My experience

My journey from depression to one of Israel's 70 Most Influential Women of the year

Over the past two decades, I have gained practical experience in every educational framework, including nurseries and schools in the private, public and special education sectors. I have witnessed teachers who cared, and those who didn’t. I am a mother to five children, two of whom have different types of special needs and communication issues. In the course of my career I have written books and developed programmes for all children, from the kitchen to the classroom to the sports field.

 

Below is a brief timeline of my journey:

2003

My first child, Henry, was born.

2005

Henry, aged 2, was diagnosed with medium- to high-functioning autism.

Two months later, the doctors said they had never seen a child progress with his speech so fast, and they retracted the diagnosis.

2007

We moved to Israel for a new start.

2008

My twins, Elisheva and Rafaella, were born. I was a mother to four children under the age of 5.

After months of fighting for an accurate answer, Henry was re-diagnosed as having Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

2012

I established Israel's first baseball team for children on the autistic spectrum. It was the first opportunity the children had to play ball with their dads and participate in a sport without being ridiculed or excluded. The team received a six-page spread in a national newspaper and met the American Ambassador to Israel.

I wrote a small illustrated book, called "When Words Fail". It illustrated the entire game of baseball and its components, to help educate the children and prepare them to play.

    

I also wrote "The Getting Ready for School" book.

2013

My memoir, "A Brief Moment in Time", was published, winning two Honorary Mention Awards at the New York and Paris Book Festivals.

I also began running cookery classes in my home for all children.

2014

The Mazal L'Chayim (Luck for Life) programme was established to break down social barriers that exist between children with special needs and children without special needs. The programme earned the school the National Prize for Excellence in Education in 2017, for delivering unprecedented results.

As of 2020, the programme was in its sixth year and I had educated over 1,300 students in mainstream schools about children with special needs. Using the principles of CBT, the students were free to voice their fears and questions no matter how 'inappropriate' they are considered to be to better understand, explore and experience special needs in a new more meaningful way.

2015

My fifth child, Jacob, was born.

“The Cookbook for Children with Special Needs” was published.

2017

I was named one of Israel's top 70 Most Influential Women of the Year

Israel's 70 Most Influential Women of the Year

Click images to expand

2004

My second child, Amariah, was born, with unexpected Down's syndrome.

The team meeting the American Ambassador to Israel

2019 

Qualified as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and opened my private clinic.

© 2020 Deborah French  | MarComms: www.CrosshairsMarketing.co.uk | Website Design: www.MonaLisasArt.com 

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