Ilana Gerschlowitz

Autism, Family, and Community

About the Speaker

Ilana Gerschlowitz lives in Johannesburg South Africa with her husband and three children. She was raised on a farm and moved to Johannesburg to pursue a career in law. She completed a Commerce Degree at the University of South Africa in 1997. She went on to complete a Law Degree at The University of the Witwatersrand and was subsequently admitted and practiced as an attorney in 1999.

After her eldest son was diagnosed with autism, Ilana abandoned her law career and immersed herself in research to find solutions. In 2009 she hosted the landmark Challenging Children Conference in South Africa which provided a platform for the presentation of the latest treatments and developments in autism including ABA. Thereafter, she founded The Star Academy which provides ABA services to children with autism or a related disorder. Ilana has been the driving force behind ensuring that parents around South Africa and Africa receive expert ABA services for their children. She is also the Founding Director of Catch Up Kids, which helps children overcome learning challenges.

Ilana was recognized for her work in education in 2015 and received the CEO Global award for Africa’s most influential woman in Business and Government in the Education and Training Private Sector Category where she won Region, Country and Continent.

During 2016 she sat for the Board Certified Autism Technician (BCAT) examination accredited by the Behavioural Intervention Certification Council based in the US. In 2018 she qualified as a finalist for the Europcar Jewish Woman in Leadership Award.

Ilana has been extensively interviewed in the media on her work in ABA and autism over many years. She is the author of Saving My Sons – A Journey with Autism which she launched in 2019. Her book sends a powerful message to parents and professionals in the world of autism highlighting the need for and recognition of ABA not only in South Africa but also on the continent of Africa.

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