Autism? Help Is Out There…

Ezer Mizion’s Children’s Division is a national resource that provides a vast array of services for handicapped, high-risk and developmentally delayed children and their caregivers. The range of issues addressed is broad. The professional services and care offered enable the children to advance and reach their full potential.

We all have our challenges in raising our children. How comforting it is to hear from another more experienced mother that your child’s behavior, as exasperating as it is, is normal.  But what about when it is not normal? When your child, the tiny infant you held in your arms with such hopes, is diagnosed with autism? The devastation, the fears for the future are immeasurable. Your day-to-day, minute-to-minute life will never be the same. Your other children are tremendously affected. Family ties fall apart. You desperately need support. Ezer Mizion had undertaken a support group for these mothers. The group served as a place where they could finally feel that people understood their unique challenge. They received practical tools and a lot of emotional energy to deal with the day-to-day challenges facing them. Some of them commuted two hours in each direction to attend the meetings because they gained such a huge benefit from their participation.

Many modes of assistance exist within the framework of Ezer Mzion’s programs. In 1988, Ezer Mizion opened Israel’s first summer camp for children with special needs. Since then, the network of Ezer Mizion special needs summer camps has grown to include 7 camps, over 1,500 staff members and volunteers and over 1,200 children with physical handicaps, brain damage, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, autism, blindness, deafness and emotional disorders. For these youngsters and their families, Ezer Mizion’s summer camps are the highlight of the entire year.

During the year, Support Programs, Awareness Evenings provide direction for parents. Early Intervention Programs and Day Care enable the autistic child to move forward.

When 2 year-old Gilad was first enrolled in Ezer Mizion’s Ma’on Shaked” Rehabilitative Day Care Center for Autistic Children, he couldn’t tolerate anyone sitting next to him. When anyone came near him, he would lash out in all directions, screaming and hitting. Today, the blue-eyed blond-haired child is very much part of the group. “Whenever he sees me, he motions me to caress him,” says Wolfgur. This seemingly miraculous transformation of a child who once would have been relegated to the “hopeless” category is a striking testament to the success of the experimental program, which was initiated just one year ago, in response to an urgent request by the Ministries of Social Services and Health. “These children are a riddle to their parents,” notes Wolfgur. “Most of them don’t speak, don’t communicate through gestures. Often the parents feel responsible for their condition. But today we know that autism is a developmental, neurological problem, and not psychological. The Center’s staff maps each child’s needs and builds an individual treatment program for him . The Center’s major goal is to encourage each child to interact with other people and to develop communication skills, which will significantly improve quality of life for the child and his family. Some of the children can eventually be mainstreamed into a regular educational framework with the help of a mentor.

Nurit is a striking little three year -old girl, a dead ringer for Shirley Temple with her green eyes, dimples and blonde curls. But although she is physically developed – she sits and stands and walks on her own in an age-appropriate manner, the little girl’s beautiful eyes are expressionless, and her socialization and communications skills are severely undeveloped. Nurit suffers from autism/PDD (pervasive developmental disorders) – a neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate, understand language, play, and relate to others. But the little girl had another severe problem: she refused to eat. As a result, she was physically frail with limited motor abilities. After months of laborious work, Nurit has finally begun to agree to eat! As a result, her overall health has improved: she has gained weight and is more attentive, responsive and energetic. Efforts are now being focused on developing her communication and social skills.

Sara displayed extreme social anxiety and various other challenges. Her teachers tried but she was not moving forward. Each day Mommy found it harder and harder to send her off to school with a hopeful smile. It was so difficult to face but face it they must. Then it came. The dreaded phone call.  The school was requesting a meeting. The parents were certain of what they would be hearing.  Probably a cold, professional assessment in clipped tones, “We’re sorry. Your daughter is not adjusting. We suggest that you look for another school…” But they were wrong. Oh, how wrong they were! In the course of the year, she received paramedical therapy, with an emphasis on the communication aspect and the DIR method. Slowly but surely, Sara began making eye contact with the staff and even showing affection during the therapy sessions. In addition, she learned to play functionally with educational games and began producing her first words.

The inability to communicate often greatly affects both the child’s ability to perform and his relationship with his family. Ezer Mizion’s AAC Division Loan Center is the only one of its kind in the Middle East for speech generating devices and one of the few existing in the entire world. It’s mission is not only to support and empower people and families confronted by the distressing reality of communication impairment but also to upgrade communication and therapy options by partnering in the development of communication technology and devices and to educating and influencing those in the professional communication field and end-users to tap in to the most updated AAC solutions.

The need is great. The options are vast. Your generosity will enable Ezer Mizion to continue its mission in providing resources for families whose lives have been turned upside down with the birth of an autistic child.

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SPECIAL REQUEST: HELP US HOST CHILDREN/TEENS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN OUR SUMMER CAMPS!

We currently have 12 children and teens with special needs who applied to Ezer Mizion’s summer camp but don’t have a way to cover the cost. For them and for their parents, Ezer Mizion summer camp creates lifelong memories, as it infuses their challenging lives with sunshine and fun in a safe adapted environment. It also enables their families a well-deserved break, to recharge and refresh.

Children/teens with special needs have retreat days entitlements from the Social Services Ministry which they save up the whole year to pay for camp. But these 12 kids come from the most difficult home situations. Their families have used up all the entitlements just to be able to keep going, long before summer was on the horizon.

Please help Ezer Mizion host these kids for summer camp. A scholarship to cover the missing funds is $800 per child.

We need a total of $9,600 to be able to accommodate all 12 of these kids and give them a great summer.

Sponsor summer camp for a special needs child – all or in part – today!

https://www.ezermizion.org/donate-to-ezer-mizion.html (Please write ‘summer camp for special needs’ in dedication field)

$
Deficit
$
Participant
Fees
$ Government FundingTotal
$ Cost
Total
Participants
Staff + VolunteersCampers# of sessionsCamp
$649,665$36,923$1,116,075$1,802,6633,0601,6501,4108Special Needs Children
$46,234$52,154$214,043$312,4311,150501,1007Mental Health
$892,308$0$0$892,3081,0901309603Cancer Patient + Family
$1,588,206$89,077$1,330,118$3,007,4015,3001,8303,47018TOTAL
https://www.ezermizion.org/donate-to-ezer-mizion.html (Please write ‘summer camp for special needs’ in dedication field)

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SPECIAL REQUEST: HELP US HOST CHILDREN/TEENS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN OUR SUMMER CAMPS!

We currently have 12 children and teens with special needs who applied to Ezer Mizion’s summer camps but don’t have a way to cover the cost. For them and for their parents, Ezer Mizion summer camp creates lifelong memories, as it infuses their challenging lives with sunshine and fun in a safe adapted environment. It also enables their families a well-deserved break, to recharge and refresh.

Children/teens with special needs have retreat days entitlements from the Social Services Ministry which they save up the whole year to pay for camp. But these 12 kids come from the most difficult home situations. Their families have used up all the entitlements just to be able to keep going, long before summer was on the horizon.

Please help Ezer Mizion host these kids for summer camp. A scholarship to cover the missing funds is $800 per child.

We need a total of $9,600 to be able to accommodate all 12 of these kids and give them a great summer.

Sponsor summer camp for a special needs child – all or in part – today!

https://www.ezermizion.org/donate-to-ezer-mizion.html

(Please write ‘summer camp for special needs’ in dedication field)

2021 SUMMER CAMP FRAMEWORKSleepaway/
Day Camp
# SessionsPARTICIPANTSSTAFF AND VOLUNTERS
Special Needs (boys, teens/young adults)Sleepaway2500550
Special Needs (girls/teens)Sleepaway2450550
Special Needs (Haifa, Northern Israel)Day Camp180120
Special Needs (Jerusalem, Central Israel)Day Camp1250350
Special Needs (Netivot, Southern Israel)Day Camp113080
Cancer (Patient + Family) – 3 RetreatsSleepaway3960130
Mental Health Rehab – 5 RetreatsSleepaway51,10050
TOTAL 153,4701,8305,300
https://www.ezermizion.org/donate-to-ezer-mizion.html

(Please write ‘summer camp for special needs’ in dedication field)

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Ahuvi

My legs are disabled but my mind is doing just fine

For most of us, the word ‘I’ permeates our conversation. I feel, I believe, I am worried about. But what exactly is that ’I’ ? We don’t think so much about the question since our various parts work together. We think of an idea, dial a friend to discuss it, click on the mouse to research it, walk to the appropriate place to procure what we need. But then there are the people whose parts do not work together. They’re bright, intelligent, creative. They have opinions. An idea may percolate in their minds but they are not able to make the phone call, use a computer, walk to the nearest store, speak to friends. And so the idea remains. Crying to be developed. Aching to be shared with others. Eventually deteriorating and dying the death of all its predecessors. And the ‘I’? The ‘I’ becomes embittered and withers away into nothingness.

There it stands, a picturesque chalet surrounded by luxuriant foliage in a rustic village located in Nechalim. From a distance it exudes a quiet loveliness but come closer and you’ll see that it is anything but quiet. Everywhere you look, there are motorized wheelchairs and their owners are going from here to there, busy, busy, busy, very intent on achieving their goals. Their goals are many – these severely handicapped young people. Some are unable to walk, others unable to speak but all have talents, opinions, desires.

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Rescue Rope in a Stormy Sea

We all have our challenges in raising our children. How comforting it is to hear from another more experienced mother that your child’s behavior, as exasperating as it is, is normal.  But what about when it is not normal? When your child, the tiny infant you held in your arms with such hopes, is diagnosed with autism? The devastation, the fears for the future are immeasurable. Your day-to-day, minute-to-minute life will never be the same. Your other children are tremendously affected. Family ties fall apart. You desperately need support.

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What Is It?

“What is Ezer Mizion? Is it the Jewish Bone Marrow Registry?”

“I think it’s an organization that helps cancer patients. When my sister lived in  Israel, her son was in the hospital off and on for months with leukemia. Ezer Mizion couldn’t do enough for the family. Meals at the hospital, rides, a beautiful apartment for the family to live so they wouldn’t have to travel for treatments. And let me tell you, that apartment was housed in a gan eden (garden of eden) for kids with everything a child could want including a petting zoo. You know, they even took all the kids on a chol hamoed trip

“I always thought Ezer Mizion was an organization for special children. When my cousin moved to Israel , she was so excited to see all the programs available for her autistic child.”

“A few years ago, we were visiting Israel and I noticed they were having an inauguration of a mental health building. So many g’dolim (sages) came. Isn’t it an organization for mental health?”

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Active Nurturing Early Learning Program

preschool
Identifying developmental delays at the pre-school level

“Playtime is just fun-time. What’s really important is how he learns to read or add and subtract.” A common attitude but, according to the founders of Ezer Mizion’s Active Nurturing Early Learning Program, so very untrue. All activities of children are learning experiences and serve to enhance their abilities in specific areas. Furthermore, observing, understanding and analyzing their mode of play can help to identify potential disabilities.  The program can then be used to implement means geared to enhance the child’s development, thereby lessening any inherent learning disabilities down the line of development. Continue reading Active Nurturing Early Learning Program

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Hidden Away Among the Leaves there Lies A…

pr handicapped Nechalim Activity Center - generic picture
Yes i can!

There it stands, a picturesque chalet surrounded by luxuriant foliage in a rustic village located in Nechalim. From a distance it exudes a quiet loveliness but come closer and you’ll see that it is anything but quiet. Everywhere you look there are motorized wheelchairs and their owners are going from here to there, busy, busy, busy, very intent on achieving their goals. Their goals are many – these severely handicapped young people. Some are unable to walk, others unable to speak but all have talents, opinions, desires. Continue reading Hidden Away Among the Leaves there Lies A…Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

This One is for Us!

pr Chanukah 2019- Netivot- Photo credits- Yaron Gaz
Magic show: the pièce de résistance of a magical day for special needs families

It’s a tradition! The families look forward to it for weeks. It’s not like the others.

Chanukah parties take place all over the country but even the family party can be uncomfortable for parents with special children. While their siblings rejoice in the annual get-together, relaxed, enjoying each other’s company, the special needs parent cannot relax for a moment. Her sister worked hard on a fun kids’ activity. Will her child overturn the perfectly set-up table resulting in children’s tears and adults’ pitying stares? The cousins grab hands. They have plans. They want to put on a choir for the adults and are running down to the basement to practice. They don’t mean to be cruel when they don’t invite her child but her heart cries. She tries to comfort him   as her tears mingle with his. Continue reading This One is for Us!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Preemie Question Marks

baby- preemie - teddy bear reading
Helping the Preemie Catch Up to his Peers

Nine months development in the womb is the ideal. Less than that is less than the ideal. Nowadays with so many technological advances, babies born much earlier than full term will live and remain healthy but they will often be missing a significant facet of their development. Instead of spending the full term of the pregnancy in a protective, enveloping womb, preemies emerge into the world when they are not yet prepared for the environment, which demands of them to be more independent and higher functioning. Continue reading Preemie Question MarksFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail