I know that this a is a bit late in coming (sorry about that Lynne, Aida and the therapy team; I've been a bit busy), but I would just like to acknowledge the very warm welcome I had at the High Hopes Pediatric Therapy Centre in Dubai at the end of 2019.
So Dubai can now be added to the long list of countries (or states ... or emirates?) where Intensive Interaction is now practiced! Surely we must be nearing a critical mass where we should get some acknowledgment at the United Nations General Assembly (we really should ... and I don't mean that as a joke!).
I was invited to Dubai by Lynne Jafar (founder of High Hopes and mum to Lulu) who I met at the 2019 CDKL5 family conference in Edinburgh (see my Blog of 05/07/19). Attending one of my workshops at this CDKL5 conference, Lynne immediately saw the value and power of Intensive Interaction, particularly so for her daughter Lulu. So I was invited to introduce the approach to her multinational therapy team at High Hopes (Hi to Viviane, Emma, Kunali, Priscilla, Jonathan, and Lindsey - pictured below).
We spent a very productive 4 days together, and I had the great pleasure of meeting and interacting with a number of the children who regularly attend High Hopes; often with their parents also in attendance. So I was able to talk about the approach, and the kinds of social communication and developmental outcomes that we would expect to see through the sustained use of Intensive Interaction. I also got to give open 'Q & A' type sessions for both parents and other Dubai based professionals; with about 12 from each group attending who were keenly interested to hear more about Intensive Interaction.
So thanks again to Lynne and Aida (pictured above on the right). It always takes someone to be the enthusiastic and dynamic 'change agent'; the person who is the first to introduce Intensive Interaction to a new place, a new service, or even a new country. I feel that High Hopes can be just that ... it can act as a positive catalyst for the future development of Intensive Interaction across Dubai. It can genuinely bring 'high hopes' to many other parents and family members in Dubai to interactively attune and connect with their children with special needs ... so many thanks and congratulations for starting that process.
Oh, and the Dubai weather was fantastic (almost as warm as the welcome), and the local architecture was out of this world (almost literally).