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How did the Mifne Model Develop?

The Mifne Developmental Process

The Mifne model for therapeutic intervention has been implemented in Israel since 1987 and was developed based on the professional experience of Dr. Alonim, an international expert in developmental disorders on the autism spectrum.


From 1972 to 1987, Dr. Alonim worked both as a therapist for children who were mistakenly diagnosed with hearing impairment, some of whom were eventually diagnosed with autism, and with adults who were diagnosed with autism.


Alonim was convinced that the treatment frameworks for children with autism both in Israel and abroad were deficient. The lack of understanding of the disorder led to the absence of clear directions in treatment. In the pre-internet era, only a little valuable information in the field of autism was available to the world. In those years, early intervention in autism, including the whole family in treatment were strategies that were not even thought of.

How did the Mifne Model Develop?

During her work with many children in Israel and Europe, Alonim came to the conclusion that a number of essential elements of the professional aspect must be changed:

1. Intensive individual therapy for autism 

Alonim noticed that these children have difficulty transferring the experiences gained during one therapeutic hour to the next, so that the gains from treatment were limited in their effect on their routine behavior. This led to her decision to work intensively with each child for several hours a day. It was a revolutionary change.

2. The Child's Age

Alonim's observations were supported by much data showing that the earlier the intervention is done, the better. Lowering the diagnosis age required cooperation with the relevant authorities in Israel, who initially expressed strong opposition. Despite this, over time Alonim’s efforts bore fruit and the age for diagnosis and treatment gradually decreased. In the end, the age of diagnosis for autism in Israel is lower than in other countries.

3. Inclusion of the nuclear family in treatment 

according to Alonim's approach, in light of the fact that the family creates the environment that significantly affects the child and must also deal with his daily difficulties, the treatment of the child should include the entire family.

4. Integration in society

Using the understanding that the ability to imitate is very central in the treatment of autism; If the child is treated individually and can gradually be integrated socially with his peers, and if he remains in the company of his peers with typical behavior, then with appropriate guidance, there is a chance for his optimal development.

The above conclusions led to the development of the Mifne Approach in 1987. Together with several of her colleagues, Alonim established the therapeutic Mifne Center as a non-profit organization, which was actually the first model for early therapeutic intervention in autism in Israel.

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