For over 30 years, the Mifne Centre in northern Israel has been working with infants (up to the age of 2) and their families with the unique and powerful method which they have devised and evolved, and which we are working to bring to the UK.
At its core, this is about engaging the child by first providing a safe environment for them and then evoking their natural and innate sense of trust and of wanting to be part of the world around them.
Based on the principles of attachment and containment, it is about giving the child a very real sense of security to elicit their trust, and thus the ability and interest to comfortably engage with those around them for pleasure and out of their own curiosity.
Report from Israel TV News showing how one family was transformed at the Mifne Centre there:
Our book tells the story of Guy Shahar's visit to Mifne with his son, Daniel. It details how the therapy worked to transform Daniel's and his family's life.
It is a parent/family/carer-led approach, and depends on a suitable physical and (more importantly) emotional environment being created around the child in their home. The 3 week-intensive clinic programme (for one family at a time) is an immersive start to this journey in which the whole family is coached to be able to create this environment.
This is the programme that we will be offering at our own UK-based Transforming Austism Mifne Centre, and it will be closely supervised by the clinic in Israel.
More about this approach is outlined in Guy's TED talk, and expanded on in much more detail in his book, Transforming Autism. You can also read more about the Mifne approach at their website (please also see the note at the bottom of this page)
We are aiming to bring our own Mifne Centre to the UK as soon as we are able!! Due to the huge amount of money it will take to establish such a wonderful Centre, and the fact that we are a brand new charity at the start of our journey, we will need in the first instance to focus on our new family services for young autistic children. Once these are up and running and we have proved ourselves as a provider of immensely valuable services, we will turn our attention to Mifne.
This will of course require masses of work and relatively large amounts of money. If you are inspired by our ambitions and would like to help - either by spreading the word, or raising money or bringing your skills to our team or using your networks to help us reach the right people - please consider donating or better still setting up a regular donation to us or raising money through local or challenge events.
Important Note on Terminology
Transforming Autism does not endorse some of the language used on the Mifne Centre's own website - for example around their programme being a "treatment" for autism, etc. We absolutely do not see autism as a deficiency to be "treated" or "prevented".
However, we do stand by the Mifne method, as we know from personal real-life experience that the unfortunate terminology they use does not at all represent the ethos of how they work. We know that their programme is very much about helping families to understand their children, respond in a nourishing and affirming way to their communication, to accept them on their own terms, to build strong trust-based relationships with them, and to help them build the confidence to develop themselves (again, on their own terms). It is the polar opposite of the sort of behavioural approach that this sort of language might imply.
When we are eventually in a position to work towards our own Mifne Centre, we will ensure that it is presented in language that we feel most accurately reflects what it is will offer.