Tohum Autism Turkey Early Diagnosis and Educational Foundaton

National Network

Sıracevizler cad. No 27 Zülfikarlar İş Hanı K:1 Şişli İstanbul Turkiye
Cumhuriyet Mah. Abidei Hürriyet Cad. No 39 Şişli İstanbul Türkiye
34100 İstanbul/

0212 244 75 00
Telephone (other)
0212 2489430
0212 244 75 04
E-Mail (2)
E-Mail (3)
Mobile Phone
Mobile Phone (other)
Organisation Type
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment
Fields of Activity
  1. Human rights
  2. Youth and education
General Information
TOHUM Autism Foundation (TOF) is established on April 15, 2003 as a non-profit, non governmental civil organization with an aim to lead and disseminate early diagnosis and social integration of children with “Autism Spectrum Disorder and Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD)” via special education, throughout the country. The vision of Tohum Autism Foundation is to ensure early diagnosis of “Autism Spectrum Disorder ” in Turkey and to ensure fulfillment of health and educational needs of diagnosed children and their families in line with the world standards. Tohum Autism Foundation has many programs with National Ministry of Health and National Ministry of Education, has set up a model school with the know-how of PCDI (Princeton Child Development Institute) in USA. Currently 125 children with autism attend Tohum Special Needs Primary School. 81 staff working at the moment. More information about TOF can be reached at
Mission and Objectives

Our Mission
● To meet knowledge and support needs of children with autism , and their families in order to enable them to sustain their lives according to available contemporary standards,
● To ensure an early and intensive special education for children with autism and their subsequent placement in the least restrictive, inclusive educational environment,
● To encourage the training of trainers to deliver the necessary education on autism to ensure the conduct of researches and realization of education,
● To support and improve health and education services delivered on autism throughout the country,
● To achieve world standards in screening, detailed evaluation and diagnosis processes on autism and their dissemination throughout the country,
● To raise awareness on autism
Our Principles and Values
● Scientific approach
● Leadership and pioneering
● Sharing knowledge
● Inter-institutional communication and cooperation
● Smart usage of resources
● Valuing-respecting human being and children, favor the best services

Main Projects / Activities

I. Educational activities for children and their families
II. Awareness, Campaigns
III. Advocacy
IV. Projects
• Autism Screening Project, 2005: made in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and with the grant of EU. With this project, Tohum Autism Foundation made screening in 5 pilot cities: Izmir, Bursa, Adana, Kocaeli and Gaziantep.
46 000 children (babies from 18 to 36 months old) were screened via M-CHAT and CHAT tests as a result of this project.
Project lasted 18 months
EU Funding
• Promoting Full Participation of Children with Autism in the Society, by Improvement of Physical Independence, Mobility, Through Education, 2007: The EU Grant, taken under “Strengthening Civil Society in the Pre-Accession Process: NGO Grant Facility” was used to train teachers of Counselling and Research Centres on children with autism in Bursa, Adana, Gaziantep, Kocaeli, Izmir and Istanbul. Ministry of National Education was collaborated to run the project. Two other NGOs, one from Bursa (Bursa Otistik Çocuklar Eğitim Derneği) and one from Adana (Adana Otizm Derneği) were Tohum’s Project partners.
Project lasted 12 months
EU funding:
• Implementation and Policy Recommendation to Increase the Effectiveness of Inclusive/Integrated Education Practices in Turkey, 2010: In collaboration with Education Reform Initiative (ERI), and with the support of Sabancı Foundation, the Project was implemented in 3 pilot schools in Istanbul.
Project lasted 18 months.
Sabancı Foundation Funding:
• Increasing The Number Of Children With Autism Attended To The Pre-School Education By Creating An E-Learning Portal For Parents, 2010: Project aims to increase pre-schooling rate of children with autism through setting up a user-friendly e-learning portal.
Project lasted 12 months.
EU Funding: Please visit
• Strengthening Special Education in Turkey, 2011: Tohum is a consortium partner in the Technical Assistance Team of this project, which will last for 30 months.
• Teacher Trainings in Education Centers for Children With Autism (OÇEM), 2011 With the support of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and in collaboration with Provincial Directorates of Ministry of National Education, Tohum wants to increase the capacities of OÇEM teachers in Istanbul. To reach this aim, the Foundation gives training and supervision to these teachers.
Project lasted 10 months.
Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Funding
• Increasing the Productivity of the young people with disability and integrating them in Labor Market, 2013
With the grant taken from Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA), a vocational high school is constructed in one of the most crowded district in Istanbul, Beylikdüzü, training autistic individuals on business skills. Tohum Autism Foundation supervises this program and develops Turkey’s first business curriculum for autistic individuals.
Project lasted 9 months
Istanbul Development Agency Funding:
• Parent Seminars in Autism: To know is to Understand, 2012
Supported by The General Consulate of Netherlands MATRA Fund, the project aims to provide parents of children with autism with introductory knowledge on autism as well as basic skills to interact with children with autism.
Project lasted for 12 months.
MATRA Funding:
• My Tablet Speaks for Me I, 2013
Supported by the USA Consulate, the main aim of this project is to improve the education quality of children with autism in Turkey via technology use. The uses of new technology have been introduced as a method of teaching to the students with autism and their teachers and parents. (Tohum 1 via Apple store)
Project lasted for 11 months.
US Embassy Funding:
• My Tablet Speaks for Me II, 2014
Supported by the USA Consulate, the main aim of this project is to improve the education quality of children with autism in Turkey via technology use. The uses of new technology have been introduced as a method of teaching to the students with autism and their teachers and parents. This is the second part of “My Tablet Speaks for Me” and focuses on object matching, body parts and actions. (Tohum 2 via Apple store)
Project lasted for 9 months.
US Embassy Funding:
• Increasing Education Opportunities for Autistic Children by using Technology, 2014
With the support of Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA), and in collaboration with Provincial Directorates of Ministry of National Education, Tohum forms a special online game, which helps children learning basic concepts. This game will be available via web site, android and IOS tablets. ( )
Project lasted for 9 months.
Istanbul Development Agency Funding:
• Give way to my Independence! 2014
Financed by E.U, To support the independent living of people with developmental disabilities (mental disabilities and autism) through supporting them to go out in the street; therefore contributing to the equal citizenship of disabled people in the society.
Project lasted for 12 months.
US Embassy Funding:
• Special Education Class in Saint Joseph High school, 2014
For the first time in Turkey, a private school establishes a “Special Education Class” for autistic individuals, ages between 14- 21 years old. Private Tohum Autism Foundation Special Needs School supervises and shares know-how about special education and curriculum.

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?

We have a lot of experience in the education and legal rights of children with disabilities, especially children with autism.
Since 2003 we carry out many projects with public, private sector and non-governmental organizations
We are ready to share our knowledge and experience we can orgine seminars and activities about 'Special Education and Autism'
Between 2003/2016:
• In Tohum Autism Foundation Special Needs School, over 1500 with autism undergraduate and graduate students attend for observations and internship,
• More than 8.970 MoNE teachers are trained via various in-service training programs about inclusion and autism,
• Through EU funded screening project, 1.515 MoH’s doctors and medical staff members were trained for use of autism diagnosis tools
• 98.048 Autism Education Tool and Booklets freely distributed to parents, teachers and specialists
• Supporting and assisting 33 public schools for more qualified education, material and special curriculum
• Establishing web based free-of-charge autism support service and supporting its 21.173 members
• Establishing first educational IPAD and ANDROID applications for autistic children in Turkish Language
• Providing inclusion seminars in 20 schools for 13.601 students, 40.803 family member and 431 teacher
• Developing Turkey’s first “Basic Traffic Skills Curriculum” for the individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities
• The only foundation invited as an international consortium partner and foundation representative from Turkey, to improve special education services
• Creating Turkey’s first job and lifestyle curriculum for individuals with autism
• Establishing Turkey’s first special education class in a private high school for the individuals with autism-Saint- Joseph Lycee
• Analyzing governments' education policy and creating a “guideline” including best practises about special education and its implementation models into the society
• Conducting 24 grant projects for individuals with autism, parents, experts, trainers, doctors and students

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?

Because we would like to enlarge our network in various NGO's to establish new partnership.
Collabreta in our new partners and implement new projects
Share our knowledge and warous experience.
thank your for your cooperation pls do not hesiatate contact with us if you need further information

Contact (1) Full Name
Özgül Gürel
Job Title
Vice General Manager
Head of the organisation
Ms. Mine Narin
Contact (2) Full Name
Betül Olgun
Job Title (2)
Projects Coordinator