Working with Autistic Children in Israel

My name is Michelle Fogelson and I am from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I graduated from University of Minnesota in December, and I will begin graduate school this coming September.  This window of time was the perfect time for me to spend time in Israel, and Career Israel was the perfect way for me to grow professionally and have and independent experience in Tel Aviv for a few months.

I am currently interning with the Association for Children at Risk, which is an organization that provides therapeutic service to young children with Autism. I work in a “gan” (kindergarten) with eight pre-school age children who are each on the autism spectrum.  My time is split between helping in the classroom with the educational staff, and working alongside the therapists in physical, speech and occupational therapy. The highlight of my experience has been getting field experience in therapies with children with autism. This is an experience I would have never gotten in the US at this point in my educational and professional career. As I begin my graduate studies in social work I will call on these experiences.

In addition to the internship, Career Israel provides us with trips and seminars every few weeks.  My favorite seminar this year was the Yom Hazikaron seminar during which we learned about Israeli Memorial Day which is celebrated very differently than I am used to celebrating Memorial Day. Being at Latrun when the siren sounded throughout the country announcing the start of the holiday was a memory I’ll have forever.

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