Guy Shahar is a writer, autism consultant and Founder & CEO of The Transforming Autism Project, a charity he founded in 2016.
When he suspected that his son had autism, at the early age of 1, and realising that good quality support was not easily available, he and his wife decided to take matters into their own hands. After a lot of research, they ended up paying a visit to the Mifne Clinic in Israel, which specialises in very early intervention in autism.
There, they learnt that in order to achieve real meaningful improvements in the lives of an autistic child, it is not enough to treat the superficial symptoms one by one - they are too inter-connected. Instead, parents need to create a safe emotional and physical environment around the child, where their underlying anxiety can be soothed and where they have the space to develop and build their inner-strength so that they can cope more successfully with the world around them.
On their return home, Guy and his wife made use of what they had learnt and made major changes in their own behaviour towards their son, and over time, they saw radical improvements in his quality of life: his anxiety was much reduced, meltdowns became rarer and rarer, until they stopped all together, his eye-contact and interaction with them improved enormously, and he became much more able to tolerate the things that used to stress him.
Now, Guy's charity is working on bringing a Mifne Clinic to the UK so that this much needed transformative early intervention in autism is available here. In the meantime, he is offering consultations for parents with young autistic children, to give them access to the true possibilities for their children.
Guy grew up in Wolverhampton in the 1980s. As a child and young adult, he had many undiagnosed autistic traits of his own, especially affecting his social awareness and understanding. This continued well into his 20s, but after he began practising Heartfulness meditation aged 27, many of the adverse effects of these traits began to recede and he gained more command of his life and direction.
Guy has worked as a radio broadcaster, a TEFL teacher and teacher trainer, and most recently as a project manager in IT, a role he left in 2016 to establish the charity.
As well as meditation, Guy loves to write, and in addition to his 2 books, he has written a 6-part TV comedy series and 2 films. He also enjoys music, playing the piano (and formerly the guitar), though not to any level of technical mastery, and only his own compositions.