Lana founded Autism Unites (former Dance Into Unity, Inc.) in 2007 as a non-profit organization with the mission to raise autism awareness and to provide grass roots help to individuals and families who live with autism.
Through her work and development in the fields of communication encompassing science technology with over 20 years experience in corporate IT & project management, socio-cultural projects involving international and local communities, and both the healing and expressive arts, Lana has established a deep understanding and appreciation of the connection between people upon which she has built a solid foundation as an ultimate proponent of humanitarianism Her efforts are fully directed to bringing what she has learned to the community manifesting her vision of a greater reality, raising consciousness and quality of life.
Following is a breakdown of the work performed by Lana David with regards to management of programs for autistic individuals.
2006 to 2008:
- Raised autism awareness in the community through large-scale dance and arts events which took place in theatres of Los Angeles reaching over 6,000 people
- Co-authored fairytale book “The Puzzle of the Tall Tower”, book I of the series “Dance Into Unity through the Heart of Tango”© upon which DIU’s stage productions have been based
2009 to present:
Established a care system for a family with a severely autistic adolescent after a serious accident following one of his seizures:
- Working with the family of a teen who has severe case of autism complicated by seizures
- Creating a conditioned and secure environment within and outside of the home
- Organizing a system of basic care including food nutrition and preparation, hygiene procedures, and healthy sleep schedule
- Creating daily structure and activities
- Organizing protocol for and managing at-risk behavior & crisis intervention
- Organizing and overseeing volunteers and caretakers
- Collecting information and statistics to assist in behavior management and modification
- Procuring independent living services and financial support for teen and his family
- Being liaison and collaborating services between government agencies, school system, caretakers and family
2011 to Present:
- Introduced “Match A Friend” concept to provide 1:1 care and connection for individuals with autism matching them with specially trained coaches;
- Provided training for 4 young adults with special needs (3 with autism and 1 with Down Syndrome) and 4 non-special needs young adults, teaching them the ‘art of connection’ through dance. Together they participated in a stage-dance production in April 2012, in Glendale, CA;
- The “Match A Friend” pilot project was documented by Inclusion Films in the docu-film “Through the Heart of Tango” which explored the process of what it takes and what it means to form a genuine connection with another through “Match A Friend” — a program that aims to teach young adults what it means to connect as friends with individuals who have autism. This documentary followed the story of each featured youth and ‘friend’ in a journey discovering what it really means to come together. It was completed in 2012 and made it to a number of festivals in 2013. See http://www.throughtheheartoftango.com.
- After Adam’s (Lana;s nephew) tragic and unexpected death on June 3rd, 2014, Lana has devoted her time implementing Adam’s legacy “Match-A-Friend” model that can help many families who live with autism.