Dr. Eitan Eldar visits Shema Kolainu-Hear Our Voices on May 31, 2012, where he met with Dr. Joshua Weinstein-CEO and founder, Suri Gruen-Program Director, Dr. Beth Diviney- consultant, and Gili Rechany-Educational Director.
Dr. Eitan Eldar is the founder and director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Center (Teaching, Community Services & Research) at the Zinman College in Israel and a member of the ICare4Autism Advisory Council. During his time in Shema Kolainu, Dr. Eldar was escorted through the facilities in Brooklyn, NY. The Educational team gave him a brief overview of the methods and tactics used in the center. Using the double sided observation rooms Dr. Eldar was able to observe the classrooms without interruption to the students or teachers. The observation rooms are equipped with sound for further observations of student behaviors and training purposes.
Dr. Eldar was patient and kind with children as they ran to meet him to shake his hand. He extended his hand politely to each student asking them to make direct eye contact with him and redirecting some to use appropriate physical proximity. One of the most common social skills deficits with ASD is difficulty making eye contact. Each student one by one, with Dr. Eldar’s patience and prompting, looked him directly in the eyes and introduced him or herself by name.
Dr. Eldar was shown the state of the art Snoezelen Room, a controlled multisensory environment. This room is designed to deliver stimuli to various senses, using lighting effects, color, sounds, music, scents, etc. The combination of different materials on a wall may be explored using tactile senses, and the floor may be adjusted to stimulate the sense of balance. Dr. Eldar discussed possible research collaboration regarding the use of the Snoezelen Room. In addition, the tour continued to the adaptive daily living skills room in Shema Kolainu, Dr. Eldar spoke to the importance of such facilities in increasing independence and future vocational skills.
Dr. Eldar will be speaking at the upcoming August International Autism Conference AUTISM: A Global Perspective in Israel. Dr. Eldar has been widely acknowledged by the educational community for his extraordinary efforts to fulfill the goals, values, and mission of disseminating applied behavior analysis. He has written numerous papers and books, authored the first applied behavior analysis ( ABA) textbook in Hebrew and served as the first chairman of the Israeli Association of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Eldar designed a model for individual full inclusion in general education settings for students with autism that has been adopted by the Ministry of Education countrywide. We are honored to have him on the ICare4Autism Advisory Council.