Therapies and Services

At Sulam no stone is left unturned in helping our students to soar. Unique treatment initiatives as well as a full range of standardized therapy enable over 530 students, age 6 months to 17 years, in 12 branches across Israel to achieve their maximum functioning potential and integrate into society.

One on one as well as group therapy sessions assist in building and strengthening muscles, improving motor skills, balance, and coordination as well as cognitive and sensory processing to promote physical function in children and adolescents with physical limitations or disabilities
Perceptual, motor and cognitive exercises improve areas of neurological development such as spatial organization, fine and gross motor skills, balance, attention span, and behavioral issues to allow the individual maximum participation and independence in activities of daily living.
A daily routine known as a Sensory Diet is designed to modulate and balance sensory input for children with a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), promote relaxation and interaction, and control impulsivity. Individuals with SPDs have difficulty processing stimuli such as movements, touch, sounds, smells and sights. The diet incorporates calming, stimulating and organizing activities designed to meet the individual needs of each child. Increased sensory input is offered to students with underactive sensory system responses who seem to be in "their own world" or display self-stimulating behaviors such as head banging. In contrast regularly scheduled calming activities can significantly improve behaviors and help focus a child who over reacts to every stimuli in the environment.
Speech therapy is essential for reducing disparities among children with autism, communication disorders, and other developmental delays including voice, articulation, and fluency disorders, language impairments, reading and writing challenges, and swallowing difficulties.
Speech therapists work together with the rest of the educational team on the technical capability of producing language, correct positioning of the tongue, and exercises to overcome abnormalities in the structure of the mouth, and finding the appropriate pronunciation. They also provide cognitive treatment to advance children with poor vocabulary, and other language delays. Our Students are given communication tools for verbal self-expression and when this is not possible taught alternative methods of communication through symbols, communication boards, iPads etc.
Music provides an opportunity for self-expression through a universal means of communication. This nonverbal modality has a profound effect on the inner world and experiences of individuals with disabilities and creates a relationship between the therapist and the patient. Sulam's music rooms and recording studios are equipped with a large variety of instruments, microphones as well as an abundance of playback music and an atmosphere of warmth and happiness. Creating music through instruments, singing, as well as the passive experience of absorbing, talking about and moving to a rhythm removes emotional barriers and improves cognitive function, motor skills, emotional and affective development, behavior and social skills.
Gardening is a form of emotional therapy used for individuals with communication difficulties, behavioral disorders and emotional issues. Encountering nature, the tactile sensation of touching the earth, the aromas of grass and plants, and watching things beginning to grow has a healing effect on our students especially those that have gone through trauma or abuse. They learn to be receptive to new ideas, internalize new concepts, plan and predict results.
Stories is a way of reaching a child to allow him to express his emotions about a situation. Being exposed to different characters facing various and sometimes difficult situations the child can find acceptance to his fears and frustrations. By externalizing his feelings about the characters or situations in the story the child uncovers his own feelings and can come to the self-realization that enables him to find solutions to particular problems.
Children often communicate their thoughts and feelings more naturally through play then dialogue and other interactions. The aim of play therapy is to create a free space for creativity and authentic self-expression. Treatments with dolls, clay, sand table, board games, balls, and more encourage active participation, two way communications, and decrease behavioral and emotional difficulties that interfere with the child's normal functioning.
Individuals with physical disabilities often suffer from poor spatial orientation, clumsiness, lack of proper motor control and difficulty with sensory regulation. Through engaging in selected sports they exercise various body parts, practice balance and learn to overcome obstacles. Benefits of these activities include improved motor coordination, increased attentiveness and a positive self-image.
People with disabilities can face emotional difficulties, social rejection and other frustrations which block their developmental progress. For these individuals art therapy opens a new world of freedom. Free use of any medium they wish including brushes, paints, clay, sand, and a colorful variety of raw materials allows the individual to give expression to his feelings, bring them relief and refocus.
This therapy provides controlled multi-sensory stimulation in a specially designed space. Sulam has 2 specially designed snoezelen rooms which deliver stimuli to various senses using lighting effects, color, textures, sounds, music, scents etc. The experience is adapted to each child's individual needs and can be used to stimulate, relax, calm or energize. Therapists respond to the child's lead in engaging him leading to improvement in communication and function.
Sulam's intervention with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is based on the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship based (DIR) model.
This model was developed by Drs. Stanley Greenspan and Sarina Wieder, and the belief behind it is that a child must be emotionally connected with the people in his world and have the ability to interact with them in order to develop. DIR emphasizes the critical role of parents and family members, and every adult that interacts with the child undergoes DIR training.
The core of this program is FLOORTIME in which the caregiver actually gets down on the floor to interact with the child. Being on eye level with the child allows the caregiver to follow the child's lead meeting him on his current level and engaging him through his (the child's) interests thus expanding his circles of communication and encouraging further development through the 6 basic developmental milestones.
It's in Sulam's specially designed hydrotherapy pool that many of our children splash their way to success.
The warm water relaxes the muscles and allows students with physical and other disabilities more independence of movement, increased endurance, improved fine and gross motor skills as well as a boost of confidence and better social skills. The pool provides a feeling of freedom and specially trained therapists help the students to reach milestones in all areas of development during these amazing sessions.
Students are given individual and group sessions in drama, music, song and dance. Through the freedom of the arts, the students release their personal tensions and struggles, work on social skills and learn to cooperate with their peers and teachers. Once a year they put on a performance for a large audience highlighting their abilities and creativity.
Sulam's students with disabilities attend classes at the regular schools nearby. Additionally their friends from those schools join them in Sulam for Rosh Chodesh parties and other special events. Sharing activities and learning together teach them social skills and boost their confidence.
Internship and Training. Sulam trains our teenage students to work with computers, in institutional kitchens, or as nursery school aides. After their training and internship they can go on to be employed in Sulam or in similar positions within the community. During their internship, the students learn life skills and proper social behavior by being part of a team of staff members. They develop a healthy self-esteem and independence by being responsible for task completion. These realistic career options enable them to be self-supporting and live independent and respected lives.
Many children at Sulam require not only special diets due to allergies, but specific foods of different textures which are appropriate for feeding therapy. Having a kitchen on premises enables us to cater to each child's individual needs while providing every student with 2 fresh nutritious meals daily.
Additionally Sulam's kitchen is also a therapy corner. Kitchen activities help improve perceptual and cognitive skills, and working individually or in groups, children learn patience and responsibility as well as how to follow directions, organize a work space, and complete a task.
These are 6 routine activities that people do every day including eating, bathing, dressing, and toileting. In Sulam's ADL program, students are taught to perform these activities as independently as possible. Students with physical deformities and motor difficulties are given feeding therapy to help them chew, swallow and eat properly; older children are taught personal hygiene, grooming and dressing skills to function at home, in school and social situations enabling them to integrate into society.
Guided interactions with animals have been shown to aid people with disabilities by providing them with a sense of safety and protection. Pets are non-threatening and non-judgmental companions that increase the child's self-esteem and confidence. Additionally play is a crucial need in children with disabilities that is often not met because of their motor, sensory, cognitive, and behavioral challenges.
Sulam's mini zoo is home to birds, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, iguanas etc. Learning to play with and care for these pets develops the children's sense of responsibility and enhance their relationships with the people in their world.
Horseback riding allows individuals with disabilities including autism, cognitive and physical challenges to experience a range of movement sensations and total control improving body awareness and co-ordination. Therapeutic riding also stimulates the mind and muscle responses and promotes a sense of independence and freedom enhancing social, emotional, cognitive, behavioral and educational skills.