Ups and Downs

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It’s an Up for the Downs

It’s a giant network. No matter what the need, there always seems to be someone to fill it. Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life with its thousands of volunteers listening for the ping, anxious to help out yet another family in need.  Recently it was a Down Day. But it wasn’t long before things were looking up indeed. A woman in Tzefat had a Down syndrome baby. That threw her and her entire family into a whirl!

Relatives from Jerusalem, through Ezer Mizion, arranged a bunch of luxurious treats for them on Thursday afternoon. But how to get it all the way to Tzefat? The woman was coming home from the hospital on Friday. That will be the toughest time for the family: sharing the news and the meaning of it with the other kids, while ushering in the Shabbat, and so on and so on ….

Within minutes, a volunteer was found to take the package as far as Haifa. From there, there was a volunteer for after Shabbat to Tzefat. But that wasn’t good enough, because we wanted it to get there before Shabbat…

On Friday morning, we posted a request. The ping was not long in coming.  “Just a few minutes ago I decided to drive to Tzefat for Shabbat. Perfect timing. I’ll take it!”

It was a lot. .More than he expected. Their car was fairly full but the family wanted very much to partake in the mitzvah and stuffed the packages on laps and every available inch.

An Ezer Mizion branch in Tzefas is holding their hands now, providing babysitters, hot, beautifully prepared meals and a listening ear. Their biological extended families may be in Jerusalem but they have discovered many ‘family members’ right here via Ezer Mizion.

On this same Down Day, another Downs baby was born to Netivot parents whose families live  in Bnei Brak. A recently engaged  Ezer Mizion volunteer ‘happened’ to be visiting her the family of her husband-to-be that Shabbos and spent a great deal of time with the mother, to encourage her and to tell her that we are all here for her.  Ezer Mizion’s varied divisions will provide for the needs of the family and those of the child as he grows and Linked to Life will ensure the feeling of solidarity with loved ones in Bnai Brak.

Another ‘Up’ for Downs is a powerhouse Ezer Mizion volunteer from Beitar, a mother of a child with Downs, who visits every family that has a baby born with Downs helping them adjust, opening their hearts and minds on accepting and dealing with their new baby.

Pain is traumatizing but the warmth of a hug to augment the professional services will soothe the agony and provide support until the family is able to go it alone.

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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

CP Can’t Stop Me!

Menachem Weiss, a “special” teen, reports on an angle of life that he alone can talk about.

Shalom dear readers!

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CP can’t stop us from having fun!

Remember me? I’m the one with CP – the one who doesn’t let the CP stop me from having fun. Well, not always but I try. There are a lot of things I can’t do in a wheelchair but Ezer Mizion has taught me that there are a lot of things I can do. And I try to take advantage of every one. Continue reading CP Can’t Stop Me!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

She Opened Up My Heart

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A Special Marriage

The gentle, loving glance of a freshly-minted chasan (groom) to his kallah (bride) as they sit on their new couch together, sharing their innermost thoughts. A special moment made even more special by the newlyweds themselves – two young people born with Downs Syndrome.

Marriage? Impossible, the naysayers had said. How will she…? How can he…?

But with the right kind of assistance, it became possible and many have found the ultimate in fulfillment with several organizations in Israel holding their hand. Continue reading She Opened Up My HeartFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

A Special Yes

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Summer camp for Special Needs

What would you do? What would you do if a fellow Jew stood there in tears begging you for help? If her situation was so difficult that you knew you yourself couldn’t handle it? If your heart ached to offer at least some relief? What would you do? Wouldn’t you say yes? Of course, you would! We’re Jews. Known for our compassion. Continue reading A Special YesFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Special Needs: Accommodating Those Who Are Different

 

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Summer for the Special Child

The summer break is a magical world of fascinating experiences for children, who enjoy the long days of vacation and fun, of frolic and adventure. At the same time, it can be quite a headache for parents, who are kept busy figuring out how to keep the children occupied and who will supervise them when the adults go to work and take care of other occupations.

This “headache” is twice as daunting when we are speaking of children with special needs and impairments, who need extra attention and even closer supervision. Their world is cramped into the limited scope of their families and they get lost in the lack of  routine, as dependent children who constantly need a loving look, a caress, and help in mobility. Their inability to adapt to to an unstructured day leads to chaos and misery both on the part of other family members and the child himself. The house is continually upside-down. Siblings cannot invite a friend over for a game or even read more than a page of a book without a sudden avalanche of the contents of dresser drawers coming tumbling down on them. The logistics of a simple trip to the local park make it an impossibility for the family to enjoy. Mommy cannot even dream of a more complex trip to the zoo. As frustrated as the family becomes, the frustrations are two-fold for the special child who does not have a clue as to how to productively occupy himself.  Continue reading Special Needs: Accommodating Those Who Are DifferentFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Battling Autism

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From the files of Ezer Mizion’s Rehabilitative Day Care Center for Autistic Children

Nurit was a striking little, three year -old girl, with  green eyes, dimples and blonde curls. But, although she was physically developed – she sat and stood and walked on her own in an age-appropriate manner, the little girl’s beautiful eyes were expressionless, and her socialization and communications skills were 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. Continue reading Battling AutismFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Special Purim Fun

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Purim fun

Special children are unique. Their abilities are unique. Their understanding is unique. Their needs are unique. Should that mean that they cannot participate in the joy of Purim, a day that is often termed ‘the children’s holiday’?  is it possible to create a unique Purim atmosphere, geared especially for them?

A ‘Special’ Purim carnival? Continue reading Special Purim FunFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

The Inaugurating of the New Netivot Building

pr Netivot bldg 2016 ok to use“I would wake up in the morning and my mind would begin to churn. Will the deal go through? Will Moishe remember his spelling for the big test today? Can we afford that vacation my wife wants so badly? That was before I attended the inauguration of the new Ezer Mizion building in Netivot and heard Chananya Chollak, Ezer Mizion’s founder, speak. His message was clear. We wake up in the morning and feel fine. Shouldn’t our first thought be: How can I help those that do not wake up feeling fine?”  Thus said an attendee of the inauguration of the new Netivot building who has since registered as an Ezer Mizion volunteer. Continue reading The Inaugurating of the New Netivot BuildingFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail