In this short talk Carina Morillo speaks (in Spanish, with subtitles in English) about her son’s life with autism. She learned almost by instinct to be an eye contact coach. She mastered the art of communicating to a person who is completely nonverbal

. Most of all she shows us the power of a mother’s love.


Who is She?:

Carina Morillo knew almost nothing about autism when her son Ivan was diagnosed — only that he didn’t speak or respond to words, and that she had to find other ways to connect with him. She shares how she learned to help her son thrive by being curious along with him.

Why you should view:

In this talk Morillo shows us how something as theoretically based as “The Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR) Approach/Floortime developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Serene Wieder.” can be used to change the life of a real child.

Discussion Questions:

  • What does she mean by “eye contact coach”?
  • There was no internet, you couldn’t Google information, so we made those first steps out of sheer intuition. What would you do if you couldn’t find information electronically?
  • How did she learn, while driving, that her son was more in tune with the world than she had realized?
  • Ivan uses a tablet loaded with pictures to communicate. How could this be done in a non-wired world?

Making Connections:

First Feelings: Milestones in the Emotional Development of Your Baby and Child: Amazon link  Stanley Greenspan and Nancy Thorndike Greenspan 

An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales: Amazon link

Oliver Sacks

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Amazon link

Mark Haddon

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism advocacy organization, and was started in 2005 by two grandparents, Suzanne and Bob Wright, inspired by their grandson Christian with autism, who was also non-verbal like my son Ivan.

For a complete listing of the signs of autism and developmental milestones, I recommend checking these two links at CDC’s website, Signs of autism and Developmental milestones.

To understand autism, don’t look away with Carina Morillo


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