Mom inspired to write a book after years of autism research into how to help her sons

By Matthew Petersen Time of article published Apr 15, 2022


Cape Town – When Ilana Gerschlowitz prepared for life with her husband as a newly-married couple, she did not expect to have autism knocking at their door.
Her sons David, 20, and Aaron, 9, were both diagnosed with autism. At the time of David’s birth, Ilana worked as a lawyer and did years of research as to how she could help her son, who was diagnosed at 20 months old.

She reached out to Dr Doreen Granpeesheh, the CEO of the Centre of Autism Research Disorders (Card), a world leading service provider for autism.
That was the first time her son’s autism diagnosis, and how she could help him, made sense to her.
Gerschlowitz is the CEO and founder of Star Academy, a specialist autism centre that has academies around the world affiliated to Card.

“Star Academy provides individualised training programmes for children living across the autism disorder spectrum. We do this through Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) to identify missing skills and treat each child according to their specific deficit,” she said.
By the time Aaron was born, she was better equipped to deal with his autism, which was not as severe as David’s.
“Aaron received ABA for four years, seven hours a day. He lost his autism diagnosis and no longer presents criteria of autism,” she said. From this she wanted to use her different experiences to help others.

Ilana’s work at the Star Academy led her to her book, titled Saving my Sons, that serves as a guide for parents and researchers.
“I wanted to share what I learnt on my treacherous journey of autism and provide a guide to other parents starting their journey with dealing with autism, to educate them on various treatment options for autism, and call on all health professionals to open their minds and embrace the many new areas of research and evidence-based treatments in the field,” she said.
April is Autism Awareness Month and Ilana’s book can go a long way to helping so many others to deal with the trials and tribulations of living with autism.



Cape Argus