Donia Fahim, Ph.D., Cert. MRCSLT (UK), is the Founder & Director of Education and Therapeutic Spaces Ltd. She is a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, International Educational Consultant, writer, and adventure/traveller who has devoted her life to improving the educational and therapeutic services of young children with special needs around the world. She is considered one of the leading experts in the field of early intervention, international special education, and speech-language therapy. She utilizes evidence-based practices with in-depth knowledge across disciplines. Dr. Fahim and her team provide consultations in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
As a writer, she has authored several peer reviewed journal articles on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dual Language Learning, Specific Language Impairment (SLI), and meaningful inclusion of children in the school setting. Her first book, co-authored with Dr. Rhea Paul, Let’s Talk: Navigating Your Child’s Communication Services and Supports for Your Young Child with Autism, published by Brookes (2016), is now used as a text book and trusted resource by parents and professionals. She has recently completed the Arabic version of ‘The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills – Revised’ with Iman Mortagy. This is the only approved Arabic version by Dr Jim Partington (original Author). She is currently working on books for adolescents with Autism, with a focus on compassion and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Autism Specialist & SLT London
Dr Fahim is now located in London, prior to this Dr. Fahim spent a decade working in New York City, as a Professor, and later as a consultant for the ASD Nest Project (Autism Spectrum Disorders) at Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, New York University. While in NYC, she led the development of the Dual Language Program, the first program of its kind where children with ASD receive instruction in both Spanish and English. She was also responsible for the expansion of the Intensive Kindergarten Program with Professor Shirley Cohen. In 2010 she co-founded ‘Autism Friendly Spaces Inc’, and she was the executive director until 2018. Autism Friendly Spaces Inc is a non-profit and was the first organisation to make Broadway shows accessible to the Autism community, as well as Museums and Restaurants.
Clinical Therapy for Children & Families
Dr. Fahim provides in-person and tele-therapy services for children, their parents, and educators. She has been combining Applied Behaviour Analysis with Developmental therapy approaches for more than 23 years. She is also Prompt certified, CBT trained and has expertise in the SOS feeding programme. Dr Fahim consults for NGO’s and provides information on Autism Spectrum Disorders and accommodation advice for corporate companies, with a focus on Neurodiversity.
Dr. Fahim was an Assistant Professor and Early Childhood Special Education Program Coordinator at Hunter College, CUNY from 2008 to 2013. She was an Associate Adjunct Professor in Speech-Language Pathology, at Sacred Heart University, CT from 2013 to 2018. She continues to collaborate with Dr Rhea Paul on a number of projects related to Autism and Speech-Language Therapy, including their popular podcast, ‘Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids and Cake’.
Dr. Fahim loves to travel, and her work has taken her to almost every continent of the world. From 1998 to 2007, she served as Clinical Director and founding member of The Egyptian Society for Developing Skills of Special Needs Children, focusing on work with individuals with ASD and early intervention, where her focus was on developing organization-specific educational curriculum, clinical procedures and guidelines for special education for young children with special needs.
More About Dr. Donia Fahim
Born in the United Kingdom, Dr. Fahim obtained her B.Sc., M.A, and PhD from the University of London. She is a reviewer for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and other leading peer reviewed journals in the field. She is a certified member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, as well as a registered member of the Health and Care Professions Council.
Dr. Fahim has worked with: Advance Society, Learning Resource Centre, Nida Centre, Caritas (Egypt); Saudi Autistic Society (Saudi Arabia); the Patrick Centre (Nigeria); Early Years Centre, Montessori School of Amman (Jordan), and the Aarhus ASD Nest Program (Denmark).
Dr. Fahim has been an invited speaker at many leading international conferences and events hosted by both governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These include the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood in Egypt, UNESCO EFA (Education for All) conferences (Beirut); the Annual Autism Conference in Egypt, World Autism Congress and Exhibition in South Africa, the Stockholm Annual Autism Conference, the Saudi Autism awareness campaign.
She was a Keynote Speaker at the 2014 Saudi International Occupational Therapy Conference and has also received awards from the Saudi Ministry of Health for her contribution to parent training for families of children with ASD. She has appeared on national and international radio and television programmes in the US, Africa, and Asia.