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.
The series ended and, after several years, the mothers asked for another. . The women were desperate but, at the time, no funding was available. The mothers even appealed to the municipal authorities but no funding was forthcoming. They, together with Ezer Mizion, knocked on many doors to enable resumption of the special child support group to no avail. And then we found him, a man of boundless generosity who wanted to make a difference. He understood the need and responded with an open hand.
The women were very emotional at their meeting and the intimate connection was instantly revived. They were able to utilize each session to the utmost for connection, deep support, and the obtaining of necessary tools needed to function in her individual situation.
Another group was organized, thanks to the same funding and a new group of mothers of children on the autistic spectrum began the therapeutic and empowering process. At the beginning of the series, one of the women gave birth and she pleaded for us to wait another week before starting, so she shouldn’t miss the opening session. Indeed, she came to the session with a two-week-old baby, so you can understand how strongly the need burns in their psyches
The sessions were suspended because of the Corona, but as soon as possible, they were restarted, with the required social distancing, etc. It was thrilling to see how the group moved forward and developed from session to session, and how each of the mothers upgraded her coping abilities, straightened out her hunched back, and learned effective, professional techniques, which inevitably had a ripple effect on their families and the autistic children. We received feedback from psychologists and social workers who knew the families remarking how noticeable the effect of the support group was.
It is hard to describe the sense of gratitude with which the final session concluded. The women spoke of the contribution the group had given them, likening it to a rescue rope in a stormy sea.
Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.