Message From Founder and Director
I am a 2e mom, educator, psychiatrist, and aspire to be a life-long learner. I sincerely appreciate your interest in 2e4Me Academy, a project more than 8 years in the making, which would not be possible without the parents who entrusted me with their precious children during our pilot phase, the children who shared their deepest fears and wildest dreams with me, the unwavering faith, dedication, love and support of my partner, friend and co-founder Steve, the wonderful teachers and staff who support our children every day, my soulmate husband, our brilliant son and my family.
I started this project because I deeply believe that no diagnostic measure could possibly encapsulate the richness of a human mind, and that no diagnostic term could ever place a cap on potential.
I was influenced by my late mentor, Dr. Darold Treffert, may he rest in peace. If you have not heard of him, it is because he had that gentle, quiet, humble presence, never spoke too loud or too much, but had a huge impact on so many lives.
As I worked with my patients and their families, I wished for therapeutic support to be embedded within all educational and recreational activities, for everyone, such that there was no longer any distinction between “therapy” and “life”, "therapist" and "teacher".
I wished for anxious brilliant children to relax, let go, run around, learn to bike, learn to swim, and just be “children” while still being mathematicians, astronauts, musicians, artists, doctors, engineers, inventors, coders and everything in between. I wished for them to learn how to communicate how they felt, safely and effectively, and I wanted the world to learn how to hear them, even if they didn’t utter any words. I wished for them to learn the tools necessary to soothe themselves in a timely manner, before anxiety took over, and the skills that would empower them to grow into respectful members of a larger society.
I wished for tired families to stop driving around from one appointment to the other, and to have time for dinner, games and snuggles before bed.
I wished for professionals to observe, assess, support, teach and communicate in real time, and tell families how everyone’s day went, without having to check screens or data sheets.
I talked about this vision to anyone who would listen, nonstop.
Finally, two amazing women, Debra Muzikar and Nancy Laturno, leading two incredible nonprofit organizations, The Art of Autism and Mainly Mozart, empowered me, gave me their time, energy, and resources, and helped me bring my vision to life.
Together, we created a three-day symposium centered on this dream – Mainly Mozart: Mozart & The Mind was held in San Diego on May 30 to June 2, 2019. It brought together the giants, rising-stars and new-comers of the 2e world, from all walks of life and from a wide range of disciplines, sharing their personal journeys and insights with an audience of physicians, therapists, educators, community leaders, business owners and families.
Dr. Temple Grandin was our guest of honor and Dr. Susan Baum was our keynote speaker, among many others. We got to meet artists from The Art of Autism. We got to hear from so many young thinkers, like Diego Pena, an 11 year old author, and Matteo Musso, a 14 year old non-speaking poet, composer and blogger. We learned about synesthesia, blindisms, perfect pitch, autism, ADHD, photographic memory, selective mutism, speech apraxia, Tourette's syndrome, as part of the lived experiences of our presenters. No unicorns, no heroes, no glorification, no minimization – just real lived experiences by the people who experienced them. We were treated to live performances by Derek Paravicini and so many others. We heard Derek describe what made his teacher, Dr. Adam Ockelford, so great. We heard from Banding Together, and learned what made jamming together so special.
After the symposium, Debra and Nancy, my family, friends, mentors and colleagues all saw to it that we must continue this journey together to build a haven where 2e children grow to love, trust, and value themselves and others, and where they are free to follow their interests, nurture their strengths and unleash their potentials. We saw to it that we would make this happen at 2e4Me.
Lamis Jabri, MD
Founder and Director