Yearly Archives

2014

Hello I am back: remember the intention!

By | Mindfullness & Laundry | No Comments

It’s been a busy couple of months but I am back to my blog. I have missed you all. I can’t believe that by next week the academic year will be over and I will have completed my first year as a Prof. at Hunter College. The past seven months have been and continue to be an incredible learning journey. I have many times had to stop, remind myself of my intention and I find that, that helps me to center myself so I don’t feel I am thrown off balance. After all I have been dealing with a different …

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Global Autism: awareness and training

By | Everything Autism | No Comments

I have always felt strongly about the positive effect edu-media and film can have in terms of increasing awareness. My friend Mo Hefzy wrote and produced the first Arabic film about Autism and this was a positive start in increasing awareness of autism in Africa and the Arab world. When I first moved to NYC, I was somewhat deluded to believe that things would be different and better. After all this is AMERICA! The challenges for Autism in the US are not very different to what I have seen in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Having worked in these …

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The Joys of Life

By | Mindfullness & Laundry, Uncategorized | No Comments

Moving to New York my life is dramatically different. I have adjusted and it’s been exactly five months. My Sayeda replacement is a Slow Cooker and my Fathy replacement is being chaufer driven by  MTA. But I have to say it really isn’t that bad. Cooking is one of the most relaxing activities and it has helped me appreciate the joy of the simpler things in life. I am surrounded my material temptations, but they just aren’t very tempting anymore. New bag, lipstick, cream? No thanks, I’d rather learn  how to crochet with my Aunt or be baking cookies with …

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A behavioural map for lost identity

By | Tips for Parents and Teachers | No Comments

Prof: “How are you doing?”
Student: “Oh you know school, assignments work, family, and you?”
Prof: “Much the same really school, assignments, homework, deadlines, otherwise good thanks”
Professors are expected to write books and publish academic articles and when you are a new one like me, ‘at the bottom of the totem pole’, you are repeatedly reminded as you are given yet another administrative task that to make Tenure you need to publish.
Well, I have a serious case of writers block. If I need to prepare a class or a presentation it comes naturally, I do the research, put …

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Visual support and furniture assembly

By | Everything Autism | No Comments

Since moving to NYC I have been blessed with a plethora of helpful friendly hands who have assisted me in assembling shelves, cupboards and similar objects. I never seem to match the written instructions with the actual assembly. This all changed today. My latest purchase remained in the box for three weeks until finally today I decided to face my fear and look at the instructions. They were perfect. Visually clear, numbered and I could easily match the objects to the pictures and follow the sequence. In a few minutes a beautiful hat stand was up and in use. I …

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Learn about autism any time any place

By | Everything Autism, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Autism Internet Modules (AIM) are an excellent resource being developed which provide a community of knowledge to people all over the world. Although cultural and linguistic modifications are required, it is a useful site to refer interested professionals or parents to. At present there are eight modules, they include video, key vocabulary, discussion questions as well as a pre-post test. My students tried the assessment module and the feedback was positive.…

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Flesh+PowWow=….Que?

By | Cultural and Linguistic Diversity | No Comments

I grew up in London,  am relatively new to NYC and in the absence of context struggle to comprehend certain NYC specific phrases. So when I was told to “Flush the assignment out at your next pow wow!”. I understood it to mean…

“POW, Batman throws a punch, WOW, he knocks down the villain as Robin jumps into the car, Batman grabs the assignment that needs to be destroyed, flushes it down the gutter and saves the day”

Well I couldn’t have been more mistaken… “Pow wow”= Sit around the fire smoking a peace pipe with colleagues …”Flesh”= Add more …

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Coffee, jazz legends and academia

By | Mindfullness & Laundry, Uncategorized | No Comments

A kind of Blue

I was in need of academic inspiration so I came to “Think Coffee”- it’s where I came when I was preparing to interview for Hunter. I love the music (eclectic) , the coffee (perfectly brewed) and the clientele ranges from NYU students to legendary jazz musicians and profs like me. It’s a great place to sit with a lap top, write, reflect and breathe deeply.

So as I am contemplating Autism and language impairment and enjoying the background jazz a gentleman comes and sits next to me. He’s wearing dark glasses, a hat with a feather …

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volume control

By | Tips for Parents and Teachers, Uncategorized | No Comments

“I think your motor is going too fast, you need to slow down and use your indoor voice”

There are many ways to help children know that they are speaking too loud or two quiet. One of the ways is is to model for them how they should be talking, either by speaking very loudly or speaking so quietly that you are almost inaudible. With older children using video feedback is very effective. Record them, ask them what they think, and 9/10 times they can tell if they are too loud or too quiet. It’s very important when they are …

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The spectrum of tears

By | Everything Autism | No Comments

Under Professor Shirley Cohen’s mentorship I gave a presentation two weeks ago to a group of FAR Fellows associated with the Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Hunter College. The title of my presentation was ‘Autism in the Nonwestern World’; I focused on the countries I have worked in. A large portion of my talk was dedicated to autism in Egypt and specifically the Advance Society. I am known to be a lively presenter and normally I maintain my professional demeanor which I try to keep ‘tear free’. I introduced the topic and when Egypt’s name came up I

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