Last December, Senses Cultural and its representative in Iran, Shokraneh Mavaddat Jahani, made history when it brought a team of neurodevelopmental experts to Iran for a series of events in Tehran and Isfahan including conferences, meetings at research institutes, a visit to an early intervention center, a teacher training workshop and informal consultations with parents. Almost two years in the planning, the event was sponsored and organized by Senses Cultural in collaboration with an Iranian-based NGO, the Charity Foundation for Special Diseases led by Dr. Fatemeh Hashemi, and included the 2nd International Autism Conference in Tehran on December 9th& 10th.
As a result of Senses Cultural’s unique US governmental approval for facilitating the exchange of knowledge about autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders between the U.S. and Iran, we made important progress in our efforts to promote healthy lives for the people of Iran and the U.S., particularly those who have a child with special needs.
Here are just a few of the events that occurred over the week-long trip:
Workshop for over 200 Iranian special educators by four highly-qualified professionals from the UC Davis MIND Institute, along with the respected Dr. Mesbah Ansari, a UN specialist and newly joined Senses Cultural Board of Advisory:
Here are a few efforts in process that resulted from the trip and that we are hopeful will lead to the signing of agreements between major Iranian universities and Senses Cultural in cooperation with US academic institutions:
- Development of a curriculum for a School of Autism in Iran, in partnership with the Iranian Ministry of Education for kids with special needs.
- The transfer of evidence-based models of autism treatment to improve outcomes for young children with autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.
- The development of collaborative genetic research programs, including stem cell research, with Ruyan Institute in Tehran and their major branch in Isfahan.
- The development of online consultation between clinicians in the US and Iran for the benefit of families in Iran.
A Memorandum of Understanding with Shiraz University Department of Neuroscience for the exchange of medical information, the organizing of a research program and the engagement of young and enthusiastic researchers through their participation in the UC Davis MIND Institute International Training Program in Neurodevelopmental Disorders. This project is being organized in collaboration with Dr. Mohammad Nami, Head of the Department of Neuroscience.
Dr. Nami is a brilliant scientific figure and we are honored to have him as the newest member of the Senses Cultural Advisory Board.
We owe this all to:
- Randi Hagerman,UC Davis MIND Institute
- Paul Hagerman, UC Davis MIND Institute
- Marsha Chinichian, UC Davis MIND Institute
- Melissa Mello, UC Davis MIND Institute
- Stephani Sherman, Atlanta University
- Laura Greiss Hess -Dominican University of California
- Kerrie Lemons Chitwood- California State University Monterey
- Monila Rahimi, a faculty member at Sutter Center for Psychiatry (Sacramento, CA)
- Onur Durson, University of Ataturk, 25240, Erzurum, Turkey
We were honored by the support of:
- Charity FoundationFor Special Diseases (CFFSD) and the honorable Dr. Fatemeh Hashemi and her supportive team including:
- Kia Tabatabaee
- Mohammad Kian
- Solmaz Sabet
- Farhangsarayeh Niavaran
- Abbas Sajjadi
- Tehran University- Dr. Mohammad Reza Mohammadi.
- The Ministry of Education
- The Educational Ministry for Special Needs- Dr. Monireh Azizi and Ms. Shahnaz Karimi
- Isfahan University- Dr. Sabri and Dr. Mohamad Reza Sadeghi
Senses Cultural team:
- Robert M. Miller- Health Director
- Aboulhasan Mokhtabad- Farsi Editor
- Maryam Oskoie- Video
- Behrooz Badie- Photgraphy
Shokraneh Mavaddat jahani team of contributors:
- Mehdi Khalili, PSYD- Managing Director
- Nastaran Ershad
- Jila Sharifie
- Fatemeh Negahban
- Mohammad Esmailie
- Homeira Azimi
- Negar yazdan Panah
- Atiyeh Razavi
and so many other dedicated contributors and supporters like you.
Senses Cultural is part of a community working to bring a better life to families, mothers and children who are dealing with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders such as fragile X syndrome. Together we can make changes through the sharing ofknowledgeand the building of collaborations dedicated to solvingthe mysteries of autism.
We ask you to join us in building healthier communities around the world. The path is clear! Let’s walk this together.
The Sunday evening, October 8th fundraising event at our residence was a true blessing where we experienced the support of our community towards our efforts to expand autism research and treatment in Iran. The upcoming International Autism Conference in Tehran received a tremendous boost, thanks to all of you.
The conference is part of a journey we started a few years ago with great promise. From Sacramento to Tehran, and soon to other cities in Iran the Middle East and elsewhere, Senses Cultural is committed to helping those impacted by autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders live better lives. (We just received another exciting invitation from Esfahan University to discuss future conferences and workshops!)
I am especially grateful to the young professionals who are working with us to achieve these goals, as well as to our many partners, supporters and the board of advisors who are enabling us to implement our mission. Thank you!