|Beit Shemesh News, Letters to the Editor
We are parents of a child with special needs. About five months ago, we registered our daughter in the Ezer Mizion Activity Club at 24 Nachal Kishon Street in Ramat Beit Shemesh. We had heard a lot about Ezer Mizion’s Activity Clubs and also went for a tour of the place to get a first-hand impression before going ahead with the registration process. The moment we met Ms. Miri, director of the Activity Club, we knew we would be happy with the Club, but we did not yet know to what extent…
The program at the Activity Club is exciting and enriching. The children enjoy a variety of interesting activities, such as animal therapy, music therapy, as well as craft projects adapted to their capabilities. The place is staffed by professionals who help the children advance in a range of areas. The staff constructed a personal program for our daughter, adapted to her particular needs, and work with her every day according to this program. The atmosphere in the Activity Club is happy and very sociable. Our daughter receives warm, loving attention and comes home every evening with a big smile on her face!
For us, this is literally a lifesaver! When our daughter used to come home straight from school (before we joined the Activity Club), the house would enter “survival mode” until her bedtime. She would splatter her food all around and it was impossible to feed her. Today, she comes home sated after a hot lunch and a light supper served at Ezer Mizion’s Activity Club, where they employ special techniques to teach her how to sit and eat by herself, without the pandemonium she was used to creating at mealtime at home. It is important for me to emphasize that today (after just four months of working on it), we see distinct improvement in her capabilities and manner of eating at home too.
On Fridays, my husband used to take her outside so that I could get ready for Shabbos, because when she was in the house, it was impossible to do anything. He would come back exhausted, and all the Shabbos preparations fell on my shoulders alone. Today, our daughter comes back from the Activity Club Friday afternoon, tired and satisfied. After a quick shower, she goes straight into bed until candle lighting time. Fridays have become an entirely new experience. We even have a chance to rest a bit before Shabbos.
On Tisha B’av, the Activity Club was open from 12:30 until 5:00 in the afternoon. I cannot describe what a relief this was for us.
In August, after all the schools and day camps were over, we had no idea what we would do with our daughter a full day in the house for such a long period. Again, Ezer Mizion surprised us with an amazing day camp that lasted 8 days…
One of the things I never believed I would participate in, and today, I wouldn’t miss, is the Parent’s Evening held every once in a while. The encounter with other mothers who are struggling with similar challenges, the tips, the tension-releasing laughs together – there is something very supportive in this atmosphere, and for me personally, it contributes a great deal.
I am writing this letter because I know that there are many parents of special needs children who are still hesitant to get up and make this step. I understand them. I was also in that place, and today, I regret every day that I kept her at home and thought that I was straining myself “for her benefit”.
I warmly recommend that every parent of a special child stop into the Activity Club, get a personal impression, take the necessary forms, and do what is necessary to get accepted into this amazing place.
The grateful mother of a child