Through Autism Friendly Spaces, Gizem Tanol enhances the quality of life for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families by enabling communities to become more inclusive, such as ASD friendly theater performances and museum exhibits. At NYU, she runs a program in public schools to provide a therapeutic environment to help children with ASD learn how to function well academically, behaviorally, and socially, both in-and-outside of the classroom.
My advisor Jennifer McComas was a mentor and role model from the first day in the master's program. She supported me throughout and convinced me that I could always do better. I'm proud to be Jennifer’s student and hope to have a similar impact in my students one day.
I am an India Pale Ale beer enthusiast!
Interdisciplinary collaboration is extremely important. I believe that quality of life is a right to individuals with disabilities, not a privilege. After partnering with experts from different fields in the community, such as theaters and museums, I see this is coming to life in ways that I would have never imagined.
Sidney W. Bijou, a pioneer in behavioral and developmental psychology, and early childhood education.
For families affected by autism, situations that parents of typically developing children might take for granted are often very challenging (such as taking your family to a restaurant, a museum, or even spending an afternoon at the playground). Through these autism-friendly events, it’s extremely gratifying to talk to a father whose family was able to take in a Broadway show together, or a mother whose family could enjoy a restaurant brunch without fear of a child’s meltdown. Getting overwhelmingly positive feedback from families makes me excited about what I do.