Hour 11 of The Autism Network Podcastathon
Live from South Africa, Ilana Gerschlowitz hosts this inspirational hour on the subject of How to Keep Your Hope Alive!
Ilana, who is the author of the book, Saving My Sons, will be joined by her husband Martin and her son Eli.
The Gerschlowitz family from Johannesburg South Africa, came face to face with autism twice. Today their oldest son David, is an adult with autism and Ilana tells us more about his day-to-day activities, functioning and level of independence. Autism struck a second time, threatening their youngest son’s future, but they never gave up and today 10 year old Aaron is indistinguishable from his peers. After 4 years of an ABA program 7 hours a day, Aaron achieved best outcomes. Ilana will share valuable advice and insight on ABA, the role of nutrition and biomedical intervention. Martin reflects on their journey, from a Dad’s perspective and offers practical advice on how to tackle a diagnosis of autism. 18 year old Eli, who is their middle son, is a sibling to a profoundly autistic brother with autism. He shares his take on autism and advice to other siblings. Their message is one of hope and inspiration!
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Ilana Gerschlowitz lives in Johannesburg South Africa with her husband and three children. After her eldest son was diagnosed with autism, 18 years ago, she abandoned her law career and immersed herself in research to find solutions. In 2009, she hosted the landmark Challenging Children Conference in South Africa, which provided a platform for the presentation of the latest treatments and developments in autism including Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Thereafter, she founded The Star Academy which provides ABA programs to children with autism or a related disorder not only in South Africa but also in Africa. She is also the Founding Director of Catch Up Kids, which helps children overcome learning challenges. Ilana is the recipient of many awards for her work in education and has been a guest speaker at international conferences. She hosts a podcast, Autism: Now What? and her book Saving My Sons – A Journey with Autism was published in 2019.
Martin Gerschlowitz’s impact and contribution to autism in South Africa has been life changing not only for his own family but also for other families in Africa as he has helped to establish and run The Star Academy which provides ABA programs to children with autism on the African Continent. As a little boy he grew up on the friendly streets of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. He completed High School in 1990 and enrolled at The University of the Witwatersrand, to become a chartered accountant. Martin is a successful businessman and his voice and wisdom on autism is weaved throughout the book: Saving My Sons – A Journey With Autism, where he shares an account of his experience having come face to face with autism twice.
Eli Gerschlowitz is 18 years old, brother to David with autism and a first-year medical student at the University of Cape Town. He achieved 9 distinctions in his final year of High School and was on the South African Independent Examination Board’s commendable list for academic achievement in his country. Eli was born into a family where autism was high on the agenda. He is determined to qualify as a doctor specialising in biomedical treatments for autism. He is passionate about emergency medicine but also wants to publish research on autism treatments after he qualifies from medical school.