Picture this: your autistic child, whom you never thought would be able to communicate, is now typing out sentences—letter by letter—on the computer. That’s what Daniel Orlievsky’s project set out to do: to help non-verbal adolescents with autism and other developmental disorders learn to communicate. Daniel Orlievsky is a Child and Adolescent Psychologist, and the creator and director of the Rehabilitation Through Writing Project Program at the Infantile and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital“Dra. Carolina Tobar García” in Buenos Aires, Argentina. ICare4Autism was lucky enough to have him present his study, “Language, Writing and Conduct Disorder in the Autistic Spectrum” at the 2013 ICare4Autism international Autism Conference held at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, entitled, “Autism: Cutting Edge Research and Promising Treatment Approaches.”
Written language is thought to only be possible after oral language is acquired, but Orlievsky is slowly disproving this notion, working with individuals who are much older than usual to begin learning language skills. His team of experts received the Prize of the Faculty of Psychology of the UBA “Contributions of psychology of the problems of children” in 2005, and has been dedicated to help adolescents learn to communicate. Of their many successes includes a child who could not control their bowels at age 8, but by age 10 was able to write the word “toilet.”[i]
Orlievsky visited Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices, a partner organization of ICare4Autism over the summer to discuss his project. Dr. Joshua Weinstein reflects, “We were very lucky to have Daniel Orlievsky visit our center for children with autism and to learn of his fascinating project. He caught the attention of all at the conference and I look forward to further collaborations.” Rosalind Picard of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Elizabeth Torres, a neuroscientist atRutgersUniversity, are also gaining interest in Orlievsky’s method.
Read more about Daniel Orlievsky’s experience at Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices.
[i] “La Nacion” Autism: Argentine psychologists achieve advances in the treatment. 26 Aug 2013. Web. <http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1613939-autismo-psicologos-argentinos-logran-avances-en-el-tratamiento>