Turkish Special Ed Teacher to Continue Study at PCDI

Gokhan Ince, a special education teacher in Istanbul who took part in a residency program at Princeton Child Development Institute in 2009, has returned this year to focus on learning to train, supervise, and evaluate those who teach children with autis

Editor's Note: The following is a news release issued by the Princeton Child Development Institute, which is located on Cold Soil Road in Lawrence Township.


Gokhan Ince, a special education teacher in Istanbul, Turkey, first visited Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI) in 2009 to receive training in applied behavior analysis.

As the coordinator of the clinical program at Tohum (The Foundation for Early Diagnosis and Education of Autism in Turkey), his residency at PCDI this year will focus on learning to train, supervise, and evaluate teaching staff.

Gokhan Ince holds a masters degree from Anadolu University and values Tohum’s relationship with PCDI saying, “I feel strongly that training here will broaden my perspective and improve my skills by learning the techniques developed at PCDI.  Tohum is a pioneer in autism training in Turkey and we are working hard to catch up to PCDI’s reputation as one of the leading programs for the treatment of autism in the U.S. We are seeing positive results every year since our relationship with PCDI began.”

Gregory S. MacDuff, Ph.D., co-executive director of PCDI said, “Because autism knows no national or cultural boundaries, PCDI shares its pioneering programs, technology, and research with professionals in the US and abroad so that more people affected by autism may benefit.”

Mine Narin Verdi and Aylinn Sezgin founded Tohum in Turkey in 2003. They searched throughout Europe and the United States for an autism intervention model that could be emulated in Istanbul.  The search lead to PCDI; one of the leading applied behavior analysis programs in the United States. To learn more, visit www.tohumotizm.org.

Dr. Binyamin Birkan, the executive director of Tohum, completed a 12-month residency at PCDI before opening the Tohum Autism Foundation Special Needs School in 2008.

One of the missions of Tohum is to disseminate autism intervention programs learned at PCDI to other teachers in Turkey. The Tohum clinical program strives to reach the widest possible group of teachers and help as many individuals with autism as possible by adopting PCDI’s intervention model. 

Few training programs for special education exist in Turkey making the opportunity to study at PCDI all the more beneficial to Dr. Birkan and his staff.

“PCDI is deeply committed to sharing its research and intervention strategies with other agencies and professionals,” Mac Duff added. “In addition to student internships and residencies, the Institute supports the development of new programs both here and abroad. Besides Tohum, PCDI has provided training to professionals from Spain, Germany, South Korea, Greece, Russia, Norway, Poland, and Australia.” 

In the United States, Princeton Child Development Institute dissemination sites include The Institute for Educational Achievement (IEA) in New Milford, N.J., Somerset Hills Learning Institute (SHLI) in Bedminster, N.J., and The New York Child Learning Institute (NYCLI) in College Point, N.Y.


The Princeton Child Development Institute, founded in 1970, is a private, non-profit program offering a broad spectrum of science-based services to children, adolescents, and adults with autism by pioneering innovative treatment programs based on the science of applied behavior analysis.

Now the third most common developmental disability, autism is found in every ethnic group throughout the world, occurring in 1 in 88 births nationwide, and 1 in 49 in the state of New Jersey. The Institute not only provides quality treatment, education, and professional training and mentoring in New Jersey, but also through its research, has pioneered comprehensive intervention models that are used nationally and internationally for the benefit of persons with autism.

For more information, visit www.pcdi.org or call (609) 924-6280.




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