International: +972(4) 693-1021 Info@Mifne-Autism.com

About the Mifne Center

The Mifne Center

The Mifne Center – Autism Treatment, Training & Research

Mifne is the only center in Israel that offers a short-term intensive treatment for autism in infants up to age two, within the context of the entire family.

The Mifne Center is located in Rosh Pina, in a beautifully restored stone building situated in the old town. Mifne cares for infants diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders from all over Israel and the world, using a unique method it has developed since its foundation in 1987.

The Mifne Center handles infants at risk when they show early signs of the autism disorder during the development of first-year bonding, which may indicate the possibility of pre-autism.

PRE-AUTISM: The term pre-autism refers to a baby’s reactions that signal difficulties in communication with their environment: parents, siblings, etc.

EARLY DETECTION: Early detection of developmental disorders in infants is critical to the success of treatment. The Mifne Center has pioneered research in this field and developed assessment tools that are able to diagnose the development of autism in infants younger than 18 months.

DIAGNOSIS: Diagnosis is performed in conjunction with neurologists who are experts in child development from the Tel Aviv Medical Center Dana -Duak Children’s Hospital.

TREATMENT: The treatment program focuses on the entire range of the baby’s developmental components—physical, sensory, motor, emotional, and cognitive—through the use of Reciprocal Play Therapy, a method developed at the Mifne Center to motivate and provide an impetus for the improvement of the baby’s abilities to engage and communicate with his environment out of curiosity and pleasure. On the assumption that parents are actually the main resource for the needs of their children and that they have the ability to promote their children’s development during the meaningful early infancy stages, the program encompasses the entire nuclear family. The therapeutic approach is holistic and combines medical, biological-mental, socio-psychological, and environmental aspects. The program also includes observation of the baby’s developmental components and their meanings, personal/marital/family feedback sessions as well as work with the infant’s siblings, all according to the needs of each specific family. Parents are fully involved and trained regarding the therapeutic processes for their children in order to sustain and implement them in their daily lives.

THE FAMILY: The Family Therapy Approach resulted from the perception that parents have the highest capacity to promote development in their children from the earliest most vital stages of infancy. This therapeutic approach combines medical and socio-psychological aspects. It references all the components of a baby’s development that affect its future and that of the family, according to the specific needs of each family. A 3-step integration process at home follows the intense program at the Mifne Center.

The Mifne Swiss House

The Mifne House was built in 1938 and stood abandoned for many years. Permission for the Mifne Association to use the building was given by Aharon Berenson, then Mayor of Rosh Pinna’s Municipal Council and was leased to the Mifne Association by the Israel Land Authority. The renovations were financed by generous donations from the Mifne Swiss Foundation, and The Rich Foundation. Since then, the building has been used for activities of the Mifne Organization in Israel and abroad.

The Treatment Program

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The Treatment Program focuses on the entire range of the baby’s developmental components—physical, sensory, motor, emotional, and cognitive—through the use of Reciprocal Play Therapy, a method developed at the Mifne Center to motivate and provide an impetus for the improvement of the baby’s abilities to engage and communicate with his environment out of curiosity and pleasure. On the assumption that parents are actually the main resource for the needs of their children and that they have the ability to promote their children’s development during the meaningful early infancy stages, the program encompasses the entire nuclear family. The therapeutic approach is holistic and combines medical, biological-mental, socio-psychological, and environmental aspects. The program also includes observation of the baby’s developmental components and their meanings, personal/marital/family feedback sessions as well as work with the infant’s siblings, all according to the needs of each specific family. Parents are fully involved and trained regarding the therapeutic processes for their children in order to sustain and implement them in their daily lives.

3-Step Treatment Process

|1 Intensive family system treatment for three weeks at the Mifne Center

|2 Aftercare treatment in the family home under the supervision of the Mifne Center

|3 Integration in kindergarten with accompanying supervision from the Mifne Center

Research

  • Research conducted at the Mifne Center over the past decade conducted a retrospective investigation by videos of infants who were diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. This led to the development of the eight identifying signs for the early detection of communication development disorders in babies (Alonim et al., 2011).
  • A study conducted at the Mifne Center produced significant findings concerning eating disorders in young children with autism, a disorder typifying this syndrome that has not yet been officially specified as a diagnostic criterion (Alonim, 2010).
  • A follow-up study conducted at the Mifne Center found that 74.8% of the infants treated at the Mifne Center in the years 1995-2005 that had been diagnosed with various disorders throughout the entire range of the autism spectrum are now functioning within the mainstream education system (Alonim et al., 2009).
  • Research conducted at the Mifne Center by the Schneider hospital points to a significant statistical improvement in the behavior of the group of children treated at the Mifne Center between the years 1997-2001. The research results were published in the international Autism journal (Apter et al., 2007).
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Training

The first School for the Training of Therapists in the Field of Autism was established in 2001 by the Mifne Center in cooperation with the School of Social Work at the Bar Ilan University. This school offers therapists a two-year course focusing on autism in infants and family therapy according to the Mifne approach. The school’s graduates work with toddlers and their families in the aftercare treatment in the family’s home and community.

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Funding

The Mifne is a non-profit organization that treats all strata of the population without distinction between families of different religious beliefs or socio-economic means. Funding for Israeli families varies according to criteria stipulated in the organization’s regulations. Mifne is supported mainly by the Mifne Swiss Foundation, founded by Dr Ernst and Ilse Braunschweig in 1990. The current president of the foundation is Dr Eric Teitler. Other major support sources: Keren Hayesod, the DEAR Foundation, private funds in Israel and abroad, and the Israeli Ministry of Welfare. Our organization is a recognized, certified public institution for the purpose of contributions.

Founder and Director, Dr .Hanna A. Alonim, is an expert in Infancy Development Disorders of the Autism Spectrum and head of the School of Therapists at the Bar Ilan University. She developed the Early Signs of Pre-Autism Scale for Infants, (ESPASI, 2005) and pioneered the Diagnosis of Infants Unit at the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv. Alonim is also the Public Representative of the Helsinki Committee for Medical Research at the Ziv Medical Center, Israel. © Mifne 2015.

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