Empowering and Enabling Parents in Special Education

Empowering and Enabling Parents in Special Education

The Sulam branch in Modi’in Illit operates language and communication preschools in the Yiddish language. Recently, Sulam held a series of lectures for parents of toddlers and children focusing on issues that are most important to them: reading comprehension and language acquisition skills, as well as integration of special-ed children into regular education classrooms. The lecture series hosted some of the most well-known experts in the field, with a special focus on the role of parents in furthering the advancement of their child’s reading skills. The Ganei Sulam Psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Keene emphasized the neurological and mental factors that impede on children’s attention and concentration, and explained when and how medication, as an intervention, is required. A professional and comprehensive lecture was given by ophthalmologist and optometrist Dr. Norman Aharonovitch, […]

Sukkot Concert at the Vineyard

Sukkot Concert at the Vineyard

Benny Friedman and Ohad Moskowitz held a special performance last week in a vineyard to benifit children with special needs.During the show, the two sang a premiere performance of ‘Tanya-Adrebe’, a mashup combining the two well-known Chassidic hits, composed by Yossi Green.More than 400 people attended the special event, including donors and supporters of ‘Sulam’ the leading organization for children with special needs. The donors from the US and Europe are spending Sukkot in Yerushalayim. The performance was held at the Barkan Wineries and was organized by “Fleishman & Peles Productions”. During the show, which included known hits such as “Ivry Anochy,” “Yesh Tikva,” “Lamelech,” “Birkat Habanim” and others, one of the children from ‘Sulam,’ who until recently could not communicate with her surroundings at all, showed the audience how today she can communicate with her environment via […]

Planting Seeds of Change

Planting Seeds of Change

I asked her name when she walked into the classroom. She was too shy to respond, so Aviya responded for her. “Her name is Yael.” Yael, a sad and confused young girl, was only 4 years old. She was accompanied by her sister Aviya, a graduate of Sulam’s special education classes. Yael suffered from anxiety and panic attacks and responded hysterically with any interaction. The nursery psychologist supervised the staff, providing techniques and tips for working with Yael and building trust and educational goals. After a month of work, Yael began to feel more comfortable and with much needed support, she agreed to take off her jacket and backpack. From then on, slowly, Yael began to show steps of improvement. While she still could not communicate verbally in anyway, she […]

When Integration Benefits All

When Integration Benefits All

The guiding philosophy in the world of education for children with disabilities is known as integration or inclusion. Inclusion seeks to remove the distinction between regular and special needs education, providing a classroom for all students, despite level of ability or disability. Placing children with disabilities in a regular classroom environment, has proven to be significantly beneficial for the disabled child, academically, socially, and developmentally. With the proper teacher training and in-class support, special needs children can thrive and challenge themselves in ways that a homogenous special needs classroom could never provide for them. But what about the non-special needs children? How do integrated classrooms affect their learning and social experience? Here are 3 significant benefits in favor of integration, for the non-special-needs child. 1. Acceptance – When children with […]

Where Words Fail: The Power of Music

Where Words Fail: The Power of Music

At your birthday celebration, your desk at work, driving in your car, or cooking in your kitchen, music, is a consistent friend, accompanying you as a distraction, a form of leisure, or a cathartic experience. Music is paired colloquially with the term soul, as it is a powerful form of emotional expression. As Hans Christian Anderson, the beloved fairy tale author said, “where words fail, music speaks.” Music is an artform popular throughout the course of history. From King David to Beethoven, music has played an integral part in cultural, religious, and social rites, activities, and ceremonies. The world of music, so broad in its variety, has led to schools of thought on theory; analyzing rhythm, harmony, form, melody, and structure. It is no wonder that music has become a popular medium of therapeutic intervention. In fact, […]

Early Intervention Program Kitchen Completed

Early Intervention Program Kitchen Completed

Ready for operation in September 2017, the brand new kitchen at the Sulam Early Intervention Program has been completed! The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a program available for children under the age of three who have developmental delays or disabilities. These youngsters have delays or difficulties in gross motor skills, grasping and manipulating objects, communication, language, and social skills. During this critical period of growth, Sulam offers these babies an immeasurable boost to advance their future progress. As a specialist centre for disability, the EIP has an important role in early identification, assesment, and intervention, to support and maximize proper growth and development. In addition to the multitude of therapies and treatments offered, the EIP ensures that these babies and toddlers get the physical nourishment and energy they need. Appropriate […]

Splashing to Success

Splashing to Success

Most children love pools! They love to splash, wade, dunk, and swim while the water soothes and stimulates their skin. They like the freedom of the water and their bodies moving within it. For most children, the pool is about recreation, a fun activity for a hot day or some good old-fashioned family time. For other children, like the children at Sulam, the pool is a means to success. Hydrotherapy, a favorite therapy modality at Sulam provides a warm and active pool environment which changes the lives of children, daily. Hydrotherapy, is the use of water to relieve discomfort and promote physical well-being. Therapy within water is a particularly helpful medium for a variety of reasons. The first is buoyancy. This explains why your body floats to the top in […]

Providing Hope for the Future

Providing Hope for the Future

The Afikim school for Children at Risk, a branch of the Sulam Special Education Centers in Jerusalem, is a special education school for young ladies ranging in age from 6 to 17. A large percentage of the girls who participate in the Afikim school have suffered neglect and trauma resulting in a high level of need. A number of girls have been victims of sexual abuse, either as very young children or more recently, by family members or community members. These traumas have severely affected their development. Their cognitive skills, emotional abilities, communication patterns, and behavior have all suffered from these experiences.They have often been bounced from educational and therapeutic facilities, as most places fail to meet their complex situations and various emotional needs. With this baggage, these girls need more than mainstream education. […]

Memorable Milestones

Memorable Milestones

With tremendous excitement, we celebrated a Siddur Party for the children in the kindergarten classes of the Sulam preschool located in Kiryat Ye’arim.  This special event took place in the “Ohel Yitzchak” synagogue by the Kotel (Western Wall) Plaza. The ceremony began with one of the fathers explaining to the children the power of prayer, especially of children’s prayer, which has the unique ability to open the gates of heaven. Upon finishing his words, he thanked the educational and therapeutic staff who tirelessly give from the heart, with endless care and professionalism. At the heart of the ceremony, the children received their Siddurim (prayer books) from Rav Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rav of the Kotel, who blessed them that their prayers be answered. When the children received their siddurim, they burst into […]

Giving a Voice to All

Giving a Voice to All

“What’s your name sweetheart?” I asked her when she came in for her first day assessment, a typical question part of the standard intake process in Gan Safa (Language Oriented Pre-School). But instead of her response, I was met with silence. Her mother then responded, “Her name is Malki.” This was my first impression of Malki, a sweet 4-year-old girl who was anxiety stricken each time she was asked to speak. Malki was a clear case of a child with selective mutism, struck with a debilitating and threatening anxiety each time she was to verbally express herself outside of her home environment, her comfort zone. Upon meeting Malki, I knew that we had our work cut out. With my confidence in the Sulam staff, I started to ensure all of […]