Tag Archives: Toronto

Gil talks about Shrub Oak International School on “Affect Autism.”

15 Feb

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I love the blog and website, Affect Autism! I sat down with my good friend, and fierce developmental advocate, Daria Brown, while I was in Toronto at Oakwood Academy a couple of weeks ago, to do a podcast and interview for her influential blog. We talked about Shrub Oak International School, the school I am helping to found in Westchester County, New York. We ranged over a number of topics, but we focused in on how I plan to use what I have learned over many years of starting, running and consulting to schools to make Shrub Oak extraordinary. Specifically, we talked about how the fantastic 127 acre campus of Shrub Oak supports the sensory processing challenges of students, and avoids the problems that occur when classrooms are overcrowded and schools are loud and confusing.

Take a couple of minutes to listen to the interview, visit the Shrub Oak website, and then do a deep dive on Daria’s site, “Affect Autism.” I think you will find it worth the time you invest!

Foundation Academics: First Things First

26 Sep

Foundation Academics: What is it?

Foundation Academics: What is it?

Here is a podcast I did with Affect Autism, and it’s host, Daria Brown. She is a real leader here in North America, headquartered in Toronto, on the issue of respectful, appropriate, developmental support for people with autism spectrum challenges. I loved talking with her about a concept I came up with about 10 years ago, Foundation Academics. It is my attempt to explain to parents why we need to focus on early developmental levels before we get to reading, writing and arithmetic. It helps to explain that you need to do first things FIRST, and THEN we will get to those more traditional, “secondary academics.” I think this is my first publicly available full explanation of the idea of Foundation Academics, one of the cornerstones of my educational philosophy for folks with developmental challenges like autism spectrum challenges. Enjoy!

Gil on the “I” in DIR at Oakwood Academy in Toronto

25 Mar


This is a video of me answering a question for a parent in an open forum in Toronto, in support of Oakwood Academy, a school for kids with neurodevelopmental challenges. They are using the DIR/Floortime model as part of their comprehensive curriculum, and I have been supporting them, doing case conferences and coming to the school, as they work to create a great educational program for their kids. They are a really wonderful group of people, so hard working and dedicated, and they are doing a great job in the model.

During my recent visit, the Oakwood Academy people rented a local gymnasium and invited their parents, and others in the community, to come hear me speak about DIR/Floortime. The reception we got was fantastic, which is not surprising, as we talked about a developmental model, that takes into account who a child is, and respects that child for who he or she is. Parents are always excited to find that there is an appropriate, developmental model, which respects their child, and works!

There will be other videos from my three days with this great group of people at Oakwood Academy coming soon.

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