And many of those children did change!
Working in a strength-focused way, my colleagues and I looked for pathways to reach and strengthen the child behind the autistic-like symptoms.
The children's progress ranged from encouraging to exciting, from satisfactory to superlative.
When I left the Feuerstein Institute in the summer of 2017 to focus on my private practice in play therapy, I knew that the essentials of our work in autism needed to be shared with many parents and practitioners.
And that is why I wrote. . .
It was written in the spirit of sharing:
- With parents, the hope that an alternative perspective and way of working can bring about positive developmental changes in children thought to be autistic
- With practitioners, an invitation to emphasize the strengths of each child thought to be autistic and to work creatively to improve the child's profile.
An Autism Casebook is available through Routledge and other book purchasing sites.
I continue to consult in the field of autism.