Partners with Soroka Medical Center and ALUT in Region’s First Autism Conference
(Beersheva, Israel – September 8, 2011) On September 5th, a group of 120 biomedical researchers, educators, clinicians and parent/advocates from throughout Israel’s Negev region met in Beersheva for a daylong conference about the latest advances in autism research and treatment in Israel and throughout the world.
This historic conference – the first such regional autism gathering ever held in Southern Israel – was convened by the International Center for Autism Research and Education (ICare4Autism), working in close collaboration with Dr. Gal Meiri of Soroka’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service of the Soroka Medical Center and ALUT.
ICare4autism is a New York-based charitable organization dedicated to is catalyzing the breakthrough innovations in research and clinical practice required to tackle the global autism crisis.
ICare4Autism founder and CEO Dr. Joshua Weinstein opened the gathering with a report on the organization’s progress toward the establishment of the world’s first Global Center for Autism Research and Education, scheduled to open in 2014 on the Mt. Scopus site that is currently home to the Bezalel College of Art & Design.
Said Dr. Weinstein, “The Global Autism Center will serve as an important new resource for children with autism and autism professionals throughout Israel. We are planning special programs to improve access to high quality care among Israel’s poorer communities and in its less populous regions.”
Dr. Michael Sharf, Managing Director of Soroka Medical Center, discussed the extraordinary range of services Soroka provides through its Child Psychiatry Center, including clinical initiatives incorporating the latest biomedical and educational research, and a unique outreach program to the region’s Bedouin community.
Soroka, one of Israel’s largest and most advanced hospitals and the only major medical center in the Negev, serves as the teaching hospital of the Ben-Gurion University Medical School, whose Faculty of Health Sciences is located on the hospital campus.
Ayelet Shariv, Southern Israel director of ALUT, the Israeli Society for Autistic Children, spoke about the community-based living and vocational development programs at the Lauren House Occupational Center in Beersheva. ALUT has designed unique models that emphasize the abilities, rather than the disabilities, of persons with autism.
Also presenting were Dr. Shosh Arbel and Dr. Gal Meiri of Soroka’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service, and Dr. Dorit Ben Shalom of Ben Gurion University’s Zlotowsky Center for Nerve Studies.