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A SPECIAL NEEDS MAGAZINE Technology & Special Needs Page 52

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TRANSITIONS Page 40

The Co$t of Raising a SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD Page 22

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Dealing with

t h g e n i W g n o One Soul at a Time Page 14

June 2012

“Our Children are Just Like Yours” Page 31

A Supplement of the


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June 2012


CONTENTS JUNE 2012

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FAMILY

INTRODUCTION

8

Mother Knows Best

10

Special Needs in a Changing World

12

Building Blocks Digest

Page 28

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

Marc R. Katz

Family Forum Ruchi Eisenbach

Page 10

Compiled by Karen Greenberg

A ISSUES & ANSWERS

18

Title Programs

Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Salfer

Changing the World One Neshama at a Time

College and Other Options

Yaakov Kornreich

The Obesity Crisis and Jewish Children who have Special Needs

Laura F. Palley

Page 36

Qualifying for Special Education Services

Page 18

Rabbi Mayer Waxman

Michael S. Kutzin and Allison Landwehr

FAMILY

20

Lessons for the Extended Family

The Cost of Raising a Special Needs Child

23

Towards Acceptance of a Challenged Self

24 25 26

Page 40 Page 20

A Broader Perspective on Transitions Yaakov Kornreich

Faith Fogelman, ACSW

Page 42

Environmental Modifications for Someone with Disabilities

Page 46

Rachel Wizenfeld

Dr. Daniel Hollander, PsyD

Sleep Disturbances in Children with Special Needs Ratzy Simanowitz, RN

30-

33

34 36 38 39 40

DIAGNOSIS

Barry Katz

Employment Issues

Physical Development in Classroom Environments Shoni Eidlisz

Melanie Shimoff Kwestel

22

28

EDUCATION

Q&

14

Best “Kept Secret” Services

Page 26

The New DSM-5 Definition of Autism and Its Impact Dr. Joshua Weinstein

Hearing Loss in Children Dr. Shirley Pollak

The Future of Familial Dysautonomia

Melanie Shimoff Kwestel

Treacher Collins Syndrome Paul Stadler June 2012

42 44 45 46 5


CONTINUED CONTENTS JUNE 2012 PRODUCT REVIEWS

TREATMENT

48

Reflexology

Esther Hornstein, L.Ac. Dipl. Page 62

50

Allergic Behavior

51

Pivotal Response Treatment

52

The iRevolution

54 56-

Chanie Monoker MS, CCC-A,TSHH,TDHH, TEH

Page 48

70-

69

73

74-

97

BULLETIN BOARD

Page 53

Bulletin Board

Elaine Devora

?

Book Reviews

Directory Listings

Hearing and Technology

60

62-

RESOURCES DIRECTORY

Avigael (Stephanie) Saucier Wodinsky, PhD, MBA, GAC-ABA

Dana Ledereich, MA, OT/L

Product Reviews

98-

RECRUITMENT

ASK THE EXPERT

104 105 Advertiser Index 106 Recruitment Advertising

MAGAzINE PuBLISHER:

FAMILY FORuM EDITOR:

ADvERTISING COORDINATOR:

SENIOR EDITOR:

ASK THE ExPERT COORDINATOR:

DISPLAY ADvERTISING:

DIGEST PAGE EDITOR:

DIRECTORY AND PRODuCT ADvERTISING:

Moshe Klass moshe@buildingblocksmagazine.com Yaakov Kornreich bblockseditor@aol.com

ASSOCIATE EDITOR:

Ruchi Eisenbach ruchieisenbach@gmail.com

Chaya Ilene Klass ilene@buildingblocksmagazine.com

Elisheva Stein elistein@aol.com

Karen Greenberg

EDITORIAL CONSuLTANT:

Chaya Ilene Klass ilene@buildingblocksmagazine.com Bracha Holczer bholczer@aol.com Breindy Rosenblatt brosenblatt@auditoryoral.org Yitty Rimmer

Chaya Ilene Klass ilene@buildingblocksmagazine.com

ADvISORY BOARD:

Shoni Eidlisz, Rabbi Yaakov Klass, Abe Kopolovich, Melanie Kwestel, Malky Haimoff, Brocha Holczer, Dana Ledereich, Tzivy Ross Reiter, Breindy Rosenblatt, Juby Shapiro, Devorah Thau, Jared Wasserman, Rifkie Weinberger E-mail us at: list@buildingblocksmagazine.com to join our mailing list.

103

REvIEW EDITORS:

RESOuRCES EDITOR:

Suri Greenberg Suri_Greenberg@ohelfamily.org

BuLLETIN BOARD EDITOR: Elisheva Stein elistein@aol.com

Shaindy Urman shaindy@jewishpress.com Heshy Korenblit heshy@jewishpress.com

Shaindy Urman shaindy@buildingblocksmagazine.com

RECRuITMENT ADvERTISING: David Hoppenwasser david@buildingblocksmagazine.com

DESIGN BY:

Alana White lanala8@gmail.com For questions and comments or to order extra copies contact us at: buildingblocks@jewishpress.com or 718.330.1100 x352.

PRINTED IN CANADA

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reect the opinion of Building Blocks Magazine or the Jewish Press.

6

June 2012


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i

INTRODUCTION Mother Knows Best (and Fathers Too)

A

common assumption is that with typically developing children, a parent may find that their child needs minimal academic attention beyond a nightly review of studies with at most a bit of extra work in one or two subjects and for special projects, and that those with learning disabilities require more attention in all aspects of education. However, some children, along with their parents and teachers, experience an interesting phenomenon. While these children may excel in certain subjects and require no assistance, they also exhibit real difficulty at grasping other subjects, to the extent that a child who at times seems to be near genius when operating in an

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June 2012

area of strength may seem totally helpless and frustrated when operating in an area of weakness. Just imagine the hapless child who knows that s/he has a “good head” because s/he grasps mathematical concepts easily, but is also aware that s/he hasn’t been able to pick up the necessary skills to write even a rudimentary short composition despite being aware of much effort from teachers and parents to teach the skills. The child’s brain sends two messages: “I’m pretty smart,” and, “What is wrong with me?” Educating children is at best an inexact art. At the same time, society recognizes that there are those who by their own educational training, experience and

By Rabbi Yaakov Klass

responsiveness have the best chance at addressing these challenges and ameliorating just such situations. Let us review scriptural sources and how our sages and commentaries expound and understand them so we might find some guidance in proper child rearing and education of the young.

cumcise one’s infant son, the verse (Genesis 21:4) states: “Vayomol Avraham et Yitzchak b’no ben shemonat yomim… – Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old…” The gemara also cites the conclusion of this verse “…ka’asher tziva oto Elokim. – …as G-d had commanded him,” and makes note that the verse

King Solomon in his wisdom (Proverbs 22:6) states: “Chanoch lana’ar al pi darko gam ki yazkin lo yasur mimena – Train the youth according to his way, even when he grows old, he will not swerve from it.” From this verse and the verse (Deuteronomy 11:19) “Ve’limadetem otam et bneichem… – You shall teach them [Hashem’s words - the mitzvot] to your children…” our sages (Kidushin 30a) extrapolate the halacha that one is duty bound to educate one’s young children. The Mishna (supra 29a) and the gemara, while discussing other matters that are a parent’s responsibility, i.e. circumcision, restricts the obligation of all such responsibilities to the father, while totally relieving the mother of any obligation in regard to these matters. As regards the obligation to cir-

states clearly “‘oto’ v’lo ‘ota’” – him but not her. Rashi (s.v. “ka’asher tziva oto” refers us back to the original command to Abraham, when he explains ‘and not Sarah.’ Thus women are relieved of this obligation, and by extension from all those other matters enumerated (Kidushin ad loc) as being the father’s responsibility. Significantly, we find two scriptural incidents that would seem to belie the above interpretation of the halacha. The first is in Parshat Vayera (Genesis 21:9-10) where in seeking to provide the proper environment for her son Isaac, Sarah forces the hand of Abraham to send Ishmael away. If the halacha is as we stated, what business does Sarah have in interfering with Abraham’s child rearing duty to Isaac as well as Ishmael? Second, in the haftarah to


INTRODUCTION Parshat Naso (Judges 13:2-25) is the rather intriguing encounter of the wife of Manoah ( the midrash identifies her as Tzliponet) and an angel of Hashem, where this presently barren woman is informed of Hashem’s impending blessing in the way of a son. She is told that this son (Samson) is to be a nazirite from his mother’s womb until the day of his death. As a nazir he was not to drink any wine, aged or not, nor was he to consume any unclean [ritually impure] food, and a razor was not to come upon his head (i.e., no haircuts). The angel explained to Tzliponet the reason for this unusual instruction and the requirement for such a high level of personal sanctity, was that Samson was to become Moshian shel Yisrael – the saviour of Israel, who will free his people from the terrible yoke of the Philistines.

Yet when she returns to the angel with her husband, neither she nor the angel divulge the purpose of the nazirut to him. This is quite difficult to understand, especially when one views the meforshim, as without Samson’s future mission, there is no basis for the nazirut at all. Manoah is thus presented with a situation where he is greatly disadvantaged in raising his son by not knowing to prepare Samson for his great mission. As my friend Rabbi Binyamin Epstein points out, Tzliponet wished her son to have as normal a childhood as possible, and the fact the angel as well did not reveal the same information to her husband, seemed to confirm that decision. Returning to Sarah’s case, we see that no less than Hashem Himself affirms her parenting wisdom. Both cases present us with a

prototype of parental roles in the upbringing of children. While the father is duty bound when it comes to educating his young, we might infer as well that the Torah found no need to specifically obligate the mother, as certainly she will naturally go head first into that task as well as attending to any other needs of her children. So strong is the force of maternal love that it is assumed to engender a unique intuitive response to any and all matters relating to her child. Perhaps this is the extra wisdom our sages (Niddah 45b) recognize in women: “Bina yeteira nitna lanashim.” Despite this powerful force, mothers (as well as fathers) are not always independently up to the task of tackling complex educational problems their child encounters, especially when the child’s development or academic

i

performance is atypical. In many a situation, professional involvement is clearly indicated, such as a student who excels and flounders alternatively. Today, thankfully, intervention is widely and readily available, and the reader will encounter many resources and able professionals in these pages. Even in these cases, one certainly finds value in the mother’s intuition and knowledge of her child’s strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Evaluators, teachers, therapists, tutors and other providers of various services often agree, “Mother knows best”. (And fathers are not chopped liver, either!) Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.

June 2012

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INTRODUCTION Special Needs in a Changing World

T

he diversity of topics in this issue of Building Blocks is a reflection of how quickly the Special Needs world is changing. In our diagnosis and treatment sections, we share with our readers and the Special Needs community new insights and treatments developed by researchers and practitioners on the frontiers of medical science. Some of the changes which the children and parents of Special Needs families must deal with are embedded in the structure of the service delivery system itself. These changes are the result of an accelerated effort by federal, state and local governments to control costs while maintaining the level and quality of services required under law to be provid-

ed to the Special Needs community. After a comprehensive review of the current structure and requirements of the Medicare Waiver system, and other programs under which the government pays for these services, that system is being radically restructured, requiring service providers to make major adjustments to the way they operate. The consequences of these

changes has already filtered down to impact families seeking Early Intervention services for their young children, and they will also soon be felt by older children and families already receiving services as the changes continue to work their way through the current system. As we discuss in one of the articles in this issue, transitions can be challenging for all of us, and even more so for those in the Special Needs community. But those difficulties can be reduced and eventually overcome with suitable advance warning and explanation. Let Building Blocks serve as your expert guide through this transition, explaining the new procedures and requirements, and easing the transition from those ďÂĝč

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INTRODUCTION older service programs which are being phased out to a new system which will provide those essential services to the Special Needs community in a different and, hopefully, more efficient way. To assist in that transition, this issue also highlights lesser known services and programs that are still available to help fill the gap. We also explore the higher education options available to children with Special Needs. Today, post-high school students with Special Needs have expanded opportunities to continue their studies and earn degrees either while living at home, on a college campus, or in Israel. Also in this issue, we explore the new dimensions being opened up by apps designed with Special Needs in mind which are now available on the iPad, other tab-

i

let computers and smartphones. Their intuitive, easy-to-use touch screen interfaces and portability make them far more practical than computers or laptops for individuals with Special Needs. Not only that, they actually make education and therapy fun! Finally, in the product review section, we feature a comprehensive introduction to the world of Special Needs mobility. Learn about the broad range of available minivans and vans which have been customized with ramps, wheelchair lifts, and other practical modifications to meet the unique transport needs of Special Needs individuals and their families. Editors and Publishers of Building Blocks Magazine

A SPECIAL NEEDS MAGAZINE To access over m�250 Articles m�10 Big Issues m�Information on Hundreds of Schools, Organizations and Agencies m�Loads of Reviews m�Fascinating interviews with: • Dr. Temple Grandin, noted author and lecturer • Dr. Serena Wieder, co-developer of DIR/Floortime • Dr. Ramon Cuevas, developer of MEDEK m�Advice - Inspiring Stories - Opinions Hot Issues and More

Visit us at: www.buildingblocksmagazine.com To join our monthly e-mail list, e-mail us at: List@buildingblocksmagazine.com June 2012

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NEWS BRIEFS Building Blocks Digest

Whole Fetal Genome Sequenced for the First Time

R

esearchers have sequenced the entire genome of an 18 and a half-week-old fetus using DNA samples from the blood of its mother and saliva samples from its father. These findings provide proof that a fetus can be examined for genetic conditions. The team of researchers at the University of Washington exploited the fact that 13 percent of DNA in a pregnant woman's blood plasma - known as cell-free DNA originates from the fetus. They compared the sequence of the

I

freezer malfunction at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital has severely damaged one-third of the world’s largest collection of autism brain samples, potentially setting back research on the disorder by years. An official at the renowned brain bank in Belmont discovered that the freezer had shut down in late May, without triggering two alarms. Inside, they found 150 thawed brains that had turned dark from decay;

about a third of them were part of a collection of autism brains. The freezer contained about 150 brain samples from people who had died with a neurological condition such as autism, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease, or a psychiatric one like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The Harvard brain bank has been accepting donated brains of people with autism for about two decades, so it probably will take years to rebuild the collection.

HASC and Mishkan. The frustration among parents, schools and community leaders was palpable. Mrs. Steinberg embarked on a campaign to get the Department of Education to rescind its decision. It was unacceptable, she argued, that families would be disqualified from receiving the support they had come to rely on for years, enabling them to send their children to nonpublic programs. So began a series of

meetings with the Department of Education as well as outreach to government officials, all designed to yield the decision that the placements would be approved. Earlier this week, the NYC Department of Education reversed its decision and approved the placements for 2012. This reversal, while only for this year and only for those who have been approved before, will affect an estimated 160 families for whom tuition costs

would otherwise be beyond their means. Project LEARN (Limud Educational Advocacy and Referral Network) advocates on behalf of children with special educational needs with government officials, assists parents and schools who require guidance in accessing services, and helps establish special education programs in a number of yeshivos.

Antioxidant Shows Promise as Treatment for Autism

small trial using an antioxidant treatment improved irritability symptoms for some children with autism. N-acetylcysteine (NAC), given to children in a new study, lowered symptoms of irritability, like aggression and tantrums. Antonio

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A

Freezer Failure at Brain Bank Hampers Autism Research

In Reversal, NYC to Cover 2012 Summer Camp Tuition Costs for Special Needs Children

n March, Mrs. Leah Steinberg, Director of Project LEARN, Special Education Affairs of Agudath Israel of America, started getting calls from parents of special needs children who had been advised by the New York City Department of Education that, commencing this year, summer placements would no longer be approved for parents seeking tuition reimbursement for state approved camps such as Camp

A

cell-free DNA to the mother's DNA, which was sequenced from a blood sample. Any variants found in the cell-free DNA but not in the DNA from the mother's blood were assumed to have come from the fetus. After birth, the baby's genome was sequenced from cord blood, showing their predictions were 98 percent accurate. As well as heritable variants, the researchers looked for spontaneous mutations, identifying 39 of the 44 that were discovered after birth.

Compiled by Karen Greenberg

June 2012

Harden, MD, of Stanford University, enrolled 33 children, aged 3 to 10 years old, in a study to look at the way NAC affected autism symptoms. For twelve weeks, half the children received NAC, the other half received placebo. Researchers measured symp-

toms like stereotypy, repetitive behaviors and social responsiveness. Children receiving NAC showed improvement by week four on the irritability measure and these improvements lasted through week 12. The researchers report that most of the side

effects were gastrointestinal, and that, overall, NAC was well tolerated. NAC is used to treat acetaminophen overdose. It acts on glutamate, a neurotransmitter important for many functions in the brain.


June 2012

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Q&

A

ISSUES & ANSWERS By Yaakov Kornreich

Changing the World - One Neshama at a Time

O

ne of the greatest accomplishments of American Orthodoxy today has been the development of a stunningly broad and comprehensive array of institutions and programs created for the express purpose of providing services to the members of the community with Special Needs. In many instances, these programs were launched by individuals who sought to meet the unfilled needs of their own children or other family members. Once these institutions were established, with the help of both private and government funding, they naturally diversified, as the need for community-based providers for additional services and programs became apparent. The development of this com-

prehensive and largely government-funded system was greatly aided by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) under Section 504, which guaranteed the right of every child with a disability in the United States to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). As subsequently established by court rulings, enforced and defined under regulations issued by the US Department of Education, every local school district in the country is required to provide each qualifying child with an education at public expense which is appropriate to that child’s family and cultural background. In the case of children from Orthodox Jewish backgrounds, that means an educational environment

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14

June 2012

which is compatible with the religious principles under which that child is being raised. This rule enables parents from the religious community to petition local school boards to provide tuition for their children with special needs in communally-sponsored private programs.

more impressive is that many of the counselors are young people not long out of high school and still completing their educations. Whereas most other American boys and girls of the same age are totally self-absorbed, with their career ambitions and the many social and media attractions of

“…the religious influence imparted by these extraordinary acts of kindness is incidental.” By the same token, even though these programs are sponsored by communally-based institutions, they do not limit themselves to exclusively serving children from religious families. In fact, the excellence of the services they provide has attracted, over the years, significant numbers of children from non-Orthodox or even nonJewish backgrounds. To be clear, none of the government funding provided for these programs is used for religious education. However, in most cases, the teachers, therapists and counselors providing the services in these programs come from the religious community. While they are well-trained and qualified professionally, they are frequently motivated by their personal religion to devote at least part of their lives, and in many cases their professional careers, to doing acts of chesed (loving kindness) for those who need it the most. The sincerity and personal devotion of these service providers (to what many of them see as G-d’s work) inevitably has a tremendous impact on both the individuals with special needs whom they are serving and their family members who witness that devotion first hand. What is even

the contemporary secular culture, these youth are very different. Their single-minded focus on the welfare of the individuals in their care cannot help but contradict the common, and often negative, stereotypes of religious Jews held today by many nonreligious Jews. This effect is most pronounced in those programs where these individuals with special needs are immersed in the religious environment on a 24/7 basis, and in continuous contact with their religious service providers. While non-religious program participants are never required to participate in overtly religious activities, such as daily prayer services or the communal singing of zemiros and benching at Shabbos meals, the authentic religious fervor of many of the counselors and other staff members can leave a lasting impact. This phenomenon is not limited to programs serving Special Needs individuals. It is also common among other types of community-sponsored chesed programs which serve a broader audience. These include Hatzoloh volunteers, members of Bikur Cholim committees, individuals who give generously of their free time and effort to provide various services to individuals and families confronting


ISSUES & ANSWERS Q &A all kinds of disabilities or serious discernible ulterior motives, of- administration, has seen many medical conditions. ten comes as an eye-opener. camp counselors become accept Here again, the religious influ- According to Melanie Kwestel, ed as beloved and respected deence imparted by these extraordi- the communications director of facto members of their camper’s nary acts of kindness is incidental. Chai Lifeline, “the secular par- family. They are routinely invited None of these are kiruv programs, ents of children attending Camp to family simchas, and often in the conventional sense of the Simcha or Camp Simcha Special manage to keep in touch with the word. Yet their impact on the each summer cannot help but be camper and their parents even opinions and attitudes of the chil- impressed by the open hearts of while they are abroad for a year dren and parents alike who come the young counselors. They are of study at a yeshiva or semifrom non-religious backgrounds amazed by their goodness and nary in Israel. Any hesitation the and who are on the receiving end selflessness, and their desire to non-religious parents might have of their efforts is undeniable. maintain contact with their child originally had in entrusting their Again, it’s mostly on a one- long after the summer program is child to a religious program is to-one basis. For example, after over. These religious young peo- quickly dissipated by the recseveral weeks in a religiously ple have proven themselves to the ognition that the care providers sponsored summer camping parents of these children, which truly have the best interests of program, the parents are usu- is why they are generally pleased their child at heart, and that the ally not surprised that their child when their counselor calls months sincerity of their efforts is often has made a whole new group of after camp has ended to invite a direct result of the Torah values friends and has become attached their child to spend a Shabbos in which have inspired them. to the bunk counselor to whom the counselor’s own home, or to If their children come home they were assigned. But the in- invite them to attend a midwinter from camp talking about how tensity of the devotion of this camp reunion event.” much they enjoyed their Shabbos BuildingBlocksAD0510:BuildingBlocksAdvocacyAD0612 6/6/12 12:48 PM Page 1 young stranger to the welfare Avi Sacks, one of the longtime meals or going to davening, these and needs of their child, with no members of the Camp HASC non-religious parents generally

don’t mind. That is because they also appreciate the wholesomeness, safety and genuine caring that was offered to their child in the religious camp environment, with no strings attached. Sacks notes that the parents of children who have spent a summer at Camp HASC, and who live outside the New York City area, often ask for information about enrolling their child in the Orthodox Union’s Yachad program, also known as the National Jewish Council for Disabilities. It sponsors Shabbatons, recreational trips and other local events sponsored by chapters located throughout the United States and Canada for individuals with disabilities. One of Yachad’s priorities is to bring these individuals into contact with members of local communities, while the priority for the parents is to find more Kornreich Continues on Next Page 

Having trouble getting services for your child?

Otsar’s Advocacy Project Can Help! • Are you having trouble obtaining Special Education or therapy services through the Department of Education? • Has your child been denied services that you and/or the school feel are essential? • Is it taking you longer than 3 months to obtain an evaluation from the CSE?

WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE THE SYSTEM Call or e-mail Mrs. Toba Lichtenstein, Director (718) 946-7301, ext. 502 advocacy@otsar.org Serving children between ages 5-21 in New York City Fully funded by Otsar Family Services 2334 WEST 13TH ST. BROOKLYN, NY 11223 PHONE: 718 946-7301 FAX: 718 946-7966 WWW.OTSAR.ORG June 2012

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Q&

A

ISSUES & ANSWERS

Kornreich Continued from Previous Page 

religiously motivated individuals like their child’s camp counselor who care deeply about the welfare of their child. The religious impact of such an environment even on nonreligious families is most evident when the family decides to take advantage of the opportunity to stage a Bar Mitzvah for their son who has Special Needs during the camp session. In many cases, these families have no idea how to go about the planning for such a Bar Mitzvah, which bears little resemblance to the secular party atmosphere which commonly prevails at most non-Orthodox Bar Mitzvah celebrations. In the camp environment, such an event has a real spiritual impact on everyone present, religious and non-religious alike. Avi Sacks recalls the secular

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June 2012

father of one Camp HASC Bar Mitzvah boy who told him that for the occasion of his son’s Bar Mitzvah, he decided to put on tefilin for the first time in more than 30 years. These families are unlikely to change their lifestyles to become Shomer Shabbos because of the impact the camp had on their child, or the inspiration they may have absorbed during a visit. But it cannot help but to alter their view for the better of the religious staff members serving their child and the beliefs that motivate them. At the very least, it is a true Kiddush Hashem, and perhaps much more. Another, unintentional result of such programs, according to Avi Sacks, is the fostering of greater mutual respect among segments of the religious community which rarely have much direct interac-

tion with one another these days. Specifically, many of the counselors working in such camping programs are college students from centrist Orthodox families who would otherwise almost never

members of the community, and its idealistic young people, in particular, a chance to experience the joys of doing pure chesed, while giving other Jews who have become alienated from Yiddishkeit

“The religious impact of such an environment even on non-religious families is most evident when the family decides to take advantage of the opportunity to stage a Bar Mitzvah for their son who has Special Needs during the camp session.” come into close contact with children from chassidic or yeshivishe communities and their parents. Ari Dembitzer, one of the head counselors at Camp Simcha, says that over the years, he has seen the attitudes of many nonreligious families to Yiddishkeit change very much for the better after having been exposed for several years to the heroic efforts of the camp’s religious counselors and staff members on their child’s behalf. “They cannot get over the willingness of 19 and 20-year-old boys and girls to devote their summers, and stay up all night, if necessary, and do other things outside of their comfort zones, to care for the child of perfect strangers.” Dembitzer saw that the positive impact was enough to change even the secularlyhardened attitude of one Israeli family which told him that in the past, they would never have wanted their child exposed to religious influences, but now they wouldn’t mind. This should not be surprising. In many ways, these programs showcase some of the most attractive aspects of Torah values and the religious community at its very best. In addition, they give individual

a rare but authentic glimpse of the hidden beauty of Torah values. One might argue that these unintentional contributions to Ahavas Yisroel by the special needs community and other chesed programs, while impressive, are too small in number to be significant. But that is not the Torah point of view. The Gemora in Sanhedrin (37a) teaches us that “whoever saves a single soul is as if he has preserved the entire world.” By the same token, one never knows what positive repercussions will result from the individual acts of chesed that are performed every day for our non-religious brethren by these programs. Certainly, from the point of view of the Torah, they are innately worthwhile, and very much their own reward, even without having a broader impact on the unity of the Jewish people. But to the extent that they do bring us together with our non-religious brethren in a common effort to serve their children with special needs and others deserving of our chesed, they are a significant contribution to mutual understanding and achdus. Yaakov Kornreich is the Senior Editor of Building Blocks Magazine.


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Q&

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ISSUES & ANSWERS By Rabbi Mayer Waxman

The Obesity Crisis and Jewish Children who have Special Needs

E

ating and drinking are closely tied to Jewish observance, in both Jewish law – Halacha – and in Jewish culture. The Gemara (Pesachim 109a) suggests that [at least for men], there can be no simcha without meat – or in modern times, devoid of a Beit HaMikdash, (Temple) – no, simcha without wine. Food and drink thereby fulfill the mandate [Psalms 100:2] to serve G-d “b’simcha,� in a joyous state. And the holidays are replete with specific requirements of eating and drinking – bread and wine for Shabbos meals, Matzoh and Maror at the Pesach Seder, eating in the Succah, etc. The predilection for eating on

Jewish holidays is reflected by the joke which claims that the message of most Jewish holidays is: “Our enemies tried to kill us. God saved us. Let’s eat.â€? But for Jewish children who have special needs, excess food consumption is no laughing matter. Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, the U.S. Surgeon General, reports that “Two-thirds of adults and nearly one in three children are overweight or obese‌.The prevalence of obesity in the U.S. more than doubled (from 15% to 34%) among adults and more than tripled (from 5% to 17%) among children and adolescents from 1980 to 2008.â€? The risk of an obese teenager becoming an

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obese adult is 70% greater than the risk to a teenager with a healthy weight. According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), among US adults who have disabilities obesity rates are 58% higher than for adults without disabilities, 38% higher for children with disabilities than for children without disabilities. The CDC calculates ideal weight using the Body Mass Index that takes a person's weight and divides it by the square of his or her height. For children, the CDC defines Overweight as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and lower than the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex, and Obesity as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile. However, the CDC acknowledged that BMI may not be the best measurement for some people with disabilities. While there is some dispute regarding the exact numbers, by all accounts the obesity rate in America is at “epidemic� proportions, and the problem is more severe among people who have disabilities. Far from being just an issue of aesthetics or shiduchim, being obese or overweight is a severe health risk. Obese or overweight people are at significantly higher risk for type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, liver disease, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, several forms of cancer, complications of pregnancy, and menstrual irregularities. Obesity is also strongly linked with depression. And obesity has economic effects. A recent Cornell University study found that on average an obese person incurs medical costs that are $2,741 higher (in 2005 dollars) a year than a non-obese person.

A unique 2006 survey of health data for Jewish individuals in Chicago, found that over half of the Jewish adults surveyed were overweight, including 25% who were obese. But smashing the national average were the children, of whom 54% were overweight, including 26% who qualified as obese. If the trend that overweight rates among people with disabilities are almost twice as high as they are in the general population hold true among Jews, then the Jewish child with disabilities who is not overweight would become the exception rather than the rule. What can be done to reduce childhood obesity among Jewish children who have special needs? Jewish children with special needs are no different than other children when it comes to the issue of healthy eating and living. Every child needs to be taught how to stay active, eat a balanced diet and to maintain a healthy weight. These statistics indicate that these lessons are not being conveyed adequately to children in America today. But regarding children who have special needs, there is an additional component to this problem. There is a mistaken sense that unhealthy food provides “comfort� to children with special needs in a way that nothing else in their life can. When we see a child with special needs overfilling a plate at a Kiddush, we tend to justify that by imagining that overeating will help make the child happy and feel like a real part of the community, while ignoring the health implications to the child. It is in no one’s best interest to coddle children who have special needs regarding their weight. We can sugar coat our broaching the


ISSUES & ANSWERS Q &A topic with them so as not to be critical, harsh or offensive – but we must no longer coat the subject in schmaltz. The CDC provides possible reasons that “people with disabilities can find it more difficult to eat

panying physical disabilities, that compounds the problem. Programs must provide significant opportunities for strenuous exercise to children who have special needs in order to meet the recommendation that children

healthy, control their weight, and be physically active,” including some with particular implications within the Jewish community. A lack of healthy food choices This is particularly true at most Kiddush’s and Shabbat/Yom Tov meals. We serve too many starches, too many fatty meats and oily kugels, and not enough pure vegetables. We must include more fruit and vegetable options – ideally unprocessed and with limited dressing. Sugary drinks must be limited, and children should be encouraged to drink more water. Portion control for fatty/starchy/ salty/greasy foods should be enforced, perhaps by using a similar approach to the one adopted by many shuls which appoint volunteer monitors to police the consumption of alcohol at Kiddushes. Physical limitations that can reduce a person’s ability to exercise In general, our kids aren’t getting enough exercise and children with special needs tend to have even less opportunities for exercise, and if they have accom-

and adolescents aged 6-17 years should have at least one hour of physical activity each day. That activity should include moderate or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity at least 3 days a week, as well as muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening physical activity at least 3 days of the week. Other specific eating-related concerns for children who have disabilities include difficulty with chewing or swallowing food; sensitivities to food tastes or textures; and the impact of medications they may be taking. Now that we as a Jewish community are aware of the severity of the problem and have some ideas for solutions, it is imperative that we make sure to allocate the resources necessary to implement those solutions. Rabbi Mayer Waxman is a licensed social worker, holds a Masters in forensic psychology, and has served numerous roles in Jewish communal services and serving people who have disabilities. He is currently the Manager, Met Council Connect to Care. Rabbi Waxman is a member of the Advisory Board of Building Blocks. June 2012

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FAMILY By Melanie Shimoff Kwestel

Learn. Listen. Support: Lessons for the Extended Family of Special Needs Children

T

he old saying, “Grandchildren are the reward for having children,” is one of those truths perhaps best expressed in jest. We anticipate the arrival of grandchildren, and to a lesser extent of nieces and nephews, with a very special joy. Perhaps for that reason, a special needs or illness diagnosis is just as devastating and painful for grandparents and other family members as it is for parents. For grandparents especially, the birth of a grandchild with special health or social needs may also signal the death of the dream of the perfect grandchild. Before you recoil in horror at these words, think of the parents who eagerly count their newborn’s fingers and toes and recount their Apgar scores to family and friends. Think of the “my son the doctor” or “my granddaughter the ballerina” stereotypes. We pray for healthy babies. Before parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members can grasp the joys and difficulties of raising a child with special needs, they have to let go of subconscious (or conscious) plans for the child’s life. It is normal to feel sad or angry even as we are filled with love for that tiny baby in its mother’s arms. Acknowledging one’s feelings and grieving for the loss of that dream may make it easier to cope with the reality of being the extended family of a child who needs and will benefit from his family’s support. When a child is in diagnosed with a serious illness, Chai Lifeline’s social workers and case managers work with the entire family to get through the crisis and provide ongoing support. They encourage members of the extended family to turn their concern into action. Learn. One of the most important things that family mem20

June 2012

bers can do is to learn about the child’s illness, disability, or special needs. The Internet is a great source of information as well as misinformation. Begin with pages from reputable sources like hospitals and advocacy organizations. Follow links to bloggers who specialize in the baby’s diagnosis, and pages that offer information and suggestions. You and the parents are now learning a very specialized language. The more you know, the easier it will be to converse. Learning is important for emotional health, too. Studies show that grandparents who feel they lack the knowledge to care for their grandchildren often feel helpless and despairing. The more you know, the more confident you will feel in your ability to help. Listen. Even the most discreet family members sometimes find it difficult to keep from offering unsolicited opinions, but therapists and social workers agree that listening to your children is more important than offering advice. “Grandparents [and others] need to take their cues from the baby’s parents,” says social worker Marilyn Bensinger. “You may not always agree with their decisions, but they are theirs to make.” Support. The vast majority of children with developmental, physical, and emotional disabilities, illnesses, or special needs live at home. Support from grandparents and other members of the extended family is crucial in helping the parents cope. The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” aptly describes the influence supportive family members can have on a child’s life. Research indicates that the quality of the prior relationship between par-

ent and adult child will establish how much the grandparents can do for their grandchildren. Rabbi Mordechai Gobioff, also a social worker, explained, “Some children are very reliant on their par-

ents. The role of the grandparent in these families will be more active. By listening and ascertaining the needs of the child for parental involvement, grandparents can learn where to place themselves in the care/decision-making/discussion continuum.” Unfortunately, sometimes relationships between family members are distant or tense. It is possible to repair these breaches, but a history of mistrust is unlikely to be patched in a day. Regardless, family members who want to be involved in the child’s care and life can and should make the effort by offering non-judgmental assistance. While there is no

“how-to” list for being a great grandparent or relative to a child with challenges, several triedand-true approaches have the potential to add immeasurably to all three generations:

 Spend time with the child. If your baby needs special care, ask to be instructed. As much as possible, and as the parents feel comfortable, try to care for this child the same way that you would care for your other grandchildren, nieces, or nephews.  Offer respite. Parents need time for themselves. Once you are comfortable (and your children are comfortable) with your care for your grandchildren, offer to babysit.  Think of the child’s abilities, not his/her disabilities. This wonderful baby may not be an Olympic runner, but is she a Special Olympics runner?


FAMILY  Look for things you can do together with the child. Every child benefits from “special time” with grandparents and other who love him. Maybe this will be the young person who loves to bake with you or shares your passion for books.  Spend time with the other children in the family, too. So much time and care is required when a child has special needs or is ill that healthy siblings can feel forgotten. You can be a very special person in everyone’s life.  Grandparents: even if your children have means, a little extra cash in a crisis can be greatly appreciated. Co-pays and other expenses add up quickly. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Offer to buy a takeout dinner for your children’s

family or pay for a car service or taxis when a grandchild needs to go to the doctor.  Some children will need expensive care their entire lives. Consult with an attorney who understands the financial and legal implications of providing significant amounts of money for a grandchild’s care before putting money in the child’s name.  Offer specific assistance. Daily routines are much more complex with a special needs or ill child. Maybe you can pick children up after school, cook dinner once a week, or take grandchildren to extra-curricular activities.  Tell and show all the children that they are loved and valued.  Take care of yourself. This is especially important for grand-

“Grandparents [and others] need to take their cues from the baby’s parents…” parents. Becoming overwhelmed and exhausted will not help you, your children, or your grandchildren. Maintain your exercise routines. Keep up your own social relationships. If you are married, focus on the quality of your relationship with your spouse. Finally, no matter how difficult the situation, try not to give in to despair. Therapist Chani Juravel suggests that we let go of things we can’t control and focus on what we can do. “We are happier when we give up our need to control to Hash-

em. (When we do that) we understand that it is not about us being able to assure a better outcome,” she said. Melanie Shimoff Kwestel is the director of communications for Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health support organization. Chai Lifeline provides the emotional, social, and financial support that enables more than 4,300 children and families around the world to cope with the crises and daily challenges of serious pediatric illness. For more information on Chai Lifeline’s many programs, or if you need assistance, email info@chailifeline.org or call 877.CHAI.LIFE.

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FAMILY The Cost of Raising a Special Needs Child

W

hile these three words can be a source of one’s greatest happiness in life, it can also be bittersweet for those who give birth to children with special needs, when the parents think about the emotional challenges

appropriate education (FAPE),” the provisions that are offered to parents often fail to meet their child’s needs. This compels parents to enroll their child in a private school, or sometimes fight to move their child to a school

they and their children will face throughout their lives. The spectrum of special-needs children ranges from mental to physical to psychological and sometimes all three. A 2008 study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 14 percent of children in this country fit into this category, and about 20 percent of families have at least one specialneeds child. The definition of a special-needs child can range from one who is diagnosed with a mild learning disability to one who has a life-threatening condition, such as cystic fibrosis. This article will focus on the more severe categories. Aside from the emotional toll it takes on these families, the financial strain such a diagnosis puts on the family is often overlooked. Goldie S., a mother of a special-needs child, says that the list of added expenses seems endless. Tuition, for instance, costs a great deal more at special-needs schools than at mainstream institutions. Although the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires that special-needs children be provided by the local school district with a “free and

in another district. This is what happened to Goldie S., whose district was unwilling to transfer her child. While she fought successfully to have the child moved, she had to pay significant attorney fees in the process. Similarly, children are often entitled to various therapies, such as physical, occupational, and speech. Sometimes, though, the district evaluates a child and denies the child these services. Parents who feel that their child needs extra help are then forced to pay the therapists out of their own pockets. Sending special-needs children away for the summer is another great expense. A six-week stay in one upstate New York camp can cost about $12,000, which is three times more than the average sleep-away camp. This is due to the one-on-one care that is often required, as well as the additional medical staff. Additionally, often these children require expensive equipment and medications. While the family’s medical insurance may cover some costs, parents often find that much of what their child needs is not covered by their plan, and that they need to fight their

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insurance company to pay what they feel they are due. Beyond this, some of the extra expenses that are often perceived to be insignificant are the ones that can make a family’s financial situation unbearable. For example, special-needs children require more frequent doctor visits than most children. This means that one or both parents will frequently end up missing work, with a possible impact on their pay, in order to take their child to the hospital and medical offices. Furthermore, if these visits are far from one’s home, out-ofpocket transportation costs can also quickly add up, between gas, tolls, and parking. In addition, they may require many specialists in many fields. If the child has an abundance of medical issues, it is hard to find the right fit with these specialists and often parents have to go “out of network” with their insurance companies in order to use these doctors. The costs of out of network co-pays can become significant. Parents of wheelchair-bound children will also incur significant added costs. The wheelchairs cost several thousand dollars apiece, and there is often the need to install custom-built ramps in and around the home to make it wheelchair-accessible. A specialized van with a powered wheelchair ramp or lift installed can cost about twice as much as a standard one. Even mobile special-needs children can generate significant additional expenses. If, for instance, the doctor recommends specialized exercise equipment, the parents find that the cost can add up quickly. Goldie S. points out that food can be a major expense when a child is placed on a special diet. One who is lactose intolerant

By Barry Katz

will need to drink other types of milk, which is more expensive than cow’s milk. For children on gluten-free diets, the cost for many food staples, including bread, cake and pasta and products, run typically at about double the price of the common wheat-based varieties. Special-needs children typically wear out their clothing faster, so their parents must update their wardrobes more often than for most children. In addition, some children with special needs continue to wear diapers long past their toddler years. While disposable diapers, even for infants, are not cheap, the ones for older children are not as readily available, and are often much more expensive, with the difference adding up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year. Sometimes the expenses are intangible. For instance, a family whose eldest child is 15 years old can often rely on the teenager to baby sit the younger siblings at no charge if the parents need to leave the home on short notice. Not only is a special-needs child often incapable of babysitting for his younger siblings, the child often needs extra supervision himself, incurring yet another extra expense. While the world has become increasingly sensitive to the plight of special-needs children, offering services that allow these children to live their lives to the fullest and realize their potential, the cost of raising them can be astronomical. While we may not be in a position to help such a family financially, our awareness of these extra costs will help to sensitize us to the full scope of the challenge they face. Barry Katz is a college administrator and adjunct professor who lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and three children.


FAMILY By Faith Fogelman, ACSW

E

Towards Acceptance of a Challenged Self

verything in life starts with the self, the one person who is always with us. The striving for selfacceptance is a lifelong process and the sooner we make friends with ourselves, provided that we have the faculty of awareness, the better. Unconditional self-acceptance is the acknowledgement and recognition of a positive essence which serves us well both internally and externally based on how we project it to others. Healthy personalities continually adjust to the challenges life brings without allowing the self ’s healthy equilibrium to go too much awry. Regression of self-acceptance may occur upon unforeseen circumstances, but the healthy individuals have coping mechanisms to swing back to equilibrium.. The key is not to live life comparatively, since we do not necessarily know what others are experiencing. Self-acceptance is an internal function, but for some people a positive sense of self may be disproportionately impacted by acceptance or rejection by the outside world. This point may be underscored among children with physical disabilities who face more external rejection by virtue of the disability. Children with congenital physical differences socialize much better when they receive support and are validated as whole individuals in their primary environments including home and school. Children with physical challenges who are conditioned to believe that disability need not define them can move towards self-acceptance more easily than those from families who cannot see the child beyond the disability. The self-image of children is often reflected through parental perceptions and is reinforced by what social psychologist Charles Cooley said about self-image, "I am not what I think I am and I am not what you think I am; I am

what I think that you think I am.” Adults who experience a new physical condition who have a healthy foundation and who are not usually fragile are less likely to lose self-acceptance as a new physical self emerges. This does not mean that such individuals won’t frequently have to go through a lengthy process to adjust to a new physical self. The process of loss occurs with both sudden and chronic physical conditions, and restoring emotional equilibrium translates to separating personal essence from the physical condition and accepting the wholeness of that essence. Those with a firm and positive sense of self have advantages. Most of us will have to face physical losses with the aging process. A famous young musician with a physical disability once said , being disabled means being a member of a group to which anyone could eventually belong. How people with physical disabilities view themselves and the degree to which they self-accept determines happiness, satisfaction, and achievement. At a certain point in a person’s development, environments and nurture usually take a back seat to the determination to achieve a positive self-image. Personality and the drive towards esteem determine self-acceptance more than other variables. Adjusting to the sudden onset of a disability need not translate to a fractured sense of self. Much work is needed for each self with a disability to move beyond it. For some adults with physical disabilities, their self-image is not one with a body with a disability, but rather having a body that is differently abled. Physical differences do not have to equate with a sense of a disabled self. People with learning or other cognitive disabilities have a special challenge for self-acceptance. These conditions are usually con-

genital, although diagnosis may surface as an outcome of noticed behaviors or academic performance. Unlike physical conditions, for which there is a more linear progression (some people cannot walk, others can walk with the use of equipment, others limp, etc.), cognitive differences are frequently composites of various conditions and unique for each holder. Cognitive differences can bear heavily on academic learning, the social spheres of life, or addressing everyday affairs. Self-esteem is a lifelong test since people with cognitive and learning differences come appear to be like everyone else, except for the diagnosis. The test is similar to that of people with less severe examples of visual, hearing, and other invisible differences. It is the feeling of almost being part of the norm, but not quite. There is self-awareness of difference and a striving to fit in, even if that means employing all kind of strategies to conceal, adjust, or compensate. The awareness of gaps produces a lot of stress because such individuals have to continually explain what they cannot do, as opposed to people with more obvious and severe disabilities who have to explain what they can do. Providing constant explanations can be annoying, since dally living will provide all kinds of provocative stimuli to challenge the equilibrium and sense of a whole self. Individuals may fall short of daily and long-term expectations, especially since one of the hallmarks of learning differences is the gap between potential and performance. As we look around, there will always be people who seem to have more physical and learning abil-

ity. A good friend with any kind of difference is someone whom we see as a whole personality who just happens to have additional life challenges. If people with disabilities could view themselves as empathically, they would have a lifelong friend. This is not to deny the various grief processes associated with loss nor the discrete and unique struggles people have to overcome in order to feel good

about themselves. However, since the only permanent entity one has in life is self, getting to the point of accepting self and maintaining that acceptance is critical for mental health and daily survival. For over a decade, Faith Fogelman has directed programs for disadvantaged students, including students with disabilities, at CUNY colleges. She is a licensed social worker and an adjunct professor in human services at NYC College of Technology. June 2012

23


FAMILY By Rachel Wizenfeld

U

Environmental Modifications – Readying Your Home for Someone with Disabilities

nless you or someone you love is handicapped, it’s hard to understand the challenges of getting around in an average home. From the kitchen to the bathroom to the bedroom, there are barriers to dignified life at every turn for people with disabilities. Eden Ruiz-Lopez, coordinator of the Doorways to Independence program at United Cerebral Palsy of NYC, gives us a good primer on what home modifications are generally needed to accommodate those with physical disabilities. Her program primarily looks at modifying the bathroom and

bench and a special showerhead that’s moveable,” she said. A roll-in shower makes it easier for an attendant or parent to transfer the person from the wheelchair to the foldout bench and bathe them, in contrast to trying to get the person into a bathtub that’s too low to the ground. Tubs also don’t allow people with disabilities to ambulate and move freely, she said. In addition, the bathroom floor should be slanted to allow for good drainage. Besides the roll-in shower, a higher, wall-hung toilet that is ADA-compliant (referring to the Americans with Disabilities

enhancing entry and exit to the home, Ruiz-Lopez said, although they do recommend work in other areas. Modifying a bathroom can be costly, she said, but it’s key to enable individuals to shower, bathe and use the restroom with dignity. “To make a bathroom completely accessible, you break down the tub, install a roll-in shower [a hollowedout corner that accommodates a wheelchair], install a fold-down

Act) is often needed, since regular toilet seats are usually set too low. This allows an attendant to easily transfer the person evenly from a wheelchair to the toilet. Sometimes, families will choose to install a special toilet with a cleansing function for persons who cannot take a shower right away. Special faucets operated by sensors - eliminating the need to turn handles – are another helpful touch. Renovat-

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ing an entire bathroom can run from $15,000-$20,000, RuizLopez said. Old houses – usually those built before 1920, often have doorways that are too narrow to accommodate a wheelchair, and need to be widened, especially the front and back doors, she said. In addition, a ramp or a wheelchair lift is usually needed to help the person get inside the house, but the dearth of real estate in the NYC-area can make it difficult to create ADA-compliant ramps. “In NYC, it’s kind of a tricky situation,” she said. “You have to have adequate clearance in the front of your home or property on the side to be ADAcompliant,” which requires at least a foot of ramp for every inch in height. In Brooklyn and Queens, these requirements are usually prohibitive, Ruiz-Lopez said, but in some residential areas where people have bigger front yards or side alleys, families can often build ramps without going onto community space. When ramps are impossible, families will sometimes request costly wheelchair lifts, which can run upwards of $25,000. Inside multi-story homes, persons with disabilities often need stair lifts installed to get them to the second floor, she said. These are essentially chairs mounted

on a motorized track system installed along a set of steps. A standard stair lift for a straight staircase can run about $5,000, while a custom chair lift designed for a curved staircase can run about $10,000. Pocket doors – doors that are built into the frame of a doorway and easily slide open when someone puts their thumb or finger into a small notch, are another unique way to allow for easy movement throughout the house, and are often requested by families, she said. Sometimes kitchen modifications are needed, such as making cabinets and counters lower, but often those aren’t necessary. Bedrooms also don’t require much in the way of modifications, though Ruiz-Lopez recommended higher beds, like they have in hospitals, along with a ceiling track system, which can help to ease a person into a bed. The specific modifications that are necessary will vary depending on the person and his or her disabilities, but Ruiz-Lopez said she generally recommends these types of modifications for people with cerebral palsy, muscle weakness, Rett syndrome, hypertonia, sensory integration dysfunction, spastic quadriplegia, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy and general ambulatory problems. And though she said New York State has cut funding for organizations that help people with disabilities, there are still several programs that may help with paying for these modifications, and families should consult with their caseworkers to seek financial assistance. Rachel Wizenfeld is a frequent contributor to publications like The Jewish Press, The Jewish Journal and the New York Blueprint. She lives in Los Angeles.


FAMILY By Dr. Daniel Hollander, PsyD

Can Special Needs Children Hold Down a Job?

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hy can’t my child reach his potential? Many parents see their children with developmental disabilities as being capable of learning job skills, traveling independently to a job and maintaining a job on a daily basis. Yet they become frustrated when they either can’t “convince” their child to be productive, or when a day program doesn’t appear to be trying hard enough to help them transition successfully. This dilemma comes across my office many times a week. I see men and women who have adequate intelligence to understand what is expected at a job, and the motor and verbal skills to perform well. (Remember, mental retardation does not mean a person cannot learn new skills; rather, they learn at a slower rate.) Yet when the individual tries the job that matches his or her level of functioning, at times they aren’t successful at working independently. I evaluated a 21-year-old male, Yaakov, whose IQ fell within the mild range of mental retardation. He seemed to have adequate verbal skills, motor skills and intelligence. He was a basketball player and was very good at playing Nintendo. I recommended to his parents a job opportunity that was simple in nature, structured, and within walking distance from his home. Yaakov was introduced to the owner and shown what was expected. The owner watched him for a day and reported that he was “ready” to work independently. Yaakov was also taught how to walk to and from the store. For the first three days, things went well, and Yaakov came home excited and happy each night. But on the fourth day, his parents received a phone call that Yaakov had not shown up at work. He was found in a store buying four bagels for breakfast…

After this episode, a limit was set. Yaakov would be paid based on showing up on time. Following this, Yaakov began coming on time -- yet his work ethic decreased significantly, to the point where the boss had to let him go. What happened? I reevaluated Yaakov, and decided that something else must be in play that was not clear during the first evaluation. After further observation, I noticed that his focusing ability, when left alone to complete an activity, was very limited. In the initial assessment, I tested his focus and concentration using constant positive praise and verbal encouragement. Under those circumstances, he demonstrated adequate concentration. I also made several phone calls to his previous schools and programs, and learned that Yaakov did not understand money management or time limits. In addition, when Yaakov travels independently, he tends to wonder into various stores. I began asking Yaakov some proving questions, including how he knows if he can spend money in a store. He said, “If I have a dollar I can buy a soda, pizza and cookie.” I also asked about showing up on time to work, to which he responded that he leaves the house when told to. However, he was unaware of what it takes to get to his destination on time. I brought the parents back in to discuss my findings. They said, “Oh, yes, Yaakov has a history of spending money and not following limits independently.” I then explained to them that while their child may have the “raw” skills to work at a job, other factors could impede his success. One is his inability to remain focused on a task without a staff member constantly refocusing him and providing positive feedback. I suggested that the best ap-

proach might be to have Yaakov at a group job site where staff would supervise his traveling, money skills and productivity. Yaakov joined a day program, where he was placed under supervision along with other individuals on his level. In a few days, he became successful in his own right. He now had new friends and a job at which he could succeed. Group job settings, which are arranged through day programs, do not define an individual as unsuccessful or incapable. Rather, they are designed to help individuals like Yaakov who have skills but need guidance. With assistance in being able to focus and problem-solve, they are able to persevere at a job site and

feel good about themselves. We must keep in mind that although our child may need supervision within a group job site, it doesn't mean they can't grow. Rather the only limitation is when we STOP trying to help our children. Dr. Daniel Hollander, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and the in-house psychologist at Harmony Service’s Kinor Dovid & Kinor Malka day habs. Harmony Service’s programs include; day hab / vocational programs for men and women, state of the art therapy clinic, service coordination, and summer camps (for men and women). For more information, contact 718.435.8080 or info@harmonyservices.org Dr. Hollander maintains a private practice in Brooklyn, specializing in developmental disabilities in children and adults. He can be reached at 718.986.7692 or danihollander@aol.com.

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FAMILY By Ratzy Simanowitz, RN

Sleep Disturbances in Children with Special Needs

T

he little night prowler Faigy Gluck was two when she began regressing in all areas of development. Having easily passed her early milestones, it came as a shock when she suddenly turned inward, gradually adopting the characteristic attributes of autism, with the attendant lack of eye contact and loss of verbal skills. According to Tzirel, Faigy’s eldest sibling, from when she was 2 ½ until she was admitted to the Higachi program at age ten, Faigy never slept for more than five hours a night, and more often

ily, from eight year old Miriam to Tzirel, who was about fifteen, was recruited to do “Faigy time”. Tzirel vividly recalls those nights in which Faigy would get up and try to leave her bedroom. It was her responsibility to engage her insomniac sister because once Faigy left the room, she was sure to awaken everyone in the house, including the out-of-town boys who slept in the family’s basement. Tzirel still chuckles when she recounts how once, when Faigy who was about five or six, she somehow slithered through the heavy door into the basement.

than not, for no more than three. She’d go to sleep at 8pm only to awaken anywhere between 11pm and 1am. At first, Mrs. Gluck blamed it on the anticonvulsant Depakote which had been prescribed for treatment of Faigy’s daytime hyperactivity. But it soon became apparent that her nighttime insomnia was not caused by her medications and that Faigy, like many children with Autism, simply may not need as much sleep as her typically developing cohorts. Before long, the entire fam-

It may have inadvertently been left ajar or little Faigy-turnedHoudini had somehow managed to pry it open. No one knows because she had sneaked off while the sibling left in charge of her that night had dozed off. When she tried to climb into one of the beds, the startled boy sleeping in the bed who happened to have a black belt in karate, thinking she was an intruder, almost hit her with a karate chop. Luckily, before striking, he took a second look and discovered that it was his landlord’s little girl who had

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June 2012

somehow strayed into his sleeping quarters. Years later, one of those boys recounted how, as a teenager, he had come to New York to spend time with the Lubavitcher Rebbe because he was extremely depressed, even contemplating suicide. However, observing his host family’s devotion to their child with special needs changed all that. It taught him about human sacrifice and filial love. Gradually, his heart, once cold and despondent, grew warm and engaged. Now, over twenty years later, he is married with children, living in a warm and Torah observant home of his own. Tzirel recalls those earlier years in which night and day often segued into one big blur of fatigue. She readily admits that “it was not all that easy.” Staying up with Faigy for hours on end, night after night, took its toll on every member of the family. Try as she might, Tzirel would often nod off toward the end of her nighttime vigils, and that was usually when Faigy got into serious mischief. She would smear anything she could get her hands on, sparing nothing, not even the costly Persian rug in the living room. She had a particular affinity for the family’s fridge. When all was quiet and her caretakers stooped in deep slumber, she’d stealthily make her way into the kitchen and methodically empty its entire contents. She’d smear the cottage cheese and sour cream all over the kitchen. She’d crack every last egg and gleefully spread it over just about any surface she could reach. During those trying years, everyone in the family was perpetually exhausted. Still, when Faigy was finally admitted to Higachi, and the nights at home once again returned to normal, Faigy’s mother felt no relief and

was, in fact, inconsolable. As Tzirel tells it, after each lengthy school break, when Faigy would return to Higachi for a new semester, her mother “would cry for two days straight”, riddled with guilt that she was once again relinquishing her little girl’s care to strangers and missing her little girl intensely. Tzirel is awed by her mother’s selflessness; she doubts she would have persevered for as long as her mother had. But looking back, Tzirel is convinced that those early years had imbued her with the strength of character to persevere through her own personal challenges, and she is a better person for it. In a wonderful twist of fate, Faigy is now residing in a group home that faces her parents’ house, where her mother is free to visit her daily, allowing them to bask in their mutual love and affection. Helpful hints for children with insomnia: Note: Many children with ASD may need less sleep than their typically developing peers. It is therefore important to establish individual sleep needs and schedule bedtime accordingly, as putting a child to sleep too early can be counterproductive and create less, rather than more sleep.  Rule out medical causes such as infection, pain, and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) which often interfere with sleep. Sleep apnea manifested by snoring, gasping for breath, and/or bedwetting may warrant a visit to a sleep specialist  Follow careful “sleep hygiene” practices:  Dim lighting  Quiet setting-a mild white noise machine may help keep out unwanted sounds  Minimize stimulation at bedtime  Comfortable temperature;


FAMILY avoid excessive heat and cold  Comfortable sleepwear  Allow the child to sleep with a favorite blanket or stuffed animal  Child’s bed should not be used for anything other than sleep. This means not using the bed for play time, timeout, or any other non-sleep activities.  Encourage exercise and outdoor play during daytime hours; avoid these within three hours of bedtime.  Maintain consistent bedtime and wakeup time; avoid daytime naps.  Eliminate or greatly reduce caffeine intake.  Teach your child to fall asleep with minimal input on your part. The best is to leave the room, or at least avoid all forms of touch after the child has been put to bed. If the child is used to having you in the room, sit next

to the bed and each night, move the chair closer to the door until it is no longer in the room.  Encourage your child to stay in bed, and if your child does get out of bed, stay calm and promptly put him back to bed; minimize conversation.  Provide small rewards when your child sleeps through the night.  Above all, be patient and don’t despair! Rather than implementing all changes at once, try one small change at a time. Melatonin: A miracle drug for children with insomnia? According to the Journal of Child Neurology, insomnia is a common sleep concern in children with ASD (autism spectrum disorders) and it is thought that melatonin, a naturally occurring substance that helps regulate sleep, may be

lower than in typically developing children. A study involving 107 children ages 2—18 years of age with a confirmed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders showed significant improvement in sleep when taking melatonin. Only 3 children had mild side-effects such as morning sleepiness and increased enuresis (bedwetting). Most importantly, there were no negative interactions between melatonin and the various psychotropic drugs many of the tested children were taking, nor was there an increase in seizures in those with seizure disorders. Daytime behaviors were reported to have improved as well with use of nighttime melatonin, leading to positive effects for the entire family. Based on these findings, Melatonin has been deemed a safe and well-tolerated treatment for insomnia in children with

autism spectrum disorders, although more studies are needed to establish safety and efficacy. As with all drugs and nutritional supplements, parents are urged to consult with their child’s pediatrician regarding the use of melatonin. Ratzy Simanowitz, RN is a nurse at Ohel Bais Ezra. With over four decades of experience in caring for those across the spectrum of developmental disabilities, OHEL Bais Ezra has elevated and enriched the lives of thousands of individuals and families. OHEL Bais Ezra offers parents much sought guidance and clear direction and we are able to tailor programs that meet the specific needs of each individual and optimize their potential. OHEL Bais Ezra continues to break down barriers and stigma associate with developmental disabilities and nurture a more informed community where such individuals can thrive and realize their potential. For more information, Call 1.800.603.OHEL web: ohelfamily.org Facebook: facebook.com/ohelfamily

June 2012

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FAMILY By Marc R. Katz

“W

A Closer Look at Today’s Top Best “Kept Secret� Services in Tomorrow’s World

hat Services is my child or sibling eligible for now?� still remains the number one question from parents and siblings of children with special needs. Approximately 1500 individuals are enrolled each year in The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), which is responsible for coordinating services for more than 126,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities. The system is currently in flux. There are ongoing discussions by the Medicaid Redesign team to improve the system, coupled with the proposed changes of the New People First Waiver. While

providers and other stakeholders have been strongly preoccupied about future systemic reforms to improve the quality and outcomes of government-funded services, families of individuals with special needs can greatly benefit from services that exist today. Parents and siblings of children with special needs continue to struggle to navigate the maze of available services. While families may be familiar with traditional services such as respite and supervised residential settings, there are other existing innovative, yet lesser-known services available today that can make a difference in their lives such as:

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June 2012

FAMILY REIMBuRSEMENT Family Reimbursement Program offers families who have a member with a disability the opportunity to receive limited reimbursement for various goods and services related to his or her care. In these difficult economic times, many parents are under extraordinary financial stress to provide for the special needs of their child, and welcome the relief that it affords them. As one parent stated "Throughout the day I take care of my son, play with him and take him to appointments. But when my other four children walk through the door at four o'clock, the juggling act becomes impossible. In this crucial time of need, this program was able to reimburse my family for the respite services that were immediately needed while we were caring for his siblings.â€? ďƒ‹ INTENSIvE BEHAvIORAL SERvICES (IBS) Intensive Behavioral Services are designed to provide support to individuals living at home who present challenging behaviors. This program sends highly trained clinicians into the home environment to observe the individual in his/her natural settings and provide meaningful assessment of their behaviors. It allows the clinician to work with the individual, family members, and support people to gain their perspective, and teach them the necessary skills to promote the individual and family's well being. ďƒŒ SIBSHOPS These sibling support sessions, non-OPWDD funded, are activity based groups that give siblings an opportunity to be educated, validate their feelings and share peer support in a non-judgmental and recreation based context. Regardless of the disability, siblings ďƒŠ

share many common experiences and feelings relating to friends, to the past, and to the uncertain future. Recent studies show that the stress and the burden of longterm family caregiving should not be underestimated. One mother commented that her daughter with no disability had internalized all her pain a n d c o n flicting emotions: “The sibshop enabled her to unlock her inner feelings because she finally felt comfortable in a room where she could be honest with others, as they shared their struggles with her.â€? Sibling support programs are the hallmark of a truly family-centered approach. ďƒ? AuTISM AWARENESS INITIATIvE: IN-HOME BEHAvIOR TRAINING This initiative, funded by the NYC Council, provides a multitude of services to children with Autism, specifically the At-Home Behavior Training program. Families are selected based on their need for at-home training, and their willingness to actively participate in the program. The behavior trainers provide sessions at home, instructing children, parents, community hab staff and siblings in the implementation of structured schedules, as well as well-planned and executed recreational activities. The goal of the program is to provide parents, sibling, and caregivers with tools to interact more effectively within their family unit.


FAMILY SuPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERvICES During a time of increased scrutiny of Medicaid-funded programs, Day Habilitation program is no longer the first and only option upon graduating from school. OPWDD’s Employment First initiative enables more individuals with developmental disabilities to be employed. There are now varied enhanced employment opportunities in accordance to one’s functioning level. For example, individuals who required more support than Access-VR (formerly VESID) provided, are now able to receive greater supports to maintain their employment via The Supported Employment program. As one individual with a developmental disability commented “Now my life begins,” because the Employment First Initiative made his lifelong dream of successfully maintaining a regular paying job come true.  NON-MEDICAID SERvICE COORDINATION As a family first learns about OPWDD services, the process of exploring their available options can become overwhelming. This short-term service provides information and linkages to provide easier access to OPWDD services. The service coordinator will primarily focus on Medicaid enrollment to create greater opportunities for Medicaid Waiver services to help the individual live as productively as possible.  CONSOLIDATED SuPPORTS AND SERvICES (CSS) CSS is a Medicaid waiver selfdirected service option that empowers people with disabilities and their families to design and manage services based on their individual needs and goals. CSS supports community inclusion because the CSS Plan is created by the participant and those he chooses to help with his plan. Furthermore, CSS participants control their own portable CSS budgets, and may choose to hire 

and manage their own staff supports. CSS Plans and Budgets allow participants to access the supports needed to live at home, pursue meaningful employment, and engage in satisfying relationships with others.  INDIvIDuALIzED SuPPORTS AND SERvICES Individual Supports and Services (ISS), an alternative housing option, assist adults with developmental disabilities who wish to live independently by providing funds to pay for housing costs, and on a limited basis, for such things as food, transportation and clothing. Individuals can also receive Community Habilitation, which offers 1:1 direct support professionals to further facilitate greater independence in such settings. Through the new People First Waiver, opportunities for new enrollments and supports in these types of housing programs will increase. OPWDD continues to examine ways of streamlining programs that offer greater person-centered services to those entering its system or those seeking something different. Their goal is to develop greater flexibility and a more robust network of services by making it easier for families to identify those services that are most able to meet their child’s needs. Although opportunities through the People First Waiver for new innovative supports and individualized services will increase in the future, the aforementioned list of these existing services serve as a point of entry to meet the everyday demands of today’s individuals with special needs. Marc R. Katz, a NYS Certified School Psychologist, is an Assistant Director at Ohel Bais Ezra. For more information about evaluations, intake, or referral of services, please call 1.800.603.OHEL, visit www.ohelfamily.org, or e-mail info@ohelfamily.org. OHEL delivers a breadth of community services through OHEL Bais Ezra, OHEL Lifetime Care, OHEL Foster Care, OHEL Mental Health Services, OHEL Institute for Training, and Camp Kaylie.

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29


FAMILY FORUM Welcome back to the Family Forum!

W

hen families are given the task to care for a child with special needs, it often takes extra strength and fortitude to get through the daily challenges. In the recently released book, Rav Avigdor Miller on Emunah and Bitachon (Judaica Press, 2012), the author Rabbi Yaakov Astor presents Rav Miller’s thoughts on this topic. According to Rav Miller zt”l, everyone in life has a specific role and function. The question was asked, “Is it fair that this child and these parents should be

chosen for that function?” Rav Miller zt”l, answers that, “Nobody works for free in this world. Everybody is remunerated for his service and a child who is born to serve such a role goes to Olam Haba eventually and is richly repaid. He is paid off more than many people who have lived happy, normal lives….all wrongs are righted in the World to Come.” He adds that “those parents who have compassion on that child, feeding him, taking care of all his needs and having mercy on

him are gaining a great wealth of the World to Come.” He encourages us to think about others who have even greater burdens than ours and to try to accept what we have received – because “Hashem is an employer Who is not stingy when it comes to paying reward.” When I help my child with special needs, I don’t necessarily think that I am doing it for a reward, but it does bring me comfort knowing that my child has a specific purpose in this world. Know that when our children

A Typical Morning

“C

ome on, Devora- it’s time to wake up!” “But Ima, I’m tired,” she says as she buries her head back under the pillows. It’s 6:40 on a weekday morning and I need to get my seven year old daughter with special needs ready for school. With a lot of cajoling, and sometimes getting her dressed while she is half sleeping, she is usually downstairs by 7 am, ready to join her brother Tuvia who is watching some show on the computer, having been up since 6 AM. Tuvia is watching a program which is developmentally inappropriate for him- (a boy his age should no longer be interested in watching The Berenstein Bears). Although it’s sad for me to see him watching something not appropriate for his age, it does simplify things somewhat, in that there is less fighting and arguments over what to watch. If I have been really organized, then I have already packed her lunch, as well as the lunch of 30

June 2012

her siblings. Devora is one of our six children, four of whom have significant developmental disabilities. I try to have “cereal in a bag” ready for her to eat in the car for her ride to school. Devora and her twelve year old brother, Tuvia, need to be ready by around 7:25 am for the ride which will take them to the Sinai Program for children with special needs housed at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, New Jersey. As Devora gets into the car, she says to me “Good bye, Ima. I will see you at seventy”. I have no idea what she is talking about. I smile and say, “Okay!” Off they go. If I am lucky, then my ten year old moderately to severely autistic son, Shmuel is still sleeping, in which case I don’t need to address his requests to watch “Sessee Street” (his version of Sesame Street). Shmuel can be very persistent, and just because he hears ‘no’, doesn’t mean that he won’t keep asking

again, and again, and again, and again. If I am not so lucky, then I sometimes put it on for him and hope that Devora does not hear this happening, since she needs to be downstairs ready for her ride. Tuvia, Devora, and Asher, my fourteen year old typical son, all leave the house by around 7:30, with all their needs taken care of. Breathe- three down, three to go. Sometimes my seven year old son Zev is up by 7:30- sometimes he is not. He has high functioning autism and it is sometimes difficult for him to fall asleep at night, despite taking melatonin. It is much easier to oversee his getting dressed since the house is much quieter. Some of my children will not get dressed on their own, because they are too distracted by both internal and external stimuli. Getting dressed in the morning is just not high on their priority list!!! Zev needs to be ready to go to the Sinai Program at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, by 7:50am.

By Ruchi Eisenbach

struggle with challenges that others can do with great ease, they are earning a magnificent reward that will illuminate their souls… forever and ever. And that is something that I would like to be a part of. Ruchi Eisenbach, M.Ed., is a special education service coordinator. She is a parent of child with special needs and the author of “Hidden Gems: Our Special Children” (Artscroll 2010), an inspiring book about children with special needs. She can be reached at ruchieisenbach@gmail.com.

By Laurie Minchenberg

Shmuel anxiously awaits Zev’s departure just as much as I do. How do I know? Because he sometimes brings me his brother’s coat and says “Zev’s coat, Zev’s coat!” Once he leaves, the house is much calmer, and I can then tackle my next customer: Shmuel. He goes to an ABA program, and receives ABA therapy at home as well. As part of his ABA program, we have put up a magnet on the refrigerator which says, “I want _______, please.” We use this magnet in order to prompt him to ask appropriately. At around 7:55 am, Shmuel wanted to watch Sesame Street, and we told him no, because it was time to get ready for school. Upon hearing no, he went to the refrigerator, got the magnet, showed it to us and then asked again. Shmuel’s bus arrives at 8:30 and then all that’s left is my almost three year old Mordechai who needs to go to playgroup at 9:15. And then… I can really breathe!!!......


FAMILY FORUM

I

f anyone were to ask me what the defining moment of my life has been so far, I would have to say the birth of my oldest son. Not growing up in Vienna, Austria or spending my formative teenage years living thousands of miles away from home during high school. It was not the decision to marry my husband or even our wedding day, as special as it was. No, hands down, it was the day Yedidya was born and I was told that, at the tender age of 21, I was the proud mother of a child with Trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down Syndrome. I could wax poetically about the process of mourning the perfect child, our acceptance and our overwhelming love for this special neshama. And all of this would be true. But it does not come close to explaining what it is like to be the parent of a child with special needs, day in and out.

The True Meaning of Inclusion I have learned so much in the past six years. I have been inundated with information about Down Syndrome, developmental milestones, interventions and methods of schooling. Along the way, I have also learned a lot about myself - about my level of patience, my expectations of myself and my children, and the value I put on academic achievement and accomplishment. I had to confront the reality that as much as I want my child to thrive, I am just not cut out for the hours and hours of intervention and follow-through that are expected of me, beyond all the therapies Yedidya is receiving at school. I am not going to sit on the floor with flashcards of sight words when he comes home at the end of a long school day. Instead we play cars and soccer and watch a video to unwind. Because more than a diagnosis, Yedidya is a child who just wants

to play and he does not really care that he is not following the typical developmental curve. He is quite happy the way he is, thank you very much. Recently, there has been a lot of talk in our communities of inclusion for all our children: “Our children are just like yours, don’t judge us based on a diagnosis and let us into your institutions, whether they be shuls or schools.” I wholeheartedly support mainstreaming and inclusion. I think it is important for both typical and “special” children to be exposed to one another, to interact and learn from one another. Yedidya comes to shul almost every Shabbos and is very much part of our community. What I do object to, however, is the claim that children with special needs should be included because really, if pushed and not stereotyped, they can do everything a typical child can do. I object

By Ruchi Cohen

because it is not true. And even if it is true for some exceptional children, the majority of children with special needs will not reach that developmental level and yet they STILL deserve a chance to be included in whatever way they can. People often ask me if Yedidya is high-functioning. I don’t really know the answer to that question although I like to think that he is. The real question is though why it matters. Don’t get me wrong. I am very grateful that Yedidya is walking, running and jumping, that his speech is slowly emerging and that he is working on Early Literacy Skills with the goal being for him to be able to learn to read and write. And while I do ask myself the question, if he could do more if I pushed him more, sometimes I ask myself, how I would feel if he was not doing all these things.

By Stephen E. Schwartz, Esq.

B

usy parents of special education children can use parent’s homework to measure goals and objectives. A good example is a sensory diet created by a child’s occupational therapist at school to treat various sensory integration disorders. It should be noted that many parents and lawyers encounter resistance at child study team meetings against treating sensory integration disorder. Parents that succeed in obtaining a sensory diet as part of the

Homework for Parents IEP should request a copy of the diet and they should work with the child at home on the various exercises. In this way, the parent can see first-hand whether the treatment is working or whether it needs modification. Another good example is a communication log between the head teacher and the parent. This log should provide daily feedback to the parent about the child’s goals and objectives. For example, for behavior challenges, the teacher should log appro-

priate and inappropriate behaviors on a period-by-period basis. This will enable the parent to see when the behavior is occurring and possible antecedents. In this way, if the inappropriate behavior mostly occurs at the end of the day, then it probable that child is tired. Now, the focus can be placed on boosting the child’s energy at the end of the day. In addition, the log should have space for the parents to log daily relevant information like bedtime and other factors that

may contribute to the child’s education. One pitfall is the lack of communication between behaviorists and parents. If the behaviorist is not available for communication or worse has not even drafted the behavior plan required by the IEP, then the parent or lawyer should immediately bring the issue to the attention of the case manager. There is nothing wrong with insisting that the behaviorist follows the plan and works with the parents.

Schwartz Continues on Next Page  June 2012

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FAMILY FORUM

By Mother In the Shoe

Graduation…

I

have just been doing a “spring cleaning” of sorts. You see, my son who is severely handicapped is 21 years old. He is about to graduate from his special school where he has been since he was five. I participated in his very last IEP meeting a few weeks ago. It was totally uneventful, just a closing-out of the DOE’s records on him. Goodbye CSE, fights about therapies, services, district personnel – some very kind and some truly obnoxious. Now I have a file drawer filled with old IEPs to go through. I see goals – some met and some not yet attained. I see a huge file folder from the time I took the district to a five-day-long impartial hearing and prevailed. I have the transcript and the hearing officer’s decision. It really takes me back.

I glance at a picture of my son at five holding a toy Torah during circle time, a huge smile on his face. The years have really flown by. I choke back tears thinking about his graduation day later this week. This is a bittersweet time. I can’t help but think what my son would be doing if he did not have his disability. He most likely would have been in Yeshiva or completing college, entering the shidduch parsha. Instead of all that, I sit here purging old files and calling adult day programs to try to make his official transition to adulthood as smooth as possible. I have spent weeks searching for the right day hab program. Today, thankfully, there are many more to choose than years ago. I have gone from program to program, trying to find the right fit for my son. This one doesn’t serve hot lunch; I shudder at the thought of my son having to eat a sandwich from a bag each day. He really enjoys eating hot lunch

in his school. Another program offers lunch, but no transportation. Another offers the “individuals coffee each morning and then takes them on ‘exciting’ trips such as to visit a nursing home.” I laugh at the thought of my son, who has the cognitive abilities of a child less than two years old, socializing and drinking coffee. I want more for him. I daven and with tears streaming down my cheeks, I ask Hashem to send me to the right place for my child. Then it happens – a new program with a higher staff ratio offers hot lunch, transportation and lots more. They sit with me over a cup of coffee. They ask me what my son enjoys doing, what is meaningful to him. Since it is a small program, they can structure a lot of the time around his individual needs. I ask about music, which he enjoys so much, and they tell me they have lots of it. They will take him to therapy and swimming several times a week. They will take him for outings in the community. My heart feels lighter. Now I am looking

forward to this next step in my son’s life instead of dreading it. With a plan in place, my mind returns to focus on the impending graduation day. Now, I am not thinking about all the things my son will not do and will not be. Instead, I am looking back and reflecting on his school years. Tears well up in my eyes as I recall the special teachers and therapists who have worked with my son all these years. I think about how much they have cared for him and how they have joined me in cheering him on to reach his potential. My heart swells full of Hakaras HaTov, true gratitude to them and to Hashem for helping my son reach this point. I think about my son, his smile, his laugh, his pure, sweet disposition, his contentment with life, and I realize that all of our efforts have resulted in a very happy young man who knows we love him. He does have happiness and meaning in his life, and that is an accomplishment we should all be proud of.

and family the tools they need to support a special needs child and can also help alleviate stress and tension at home. If you think that such support is appropriate for your child, then you or your lawyer must address this at the child study team meeting. Parents or lawyers do not need

to wait until an annual review to address whether a child’s current private school is an appropriate placement. Parents should take an active approach in evaluating the program for their children. The parent knows the child better than anyone and is best suited to use the tools provided by

the school as a window into what is working and what is not.

Schwartz Continued from Previous Page 

The above examples work for children that are in-district. Some out-of-district placements go even further in providing homework for the parents and the family. Some private schools provide sibling and parent training and support groups. These sessions will provide the parents

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Stephen E. Schwartz, Esq. is a former director of a New Jersey Approved School for Students with Disabilities and is a licensed New York and New Jersey attorney. He helps parents obtain a free and appropriate education for their children.


FAMILY FORUM By A Concerned Mother

T

The Trials and Tribulations of Finding a Shidduch

hinking about a shidduch for an individual with learning disabilities starts even before they’re teenagers. Parents wonder “when and how will my child get married”? As your child grows up to be an adult, you try to make every connection you can make and attend every shidduch meeting in the area. Most of the time you sense that there really isn’t a lot of interest from many of the shadchanim. Sometimes when individuals are trying to set up a potential shidduch and the other side finds out that your child never attended college due to learning disabilities, the shidduch stops right there. It doesn’t make

a difference that the individual with learning disabilities may be kind, caring and have great middos because it’s the stereotype of what an individual should be. In addition, many of these individuals have jobs, drive cars and have their own apartments, but they always carry the stigma of being learning disabled. On occasion you’ll hear about a shadchan that deals with individuals with certain disabilities and they may try to set up your child with an individual that has more severe disabilities than your child. Then you wonder, “Is this what is meant for my child?” or “Will my child ever find a shidduch”? Your child may ask, “Why can’t

I be like everybody else?”, but in many cases they haven’t been like other people since they were infants. The whole shidduch process is very difficult and draining for a typical individual, but when you’re dealing with an individual with learning disabilities it’s a whole new world that most people dread dealing with. Just like the Jewish world was missing yeshivas for children with learning disabilities in the early 1990’s and the problem was worked on by various organizations, we need help now. Parents are currently dealing with their children who have learning disabilities and really want to get

married and have families like everybody else. It’s time for the various Jewish organizations to step up and provide a mechanism and process for these individuals to meet and assist them in finding shidduchim. This may mean assistance in the preparation of shidduch resumes, the availability of dating coaches, and social workers to help deal with the various issues that may come up during the dating process. We need this assistance now, so our children can find their bashert and have a happy life together. You can send any comments or suggestions to wewantashidduch@gmail.com.

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A:

This is a situation many parents face as our children grow. Here are some resources that may be helpful:  MyPoolPal.com features swim diapers, swim wear and other products for children

and adults with special needs. My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuits, Coast-Guard Approved Aqua Force personal flotation devices, and Swim-sters undergarments make participating in water activities possible and enjoyable for children and adults with special needs, allowing families to spend quality time together and create memories that last a lifetime. Swim-sters special needs swim diapers are perfect for anyone who requires a diaper while swimming. Plus, since they are designed to be worn discreetly under a swimsuit while helping prevent harmful bacteria from entering the water, they are perfect for individuals with bowel incontinence. The special needs flotation swimsuits and special

needs swim diapers are available in a wide variety of sizes, and can also be custom made for larger sizes and other specific needs. See www.mypoolpal.com/ products/special-needs or call 888.766.5725.  Pooltoy.com specializes in adult disposable swim diapers by My Pool Pal as well as youth and adult reusable swim diapers. They will custom make swim diaper for special sizes. See www.pooltoy.com/swimdiapers1.html or call 252.232.1052.  eSpecialNeeds.com carries reusable swim diapers in pull on and Velcro styles that will keep the pool sanitary. Their machine washable swim diapers

are designed with a comfortable cotton inner lining and nylon outer shell. See www.eSpecialNeeds.com or call 877.664.4565.  DiaperFetch.com carries Swim-sters special needs swim diapers, featuring elasticized leg and waist bands and advanced fabrics that help turn a simple diaper into a powerful bacteria blocker. They carry reusable swim diapers for youth and adults from 40 lbs to 140 lbs in pink, white and blue. See www.diaperfetch.com/ shop/reusable-swim-diapers or call 800.971.1034 or 408.971.1034. Wishing everyone a fun and safe summer! June 2012

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EDUCATION By Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Salfer

Making the Most of Title Programs

I

magine having an uncle who is concerned about your future and sets up a trust fund for you and your extended family. To ensure that you don’t raid the fund and spend the money frivolously, he appoints an outside executor of the fund, who receives a small fee as compensation for his oversight. As part of his plan, Uncle Sam adds many precautionary measures and rules. One of them is that you can choose to use the money only on certain things, which he has predetermined. Another is that you cannot receive any of the funding directly. All funding must be spent through a third party. For example, if you need a book, an outside party would buy the book for you and

bill the executor for their expense. If you needed tutoring or speech therapy, the third party would provide the help and then bill the executor. The executor also chooses the third party to do the providing and then billing for the services. Uncle Sam also decides that family members who are less capable and need more services take precedence in how the funding is spent. For example, if one of the siblings requires more services and help, they would receive a higher percentage of the funding towards their needs than the others. The analogy above reflects what has happened to government funding for Title 1, Part A (Title 1) of the Elementary

and Secondary Education Act, (ESEA) which provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families. The goal of the modifications to the original 1965 ESEA statute is to help ensure that all

for each school, and from which the ‘providers’ are paid for their services. Each school has their own account. Schools need to actively encourage every parent to complete a ‘Free & Reduced’ form for their child. Each form represents thousands of dollars in

children meet challenging state academic standards. The LEA is usually the local school district and is the ‘executor’ in our analogy. The LEA decides who will be the ‘third party providers’ and how much funding is reimbursable and can be charged for each hour of service provided. Federal funds are currently allocated through four statutory formulas that are based primarily on census poverty estimates and the cost of education in each state. The ‘Free and Reduced Lunch Form’, is the biggest determinant as to how much funding each school is eligible for. The ‘Free & Reduced’ form also determines how much funding a school is eligible to receive for E-rate, as well as many other funding programs. The information from that form has a major influence on the total amount of funding that the school district receives from Uncle Sam

funding, and it would be best for parents to cooperate by completing these forms. The LEA, or school district, receives a sum of funding that is generated based on how many students are in the district, as well as the income eligibility of those students, and then the LEA determines how much each school will be eligible to have in their account held by the district. The LEA is also entitled to receive a percentage of the funding that is used by the schools. Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from lowincome families may use Title I funds, along with other Federal, State, and local funds, to operate a "school-wide program." Title I schools which do not meet the 40 percent threshold or that choose not to operate a schoolwide program offer a "targeted assistance program" for students

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EDUCATION who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the State's academic achievement standards, which is designed in consultation with parents, staff, and district staff. Both school-wide and targeted assistance programs must use instructional strategies based on scientifically-based research and implement parental involvement activities. When federal program funds are combined to support a school-wide program to upgrade the entire educational program in the school, the school must be able to demonstrate that it contains sufficient activities to reasonably address the needs of the intended beneficiaries of each program. This is often demonstrated through improved scores on standardized tests. The names used for the various federal Title funding programs varies from state to state,

although the formulas determining how the funding is calculated is the same. It is important for each school to understand how much they are eligible to receive, how it can be used, and how much is deducted from their account for each hour of service provided. Many students in the school can benefit greatly from additional services and the school needs to take an active role in requesting those services from the provider. The school should make sure that they are receiving the biggest return for each hour of service provided. The schools can also request other methods and services to be paid for by the funding in their LEA account. Often, parents know that their child is being pulled out for Title services, however they have no idea for what, by whom, how often, and for how long. Too often,

the schools themselves are not involved in the process working with the teacher and the provider

schools, as well as for districtlevel Professional Development, Parent Involvement and other

“Parents also need to be involved and understand that this is special tutoring that is available for their child and should become involved� as a team. In such cases, the services are not nearly as effective. Parents also need to be involved and understand that this is special tutoring that is available for their child and should become involved with the Title teacher. Lastly, there is some funding that the LEA holds, as executor, to be maintained at the LEA level to support district-level activities. This can be allocated at the discretion of the LEA and used for individual cases, or particular

activities. Requests at the district level can also be made for the benefit of students from their discretionary LEA funds. Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Salfer, PhD, is the Rosh Yeshivas Doresh in Miami, for high school and post HS yeshiva boys with learning challenges. He is the executive director of Tree of Knowledge Learning Centers, a third party provider and Title/IDEIA consultant. He can be reached at rabbisalfer@gmail. com or 216.233.0065.

June 2012

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EDUCATION By Laura F. Palley

Better Options for Special-Needs High School Graduates

D

uring their senior year, high school students and their parents face difficult choices weighing the pros and cons of

ferent questions. Is my child independent enough to live away from home? Does he have the necessary social and academic

various colleges, gap year programs, and Israeli study and travel programs. Did my child get into his first choice school? Does he want to dorm or live off campus or commute from home? Was he offered enough financial aid? Would he benefit from taking a (gap) year learning in Israel first? Parents of special needs graduates must ask themselves dif-

skills to succeed in a college environment? What choices are available for him? On this last question, the answer is encouraging. The options for special-needs graduates are better today than ever before. Many colleges and universities have expanded their supportive resources. Some have created specialized programs on

campus for students with learning differences. Special needs students may benefit from precollege skill-building programs. And others may find guided vocational programs or even ‘gap year’ programs abroad. Here are some things you need to know to find the right place for your child with special needs after high school graduation. What are ‘acc ommo d ati ons, disclosure, and documentation?’ During their school years, your child’s school district was required by law to provide appropriate academic and therapeutic remediation. The rules are different in higher education. Colleges have more leeway in determining what kind of assistance they can or will offer to their students with special needs. These supports are called accommodations. Students with special needs apply for admission the same way

that regular students do. After a student is accepted he discloses his disability and negotiates for accommodations. The student must provide documentation or proof of disability, such as recent tests, evaluations, and medical affidavits in order to establish the student’s specific needs. Complete and up-to-date documentation, clearly stated requests and persuasive self-advocacy will help the student obtain the services he needs to succeed at college. For those considering college Community College: Living at home while studying at community college is the least expensive and most flexible option for college-bound special needs students. Typically, community colleges offer a wide range of majors and technical degree programs for full or part-time students, and many have solid reputations for innovative programs to support their local special-needs students. Many are accessible through public transportation. Continuity of support can be maintained. Because they are still living at home, they can benefit from continued support from friends, family members, and mentors, and parents

Questions to ask when looking for a school – Tips for finding the right school  Does this school meet my child’s general requirements such as size, distance from home, majors available, affordability etc.?  Are they known for support for special needs, what is their reputation?  Do they have a special program within the college and a sufficiently experienced staff to meet my child’s needs?  Is there anyone I can speak to who has had personal experience at this institution?  Can I speak to the special needs counselor or department, even anonymously, to get a feeling for what kinds of accommodations are available, what kinds of needs they dealt with in the past, advice on approaching admissions? 36

June 2012

 Support systems on and off campus – are there local community organizations or groups which might support or enhance the student’s success?  How will they monitor the student’s progress/ spotting challenges and rough spots? – plan for regular contact/visits/reports from liaison people like special needs counselors or other team support people  Identify individuals’, social, religious or sports clubs or teams of interest which can help establish sense of belonging and community.  Do I understand the pricing structure – is it tiered? It may be the base price tuition and then additional costs for a special support program.


EDUCATION can continue to closely monitor their child’s progress. Once a student has successfully adjusted to college level studies, transfer to a four-year college is relatively easy. Four-Year Colleges and Universities In addition to the factors that all students typically consider in choosing among different colleges, such as location, academic suitability, living accommodations, and financial affordability, students with special needs should pay particular attention to schools with programs designed specifically to help them. Supportive programs within colleges Certain colleges offer support in the form of tutoring, organizational help, mentoring, and monitoring while students with special needs are taking regular college courses. Assistance is phased out over time as the student gains more independence. This option allows for full inclusion in all aspects of typical college life while receiving appropriate academic, social, or psychological support. Fairleigh Dickenson’s COMPASS program, offered at its Metropolitan Campus, is an excellent example of this approach. The University of Connecticut offers an impressive number of programs which address specific types of special needs populations within their campus. Hofstra University’s PALS program is another example of an internally supported initiative. Transitional programs Young adults who have academic potential, but are not ready for full-time independent college life, may benefit from transitional programs. Students are supported in their social, academic, and independent living skills while they study at a local community college. Students may complete their degree requirements, or may study just for a summer, a semester, or a year in order to improve their skills before moving on to a more typical college setting.

Vocational training, internships, and guided work experiences may also be available under this rubric. Israel For those students who would like to take a ‘gap year’ in Israel, Yeshivat and Midreshet Darkaynu runs a highly successful program modeled on a typical yeshiva or seminary curriculum. Torah study is combined with trips, vocational training, chesed opportunities, and home hospitality. Darkaynu classes are self-contained, but all outings, holiday observances and special events are coordinated with Ohr Torah Stone (Brovender’s.) Yeshiva Bnei Simcha is another specialized yeshiva for men ages 17 to 28. It combines individualized learning with social, life and communication skills development. It aims for a holistic approach, balancing academics with overall health and well-being. If your child doesn’t fit into either these programs but still wants to study in Israel, arrangements can sometimes be worked out with other yeshivas, if you can find a sympathetic person on the yeshiva administration who is willing to be flexible and provide the right support. However, your child must be strongly motivated and already have a high level of independence to make this a successful experience. Strategies and resources for finding the right option Once you have determined that attending college is a realistic and desirable option for your child, one of the best resources for making the right choice is a knowledgeable guidance counselor, teacher or program administrator, preferably one who already knows your child. His years of experience and knowledge will save you a lot of time. Private counselors provide special-needs placement services for a fee. Linda Kay is a private counselor who publishes her own free

e-newsletter with tips and strate- and opinions. gies for successfully locating the Networking can bring valuable information to light. Ask around right school for your child. Even with outside help, you still your community or religious orneed to be a creative investigator, ganizations, talk with parents at searching both print media and college night, and ask recent high websites to find suitable schools school graduates about their exand programs with the services periences adjusting to college. and accommodations your child Once you have narrowed down needs already in place for them. the choices, a visit to campus is Specialized publications, such as truly invaluable. Talk to as many The Princeton Review’s K & W students on campus as you can Guide, profile colleges’ support- about their classes and overall satisfaction. ive programs and resources. One parent I know spoke anon- In the end, the right choice will ymously to the special-needs co- be the college or program which ordinator at her son’s first choice you and your child decide, after school. The staffer offered tips having done all the research, will for filling out the application and best fit their individualized needs, passing the student interview capabilities and ambitions. (and he got in!) On-line chat groups, forums, Laura F. Paley lives in Paramus, NJ blogs and support groups may of- and is the mother of 4 children. Ad for BuildingBlocks4x5.25‐FINAL3_Layout fer valuable information, advice 2 5/25/2012 9:02 AM Page 1

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EDUCATION By Michael S. Kutzin and Allison Landwehr

Qualifying Your Child for Special Education Services

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he Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a Federal law requiring all children with disabilities from ages

three to twenty-one to be provided with a public education free of cost. Once a child is suspected of needing special education services, an evaluation must be conducted. These evaluations are free of charge to the family, and are performed by experts affiliated with the School district. Following the school district’s testing, a determination will be made as to the student’s eligibility under the IDEA. Classifications of Disability There are thirteen recognized classifications of disability under the IDEA through which children may qualify for services, as follows:  Autism  Deafness  Deaf-Blindness  Emotional Disturbance ("ED")  Hearing Impairment  Learning Disability ("LD")  Mental Retardation ("MR")  Multiple Disabilities  Orthopedic Impairment  Speech or Language Impairment  Visual Impairment  Traumatic Brain Injury  Other Health Impairment If the child is deemed eligible, i.e., classified under one of the thirteen categories of disability, then a Committee on Preschool Education (CPSE) or Committee on Special Education (CSE) will 38

June 2012

be convened to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) uniquely tailored to fit his or her needs. IEP Participants Members of the CPSE/CSE include, but are not limited to the following:  One or more regular education teachers  An additional parent member  One or more special education teachers  A school district representative  A school psychologist  The parent(s) of the child Parents and guardians are entitled to bring an attorney, as well as other interested parties, such as a parent advocate, to participate in the CPSE/CSE meeting, in order help them to obtain the services that they believe that their child needs and is entitled to under the federal law. While parents and guardians cannot mandate that certain services be provided to their child, they can reject recommendations by the CPSE/CSE. The involvement of parents and guardians in the design of the IEP is critical because, once it is approved; the school district must follow it and provide the required services to the child. Moreover, each IEP recommends a specific type of classroom placement for the child, as well as an annual review date, at which point its contents will be re-examined and assessed. Nevertheless, parents, guardians, and the school district may request a meeting at any point in time to discuss the child's IEP. IEP Components An IEP contains the following components:  A classification of the child’s disability  His or her present levels of aca demic and functional achievement  Measurable annual goals

 Details regarding the instruction of the student  The types of related services they will receive  Their classroom makeup, including the ratio of student to teachers and aides  Subjects of study

The IEP also lists social, physical, academic, and management needs. The IDEA requires that each child receive a “Free Appropriate Public Education” or “FAPE” by education professionals. Religious families can seek to have services provided in a religious school if the services are necessary for an “appropriate” education. However, the government is not required provide the child with the “best possible education,” so parents and guardians have to be cautious when making requests from the school district for services. Frequently, school districts avoid making expensive recommendations for children with disabilities even though they are not allowed to use cost as a reason for denying services; instead, they fail to mention to parents and guardians these options because they are pricey. IDEA Mandate The IDEA provides for a school district to supply the following supports:  Developmental  Corrective  Transportation  Speech-language pathology and audiology  Psychological  Physical and occupational  Orientation and mobility Additionally, further aids, not included within the above list, may be added to the child’s IEP to help the student benefit from their special education.

By informing themselves fully about potential placement options and classroom goals for their child, along with acceptable alternatives, parents and guardians place themselves in a far better position when they attend the CPSE/CSE meeting. If the school district cannot provide an appropriate education for your son or daughter, you may be eligible to move your child into a better environment, such as a special education program sponsored by a religious organization, and seek tuition reimbursement for all associated costs. Unlike many other areas of law, special education law allows attorneys to use a wide range of methods to help their clients, providing them, at certain points, with the ability to remain non-adversarial while achieving results. With the passage of the IDEA, children with disabilities are required to receive an appropriate IEP suited to meet their unique needs; however, school districts sometimes fail to do so. As a result, parents, guardians, and attorneys need to be aggressive and persistent in advocating for these children and to hold school districts accountable. Michael Kutzin is a partner with Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP, a firm concentrating in elder law, trusts & estates, special education law, and the rights of people with disabilities since 2001. Michael graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and from NYU School of Law in 1987. Allison Landwehr is an associate (not yet admitted in NY) with Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP. She graduated cum laude from the Syracuse University College of Law, and received a certificate in Disability Law & Policy. She also obtained her M.S. from Syracuse University in Education, receiving an additional certification in Advanced Disability Studies.


EDUCATION By Shoni Eidlisz

Importance of Physical Development in Classroom Environments

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y the time children graduate from high school, they have spent thousands of hours in a classroom, mostly sitting. That’s a lot of sitting. By contrast, integrating movement and physical activity into the classroom gives children’s minds and bodies the exercises they need to fuel the brain with oxygen while promoting physical health and academic success. Group games and structured movement activities promote both fun and learning for the student and also promote a positive classroom environment. Movement and Physical Activity Our bodies are designed to move. Some people think best when they are in motion. Aerobic exercise and movement prepare your brain to learn, improve mood and attention, lower stress and anxiety, help stave off addiction, control the tumultuous effects of hormonal changes and can even reverse some of the effects of aging on the brain. Recent studies have linked movement to both cognitive skills and emotional health and well-being. The latest research shows that for your brain to function at its full potential, your body needs to move. According to Jensen, standing appears to provide a five to fifteen percent greater flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, thereby creating more arousal of attention. Specific movements stimulate the release of the body’s natural motivators, such as noradrenaline and dopamine, which wake up learners and help them feel good, maximize their energy levels and improve their storage of information and retrieval. Furthermore, according to Hannaford, neuronal connections made through movement of the body help children develop the neuronal systems they will need when ready to read.

Children and Physical Activity For children, physical activity and movement enhance fitness, promote growth and development, and help them learn about their world and environment. Children learn though exploring of their environment and through walking, running, jumping and climbing. Although children are innately active, in today’s world they tend to be more often inactive and deskbound. Children spend too much of their time riding in a car or bus to school, sitting at their desks during the day, watching television or playing computer games. As children have less freedom to play outdoors, many are spending their free time involved in social media and modern technology. How many of your children are busy at night with their iPads or computer games? Consequently, the evidence is mounting that as our young children become less physically active they are becoming more prone to weight issues and/or obesity. The Federal Centers for Disease Control says the number of children who are overweight has more than doubled since 1980, and among adolescents, the rates have more than tripled. Movement in Learning Movement in learning is a teaching method based on the concept that students learn better through movement in the classroom. Students are given opportunities throughout a class period to move around and take “brain breaks” to refocus their attention so they can learn new material. Brain research suggests that physical activity prior to and during class increases a student’s ability to learn and to retain new information. Movement in the Classroom The purpose of movement and

games in the classroom is to integrate physical activity with learning while adding fun, laughter, and movement into the child’s day. Being physically active not only provides important health benefits, but also gives children opportunities to learn through movement. Integrating movement into the classroom, with proper management, can stimulate creativity, communication and ease of learning. Movement in the classroom is a tool that can benefit all children. Specifically, it can be a teaching strategy for the child who “cannot stay in his or her seat” or is always “spacing out.” Integrating movement into the child’s routine is a technique that will enable the child to utilize his or her energy in a positive way and thus be able to focus and learn more effectively. Classroom Integrated Lesson Ideas: Below are a few examples of how teachers can integrate movement when teaching specific subjects. Math To teach about time and reinforce number identification, the teacher can provide stopwatches and have the children time each other doing different physical activities. Spelling  Children can practice weekly spelling words while also practicing dribbling, passing and catching a ball.  Spelling Cheerleading is a group activity in which students position their hands and arms straight above their heads for letters touching the headline, place hands on their hips for letters touching the midline, and touch their hands to the floor for letters that start below the baseline. Science The solar system can be mapped out though the creations of dance involving spinning: The child who is Venus will be the only one rotating clockwise; Mercury will revolve around the Sun four times faster

than Earth and so forth. Social Studies When teaching the names of bordering states, a teacher can use floor marking tape to draw an outline of the United States. The students are divided into small groups, and each group goes to a particular state to start an activity. Tips for Teachers: Motivating Movement  Provide “brain break” opportunities. For example: allow children to walk around the room while practicing spelling or vocabulary.  Play “Simon Says” or charades based on a topic the class is studying.  Integrate movement within core academic lessons tying physical activity to learning objectives. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (1998) has issued physical activity guidelines suggesting that children should have more than 60 minutes, and up to several hours, of physical activity each day to promote health and well-being. Integrating movement into the traditional academic classroom environment gives children the opportunity to move during the day. It also makes learning more accessible and memorable for children, fosters creative and dynamic energy in the classroom, and provides for an exciting and stimulating learning environment for our children. For more ideas on integrating movement into the lesson plans: http:// www.pecentral.org/lessonideas/ classroom/classroom.asp Omni Childhood Center provides evaluations and individual comprehensive therapy services for children at no cost to the parent or school. OMNI also accepts Medicaid and most major insurance plans. OMNI Childhood Center is located at 1651 Coney Island Avenue and at 18 Heyward Street, in Williamsburg. For further information, or to make a referral, please call 718.998.1415. June 2012

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EDUCATION

W

A Broader Perspective on Transitions Not Just for Individuals with Special Needs

hen we use the term “transition” in reference to individuals with special needs, we are usually talking about what happens when individuals age out of one stage of the service system and into the next. Each stage of the system is designed for different ages, beginning with Early Intervention, and continuing into School Age and then Adult programs. At each stage, the individual and their families are confronted with different sets of legal rights,

ment in their functional analysis, and it is a standard component in constructing each child’s IEP, (Individualized Education Program) as mandated by the federal IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) law. That ability will vary greatly with the child’s diagnosis. For example, children with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum are often hypersensitive to even minute changes in their environment and the sensory stimulations to

administrative procedures, available services and qualification criteria to obtain funding. But that complex topic, which Building Blocks has dealt with in some detail in past issues, is not the subject of this article. Instead, we are focusing on the more mundane, everyday meaning of transition, which is the process of successfully going from one activity or environment to another during the course of our of lives. The ability to do this is considered to be one of a person’s basic life skills. When children are evaluated for special needs services, the ability to handle transitions is a standard eleJune 2012 40

which they are exposed. Other children with special needs may be firmly locked in to their specific daily routines, and will react very negatively to almost any deviation from their expectations. These kinds of transition challenges are not unique to children with special needs. Many typically developing children also become very attached to particular items or routines in their daily lives. Some will not be able to fall asleep at night without the comfort of a favorite stuffed animal or blanket in bed with them. In some cases, parents will be able to gradually wean their child off their bedtime “crutch.” In other cases, the par-

ent will have to simply allow their child to cry himself or herself to sleep, in order to forcibly break their dependency. Similarly, some children will steadfastly resist the addition of any kind of new food to their diet. They may also react badly to any change in their usual daily routine or environment, such as adapting to a new school, or going away to a sleep-away camp for the first time. All of these are transitions to which the child will ultimately adapt, but some more easily than others. Adults, too, may have serious issues with transitions. Losing a job, even if it is clearly not their fault, can be a traumatic experience for many workers. So can the transition from the daily routine of the workplace to the very different pace and priorities of retirement. Married couples must also deal with a series of transitions over their lifetime, from engagement to newlywed status, thru the various stages of parenthood, and finally to the “empty nest” syndrome, when the last of their children has grown up and moved out of the house. Today that pattern, too, has changed. It is increasingly common for couples to find themselves members of the so-called “sandwich generation,” being required to care simultaneously for the needs of their adult children, who have given up their independence and returned home, and their aging parents during their years of declining health. Looked at from that perspective, transition is a process which all of us, both as children and adults, must deal with in our lives. We must constantly be willing to adjust our expectations and adapt to changing situations, both due to the physical aging and matur-

By Yaakov Kornreich

ing process to expected or unexpected changes in our economic, marital, professional, social or health status. Now we should consider how the challenge of dealing with such transitions in our daily lives is further complicated for individuals, both children and adults, who have special needs. Let us take the case of a preschool age child (3-5) with special needs in a classroom setting. According to Chashi Brand, of the Early Childhood Center of Otsar Family Services in Brooklyn, student aids to ease transition during the school day are a standard part of the classroom environment, and they are equally useful in classrooms for children with mild disabilities and those for children with severe autism. In most Otsar classrooms, there is a prominent chart detailing the day’s scheduled activities, featuring pictures to give each child a visual clue as to what activity will be coming next during the day. In addition to the visual cues on the chart, each transition in many Otsar classrooms is accompanied by a song, with a consistent melody, to give the children another kind of cue about the change that is coming. The chart and the song announcing the transitions become part of the child’s daily routine. They eliminate the uncertainty and can help children who have self-regulation issues to cope successfully with each change during the classroom day. Some of the song cues announcing transitions can be phased out in classrooms with higher functioning children, but according to Chashi Brand, “careful management of each transition during the day is an important key to the efficient operation of any


EDUCATION tion” into a mainstream classroom environment. There they will be expected to accept variations in their daily schedule as a routine part of their classroom day. They will be expected to follow their teacher’s directions without hesitation, and to wait their turn. Eventually, in higher grades, they will be expected to be able to move independently from classroom to classroom to take different courses throughout the school day. An even more difficult transition for a special needs individual is their placement in residence facility, requiring them to leave the familiar and protective environment of their family home, where they have lived their whole lives. According to Esther Lustig, the CEO and Executive Director of Humancare Services, this kind of transition often takes place over a period of weeks or even months, and involves all of the members of the individual’s family, including both parents and siblings. Typically, the individual’s parents are asked to provide the residential facility’s staff with a booklet describing every aspect of their life at home. Then, the individual is introduced to the new environment in the residential facility gradually. They are invited first to come for dinner, to meet the other residents and counselors. Then they are invited to participate in an organized Sunday activity, followed by an invitation for a sleepover. The adaptation is gradual, and very personalized. According to Lustig, once the individual actually moves into the residential facility, they are not allowed to return to their family home for the first 30 days. Parents can visit them at the facility or on neutral ground, but the first order of business is to get the individual to internalize the fact that they now have a new home of their own. After they have had enough time to accept that, they will be allowed to visit their fam-

ily home just about any time they want to. In some ways, it is like adopting an older child. After the adoption, the child’s old home is no longer theirs, and they have to start over in a new home with a new family. It is a permanent transition in their life, part of their growth and maturing process. The same principle of gradual transition is employed when a child ages out of a school age program and graduates to a day hab program. They are invited to try it for a week, and if they decide they like it, it soon becomes part of their new routine. This broader and more comprehensive perspective on the transition process illuminates the fundamental connections between the skills commonly practiced in the special education classroom and special needs facilities and

DOES YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD NEED...

the adaptive skills which all of us must learn in order to handle the changes we must face in our everyday lives. All of us must learn to live with such changes, some of which we have come to expect as a natural part of our lives, and others which are forced upon us with little or no warning. Change is an integral and unavoidable part of everyone’s life, and our ability to accept and adjust to it is a measure of our own maturity. This is why the teaching of transitions skills is crucial to both individuals with special needs as well as typically developing children, The mastery of these skills is essential to helping them all to function more successfully and independently in their future lives. Yaakov Kornreich is the Senior Editor of Building Blocks Magazine.

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successful classroom.” In each case, the teachers give their students advance warning of the coming transition, and clear, concise instructions as to how the transition will work. For example, “in 5 minutes, we will all be going to the dining room,” or “whoever is wearing a blue shirt, please move to the table in the back of the classroom.” Transition training is also included in the first and last task of the Otsar school day, getting the child from home to school and back. For example, on the first day of school, parents are told to bring their child to school themselves, and then tell them that they will go home with all the other children on the school bus. That way, on the second day of school, the child instinctively understands that the bus which picks them up from their home will bring them back at the end of the day, and they are therefore less hesitant to board it. The goal is to enable transitions to take place quickly and efficiently, with a minimum of disruption, uncertainty and delay. Smooth management of every transition is an important educational skill. It results in more available classroom time that can be devoted to actual instruction, rather than trying to settle the kids down after each transition. There are other kinds of transitions that children in a special needs school need to deal with. For example, there is the concept of being pulled out of the classroom for therapy. At first, the therapists operate within the classroom environment for part of the school day. Then, once that concept gains acceptance by the children, they become more willing to go outside the classroom with the therapist for oneon-one work. Teaching children with special needs to accept such transitions as part of their daily schedule will eventually help them to “transi-

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DIAGNOSIS By Dr. Joshua Weinstein

The New DSM-5 Definition of Autism and Its Impact On Services

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he newest addition of the DSM-5 manual is scheduled for publication in May 2013. The DSM is used by clinicians to determine whether a client or patient meets or does not meet the criteria for a particular diagnosis. With a new edition comes a potential new definition of autism that can be critical for many people, especially regarding funding. Psychiatrists and parents have voiced concerns that the new definition of autism in the DSM-5 will exclude many people from both a diagnosis and state services. As with many of the disorders in the DSM-5, new diagnostic criteria and classifications are being proposed and reviewed. A new requirement for Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) diagnosis is that a child must exhibit symptoms from every area of the DSM diagnostic criteria. One of the most discussed changes in the DSM-5‘s definition of ASD is the removal of Asperger’s syndrome and PDD-

NOS as individual diagnoses. Under the new diagnostic criteria, Asperger’s and PDD-NOS will come under the umbrella of ASD. A child whose diagnosis is currently Asperger’s syndrome would receive a new diagnosis of

A Growing List of Disorders

EDITION YEAR - I 1952 - II 1968 - III 1980 - III-R 1987 - IV 1994 - IV-TR 2000 42

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NUMBER OF DISORDERS

0 50 100 150 200 250

Source: American Psychiatric Association

The current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes about three times the number of disorders as the first edition did in 1952.

Autism Spectrum Disorder, with specifiers such as “autism spectrum disorder with fluent speech” or “autism spectrum disorder with intellectual disability.” Who will this affect? Tens of thousands of people receive state-backed services to help offset the disorders’ disabling effects, which include severe learning and social problems. Parents are justifiably concerned that any tightening of the Autistic Spectrum diagnosis will threaten their children’s eligibility for vital services. The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership has launched a campaign to lobby the DSM-5 task force to keep a broad-spectrum concept of autism. The campaign urges those affected to contact the DSM-5 Committee to protest the newest changes. POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES The overriding concern is what these changes mean for students receiving autism services through their Individualized Education

Program. For students who currently have an IEP due to a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, it seems that a change in services would be unlikely, except for the possibility of services for previously unmet needs being added. The proposed changes are significant, and will affect not only those to whom the diagnostic labels are applied, but also the funding allocation systems and service delivery systems. In the middle of all this change are the parents who are trying to determine what this means for their children. Backlash Debate has also been rife among medical professionals. Many divisions of the American Psychological Association have banded together to issue an open letter and petition to the DSM-5 task force and American Psychiatric Association, urging that both associations should work together on any revisions of the DSM. They also publicly oppose various aspects of the


DIAGNOSIS

proposed changes. Their letter states, “Psychologists are not only consumers and users of the manual, but we are also producers of seminal research on DSMdefined disorder categories and their empirical correlates.” Both the medical profession and general public have generated a frenzy of petitions and campaigns against the proposed changes to the DSM autism criteria. The APA, meanwhile, has reassured those affected that no previously covered group will be left out in the cold. The changes would involve merging several diagnoses currently listed separately in the DSM-5 into a single umbrella category of “Autism Spectrum Disorder.” “The proposed criteria will lead to more accurate diagnosis and will help physicians and therapists design better treatment interventions for children who suffer from ASD,” said James Scully, MD, medical director of the APA, in a release. Neurodevelopmental Work Group member Bryan H. King, MD, believes that with the changes “we are going to be able to better characterize individuals with autism, in part because of clearer criteria that have been written to better account for people across the age span. And one could argue that this will actually make it easier for adolescents and adults, and even young children potentially, to meet criteria for diagnosis than was previously the case.” WHAT CAN I DO? Parents, caregivers and special education advocates must become knowledgeable about the proposed diagnostic revisions for Autism Spectrum Disorder and the possible effects on students receiving autism-related services. It is imperative that attention be given to the APA’s

development of ASD secondary feature definitions, and the specific qualifiers that will be attached to an autism diagnosis. Becoming educated about these changes and additions is necessary so that you can be your student’s best, most effective educational and medical advocate. IN THE END Effective with the release of DSM-5 in May 2013, we will change the way we describe autism-related disabilities to the singular “Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Clients will no longer be diagnosed as having “autism” versus “PDD-NOS” or “Asperger Syndrome,” as all of these different classifications will officially go away. Individuals with ASD will be referred to as having one of three severity levels. If the diagnostic codes numbers change, the obligation of government agency services approved to provide educational, social, medical and therapeutic services should remain unchanged. If the government chooses to require people to obtain a new diagnosis to suit the new DSM, it should be the government agencies’ responsibility to pay for the same, and allow them to continue services until it is obtained and they are eligible under the new diagnosis. Joshua Weinstein has been an educator and administrator for over four decades. He holds a Ph.D., two Masters Degrees in Educational Administration and Supervision and an MBA in Executive Administration. He has been the CEO in healthcare, social services, and business corporations. He’s the president and founder of Shema Kolainu-Hear Our Voices, Tishma for children with autism in Jerusalem and ICare4Autism- International Center for Autism Research & Education- a global leader in autism research & education. He can be reached via email at jweinstein@skhov.org.

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June 2012

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DIAGNOSIS Diagnosing Hearing Loss in Children

Y

ou’ve just come home from the hospital with your newborn infant and were informed by the nurse that he failed his hearing screening. “Don’t be concerned,” she says. “Lots of babies fail. But best to check it out, just to make sure it’s nothing.”

these determinations? According to the American Speech Hearing Association (ASHA), Audiologists are “professionals engaged in autonomous practice to promote healthy hearing, communication competency, and quality of life for persons of

Your two-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with a speech delay. The speech therapist mentions that she seems to have delayed responses to sounds and speech in her environment. She recommends that you check her hearing, just to rule it out as part of the problem. Your six-year-old son has been suffering from recurrent ear infections. Your pediatrician has been prescribing stronger and stronger antibiotics to try to get rid of them once and for all, to no avail. She recommends that you take your son to an ear doctor, after he has a hearing test to see whether the infections have affected his hearing. In each of these cases, you would be referred to a pediatric audiologist whose job it is to determine whether or not a hearing loss is present, what part of the hearing system is affected, and to make specific recommendations about how to manage the problem. But what exactly is an audiologist and how do they make

all ages through the prevention, identification, assessment, and rehabilitation of hearing, auditory function, balance, and other related systems.” The practice of audiology includes prevention, identification, assessment, and rehabilitation of hearing loss. Today, an aspiring audiologist must complete a Bachelor’s degree as well as a doctoral program in audiology. Audiologists are uniquely qualified to care for people with hearing loss. Audiologists have many tools at their disposal for diagnosing hearing loss in infants and children. Infants under six months of age are tested with computerized audiometric equipment. Otoacoustic emissions testing is a test of the nerve endings that line the inner ear. A small probe is placed in the ear canal and a stimulating sound is introduced into the ear. In a healthy ear with normal or close to normal hearing, the probe measures an “echo” emitted from the inner ear. When this “echo” is present, the likelihood

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of a hearing loss is very small. An infant is very likely to fail this test if there is a problem in the middle ear, such as infection or fluid, or in the presence of a mild or greater than mild hearing loss. This test is limited by its inability to determine the part of the ear affected and its inability to determine the degree of hearing loss. It is, however, a quick and effective test to identify infants who require further diagnostic testing. Brainstem auditory evoked response (ABR) testing is conducted to determine the degree and configuration of a hearing loss. It can also be used to determine which part of the hearing system is affected. Understanding which part of the ear is causing the hearing loss is crucial in determining the course of treatment. ABR testing involves strategically placed electrodes on the infant’s head. A stimulating sound is introduced into each ear. The electrodes measure the electrical activity in the listening pathways of the hearing nerve and auditory system of the brainstem in response to the sounds coming into the ear. The softest loudness level that is able to elicit a response is used in determining the degree of hearing loss. Tympanometry is a very quick and effective test in assessing the ear for middle ear fluid or infection, a common problem in young children. A probe placed in the ear introduces air pressure into the ear canal, forcing the eardrum to move. Depending on how well the eardrum is moving, the audiologist can determine if the middle ear is clear. Middle ear problems typically cause a fluctuating, temporary and treatable hearing loss of varying degrees. Older infants, toddlers and children are tested in a sound booth, and their response to a spectrum of sounds is observed through ei-

By Dr. Shirley Pollak

ther speakers or earphones. The method of testing changes with age, with the developmental abilities of each child determining the exact method of testing. Pediatric Audiologists rely on a full battery of tests to assess hearing in infants and children. Each test provides some information, but no single test can alone confirm the presence or absence of hearing loss or ear disorders. The goal of a pediatric audiological evaluation, once hearing loss is confirmed and the type and degree of hearing loss is determined, is to ensure proper management of each child. Audiologists rely on other professionals to ensure proper care of each child, including the pediatricians, therapists, teachers and ear doctors as well as other physicians. Most childhood hearing loss is temporary and treatable. But sometimes hearing loss is permanent, and requires hearing aids or other hearing technology. All children with any type of hearing loss must be monitored regularly for changes in hearing, which are common, so that the course of treatment can be adjusted accordingly. Parents must be counseled and educated well about their child’s hearing loss so that they can serve as their child’s advocate throughout the child’s treatment. Dr. Shirley Pollak has been a Pediatric Audiologist for almost 20 years. As Chief of Communication Disorders at Maimonides Medical Center she was instrumental in the institution and implementation of Brooklyn’s first newborn hearing screening program. In 2002, Dr. Pollak established a private practice in Brooklyn, and more recently opened a satellite office in Rockaway Park. She often lectures parents, therapists and service coordinators through various Early Intervention agencies. She can be reached at 718.421.2782 and will answer questions about your child’s hearing.


DIAGNOSIS By Melanie Shimoff Kwestel

R

The Future is Looking Better for Children with Familial Dysautonomia

ebecca Newman is an ordinary high school student in many respects. She is a self-described “huge Nick Jonas fan.” She stays in touch with her many friends through Facebook, iChat, and email. She is looking forward to college and a career in computers. She is smart, funny, articulate, and engaging. While Rebecca is extraordinary in many respects, there’s one area where she really stands out from the crowd. She is one of a few hundred children, teens, and young adults in the world living with Familial Dysautonomia. Familial Dysautonomia (FD), also known as Riley-Day Syndrome, is caused by a genetic mutation that has been traced to a single Ashkenazic Jew who lived several hundred years ago. The disease is characterized by the inability of patients to regulate their autonomic body functions. It causes severe gastrointestinal, cardiac, pulmonary, orthopedic, renal and ophthalmologic issues. In other words, FD children are missing many of the bodily functions we take for granted. They can’t regulate their blood pressure or body temperature, have difficulty swallowing, and exhibit gastrointestinal dysfunction. They cannot adapt to changes in oxygen, and their eyes may not produce tears. Fatigue and balance problems make participating in sports impossible. They also cannot feel pain. Approximately one in 27 Ashkenazic Jews carries this defective gene. Only a generation ago, the diagnosis of Familial Dysautonomia was a death sentence similar to Tay-Sachs disease. But the persistence and commitment of scientists and parents have led to amazing discoveries and therapies that are prolonging lives and changing the future for FD children and their families. “The future is definitely looking better for these kids,” said Felicia

B. Axelrod, MD, the director of the Dysautonomia Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. Axelrod has been treating children with FD for more than 40 years. “When I first started taking care of these children, 50 percent were not expected to survive past their fifth birthday. Now we have an emerging group of young adults.” The dramatic turnaround in life expectancy is due to a combination of research and patient support. In 2000, researchers isolated the IKBKAP gene, the cause of FD. IKBKAP produces IKAP protein, which regulates the autonomic nervous system. Defective genes do not produce enough protein for adequate functioning. Because IKBKAP is a “leaky gene,” meaning that it does not simply turn the production of IKAP on and off but rather allows some production, genetic research has centered on getting the gene to produce significant amounts of the protein. At the Dysautonomia Center, Axelrod and a team of researchers at NYU Langone and around the world are seeking pharmaceutical ways to stimulate IKAP production while providing medical care and support for FD patients. Axelrod and her team are following the progress of 600 children and teens living with Familial Dysautonomia, either at NYU or at the Dysautonomia Center satellite facility at the Hadassah Medical Center at Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem. The team has a collegial relationship with many of the leading FD researchers around the world who are attempting to modify the IKBKAP gene and stop the progression of FD. “We want to teach the (IKBKAP) gene to make the right protein. That is where our focus is on the present time. There are some agents that look promising. We are very excited,” Axelrod said.

A little further north, at the Bronx campus of Fordham University, Dr. Berish Rubin, a molecular biologist, is using dietary restrictions and common supplements to stimulate production of IKAP and reverse the symptoms of FD. In 2003, Rubin and his research team published a study that reported

things. The first is that the discovery of the FD gene, which led to genetic testing that identifies carriers, has resulted in fewer babies being born with the disorder. “We (at the Dysautonomia Center) used to see 14 -20 babies being born with FD every year. Now we see one a year, and some-

“…disease is characterized by the inability of patients to regulate their autonomic body functions.” on the ability of tocotrienols, a form of Vitamin E, and epiglallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a component of green tea, to stimulate production of IKAP. Further studies showed that children with FD are deficient in an enzyme that results in hypersensitivity to certain foods that can cause serious medical crises. He developed a dietary protocol based on his research published in peerreviewed scientific journals that combines a rigorous tyramine-free diet with two supplements available at health food stores. Rubin, who is not a physician, has published his research in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals. “What we are doing is correcting the deficit caused by the change in the DNA,” Dr. Rubin explained. He claims that children on this protocol cease to have most of the symptoms associated with Familial Dysautonomia. They have normal stamina and are able to eat normally. Their eyes make tears. Best of all, Rubin expects that they will have normal life expectancies. “These children are born with deficits. They will never be marathon runners. They will continue to have decreased sensitivity to pain, but won’t have active symptoms of FD,” he said. While the two doctors are not collaborating, they agree on two

times we see none,” Axelrod said. She cautioned that premarital and prenatal testing is still crucially important for young couples, and added that like Tay-Sachs, the disease has begun to show up in nonJewish populations. They also concur that the identification of the FD gene and subsequent research and care has led to a much brighter future for children, teens, and young adults living with the illness. “We now have this young adult population where some of our patients are in college or planning to attend college. Some have married and have children of their own. We never thought any of these things are possible when I started,” she added. Dr. Rubin would agree. “These children are living lives that they could never have before. They are thriving. It is absolutely remarkable,” he said. Melanie Shimoff Kwestel is the director of communications for Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health support organization. Chai Lifeline provides the emotional, social, and financial support that enables more than 4,300 children and families around the world to cope with the crises and daily challenges of serious pediatric illness. For more information on Chai Lifeline’s many programs, or if you need assistance, email info@chailifeline.org or call 877.CHAI.LIFE. June 2012

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DIAGNOSIS What is Treacher Collins Syndrome?

J

ason is an 8 month old boy with Treacher Collins Syndrome who was recently prescribed early intervention services for speech therapy, special education, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. These services were assigned to Jason after having undergone many medical and surgical procedures soon after birth. Upon my initial visit, Jason was unable to sit by himself, or to roll from his stomach or from his back. He was not able to reach out and grab toys held in front of him, and had difficulty visually fixating on any object for more than a second. He did not hold onto toys for more than a few seconds, and had little vocalizations. Over the last 3 months, he has made significant gains in all of these areas. Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS) is also known as Mandibulofacial dysostosis, Treacher Collins-Franceschetti Syndrome, Franceschetti-Zwahlen-Klein Syndrome, or zygoauromandibular dysplasia. It is a rare genetic disorder that occurs in 1 out of every 50,000 births, and is characterized by the following symptoms:  Outer part of the ears are abnormal or almost completely missing  Hearing loss  Very small jaw  Very large mouth  Defect in the lower eyelid  Scalp hair that reaches the cheeks  Cleft palate This disorder can be confirmed with a medical examination which includes the following tests and indications:  Abnormal eye shape  Flat cheekbones  Clefts in the face  Small jaw  Low set ears  Abnormally formed ears 46

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 Abnormal ear canal  Hearing Loss  Defects in the eye  Decreased eyelashes on the lower eyelid  Genetic testing If one parent has the gene responsible, there is a 50% chance it can be passed to their children. Individuals with TCS are said to have “normal” intelligence Treatment for Treacher Collins Syndrome Philosophically, as in any case with a presenting developmental delay, the earlier the intervention the better. Many times, depending on a doctor’s advice, surgery may be recommended to address many of the facial deformities, such as to repair a cleft palate, ear surgery, lower eyelid surgery, bone graft for missing cheek bones, nasal surgery (to improve both breathing and appearance), distraction osteogenesis (a procedure to increase the length of the jaw bone), and possibly insertion of a feeding tube for feeding due to limitations found in the mouth area. Infants and Toddlers with TCS may also be recommended to receive a variety of services through early intervention, such as special education, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. If people with TCS have average intelligence, why do they receive special education services? Because of their many medical needs, these children are often environmentally deprived resulting in an initial developmental delay in the area of cognition. As the child progresses in therapy, the delay will eventually become inconsequential. There are children with TCS who also have small bone development in their lower jaw as well as Robin sequence (a chain of specific de-

velopmental malformations) and who are prone to failure to thrive and developmental delay. Children with TCS receive speech therapy mainly due to the associated speech issues that arise from a hearing impairment relating to microtia (underdeveloped outer ear) or atresia (absence or abnormal narrowing of an opening or passage in the body). Some individuals with TCS may have cleft palate which can manifest a cleft related articulation disorder and/or a conductive hearing impairment. A conductive hearing impairment is when there is

By Paul Stadler

difficulty with the ear drum or the tiny bones in the middle ear which is not able to process or respond to the vibrations produced by the sound entering the ears. One of the more common interventions for this is the use of a BAHA – Bone Anchored Hearing Aid. There is a wealth of information on treatment and diagnosis on speech therapy and TCS which can be found at http://www.asha.org/. There is a need for more research on the appropriate approach for occupational therapists and physical therapists to


DIAGNOSIS take in the treatment of people with TCS. As a practicing occupational therapist who has worked with many types of disorders in young children, I am currently treating a child with TCS using a developmental based approach which is used in some motor based intervention programs. The theory that underlie some of these programs , including the examination of developmental skill acquisition and skill performance, assists and guides in my treatment which has been very successful getting this child closer to his developmental age level in motor abilities. Dr. Jean A. Ayres, the pioneer of sensory integration theory, said that all learning is a result of sensory integration. Furthermore, the level of sensory integration is dependent on the maturity of

motor movement at each level of the brain. Thus, movement is the foundation of all learning and behavior. Even though a child with TCS may be totally missing their outer ear, many times the balance mechanism inside the ear is intact. Children with TCS often undergo many medical procedures early on that will prevent them from moving around freely. They are also subject to conditions that are associated with failure to thrive and developmental delay which could impact skills of balance responses, body awareness, fine motor development, and the development of both hand-eye coordination and eye-hand coordination. The presence of these visual motor deficits can depend on the degree of the abnormalities of the eyes and eye lids. The approach of the therapist

is to shape and facilitate the very movements and positions that an infant without such a developmental delay typically navigates through on their own. It is imperative that caregivers carry over the exercises on a daily basis to ensure consistency, foster mature movements, and optimize the child’s developmental skill acquisition. Physical therapists may take a similar approach. Their treatment may focus on balance and eventually getting the child to walk and to ensure that the child is able to acquire age-level skills on time. Working effectively with a child with TCS requires the health professional to have a wide knowledge of various therapy models and medicine. TCS is a rare diagnosis. Only 400 cases been reported since 2004. Nevertheless,

a wealth of information on TCS is available on these websites: Treacher Collins Syndrome Foundation – www.treachercollinsfnd.org Website by an individual with Treacher Collins – www.treachercollins.org Paul Stadler is an occupational therapist with over 13 years of experience working with children from birth to 21 years of age with varied diagnoses. He is a guest lecturer at Brooklyn College, a speaker at the 2012 American Occupational Therapy Association national conference on Neuro Motor Immaturity, a licentiate of INPP, and licensed to teach the INPP schoolbased program for Assessing Neuromotor Readiness for Learning: The INPP Developmental Screening Test and School Intervention Program. He can be reached at 347.247.6835, paul@paulstadler.net or by visiting www.paulstadler.net.

Connecting Parents of Children With Special Needs

SPECIAL ACCESS FOR SPECIAL PEOPLE Kol Hachesed Hotline, Beineinu, and Building Blocks Magazine are joining together to bring you a onestop-resource-shopping experience. With PROJECT SPECIAL ACCESS, you will be able to access information on resources for special needs from the leisure of your home at any hour, day or night. If you like to dial, click, or read, Special Access has the information that you need in the format that you prefer.

DIAL

Kol Hachesed Hotline 718-705-5000 ext 20 to be connected to the new Developmental section, which lists programs and services of many agencies and organizations. A list of services is available through the Project Special Access website.

CLICK

www.ProjectSpecialAccess.org to be connected to Beineinu's rapidly growing database of resources, information and inspiration. Email Golda@Beineinu.org to receive weekly Beineinu updates delivered to your inbox.

READ

Building Blocks Magazine, the bi-annual special needs publication, which is full of wonderful articles and resource lists geared to the parents of children with special needs. Back issues will be available online through the Project Special Access website.

Whatever your media, we've got it! We provide SPECIAL ACCESS for special people like you!

For more information, log onto www.ProjectSpecialAccess.org. June 2012

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TREATMENT By Esther Hornstein, L.Ac. Dipl.

Reflexology: Can Touching the Heel Heal?

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eflexology is a popular alternative therapy used for relaxation and to treat minor aches and pains, but can and should it be used for more? What is Reflexology? Reflexology is the use of dry pressure from hands or special tools on certain areas of the body. There are 10 zones throughout the body, 5 on the right and 5 on the left. The most popular body parts used for applying reflexology are the feet and hands. The healing principle is based on the theory that these areas of the body represent a microcosm of the body and applying pressure on feet or hands on certain points can affect change to the corresponding body part or organ. How does reflexology work and what can it treat? During reflexology sessions, clients will usually begin to perspire. Reflexologists say that this is due to toxins being released from the body. The pressure that is applied is firm, but not painful. Tender points on the hands or feet are said to be signs of “energy blocks” at the corresponding body point. For example, if a client is presenting with shoulder pain, then the area on the foot just under the pinky toe may be tender. If the area on the foot corresponding to the ailing body part is tender, then releasing the tension from the area on the foot will also bring relief to the shoulder pain. Reflexologists continue to work the tender spots until “energy blocks” are released. Reflexology is known to help with:  Stress & stress-related conditions  Tension or migraine headaches  Gastrointestinal disorders  Arthritis  Insomnia  Hormonal imbalances  Menstrual disorders, such as 48

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PMS, heavy, painful or irregular periods  Menopause discomfort  Infertility  Constipation What to Expect? Many people find reflexology sessions, for the most part, to be very relaxing. It is not uncommon for clients to fall asleep. After one or two treatments, most people notice that they have more energy, more productive waste elimination, better sleep, and an enhanced sense of well being. It is suggested that clients drink approximately 64 oz of clear water to flush toxins following a session. There are very few research studies comparing the effectiveness of reflexology sessions to standard medical treatment for specific conditions. However, many practitioners maintain that with regular sessions, the therapy yields a variety of benefits. Remember that Reflexology is recommended only as a complementary therapy and does NOT replace conventional medical treatment. Most insurance policies do not cover reflexology. The cost of a sixty-minute session ranges from $56 to $100. Is Reflexology Safe? Reflexology is considered to be safe for both children and adults, with some exceptions: While experiencing a fever, contagious or infectious disease, including any cold or a minor flu, one should avoid receiving reflexology treatments. This is because reflexology may deepen the disease as it works its way out. In other words, the symptoms may intensify after the treatment, but the number of days the disease stays will decrease. This phenomenon is called a healing crisis. Those who have heart disease, blood clots, who have recently undergone an operation or who

have a condition requiring surgery should not receive reflexology therapy. Pregnant women who have a history of miscarriage or who are at risk of miscarriage should not have reflexology. Reflexology should not be given over areas affected by undiagnosed lumps or bumps, bruises, cuts and abrasions. Children and the elderly should have shorter and less intense reflexology sessions than those of a healthy adult. Clients with certain medical conditions should be treated only under the supervision of their medical doctor. These conditions include edema, high and low blood pressure, osteoporosis, nervous or psychotic conditions, epilepsy, diabetes, or inflammation including arthritis. Training to become a reflexologist is not regulated. Courses in reflexology can take from 110 hours in a classroom to 350 hours for learning-at-home programs. Make sure the practitioner you use has been properly educated. Reflexology for Special Needs Reflexology brings a warm modality of treatment into the

increasingly cold ‘hands off ’ approach cultivated by the Protection of Vulnerable Adults legislation. The power of touch is a useful tool in treating healthy as well as physically and developmentally disabled individuals. Chinese studies found that reflexology is useful for treating infantile cerebral palsy. In 1994 a child with congenital cerebral palsy was given 50 minutes of foot reflexology daily. Reflexology was used because several therapies (stimulation of brain meridians, acupressure, verbal encouragement and functional exercises) proved unsuccessful. After 100 sessions of reflexology, the child was able to stand and talk while playing. A 2002 Chinese study pitted reflexology against vitamin B12 shots for 2 groups of 25 children with infantile Cerebral Palsy. The results showed that reflexology was more effective and that these patients needed no recovery time post-treatment, as opposed to the vitamin shots. Jay Williams, a Reflexologist and member of The South African Reflexology Society has been giving reflexology to the children of De Heide Children’s Special Care Centre and at EROS School


TREATMENT for Cerebral Palsy since January of 2007. Children with Cerebral Palsy have a range of challenges in varying degrees of severity, from learning issues, speech and hearing challenges, physical chal-

fewer emotional outbursts, much calmer reactions and enjoyment of stimuli, much improved therapeutic interactions in general and improved performance of learned tasks. In addition to cerebral palsy,

“Reflexology is the use of dry pressure from hands or special tools on certain areas of the body. � lenges and severe intellectual challenges. Mr. Williams gives treatments for 20 minutes per child, in the classrooms, so the children stay close to their learning activities. Some of the visible benefits for some children who are treated are; gradually lessened muscular stiffness or spasticity,

foot reflexology was found to be effective for treatment of hypophrenosis, progressive myodystrophy, atelencephalia, and cerebellar hypoplasia and colic. As a treatment for persons with Down’s syndrome, reflexology appears to calm clients. More than one treatment may be needed be-

fore they are comfortable enough to lie still through a complete treatment. There have been reports that it improves the ability to fall asleep and increases their quality of sleep, raises self-esteem and confidence, and boosts their capacity to learn by improving attention span and concentration. Finally reflexology is known to calm hyperactivity and reduce tension and anxiety. Chinese researchers also made an observational study between healthy children’s feet and the feet of special needs children. The color of their skin, length and circumference of their big toe and length, circumference and width of their feet, and indentation and length of their nails were compared. It was noted that the children's feet and toes which were malformed and could have value for diagnosing congenital defects

of sense organs. Therefore, reflexology points were found to be indicative of diagnosis of congenital defects. Reflexology is an alternative therapy that presents very few direct risks of its own, and may have the potential to help many conditions. There is nothing to lose by trying reflexology if you need to find deep relaxation or have minor aches and pains. However, if you have a persistent and possibly serious ailment consult with your medical doctor first. Esther Hornstein is a New York State licensed acupuncturist and nationally board certified by the NCCAOM. She has participated in acupuncture research projects at Lutheran Medical Center and NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. She currently has a private practice in Brooklyn and has been treating adults and children since 2007.

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TREATMENT By Chanie Monoker MS, CCC-A,TSHH,TDHH, TEH

Allergic Behavior

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very child has different allergies and different nutritional deficits which need feeding. What defines an allergy? Something that causes a negative reaction. Commonly accepted examples of an allergic reaction may include: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling, itching, or sneezing. A child need not have all these reactions to be considered allergic, nor must they have it to the same degree as another child with the same allergic reaction. Regardless of the type or degree of the reaction we take care of the immediate symptoms, but we also look to identify what triggered the response so as to avoid the negative reaction in the future. This model of identifying triggers to avoid them in the future need not be limited to dealing with allergies. The behavioral model Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has an element known as ABC which stands for Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence. The task is for the ABA therapist to make observations about a particular undesirable behavior by noting what immediately preceded the behavior and what the outcome or result of the behavior was. Although consequence has a somewhat negative connotation as it has replaced punishment in the vernacular, this child’s behavior may have a desirable consequence such as not having to wear a particular shirt because he had a tantrum, or not having to eat a particular food because he threw the dish on the floor. The ABA therapist is making ABC observations to determine “why” the child is behaving this way. Is this child reacting negatively to something in particular? In the ABA context, we can think of an Antecedent as a kind of “allergy” that causes, not a break out of hives, but rather a break out of poor behavior. Let us 50

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look at some common examples: As mentioned above, an article of clothing can cause a negative reaction due to the fabric content or detergent. Particular food textures (as opposed to classic allergies where it is the food content) can also cause a negative response. Too much noise as defined by the child’s system is another common trigger. Danny was such a child. He would cover his ears whenever it got to be too much for him. Shaindy’s reaction was a bit stronger; she would not speak in a group setting and would run screaming when emergency vehicles with blaring sirens would drive past. Similar to an allergist desensitizing a patient by exposure in small increments to the offending allergen, a therapist will help a child desensitize to textures and sounds in manageable increments. This was accomplished for Danny and Shaindy through play with texture and sound therapy. While an allergic reaction indicates a need to avoid the trigger, a deficit indicates a need to feed. This may be a nutritional, emotional or sensory lack. Some common examples would include: Low blood sugar can cause a person to feel low on energy and unable to perform. A long-term solution to avoiding this response is to eat healthy high fiber meals and snacks frequently. Fatigue is another cause for undesirable responses such as crying, being unreasonable, etc. This can easily be resolved with a break or a nap. It can also be a sign that a physical illness such as a virus is brewing. What is less commonly known is that sensory deprivation can also cause an outbreak of poor behavior in a child, such as seeking socially inappropriate stimulation. Avigdor is a cute little boy with

severe hearing loss. So severe that he required a cochlear implant. He tended to seek a lot of movement and was quite unsteady. A professional trained in sensory integration recognized the interconnection. Avigdor was suffering from extreme auditory deprivation. The lack of sufficient auditory stimulation caused a secondary vestibular deprivation. Since the vestibular system is housed in the inner ear, by default it is stimulated when sound (vibration) passes by. The lack of stimulation causes Avigdor’s body to cry out for feeding in another form, movement. However, neither his mother nor the speech therapist had the training to recognize what was going on. They were concerned by the behaviors he was exhibiting as well as those he was not, such as attending to and imitating the speech therapist. However, once the speech therapist understood the source of the problem, she was able to request occupational therapy to help this child feed the sensory system appropriately in preparation for her sessions with him. The deprivation need not be extreme in order to cause the body to react with seeking behavior. Think about how low blood sugar may cause someone to overeat, especially after a fast day. Or what caffeine withdrawal can do to a person who drinks only one cup a day, but can not do so on a fast day. Osher is a cute little boy with Down’s syndrome. His hearing loss was moderate and mostly due to his chronic ear infections. His sensory issues were related more to his overall condition. As a result he engaged in typical “self-stimming” behaviors, seeking to stimulate himself primarily with rocking. His parents tried to stop this behavior, as it is socially inap-

propriate. One of the things they needed to understand was that Osher’s need for stimulation must be fed and cannot simply be eliminated. We found acceptable substitutes such as a rocking horse or even his father roughhousing with him. AD(H)D is a condition surrounded by much mystery and controversy with so many different camps claiming to have “the answer”. “Start their day with exercise” “Cut out the sugars and white flour and dairy” “Get them on medication” “Give them tightly structured routine filled days” All of these approaches can only make claims if they have demonstrated a significant level of success. So how do you determine which direction is best for your child? For the individual trying to make heads or tails out of what is going on with their child and how best to help, just keep in mind the following two ideas:  Stay away from labels that have no value and serve no purpose. Garnering services is a valid purpose, but do not confine your child to the limit of the twodimensional portrayal of his paperwork label.  Experiment and observe to figure out what your child’s behavior is trying to communicate. Using the ABC model may be helpful. The answer maybe nutritional, sensory, or emotional.

Chanie Monoker MS, CCCA,TSHH,TDHH, TEH, is an educational analyst specializing in differential diagnosis. She is a licensed audiologist, certified special educator, teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped, teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing and certified sound therapist. She provides comprehensive evaluations, support services and school consultations. She can be contacted at cmonoker@dascenter.org 732.272.8509. You can also find more information at http://www.linkedin. com/in/dascenter


TREATMENT By Avigael (Stephanie) Saucier Wodinsky, PhD, MBA, GAC-ABA

Pivotal Response Treatment: A Naturalistic, Inclusive Approach

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ivotal Response Treatment (PRT) is a child-directed intervention developed by Koegel and Koegel based on both

a developmental approach and applied behavior analysis. This model focuses on areas considered pivotal; that is, motivation, responsiveness to multiple cues, self-management, self-initiations, and empathy. According to Koegel & Koegel, when these areas are changed, “large collateral improvements” will be produced in other areas. Intervention Description PRT is a skill-based intervention that has empirical evidence supporting its efficacy. It focuses on parents, siblings, teachers, consultants, and even peers as intervention agents. The goal is to modify as many behaviors as possible in order to help individuals with autism achieve a more typical developmental trajectory. Further, the intervention is intended to help children with autism “lead meaningful lives in natural, inclusive settings.” It is recommended that PRT

interventions take place in naturalistic, inclusive settings. Further, intervention should begin as early as possible, even as early

as preschool years. The number of therapeutic intervention hours is not considered as important as the quality of the intervention, the agents providing the intervention, the setting in which the intervention takes place, and the specific areas addressed. Ideally, the intervention is provided throughout the day as a natural part of all activities. A variety of interventionists should be trained in a variety of settings such that near-continuous treatment can be affected. Target behaviors are generally individualized and are chosen based on the child’s age, developmental level, family situation, and functional level. Toys (rather than flash cards or other printed material) are often used and communication is a key area for intervention. Skills addressed by PRT include specific academic skills, social skills, communication deficits, and self-management. In particular, teaching skills related

to social communication, such as imitation, play skills, and joint attention tend to reduce undesirable and maladaptive behaviors.

Available Research According to the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, PRT meets the requirements for evidence-based practice. They list six studies related to preschool, four for elementary and two for middle school aged children ("Evidence-Based Practice: Pivotal Response Training (PRT)," 2010).

According to the Brookes Publishing website (www.brookespublishing.com), parents call this intervention a “Godsend” and professionals call it “important” and “inspirational”. Additional Information This treatment seems to be particularly valuable for young children with lesser verbal abilities. It is dependant upon parental involvement and training. It is based upon applied behavior analysis, yet provided in naturalistic settings. Interventionist training appears to be uncomplicated so that a variety of agents can be used in a variety of settings. PRT appears to be an accessible and lower-cost alternative and/or adjuvant to other types of evidencebased treatments for autism. Dr. Wodinsky is the founder and director of The Rayim Connection, a nonprofit organization that develops programs and activities for Jewish children of all abilities in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to a PhD, she also earned an MBA and a Graduate Academic Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Special Education and a Graduate Academic Certificate in Autism Intervention. She is married to Tzvi, and is the proud mother of twins; a son with autism and a daughter who is typically developing.

References Evidence-Based Practice: Pivotal Response Training (PRT). (2010). Retrieved March 26, 2012, from http://autismpdc. fpg.unc.edu/content/pivotalresponse-training

Koegel, R. L., & Koegel, L. K. (2006). Pivotal response treatments for autism: Communication, social, and academic development. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Koegel, L. K., Koegel, R. L., Harrower, J. K., & Carter, C. M. (1999). Pivotal response intervention I: Overview of approach. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 24(3), 174-185.

Simpson, R. L. (2005). Evidence-based practices and students with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 20(3), 140-149. June 2012

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TECHNOLOGY The iRevolution

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n the last quarter of the twentieth century, we entered the “Information Age,” otherwise known as the “Digital Revolution.” Ever since the onset of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century, computer technology has sought to make our lives easier and more efficient. What began with the introduction of personal computers in the home, progressed to portable laptops and now to the wildly popular Apple iPad tablet and a slew of competitors. Tablets have begun to change the way we communicate, organize our day and spend our leisure time. With the availability of a huge variety of “apps”, one can be always up to date on the latest

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news, communicate via email, social networking or videoconferencing, create lists ranging from the day’s agenda, to groceries, to carpool schedule. Also available are a virtually unlimited supply of e-books, music and video files and games. All this and more in a 7-10” screen that weighs barely over a pound! It is easy to transport and, with 3G capability, it can be used virtually anywhere and at any time. While some adults find it hard to keep up with the pace of change in our technology, children seem to take to the new devices almost instinctively. It is not uncommon to see a toddler learn how to access apps and play on a smart phone or tablet!

Tablets can be a great way to entertain children while at the same time enhancing their education. Instead of detracting from their academic success, properly chosen tablet apps can better prepare a child for school. There are apps available at each age level that are designed to enhance different academic and life skills. While the tablet itself can be expensive, most apps designed for children are either free or can be bought for a few dollars. Tablets are quickly changing the way that schools educate their students. Some schools have begun to use tablets in the classroom to help teach math, science, reading and writing. Children are naturally motivated to use the technology, and teachers can easily customize worksheets and lessons as necessary for each student. Many textbooks will soon be available for tablets as well. Tablets can be an excellent device for the special needs population as well. Available apps span the gamut from improving handwriting and finger isolation, to visual processing skills, to articulation and expressive language to assistive communication and to social skills training. A number of websites provide parents with advice on choosing the apps best suited for their child’s specific needs. If you are unsure, you can try out those apps which allow a limited free trial period before requiring purchase, and simply remove them from the tablet if you are not satisfied before the trial period is up. Most apps have been reviewed by parents and professionals, and they frequently include those reviews on the app’s page. Online forums are another way to get consumer feedback on particular apps. For a wheelchair-bound child, a tablet provides a much easier computing experience than does

By Dana Ledereich, MA, OT/L

a personal computer or laptop. Being small and lightweight, a tablet can be placed where it’s easiest for the child to see and use. It can be tucked into the side pocket of a wheelchair and lifted out by the child or caregiver whenever needed. A computer mouse and keyboard can be difficult to manipulate, but the touch screens on tablets are easier and more intuitive to use. Children with minimal hand and upper body strength can easily operate apps on a touch screen without requiring a special switch or other assistive devices. Tablet screens can be zoomed in to make the target easier to touch. The zoom feature and high resolution display also allows for easier use by the visually impaired population. Voice recognition software allows for greater independence with composing emails and documents for those with reduced hand use. For children with autism, there are a variety of apps that address social skills and communication needs. There are apps to develop picture schedules as well as visual cue cards. Other apps convert pictures to words while others allow for choices between pictures, thereby making it even easier for the child to communicate. There are apps specific for ABA programs. Other apps help design and track behavior programs. For children with speech delays, many apps exist to model correct speech and to enhance communication. A number have been designed by speech therapists. There are apps geared towards building vocabulary and then building sentences. For children with fine motor delays, there are many tracing and drawing apps that are both educational and entertaining. By tracing letters before writing them, children have another medium at their disposal with


TECHNOLOGY weight and very portable. A tremendous variety of apps span the range from simple to more complex. The market for special education apps has grown so much that it has its own category in the iTunes store! Apps can easily be deleted and replaced as the child grows and becomes more experienced. This article has only begun to scratch the surface of the benefits of this tool for the special needs population. Considering the feverish pace of progress and technological development, it is worthwhile to take advantage of this digital revolution!

which to learn proper letter formation. Styluses are available to “write” on the touch screen and thus reinforce better pencil grasp. When using a finger to operate the touch screen, watch that the child is isolating the index finger while the other fingers are tucked

I

against the palm – as one would if asked to hold up one finger. Some children are inclined to splay all five fingers and then point down with the one they need to operate the touch screen. By encouraging the more mature finger isolation, one is preparing the child for

more sophisticated hand grasps. There are several features specific to tablets that make them a wonderful tool for the special needs population. Once turned on, tablets start almost instantly and battery life is up to 10 hours between charges. They are light-

Dana Ledereich, MA, OT/L is a pediatric occupational therapist who works in Yeshiva of Flatbush and also maintains a private practice. She evaluates and treats children age birth-13 years with sensory processing issues, poor handwriting, developmental concerns and neurological issues. She has lectured to both parents and professionals on various topics in sensory processing and handwriting development. She is available for lectures as well as to mentor new therapists. She can be reached at 718.252.2939.

APP REvIEW

t seems that everyone has a smartphone. And with a smartphone comes a smart-therapist. There are so many games and tools available to the tech-savvy clinician. No more totting around those heavy/large yellow bags overflowing with enticing toys. Welcome to the world of apps: where so many therapeutic resources are accessible with the flick of your finger. Super Duper, the “Parker Brothers” of the speech therapy world has many of their games and Fun Decks ® available for purchase at an app store. The Following Directions Fun Deck ® is fun and so simple to use. By touching the screen the direction is read aloud. A simple tap allows the user to keep score. The child is told to perform silly acts which encourage listening and cognition skills. The How? Fun Deck ® works in the same way. It has multiple pictured cards which promote expressive language and thinking skills. A cute example asks the child, ‘How do you know that a skunk is nearby?’ Many more Fun Deck ® card games are available at the cost-effective price of $5.99. Super Duper often has sales, selling their resources for as low as $1.99. Available on a smartphone and ipad, they are always accessible and the therapist never has to

worry about stray cards falling to the bottom of his/her therapy bag. Another amazing tool from Super Duper is the Data Tracker ®. It is a useful resource to follow each child’s progress. The clinician can enter each patient’s name and his/ her goal(s). The program can be set in a variety of ways to indicate if the child correctly or incorrectly used the targeted skill. Additionally, it allows the clinician to write comments about each session. For example, I used this app to track how often Matt, a child who recently received a cochlear implant, responded to sounds in his environment. This app really takes the chore out of data tracking and session note writing. Lastly, be sure to look under the free app section in your app store. There are so many fun and educational apps that can be used in replace of those heavy and unwieldy cardboard boxed games. Happy therapizing!  Rachel Soroka-Teller is a speech-language pathologist at Strivright/ Auditory-Oral School of New York. She services children from birth to age 5 with a variety of speech-language delays and developmental disorders. She uses technology to engage children in fun and interactive therapy sessions. She can be reached at rteller@auditoryoral.org. June 2012

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TECHNOLOGY By Elaine Devora

Hearing and Technology

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hildren and adults have very different needs when it comes to hearing. Adults have a language system in place and are familiar with the sounds of speech and the environment. Children are learning speech for the first time, so it is essential for them to be able to hear and listen at an appropriate loudness level. Hearing affects ability to understand the meaning of words, the grammar of a language, and the emotional context behind speech. There are several different ways that the listening process may be impaired. Children with hearing loss physically do not have the ability to hear certain sounds. Children with a central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) may hear

sounds, but often have trouble making sense of what sounds mean. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may not be able to focus on the primary speaker, like a teacher in the classroom at a time when listening is crucial. Technology allows us to improve hearing and listening for children with hearing loss, CAPD and ADHD.

HEARING AID

Hearing aids are used for children with a measurable hearing loss. Hearing aids have microphones in them which make certain sounds louder, depending on the childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hearing loss. Hearing aids give children access to sounds they are not naturally able to hear. Hearing aids come in different shapes and colors. The colors can be chosen to match skin color, or to be bright and expressive.

BAHA

BAHA is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;bone-anchored hearing aidâ&#x20AC;?. A BAHA is often used for children with microtia/atresia (the absence or deformity of the outer ear) that cannot use a hearing aid. It delivers sound to the organ of hearing (cochlea) by vibrations. The sound processor converts sound into vibrations that the inner ear can interpret as sound. For older children and adults, the device is partially implanted in the surface of the skull. For younger children, the sound processor is worn on a headband.

COCHLEAR IMPLANTS

Cochlear implants are hearing devices for profoundly deaf individuals. Cochlear implants involve two main parts: an electrode array which is implanted into the cochlea (in the inner ear), and the external sound processor which rests on the ear. The sound processor sends sound to the implanted electrode array through a magnet. These devices turn speech sounds into electrical impulses that are sent to and interpreted by the cochlea. Cochlear implants provide the ability for a deaf child to hear. 54

June 2012


TECHNOLOGY

FM SYSTEM

An FM system is a system which improves the signal to noise ratio for the hearing impaired child. In a classroom, the signal is the teacher’s voice while the noise is some combination of talking children, air conditioners, traffic, and more. The teacher speaks into a microphone, and the sound of his/her voice is transmitted to a receiver through FM waves. FM’s come in two forms: the first being a personal FM, where the receiver is attached to the child’s hearing aids; the second being a Soundfield FM, where the receiver is a free standing speaker. For children with hearing loss, central auditory processing disorders (CAPD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), FM systems are an important tool for classroom learning. These children often have difficulty separating a speaker’s voice from all the other noise they hear. An FM helps them tune directly into the teacher’s voice and reduces the distraction of the background noise. With this direct link, the child can focus on the information they need to hear in order to learn. A personal FM is often the system of choice.

Technological advances have greatly improved the success rate of children with special needs. In the past, children with hearing loss, CAPD, and ADHD were often lost in the classroom setting. The ability to listen to the classroom teacher is essential during the early learning years, and without proper intervention, children have a hard time keeping up with reading, writing, arithmetic, and socialization. With the use of amplification and FM systems, the education of many children has been improved and continues to improve with more widespread knowledge and intervention. Although there have been so many incredible advances in technology, it cannot substitute

the need for specialized therapeutic intervention. It is only when therapy with specialized interventionists work in conjunction with these advances in technology, can we ensure the maximum potential of our children. Elaine Devora is enrolled in the CUNY Graduate Center Doctorol Program in audiology. She is currently employed as a fourth-year audiology resident at the Auditory Oral School of New York. Elaine completed her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish & Linguistics at New York University in 2008. She is currently working towards completing a Capstone research project on binaural interference in children with hearing loss at the CUNY Graduate Center. She can be reached at edevora@ auditoryoral.org.

June 2012

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ASK THE EXPERT Expert Answers to Real-Life Questions

Here are the answers to serious questions raised by parents and caregivers of special needs individuals in a variety of real-life situations. These answers are valuable to all of us, not only for the practical guidance they offer for the specific circumstances described, but also for revealing the approach of professionals in the field based upon their knowledge, training and experience. Please note answers are for information purposes only, and are not a substitute for an actual evaluation. If you have any questions for a future issue you can contact us at ileneklass@aol.com. Compiled by Chaya Ilene Klass

By Yitty Rimmer, MA OTR/L

"TLUIF 0DDVQBUJPOBM 5IFSBQJTU

Q:

Help! I think my 3-year-old son has ADHD. He wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sit still to finish any toy he started playing with. He canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sit still at the table during meals. He is constantly running and jumping around all over the place. His Occupational Therapist claims it is just a sensory issue. My Pediatrician tells me it is too early to diagnose ADHD in a three year old, and to give him a chance to mature before seeking an official diagnosis. I am so confused. How would I know if it is ADHD or just a sensory dysfunction?

Q:

My four-year old daughter does not like to be dirty. If a speck of dirt, food, paint, anything gooey, or messy touches her hands, or face, she immediately cries and runs to a sink to wash it off. And if a sink is not available, she throws a tantrum. I want her to be evaluated for an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but her Kindergarten teacher thinks it is just a sensory issue. How would I know the difference?

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June 2012

A:

Both questions are being answered together because they both ask to differentiate the difference between a psychological/behavioral diagnosis that possibly requires medication to remedy a chemical imbalance in the brain, and a sensory processing disorder. The new buzz word â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sensory Issue. Teachers and Pediatricians today are more aware of the dynamics of the sensory processing system, and seem to have a better handle on identifying the root causes of behaviors. While I am not qualified to diagnose a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), I could tell you that a young child exhib-

iting symptoms of a sensory processing disorder will often mimic components of ADHD and OCD behaviors. Additionally, there is a school of thought that children who were later diagnosed with one of these two disorders were actually children who may have been suffering with an undiagnosed/untreated sensory processing disorder. The question really is do sensory processing disorders left undiagnosed cause ADHD or OCD later? Or are sensory symptoms an early warning sign of these two disorders? Research is still being conducted on these two questions. Either way, all agree that early diagnosis and treatment of a sensory processing disorder often completely eliminates any further

problems in the future, or in the worst case scenario mitigates the severity of ADHD and OCD. So I highly recommend in response to both questions above, take your child consistently to an Occupational Therapist. The first child who cannot sit still, appears to present as hyper-responsive, a sensory seeker, a child whose brain is not receiving enough information or feels that it is not receiving enough information from the environment to the brain. This child is looking to get sensory input in order to feed the brainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s craving for sensory information. The second child appears to present as hyper-responsive, a child whose system feels that too much information is coming in and the brain does not feel it can respond to all the information. This child overreacts to any information she comes in contact with because the brain is over responding to all sensory input. In both cases, your children are exhibiting difficulties processing sensory stimuli from their environment. Follow through on the recommendations of a Sensory Diet from an Occupational Therapist at home. With time your children will be able to process sensory information better, even if at a future date they receive an official diagnosis. Yitty Rimmer has a Masters in Occupational Therapy from New York University. She currently has her own private pediatric practice in Brooklyn, NY.


ASK THE EXPERT

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By Briendy Rosenblatt, M.S. CCC-SLP TSHH

"TLUIF 4QFFDI 5IFSBQJTU

Q:

My son is 7 years old. He is my only child. His Rebbi called me and said that he is not happy with my sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s participation in class. He says he is very fidgety and cannot focus on what is being taught. He does poorly on tests and is beginning to act up. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand how this can be. My son is so well behaved at home and when my husband learns with him, he says heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a pleasure. I think heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a smart kid, so why is he falling apart in class?

A:

Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good question. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s often difficult for parents to imagine how difficult their child acts in different environments. We have to think about what would make children act differently in school than at home. If he is your only child, then I am assuming your home is quiet while he is learning with your husband. It could be possible that he has difficulty listening with background noise. Classrooms, even quiet classrooms, are noisy. Perhaps he is trying to focus and attend but the classroom noise is too distracting for him. Chairs scraping, pencils scratching, children coughing, doors closing and people walking in the hallway make it difficult for children with auditory processing difficulties to attend in class. They have a hard time blocking out the noise and focusing on only the important things i.e. the Rebbi teaching or

giving instructions. To explore if this is his issue, take him to have a central auditory processing evaluation by an audiologist who specializes in auditory processing disorders. An audiologist who specializes in auditory processing evaluations can help you determine what his issues are and how you can help him become a successful part of his classroom.

Q:

My son was just diagnosed with a moderate hearing loss. His audiologist is recommending that he get hearing aids in both ears. He is 2 years old and doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t speak yet. But he is absolutely gorgeous and so cute. Whenever I walk down the street with him, people smile and say that he is so sweet. I feel that if I put hearing aids on him, people will look at him and think that something is wrong with him. They will treat him differently and look at my family as if something is wrong with all of us. I think that he is a very smart kid and I wonder if I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put hearing aids on him then maybe he will just figure it out, maybe a little slower than others, but still be just fine. Would that be better for him in the long run?

A:

Wow! Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tough news to receive and the fact that you are able to talk about it and ask questions to see whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best for your child, shows that he is lucky to have such a devoted mother. When a child has a moderate hearing loss, he is hearing at levels that exclude many of the speech sounds. He will miss 40-50% of conversational speech. This website actually allows you to listen to what each type of hearing loss sounds like. http://thehearingcurve.com/yourhearing_simulator.html He will have to work so much harder to learn speech and

language and the cognitive concepts you want him to learn in school. It would be as if he were walking around in a fog. I like to think of hearing aids as similar to glasses. Many people say, if I was born without hearing (or a lesser degree), than that is how it should be. But we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do that with our vision. Kids are wearing adorable designer glasses from very young ages and they grow into successful glasses-wearing adults. Hearing aids come in a variety of colors as well and can be customized to your liking. Paired with speech therapy done by a therapist that specializes in auditory training and listening, your child can grow to be anything he wants to be! It definitely will be an adjustment for you and your entire family but over time, the benefits of hearing aids will outweigh the anxiety. In addition,

there are parent infant groups at StriVright, where parents come together and learn skills to help their childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s communication skills flourish and help each other work through the difficult decisions each of them are facing. It is certainly difficult to make a decision like this one, but ultimately you will see that you have made the best choice. Good luck and may you have much nachas! Briendy Rosenblatt, M.S. CCC-SLP TSHH, is the speech supervisor at the Auditory Oral School of New York (AOSNY)and StriVright to Succeed. AOSNY and StriVright provide a quality team approach to homebased and center based services as well as evaluations for children with hearing impairments, CAPD and language delays. Specializing in auditory processing disorders and hearing impaired, she can be reached at 718.531.1800 x4881 and at brosenblatt@auditoryoral.org. June 2012

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ASK THE EXPERT By Stephen Glicksman, Ph.D.

"TLUIF 1TZDIPMPHJTU

Q:

My son was recently diagnosed with autism, and someone told me that ABA is the only scientifically proven way to help him grow. Is that true?

A:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a highly structured, highly regimented, adult-directed, one-to-one method of guiding the behavior of, and teaching skills to, individuals with autism. Traditional ABA consists primarily of breaking down complex behaviors into smaller steps, then teaching and rewarding each step as the adult teacher attempts to shape the childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s behavior (a technique often referred to as â&#x20AC;&#x153;discrete trial trainingâ&#x20AC;?). This method has been shown to be effective in teaching skills to people with autism in many, many cases; it is not, however, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;onlyâ&#x20AC;?

proven way of helping children with autism, and it does have its critics. One criticism of traditional ABA raised by Dr. Barry Prizant in the Spring 2009 issue of Autism Spectrum Quarterly is that while traditional ABA has been shown to be effective in teaching adaptive skills such as bathing or dressing, research indicates that it is less effective in addressing the social and relationship challenges faced by children with autism. In other words, because traditional ABA focuses more on compliance and instructional control as methods of teaching (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Engage in this skill because I will reward you for itâ&#x20AC;?), practitioners and schools who exclusively use traditional ABA run the risk of losing whatever social strengths and internal motivators the child does have to build relationships and engage with others in a meaningful way. For this reason, many people working with children with autism have attempted to put a more â&#x20AC;&#x153;human touchâ&#x20AC;? onto ABA over the years, incorporating more incidental teaching (teaching in natural environments) and including activities that focus on social interaction, while still

calling themselves â&#x20AC;&#x153;ABA practitionersâ&#x20AC;?. The approach known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pivotal Response Treatmentâ&#x20AC;? and the work of Dr. Vincent Carbone of the Carbone Clinic are outgrowths of ABA that fall into this category. At the same time, there are people who have developed completely different approaches to helping people with autism that are grounded not in â&#x20AC;&#x153;complianceâ&#x20AC;?, but in research of human development and relationship building. These approaches include DIR/Floortime and Intensive Interaction. Indeed, the 2009 National Standards Report published by the National Autism Center identified 11 established treatments for autism spectrum disorders, which the report described as having, â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Ścompelling scientific evidence to show that these treatments are effectiveâ&#x20AC;?, as well as 22 emerging treatments for which, â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Śone or more studies suggest the intervention may produce favorable outcomes. However, additional high quality studies that show these treatments to be effective for individuals with autism spectrum disorders are needed before we can be fully confident.â&#x20AC;? The report also identified five often used in-

terventions, including facilitated communication, that have been deemed to be unestablished treatments for which, â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Śthere is little to no evidence in the scientific literatureâ&#x20AC;? and for which, â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no reason to assume these treatments are effectiveâ&#x20AC;?. Based on these findings and others like them in the scientific literature, one of the greatest critiques of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;ABA is the only wayâ&#x20AC;? approach is that it fails to recognize the right and obligation of parents to study all of the information and look into all of the different approaches available in their efforts to help their children grow. So, I would counter the advice you received about ABA being the only way by saying this: Be wary of words like, â&#x20AC;&#x153;onlyâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;alwaysâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;neverâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;everyoneâ&#x20AC;?. All children are different, and what is best for one child may not be best for another. There is more than one way to face a challenge. Stephen Glicksman, Ph.D. is the Developmental Psychologist at Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s League Community Residences and Jumpstart Early Intervention. He can be reached by calling Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s League at 718.853.0900, or at sglicksman@ womensleague.org.

By Marc R. Katz

"TLUIF &MJHJCJMJUZ 4QFDJBMJTU

Q:

I am a father of a four year old girl with severe developmental delays. Although my daughter has been receiving CPSE services from the Department of Educa58

June 2012

tion (DOE), I heard about other available services from The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) that we both can greatly benefit from. However, when the school psychologist assisted me with the application process, we were not granted OPWDD eligibility. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand the reason for denial because the school psychologist sent my daughterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most recent educational evaluation that depicts her math, spelling, and reading scores along with her IEP, but OPWDD has requested more clinical informa-

tion. Please help me as I am very concerned about the possibility of not receiving OPWDD services.

A:

This is a typical situation for many parents of young children with special needs who inquire about the eligibility guidelines for OPWDD services. It is also quite common that school psychologists donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always fully understand the eligibility process within OPWDD, as their primary role is counseling and conducting psycho-educational assessments in school settings. In

addition, OPWDD and DOE are two separate and distinct systems with regard to a child with a disability. That is, OPWDD offers services to those with a developmental disability as opposed to a learning disability. In turn, different assessments are required in such situations. Although an educational evaluation was conducted, it only focuses on typical educational domains, such as oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s math, spelling, or reading ability. Therefore, a standardized intelligence test (IQ) coupled with an Katz Continues on Next Page ď&#x192;&#x2DC;


"TLUIF &MJHJCJMJUZ 4QFDJBMJTU Continued from Previous Page Ăż

Adaptive Behavior Scale (via a parental interview based on his/ her childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s everyday functioning) is required for OPWDD eligibility. The results of both assessments must be in compliance with the NYS Mental Hygiene Law, which serves as a legal base for eligibility determination. Thus, a developmental disability is defined as the following: A a condition that results in impairment of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general intel-

ASK THE EXPERT lectual functioning or adaptive behavior B originates before the age of 22 C can be expected to continue indefinitely and D constitutes a substantial handicap in oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s everyday functioning. In other words, an IQ test and an Adaptive Behavior Scale will demonstrate evidence of a developmental disability whereas an educational evaluation would not be helpful. Although school psychologists are proficiently trained in assessments, they may not be given access to the necessary assessment tools that assists in the determination of a developmental disability. Recently, OPWDD re-launched their website www.opwdd.ny.gov to help people like yourself to better understand what services and supports are available. For

example, OPWDD has included a directory of assessment services to help families locate appropriate testing and assessment services available in their community. Secondly, there is an Eligibility Coordinator at your local developmental disabilities service office (DDSO) to ensure that you have submitted a complete eligibility packet when requesting an eligibility determination. In general, there is a three step review process for determining oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eligibility. Thus, there is no need to be overly concerned, as it appears you are still in the early stages of determination. Alternatively, in the back pages of this issue, you will also find a resource directory that consists of various agencies that provide assistance with evaluations, intake,

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and referral of services. Specifically, an agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intake specialist, such as a Non-Medicaid Service Coordinator, will be able to assist you in successfully navigating the paperwork and bureaucratic maze of the enrollment and eligibility process. In short, the above noted suggestions should expedite the receipt of much needed services for your daughter. Marc R. Katz, a NYS Certified School Psychologist, is an Assistant Director at Ohel Bais Ezra. For more information about evaluations, intake, or referral of services, please call 1.800.603.OHEL, visit www.ohelfamily.org, or e-mail info@ohelfamily.org. OHEL delivers a breadth of community services through OHEL Bais Ezra, OHEL Lifetime Care, OHEL Foster Care, OHEL Mental Health Services, OHEL Institute for Training, and Camp Kaylie.

By Juby Shapiro

"TLUIF "EWPDBUF â&#x20AC;&#x153;Phase 1â&#x20AC;?and Other Placement Confusion

Q:

My daughter just turned five and is aging into school age from preschool. We had her IEP meeting and the CSE recommended a special class with a 6:1:1 ratio of teachers to students. The district told us to go and look at all of our local schools because those schools will now have to accommodate all students in their zone. I went to five different public schools in my neighborhood. Several seemed confused as to why I was there. One would not allow me to come in without a placement letter, even though I explained that the district in-

structed us to go to each school without a placement letter. One of the schools said they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a 6:1:1 class per se but they could â&#x20AC;&#x153;accommodateâ&#x20AC;? my child by placing her in a general education class with resource room/ SETSS (special education teacher support services). My child is autistic, so that would be completely inappropriate for her. Of the five schools, only one had an existing class for autistic students. However, the class was located on the 5th floor of the building with no elevator. My daughter has gross and fine motor and sensory delays, and would have much difficulty climbing all those stairs each day. Also, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really use a methodology â&#x20AC;&#x201C; just somewhat of a mixture of ABA and TEACCH that is really not structured or individualized enough for my child. What are our options now?

Q:

Our sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s IEP recommends a 12-month school year. The past few years, we have sent him to a special state-

approved camp in the mountains each summer. This year, at our annual review, the CSE team informed us that they are no longer sending students to camp and instead the student will begin to attend the recommended public school when school begins in July. My wife and I visited the public school and found it was really not appropriate at all. The class was up four flights of stairs. The stairwells and hallways were not climate controlled and my child has seizures that can be brought on by becoming overheated. We also are concerned that the 6:1:1 staff to student ratio is not being sufficiently individualized to address our sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s learning and safety needs. The teacher in the class we observed says she does ABA with students for a half hour per day. Right now, our son attends a private school that provides him with 1:1 support and ABA throughout the day. After seeing the public school, we contacted the district to let them know that the recommended school is not appropriate. Summer is about to begin in just a few weeks and our

son has no placement. We asked the district to allow our son to attend the same camp as last year but, despite our objections, they maintain that the school they recommended is appropriate. What should we do?

A:

There is and will be much confusion surrounding the most recent changes in the Department of Educationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s policy on students who are placed in self-contained special education classes. In the past, following the childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s IEP meeting, the district would then send the studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s IEP to the placement officer. He would search the computer to try to find compatible placements for students as close to their homes as possible. The new model New York City is using is called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Phase 1,â&#x20AC;? in which schools are encouraged to move students with disabilities to less restrictive settings. Unfortunately, many students will be phased out of self-contained special education classrooms Shapiro Continues on Next Page ď&#x192;&#x2DC; June 2012

59


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ASK THE EXPERT

"TLUIF "EWPDBUF Continued from Previous Page Ăż

virtually overnight and instead will be offered supports and services such as SETSS/resource room and related services. The concern is that some students require a highly supportive, more restrictive setting in order to learn and progress. The locally zoned schools are then supposed to accommodate these needs as well. However, schools with little to no experience with autistic, multiply disabled and emotionally disturbed students, for instance, are unable to build an infrastructure overnight to provide these students with a Free and Appropriate Public Education. That being said, despite what the City is proposing in order to save money, the DOE still must offer special education students an appropriate special education with the necessary supports and services. In light of these changes, parents must put even more effort into visiting potential school sites. If you receive a placement letter or Final Notice of Recommendation, it is important that you contact the school and make an appointment to visit the recommended class. Bring a pen and paper and take notes. Make sure to write down the name of the personnel you meet and other details concerning the class size, location, methodology, the physical layout of the building, and related services, whether in the classroom or in therapy rooms. If the school is not appropriate, you should attach a letter to the Final Notice of Recommendation rejecting the school and requestJune 2012 60

ing another placement. When no placement letter is sent, parents may have to visit many schools in their local zones. Often parents visit as many as four or five schools, only to find that none are even remotely appropriate. Again, be sure to observe the classes and take notes. Write a letter to the district detailing which schools you have visited and why each one does not meet your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs academically, socially and emotionally. Make sure to include the date on the letter and to keep a copy for your files. It is recommended that you send the letter registered mail with a return receipt requested. You can also fax the letter, provided you have a receipt. For the parents of the student who is aging out of CSPE (preschool), you have until September to sort this out and obtain an appropriate placement for your child. After you send your initial letter, the CSE may respond by offering yet another placement, or they might continue to maintain that the initial placement they offered is appropriate. There are cases in which the CSE agrees that they have not located an appropriate public school placement for the student and defers the case to CBST (the Department of Educationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Center Based Support Team). CBST then tries to locate schools on the New York State Approved List that are appropriate and have a seat available for the student. Some students will receive a form called a Nickerson Letter. This occurs in situations where the DOE acknowledges that they have failed to offer the student an appropriate placement by August 15. Parents may take the Nickerson Letter to enroll their child in a school on the New York State Approved List. In some cases, parents may seek to request an impartial hearing to ask a hearing officer to issue pendency, or a stay put order. Throughout the duration of the

hearing and sometimes beyond, the student may remain in his/her preschool placement and receive the services on the last agreedupon preschool IEP. If September is approaching and you find that you are still at an impasse with the CSE with no appropriate placement for your child, you may wish to consider placing your child in an appropriate private special education school and requesting an impartial hearing to seek tuition reimbursement or prospective tuition. If you chose that route, you must write a letter to the district 10 days prior. Explain again why the recommended public school placement is not appropriate and that since school is starting soon and your child does not have an appropriate placement, you have chosen to enroll your child in the private school and will be requesting an impartial hearing. For the parents of the student in the second question, if your child is mandated as a 12-month student and has already entered the CSE system, then your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school year begins in July. If the CSE offers your child an appropriate placement in a 12-month class, your child would not be entitled to camp in the summer. However, if after visiting the recommended placement you have come to the conclusion that the CSE has not offered your child an appropriate placement prior to school beginning in the summer, then you have several options. Did the CSE offer your child camp on his/her IEP last summer? If so, you may be able to request a hearing for pendency of the camp program as per last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s IEP. You may notify the CSE of your disagreement with their proposed placement and that you will be enrolling your child in a special education camp and/or special education private school, and request an impartial hearing to seek tuition. It is possible to re-

quest a hearing that incorporates both school and camp. The common thread between both situations is that parents must always consider all possible public school placements prior to unilaterally enrolling their child in a private school or camp, or to requesting pendency. Even if you feel that after seeing one or two placements, this is a futile process and there is no way that type or ratio of class will be appropriate for your child, it is still imperative to make the effort to visit all options. Parents have actually lost hearings because the hearing officer decided that they did not make an effort to visit the public school placement and consider it. Parental effort and cooperation, otherwise known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;equities,â&#x20AC;? is an entire prong of a three-prong test that impartial hearing officers consider when determining the appropriateness of the studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unilateral placement by parents. If you chose to request a hearing for any of the above reasons, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of an advocate or attorney who will advise you as to your rights and assist you throughout the impartial hearing process. EDITOR'S NOTE: As we went to print the decision to not allow summer camp placements has been reversed for one summer only in some cases (see article on page 12). Juby Shapiro is a special education advocate and the parent of two children with special needs. She is the founder and director of TAFKID, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping families whose children have a variety of disabilities and special needs. TAFKID can be reached at 718.252.2236 or tafkid@aol.com.


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PRODUCT REVIEWS The world of special needs children has grown tremendously over the past few years. New diagnoses, new therapies and a while range of new products and books to make life a little bit easier. It’s hard to know which product or book & what is best for your child and their specific needs. That’s where we come in with our unique review section. Therapists and educators in the field have reviewed all of the items in these reviews. We hope you enjoy! Chaya Ilene Klass  Yitty Rimmer  Breindy Rosenblatt

Magnetic Picture Maker

T

his toy company is rapidly becoming a favorite of many discerning parents. With their simple aesthetic appeal using natural wood and primary colors, combined with activities that promote thinking and skill building, Melissa & Doug is the toy company for toys that educate and last a lifetime. The Magnetic Picture Maker will not disappoint either. This toy uses double sided picture cards that store in a sleeve with the top picture showing

through a clear plastic window. The child utilizes the attached magnetic wand to move magnetic circles encased inside the window to the appropriate colored circle seen on the pre-printed picture. This activity keeps children mesmerized and busy for hours. A child, even as young as four years old, can use the wand to move the pieces to its corresponding colored circle to create pictures. There is even a blank pre-circled card that can be filled in with dry

erase markers to create your own picture, and can be wiped clean, allowing for multiple use. All the pieces in this game are enclosed, the wand is attached, and the cards store inside the board making it ideal for travel as well.

or Doubleplay at 4115 14th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

$23.00

Available at MelissaAndDoug.com

$24.99

THERAPEuTIC BENEFITS:  Helps develop fine motor coordination skills by grasping the magnetic wand to move pieces.  Develops visual perceptual skills through copying pre printed pictures.  Develops visual motor skills through movement dependent on visually attending to the place where the magnetic circles need to be placed.  Helps develop imaginative play by encouraging children to create their own pictures on blank cards, or just using the wand to move pieces and create.

ScramBlitz

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ace to be the first player to recreate the pattern on the pattern card! But watch out because all your playing cards have a black or white flip side. If you make a wrong choice, you won’t be able to solve the puzzle. This

game can be played with 2-6 players. Players each get 16 tiles. On one side players will have two tiles each of 8 patterns, but on the other side 8 tiles have a black flip side, and the other 8 have a white flip side. One player turns over the Pattern card from the middle, and all Pocket Full Of Therapy players race to use all 16 tiles correctly to recImprove Skills while having Fun! reate the Pattern, care-

• HANDWRITING • EARLY LEARNING • VISUAL PERCEPTION • SENSORY PROCESSING • MOTOR COORDINATION • CRITICAL THINKING • FIDGETY STUDENTS • LANGUAGE • AND SO MUCH MORE! Free gift with online order- coupon # Jbb6 hurry exp 9/30/12

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fully flipping the cards to a black or white side until all designated boxes have been filled. The first player to recreate the pattern yells out “ScramBlitz” and the other players check to make sure he is correct. On the bottom of each pattern card is points depending on how difficult the pattern is to recreate. The first player to collect 25 points, wins.

Doubleplay at 4115 14th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

$18.00

THERAPEuTIC BENEFITS:  Develops cognitive skills through sorting, grouping, logical thinking, color recognition, shape recognition and problem solving.  Develops visual perceptual skills through copying pattern cards and identifying shapes and colors.  Helps develop fine motor coordination skills through the pincer grasp when turning over and placing cards.  Helps develop social skills through turn taking, sportsmanship, and negotiating skills that automatically take place when playing board games in a group.  Encourages speed and timing, in the race to be the first to correctly solve their board


PRODUCT REVIEWS Guess How I Feel

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his game is unique in that it develops fine motor skills, speech development, and social skills all at once. Players take turns picking a situation card that portrays a scene that would elicit an emotion (for example a mother hugging a crying child), and either drawing their reaction to the situation on the magnetic mirror or using magnetic facial expressions to create their reaction on the mirror. This game works with younger children who are not reading yet, as well as older children who need a fun way to practice their hand grasp and writing/drawing skills. This game can be played with different versions depending on what skill is

needed. If children need to learn to identify different emotions and express feelings, this game can be played where every child has to label the emotion with a word. If children need help to develop empathy skills, the game can be played where children have to “guess” what emotion the first player drew to the situation card. The game is a good opening for verbalizing ways to handle diffi-

cult situations, as well as how to react and behave appropriately. The game uses bonus points from a guess bag to motivate players to guess correctly and think about the emotion being displayed.

Available at www.FunandFunction.com

$26.99

THERAPEuTIC BENEFITS:  Increase fine motor skills  Increase graphomotor/handwriting skills  Increase ability to read non-verbal expressions and develop social cues  Increase expressive speech development through labeling and verbalizing emotions displayed in situation cards  Increase problem solving skills, through discussions on appropriate ways to handle negative situations

Super Sorting Pie

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his is a great game to help preschoolers develop their pincer grasp, learn early counting and math skills, differentiate colors, and sort objects. All 60 game pieces, miniature replicas of fruit, fit into a 5 sectioned realistic looking “pie” container, complete with a “lattice shaped dough” cover. A child can play individually or with others in a group. Using a jumbo tweezer, the child can pick up fruit pieces and sort them into sections either by color, amount, or type of fruit. The game comes with doublesided activity cards for children to

play in a group and use the cards as a guide. An adult can also guide a child how to sort the fruit to teach

specific concepts such as addition, subtraction, fractions etc.

Available at www.pfot.com

$27.95

THERAPEuTIC BENEFITS:  Develops cognitive skills through sorting, grouping, logical thinking, color recognition, shape recognition, and early mathematical skills.  Develops fine motor coordination skills through the use of jumbo tweezers that require a pincer grasp and isolation of the first two fingers during use.  Develops visual perceptual skills through using double-sided activity cards to guide the direction of the game. June 2012

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PRODUCT REVIEWS Adaptive Clothing Showroom

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ne of the hardest jobs every parent has is the morning routine. Trying to get children of all ages awake, dressed, fed, bag packed and out to school by a designated time is a known stressor in households worldwide. For parents of disabled children, the morning difficulties are magnified even more. With the introduction of adaptive clothing, now even a child with physical or developmental disabilities who may not have developed fine motor movements to coordinate buttons, zippers, and belt buckles, can

dress themselves independently. By subtly disguising buttons with Velcro, and allowing belts to be fastened using only one hand, these children who previously depended on someone to button their shirt, or fasten a belt buckle in order to complete dressing, can now dress themselves. The beauty about these adaptive clothing, is that they are the brands you know and use, with subtle changes to allow for easier dressing. They look like clothing all the other children are wearing! Even for children who are

completely immobile, and may be too large for lifting up, there are pants available with zippers on the side to allow for easier dressing without having lifting the child to a standing position. The pants can be unzipped, one piece placed under the child’s legs, the other piece placed on top and zipped closed. These items should be considered by anyone who wants to encourage children with specific disabilities who may not develop appropriate fastening skills to become independent in dressing themselves.

Available at www.adaptiveclothingshowroom.com

Prices vary

THERAPEuTIC BENEFITS:  Increase a child’s ability to dress independently by removing fine motor skill barriers that may impede independent dressing.  Decreases emotional stress in households overwhelmed with the constant care children with disabilities require.

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Lotto Hide & Seek Bugs

his is not your regular lotto game! In this lotto game, each player gets a board showing a colorful field of flowers with 6 bugs hidden amongst the leaves. Each player takes a turn picking up a tile with a picture of a bug on it, and shows the picture to everyone. The player who finds the bug on his board puts the tile in its place on the board. The first player to have matched all the bugs on his board wins! Young children will find the hard plastic tiles and large board easy to manipulate. For an advanced version of the game, each player takes a turn picking up a tile and only checks their board if the bug is hiding in their field. If it is, they place the tile on the board. If it is not, they show it to the other players and place it upside down in the middle.

No one is allowed to touch this tile for one turn. In the next turn, players can pick up a tile from the pile, or take one of the tiles in the middle. But since the tile is turned faced down, players need to remember which tile matches the bug on their board. This is a good game for nonreaders no matter what the age because it encourages attention to detail, scanning, matching, and identification. This is also a good game for children to play with peers with developmental disabilities, because it relies on pictures.

Available at www.pfot.com

$14.95

THERAPEuTIC BENEFITS:  Develops cognitive skills through picture identification, recognition, matching, memory, and attention to detail.  Encourages the development of fine motor skills, specifically the pincer grasp and grading wrist movement, through turning over tiles.  Develops visual perceptual skills, through scanning for hidden bugs and matching.  Encourages social skills through turn taking, playing within a group, settling disagreements within a group in a socially appropriate way, displaying good sportsmanship etc. 64

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PRODUCT REVIEWS Tri-chew The Tri-Chew is triangular shapedteether, made of medical grade, chewy, resilient material that is lab tested as safe for babies. It was designed by Debra Beckman, MS, CCC-SLP, speech pathologist, the president of Beckman Oral Motor. This company stands behind their products and understands the need to have the best equipment and tools to help children in their early developmental stages. They are easily cleaned with

soap and water and made in the United States. The Tri- Chew has ridges, bumps and swirls on each side to simulate various textures of food used for chewing. This provides sensory input for the lips, gums, tongue and hands. Each end is a different length and shape to allow the jaws to experience the movements and pressure to prepare it and increase the muscle strength for feeding. The small end pieces

are also small enough to prevent gagging. The soft material provides comfort and can help calm a teething baby as well. The triangular shape makes it easy for even little fingers to hold.

Available at www.Beckmanoralmotor.com 1 Pack $7.75 3 Pack $19.75

THERAPEuTIC BENEFITS & INDICATIONS:  Besides for alleviating pain in teething babies, they can be used to increase biting and chewing skills in toddlers and young children  Promote jaw grading and stability  Encourage oral exploration and acceptance of textures  Can be used for individuals with oral sensory-motor difficulties sometimes seen in, but not limited to, children with Down’s Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Sensory Processing Disorder

People with Disabilities

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May 3 - 5, 2013 New Jersey Convention & Expo Center

Discover the latest products and services… “It’s been really eye-opening. We did not have any idea that there was so much out there.” Find solutions for physical, sensory, learning and developmental disabilities… “It’s absolutely phenomenal! It’s a perfect fit. And all of the information that’s here will help us live a better life.” Don’t miss essentials for seniors… “With Abilities Expo products to help, 70 years old really is the new 50!”

The amazing stories, the incredible challenges — and what can be learned from them Hidden Gems: Our Special Children is a life-transforming work. Reading it sensitizes all of us to the needs and feelings of special children and those with whom they interact. Even more: we will all be inspired to deal with our own unique challenges, whatever they may be, with faith, determination, and courage.

Attend family sporting events and compelling workshops… “The variety of vendors and workshops were impressive. I also liked the sports demos!” Make lasting connections with others in the Community… “It gave us the chance to meet lots of people with a broad range of abilities and disabilities. Such diversity. Such spectacular humanity. It was a wonderful experience.”

www.AbilitiesExpo.com

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PRODUCT REVIEWS Sensory Stories

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ensory stories © is a welcome and long awaited tool that will help children with sensory processing deal with their environment. Children with sensory processing disorders often have overresponsivity- meaning they have difficulty engaging in everyday activities because they fear they will get hurt. They are unable to process the sensory input in the same way that typically developing children do, so they will often tantrum about seemingly simple things. For example, some children have an extreme hypersensitivity in their mouths, so tooth brushing can be an overwhelmingly negative experience. They fear putting hard bristles and mushy toothpaste in their mouth. For others, it’s going shoppingthey fear the crowds, the loud

noises and are afraid they will get lost. These children and their parents spend their days trying to alleviate the negative situations so that a meltdown will not occur. Enter sensory stories. These are 30 stories, available online or on a CD, that are designed to teach children with sensory overresponsivity to be able to go through the day without the aversive behaviors and feelings. Each story is about 1 activity or situation that has been difficult for sensory children to deal with. They are divided into school, community and home stories. For example, one of the stories in the community section is about going to the dentist. The first page talks about why we go to the dentist. The second explains some of the equipment you see at

The Therapy Resource for Families & Professionals!

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Parent-centered Activities • Speech & Language • Sensory Integration • Early Learning •

225 Arlington Street Framingham, MA 01702 Tel: (800) 257-5376 Fax: (800) 268-6624 www.therapro.com

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the dentist, thereby preparing the children and taking away some of the fear of the unknown. The next page has a picture of a boy who is doing some sensory exercises to prepare himself and keep calm. For each step of the dentist visit there is another strategy or idea to help deal with the parts of the experience that makes it uncomfortable, like putting on sunglasses if the light is too bright. Every page has a child friendly picture and engaging narrative. Sensory stories can be used for any child that is having difficulty participating in everyday activities. Some children with PDD, ADD, Asperger’s syndrome, and learning disabilities display overresponsivity- these stories will be most beneficial for them as well. The words of the sensory stories

are early elementary level, but you can customize each story to match your child’s level.

Available at www.therapro.com

$45.00

E-z Spoons

oes your child have difficulty feeding himself? Does the food spill off the spoon before it gets to his mouth? Is he hypersensitive to utensils? Does he gag easily? Then this is for you! The E –Z Spoon by Ark Therapeutic is made of smooth flexible plastic that is rigid enough to keep food on the blade, but soft enough to bend when needed. It has a thin shallow bowl that holds just enough food for a little

mouth as well as to decrease chances of gagging. It comes in a 2 pk and is latex free and reasonably priced. It will help increase your child’s oral motor control and feeding abilities.

Available at www.Beckmanoralmotor.com 2 Pack $12.25 to $14.25 5 Pack $24.95 to $29.99

THERAPEuTIC BENEFITS:  The spoons can be used for patients with autism, cleft palate, Down syndrome, apraxia, neuromuscular disorders and cerebral palsy among others  They come in a variety of child friendly colors made of FDA approved materials  The shallow blade promotes lip closure  The narrow handle allows the caregiver to place food more easily on the side of the mouth to increase feeding skills  The soft material reduces the chance of injury to the mouth should your child bite on it


PRODUCT REVIEWS

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Drive-Thru Menus for Preschool & Kindergarten

rive- thru menus were designed by an occupational therapist and yoga instructor to address the lack of movement and exercise in children’s daily routine. She developed this program to serve as a classroom tool to improve students’ abilities to focus and use their movements for learning. The program consists of 32 cards to help teachers incorporate movement into foundations skills such as literacy, math, reading and social studies. Each card has a poem or song as well as instructions for the physical activity and the physical goals it addresses. For example, Humpty Dumpty focuses on rotation, balance, coordination, and bilateral arm movements. The exercise is described as follows- “Students perform this exercise on their tiptoes, arms bent at the elbows, hands on shoulders. Once in this position, start repeating the

rhyme rotating from side to side as if balancing. For the last line, students fall to the ground.” There is an adorable, colorful, appealing picture on the other side of the sturdy, laminated card that shows a child doing the exercise. It also comes with variations to be able to accommodate children of all abilities thus promoting inclusion in least restrictive environments. It also comes with 4 posters that have the pictures of the exercises and the name of the story so the kids can choose which activity they want to do. This new program will be a welcome addition to any classroom for ease of transitions, morning circle, or preparation for lesson. Guaranteed to be a winner!!!!

Available at www.therapro.com Cards & 2 Posters $26.95 Cards $14.95

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Early Developing Sounds Articulation Flip Books

ow many kids hate repeating sounds for articulation practice? Why struggle getting kids to do their articulation practice when we have these exciting therapy books to use! Early Developing Sounds Articulation Flip Books are exciting and colorful and keep children engaged and laughing throughout the whole session. Each book contains three "flip-able" panels that allow students to change one or all three sections of amusing and fun sentence stories i.e. the rabbit/ ate a strawberry / on the caboose. Each panel is divided and color-coded by sound and word position (initial, medial, final) for quick and easy identification. The books are divided in to “entire world of _____” series and each book focuses on a different group of sounds, i.e. p, b; m, n; s, r, l; wh, l; t, d; sh, ch; k, g; s, z; f, th, v. Sounds can be practiced in single

words, phrases, sentences, structured and spontaneous conversation. In addition to articulation, these books can also be used for receptive and expressive language tasks including vocabulary development, verb tenses, pronouns, prepositional phrases, syntax, sentence formulation, prediction and word retrieval. In addition, ‘wh’ questions- what where and who questions can be targeted as well as story comprehension. These books will be an exciting addition to any therapy session or at home practice of speech and language goals. The children feel like they are making their own sentences as they flip the pages thereby making it easier for them to practice the sounds they need to. No boring articulation therapy sessions here!!!!!

Available at www.therapro.com

$79.99

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PRODUCT REVIEWS Handicapped Accessible Vehicles

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aving mobility issues can be challenging in many ways, from obtaining a proper wheelchair to navigating your environment. One of the biggest challenges is getting from origin to destination. Whether you have your own vehicle or need to rely on public transportation, you need

Rear loading minivan.

to do research on what is the most appropriate accommodation. Many major cities now have public transportation that is handicapped accessible, from city buses to taxis. However, most people find it very difficult to get around relying on this. The only practical alternative is to purchase a specially accommodated vehicle. When shopping for mobility options, don't be overwhelmed! There is a wide variety of options available. The requirements these vehicles must meet will vary depending on an individual’s needs. Someone who can drive themselves, or who has the ability to transfer out of their wheelchair into a regular car seat will need a very different vehicle than someone who will always be a passenger and must remain in their wheelchair at all times. It's important that you consider your needs, or the needs of the person you're caring for, not only today, but for the service life of the new vehicle, five or even seven years down the road. Can the person transfer from a wheelchair to a vehicle seat now, but might not be able to in the future? Can you afford to buy one vehicle 68

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that’s appropriate now and another one in a few years when that person’s needs have changed? There's no such thing as, "one size fits all". Usually, when people shop for a new car, 99% of the population will comfortably fit into just about every vehicle offered. But the needs of wheelchair

ing which type of vehicle to buy: Size of wheelchair and wheelchair user - if the wheelchair itself is very large this determines the minimum size of vehicle needed. Parking availability - Is there a driveway available or only on-street parking? Do you go to school/doctor appointments

Rear-loading full size van.

and scooter users are much more specific and extremely diverse. Because of the complexity of the choices available and the relatively high cost of these vehicles, families should do their homework carefully to find the right balance between features and price. A good mobility dealer will serve as your personal mobility expert. It's their role and responsibility to find the best mobility option to fit your needs, your lifestyle, and your budget. In order to do this, you'll need to meet with your local mobility dealer in person to find the best available option to fit your family and the wheelchair user. You can either stop by the local dealership or they can schedule a time to visit you at your home. If you do a search online, you will find a multitude of dealers who can be contacted online and in person. If you visit a local dealer, you can see, touch, and try out the vehicles. And they provide full support after the sale, which is an important service that the online dealers do not offer. There are many considerations to take into account when decid-

By Elisheva Stein

12-15,000 units are done a year. The majority have sideentry access, with a manual or powered ramp. There are also rear-entry access minivans which are a great solution for those who frequently travel to areas with tight parking situations. Rear entry access also

Side ramp with transferable seat on the side.

where parking is limited? Size of family - Do you have a lot of other family members that also need to fit in the vehicle? Seating - If an adult is the wheelchair user, would they be driving or be able to sit up front in the regular car seat next to the driver? If it is a child, you will need to put them in the back of the vehicle. There are a variety of vehicles available. Some are adapted with a special lift or ramp for bringing the person into the vehicle in their wheelchair. Others have regular car seats that swing out, enabling someone to transfer or be transferred from their wheelchair to a regular seat. Minivans According to Dan Bussani of Bussani Mobility Team, there are a few different brands of minivans that are available already converted for handicapped access. The main difference between them is the size of the vehicle. Conversion companies take the basic minivan from the manufacturer and adapt them for wheelchair or scooter accessibility to meet an individual’s daily transportation needs. Approximately

allows regular seating on either side of the wheelchair, in addition to an optional bench seat in the back. However, be aware that, because of the ramp, there is very little cargo space and the additional seats might not accommodate adults comfortably. The majority of modified minivans have lowered floors, which is a benefit to the wheelchair user but might make it more difficult for people in the back of the vehicle to navigate. Full size vans For those wheelchair or scooter users who might want or need a larger vehicle, a full-sized van that's fitted with a powered wheelchair platform lift might be perfect. There are a variety of lifts available. If the person in the wheelchair is tall, or the chair itself very large, these vans can be fitted with extra-high doors for greater ease of use. The term "wheelchair lift" can either refer to a system that lifts the empty wheelchair or scooter up and into the vehicle, or it can refer to a platform that lifts the wheelchair or scooter up and into the vehicle with the individual


PRODUCT REVIEWS still in it. The kind you need will depend upon whether the wheelchair or scooter user is physically able to stand or transfer from their chair to the vehicle. WHEELCHAIR LIFT AND SCOOTER LIFT GuIDE FOR vANS There are a variety of different lift manufacturers. Most lifts have similar functions. The UVL, or Under Vehicle LiftÂŽ, by Braun, is mounted underneath the vehicle, and remains out of sight and out of your way until needed. That means easy access for passengers who can walk unaided and cargo, a clear side view for the driver while traveling and maximum interior space for passengers. FOLDING PLATFORM WHEELCHAIR LIFT This type of lift has a power tri-folding platform, which solves the problem of wheelchair access and entry for other passengers. Over half the van's side door is available for easy access when the wheelchair lift is in the stowed position. Pushing a button quickly unfolds the platform, revealing a fully-functional wheelchair lift in a compact package. For additional passenger comfort, the front seat can recline fully â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an attractive feature of wheelchair lifts that are mounted inside the vehicle. The KlearVueâ&#x201E;˘ lift from Ricon has a unique â&#x20AC;&#x153;fold-in-half â&#x20AC;? design. When the KlearVueâ&#x201E;˘ lift is stowed, it provides an unobstructed side view for the driver, helping to eliminate hazardous blind spots, allows a clear view for the passengers, and is virtually unseen from outside. Plus, because the KlearVueâ&#x201E;˘ platform folds when stowed, a raised-roof for the vehicle is not required â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even when a long platform is necessary for larger wheelchairs and power scooters. SIDE-ENTRY WHEELCHAIR LIFT The Millennium Series by Braun has a strong, stable lift-

ing platform. It has the standard side-entry platform, which facilitates boarding in tight parking situations. ECONOMICAL WHEELCHAIR LIFT The Century Series has a simplified electrical system and is a full platform lift, which stows inside the vehicle. Its main drawback is that it takes up a lot of interior space. CAR-TOP CARRIER FOR STANDARD FOLDING WHEELCHAIRS If the individual is able to transfer to a car seat from a standard folding wheelchair, there is a specially designed storage container for the folded wheelchair that is designed to fit on the roof of a wide variety of cars. This frees up a lot of storage space inside the vehicle. TIE-DOWNS In order to secure the wheelchair and its occupant inside a van when it is in motion, you need to restrain it with a special device called a tie-down. There are several types available, from simple straps that attach to the wheelchair once itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in place to a device called an EZ-lock that is bolted to the vehicle and then attached to the wheelchair. PuRCHASING A vEHICLE According to Dan Bussani, it is easier to buy a vehicle that has already been converted and is in a mobility specialistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inventory. However, that limits your choice to what the dealer has in stock, in terms of color and other customizations. If you want to see and evaluate all of the options available from a particular dealer, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always best to visit the showroom in person rather than looking at pictures and descriptions of their vehicles online. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a better deal, ask the dealer if he has any older models in stock, but remember that in such cases you will have to settle for whatever he has on hand. Bussani Mobility also has a wonderful option of renting the vehicle for a few days to try it out in their

try-before-you-buy program. PRICE RANGE There are two components which go into the total cost of the mobility vehicle, the base price of the original vehicle itself and the price of the mobility package including its installation. New converted minivans range in price from $40,000-$75,000 based on the optional items the customer desires. Full-size adapted vans range from $60,000-$70,000, also based on customer preferences. Dan states that the mobility industry has made great strides over the past 40 years. Originally it only offered commercial full size vans which were cut open so that a lift could be installed. Today, there are many more options available, including smaller and more comfortable minivans with power ramps and built in tie downs. This specialized industry is

self-regulated by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association so the industry can monitor and regulate the modification of these vehicles. This enforces quality standards that meet government regulations. The best ways to find dealers in your area are to search the Internet, network with other people who have bought an adapted vehicle, or visit the nearest Abilities Expo (again, do an Internet search for dates and locations). You can also visit www.nmeda. com and put in your zip code. Web sites for Lift manufacturers: www.vantagemobility.com www.riconcorp.com www.braunability.com Elisheva Stein is the mother of two special needs children and has been driving a handicapped accessible vehicle for 8 years.

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Drive! If you can dream it, we can get you there.

!100",-/&0210[nllZgbfh[bebmr'\hf

Extensive product lines UĂ&#x160;New and Pre-owned Wheelchair accessible vehicles UĂ&#x160;Custom mobility van conversions June 2012

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BOOK REVIEWS By Bracha Holczer Bracha Holczer is part of a family that relishes books (especially books by Mo Willems, graphic novels, or not connected with school assignments) and also serves as a reading specialist with the New York City Department of Education. She can be reached at bholczer@aol.com.

THE WOMAN WHO CHANGED HER BRAIN AND OTHER INSPIRING STORIES OF PIONEERING BRAIN TRANSFORMATION By Barbara Arrowsmith-Young Free Press (Simon & Shuster, Inc.) N.Y., N.Y. 10020  2012

I

n the confusing world of learning disorders, there is a name that garners admiration all around, and that is Arrowsmith. Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is the founder of the famous Arrowsmith School in Toronto that proves her successful approach to learning problems which tackles the brain’s underlying neurological deficits head-on. Not limited to compensating for problems (which in effect weakens a skill that is already weak), the program uses the principle that the brain can change and learn to do what it cannot do yet. The concept is from neuroscience, called neuroplasticity, and current neurologists are very excited by it. Arrowsmith-Young suffered terribly from various academic difficulties as a young student. Math was a mystery and specific grammar and language concepts were incomprehensible to her. She was accidentprone and always aware of other areas in which she had deficits, such as finding her way around. She felt as if her mind was in a fog for the first twenty six years of her life. Don’t be mistaken, she was highly intelThis is the story and work of a remarkable woman. Though she began life severely learning disabled, she built herself a better brain and a brain training program that has helped thousands of others do the same. The Arrowsmith Program is currently being offered at the following yeshivas: Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Beis Chaya Mushka, Brooklyn Eitz Chaim Schools, Toronto Jewish Educational Center (JEC), Elizabeth, NJ Yeshiva Degel Hatorah, Spring Valley Yeshiva Tiferes Torah, Lakewood www.thewomanwhochangedherbrain.com

Foreword by Norman Doidge, M.D., author of “The Brain That Changes Itself” “Arrowsmith-Young’s uplifting book about her transformation from a child born with severe learning disabilities to a dynamic pioneer in cognitive education offers hope to anyone who has ever struggled with a learning disorder, brain trauma, ADD, or stroke. By her own fierce determination and passionate desire to learn, this remarkable woman changed her own brain and has since helped countless others to change theirs.This is an important book.” —Mira Bartók, New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Palace

Arrowsmith

PROGRAM Strengthening Learning Capacities

w w w. a r r o w s m i t h s c h o o l . o r g

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ligent, determined to succeed and made full use of her great memory to survive as a student, but learning was an ever-present challenge. In graduate school, she discovered Aleksander Romanovich Luria’s books and related to his story about an individual who was shot in the brain and suffered neurological impairments that mirrored her own problems. ArrowsmithYoung quickly latched onto brain function research and learned that the motivated brain can physically and functionally change in response to stimulation. Determined to help herself, she ‘threw herself into’ the task of fixing what she recognized now as underlying deficits in her brain’s functioning, targeting specific areas of the brain that she had learned were responsible for specific combinations of functions. Never having grasped the way an analogue clock works, and having learned that the cortical region is responsible for this, she spent hours and hours at age twenty six studying the way a clock represents time by systematically turning the hands, drawing each demonstration of time, using her own flash cards and adding more complex measurements of time. She hoped that by purposefully feeding the cortical region of her brain that did not yet work well she would realize improved functioning in all areas controlled by this region such as reading comprehension, following a course of logic, grasping math ideas as well as understanding time concepts. At a certain point she actually saw a major increase in ability in all these areas and knew she had succeeded in changing her brain by creating new neural pathways. Exhilarated, she proceeded to find ways to “wake up” other parts of her brain she knew were not functioning properly as evidenced by her specific “disabilities”. Lucky for her and for us, Arrowsmith-Young did not want the world to see learning disabilities as a life-long sentence of impairment. Throwing herself into neuroscience’s research on brain plasticity and totally convinced that children with neurological deficits can learn exactly what they need so as to have fuller brain functioning given the correct input (and lots of hard work), she started the Arrowsmith School in Toronto in 1980. In this book, she retells her own plus countless other stories about children and even some adults who benefitted from this unique approach and totally changed the way they learn. Improvements in many areas of functioning come hand in hand as different parts of the brain are targeted and ‘rehabilitated’. Not satisfied with helping the lucky few who could spend time at her facility, Arrowsmith-Young continues to train educators and help interested schools to set up her program wherever it is needed, including in some yeshivos. This absorbing book is an uplifting read, meant to be enjoyed cover to cover as a novel, and should be on the summer reading list for all special educators, teachers, and parents of children who have learning problems. Anyone who thinks that learning disabled children are doomed to suffer impaired functioning forever should read this book and take heart.


BOOK REVIEWS WHEN YOuR CHILD STRuGGLES THE MYTHS OF 20/20 vISION (WHAT EvERY PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW) By Dr. David L. Cook Invision Press, Atlanta, (866) 268 - 3937 (Available from Therapro)  2004

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ave you heard of vision therapy? The phrase has been thrown around a lot but many of us do not know exactly what it is. After all, the eye sees what it sees, right? If not, glasses will help, won’t they? Author Dr. David Cook explains exactly what vision therapy is and how it can make a big difference in the life of a child or even an adult who suffers vision problems. These problems are not the sort that can be corrected with glasses. The beginning of the book contains a very carefully explained rationale for using glasses to correct clarity of vision. As clearly described and illustrated by Dr. Cook, even those with 20/20 natural or corrected visual acuity can actually lack other visual abilities. He describes the dangers of assuming all visual abilities are intact just because the common school screenings and typical eye examinations show good visual acuity for the few short minutes it takes to identify what’s on the eye chart. Dr. Cook wrote this book because deficits or delays in various vi-

TEACHING ADOLESCENTS WITH AuTISM By Walter Kaweski, MA Corwin Press, Ca., corwin.com  2011

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hildren with developmental disorders including autism (ASD Autism Spectrum Disorders) are learning alongside typically developing peers in more and more classrooms. Given conditions in typical classrooms, these children are at a disadvantage in many aspects unless the adults in charge can see to it that their needs are met. Without proper preparation by the adults, social difficulties and learning differences may become a substantial roadblock to success, especially for adolescents. Middle and high school students can be ruthless when dealing with socially awkward peers, especially when the adults treat those same children as impaired individuals. The predictable devastating results are failure and rejection. On the other hand, research has been going on for a while now about the best practices and most effective accommodations and modifications (the differences are described in the book) that can be provided to set up opportunities for classrooms to become inclusive, positive centers of learning that respect and effectively serve all students there. Strategy books for younger children with ASD are available but not appropriate, and general education strategy guides are insufficient. Walter Kaweski, after raising a son with ASD to adulthood while enjoying a career as a teacher, autism specialist and inclusion coordinator saw a need for such a resource for middle and high school teachers. He firmly believes in informed support to optimize learning and prevent stigmatization. In this book, the author presents issues that affect adolescents with ASD in general classrooms along with practical and effective strategies and techniques, along with powerful first-person vignettes and illustrative cartoons drawn by an adolescent. In order to best plan for students with ASD, one must understand the underlying developmental deficits and how they affect social in-

sual abilities such as eye teaming and visual perception difficulties can cause real academic difficulties. He explains that some children end up struggling with reading and math, not because they have underlying language problems or learning disabilities but because they just cannot see the text properly, causing delays in or incorrect interpretation. They suffer from intermittent blurry vision, letters and numbers that run together or dance around, burning eyes or eye pain when reading and eye fatigue, but do not always know how to describe their problems so they just continue to suffer. They have difficulty copying from the board or using reference charts hanging helpfully in the room. They lose their place in textbooks alarmingly often. In short - they struggle mightily and can come across as intellectually impaired. In focused, short chapters, Dr. Cook succinctly describes and clearly illustrates what other problems a person can have with vision, the importance of a proper evaluation to diagnose them, and how specific vision exercises can quickly help solve decoding and math difficulties and also improve comprehension, handwriting, and even spelling problems. He offers resources that help locate optometrists able to diagnose and treat vision problems. This book is a good resource for those already looking into Vision Therapy or those searching for answers about seemingly unexplained academic struggles. teraction, communication, behavior and learning. One must also recognize the varying levels of functioning that can occur in different individuals with ASD and within one individual as well, all while keeping in mind how the typical children in the class will interact with them. This in itself is quite a challenge for teachers, but the information is synopsized meticulously along with discussions about legal and technical aspects of inclusive education. The rest of the book is devoted to discussing specific areas of functioning within the school setting and corresponding techniques and practices that are proven to elicit positive outcomes. From good behavior to keeping up with class work, from lunchtime to organizing a homework and study schedule, this book covers it all. Chapter 6, in particular, provides a clear paradigm for thinking about and choosing accommodations and modifications along a continuum of necessary support and inclusion. All teachers accommodating students with special needs in their classrooms will gain from studying Kaweski’s logical questions to consider and what he believes special education really means. To ensure goal oriented progress, Teaching Adolescents with Autism includes many checklists about specific areas of functioning to guide teachers as well as instructional assistants (for whom an entire guide is provided online to avoid common pitfalls that can occur with a student-focused assistant) in building a truly successful classroom where all children can fulfill their potential. June 2012

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BOOK REVIEWS PREPARING CHILDREN FOR SuCCESS IN SCHOOL AND LIFE - 20 WAYS TO INCREASE YOuR CHILD’S BRAIN POWER By Marcia L. Tate Corwin Press, Ca., corwin.com  2011

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f you want to re-energize your parenting skills just in time to increase the quality of your time with your children this summer, this is the book for you! At first, I was skeptical, after all, don’t we have all the parenting advice we need in the Torah? Haven’t I taken enough parenting courses and attended lectures already? But the more I read, the more I was taken in by the high energy and positive messages that were washing over me, and so will you as you read this book. Every strategy is backed by brain research and comes from an assortment of life-changing programs which the author Marcia Tate (already a noted author of teaching strategy books based on brain research) is trained in, including Stephen Covey’s Highly Effective programs and Don Lowry’s True Colors. The first few chapters urge a parent to “fill up” their children with good, positive experiences, feelings and abilities so the children will not easily be “crushed” by life’s crushing challenges. Explaining with sheer joy how this is what’s best for the brain, Tate backs nearly every strategy with brain research specifically proving its benefit (amazingly, without getting heavy or scholarly!). There are the expected chapters about the importance of really talking with and listening to our children, reading to them, ensuring proper nutrition for powerful brains and encouraging creative play, but to read them as Tate presents the ideas makes it all sound so exciting and important all over again. What makes this book all the more special is the beautiful way Tate packages her ideas in chapters like “Accentuate the Positive” and “Deemphasize the Negative.” Fully backed by brain research, of course, the ideas presented match many of our values, such as refraining from disciplining

SPEAKING OF APRAxIA - A PARENTS’ GuIDE TO CHILDHOOD APRAxIA OF SPEECH By Leslie A. Lindsay, R.N., B.S.N. Woodbine House  2012

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e all wait impatiently for our children’s first words, and expect to delight in small talk with our small children. Some children hold their silence for so long that we worry, and some of those children are eventually diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS, previously known by many other names). This is done by differential diagnosis, and as so carefully presented in the book, is defined as a neurologically- based motor speech disorder (as opposed to a delay) associated with speech movement difficulties around the mouth. CAS is found in some children with other special needs (see one of the informative appendices) and also just by itself, and there is a lot that can be done about it. Author Leslie Lindsay is a parent of a child with CAS and has thoroughly researched this disorder that had profoundly affected her daughter’s ability to speak and communicate. In her well-planned book she generously shares the technical information so valuable to parents, teachers and service providers of children newly and not-so-newly diagnosed, as well as healthy doses of encouragement and support. She clearly has the whole child in mind and guides the reader through the many approaches to treating and nurturing the complete well-being 72

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children out of anger, and using their hopes for their futures to motivate good practices now. Also, at the end of each chapter is a form for us to use to record what we feel we are already doing well in specific areas and what new habits we’d like to develop. The latter chapters focus on preparing children for success in school and strongly encourage hands-on oversight of our children’s education, both with homework and with extracurricular endeavors. We are encouraged to really have a good time helping our children learn. Whole chapters are devoted to maximizing four modes of learning in all ages: auditory, visual, kinesthetic and tactile. The more modes active during learning, the more likely learning will stick! A quick read, enjoyable as a whole or in bits and pieces as time allows (in between a full schedule of enriching our families’ lives, of course), Preparing Children for Success in School and Life is a meaningful and fun read.

of the diagnosed child. Armed with interviews with many parents and speech language pathologists (SLPs), Leslie Lindsay offers a veritable encyclopedia covering nearly every aspect of life with CAS along with neatly organized charts, lists, and summaries. Speaking of Apraxia can easily be read in short bursts as a handy resource or read cover to cover while immersing oneself in CAS information. Divided into five main sections, the book covers speech basics, dealing with a diagnosis and familiarizing oneself with current approaches both traditional and complementary/alternative, helping your child in many areas including academic, and coping as a family as the child’s needs changes (and they will). A fascinating section about designing the child’s bedroom and play space is a worthy read for all parents and interior designers (yes - interior designers!). The author presents many thought-provoking factors to take into consideration when preparing the places where a child ends up spending so much time. And, as if the book did not offer enough, there are noteworthy appendices that cover maximizing insurance benefits and other sources for obtaining therapy, a very detailed speech and language milestone list for use as a guideline, and relevant research on related reading difficulties. With this book, Leslie Lindsay accomplished a worthy goal: to provide a “real-life book” that would cover apraxia. If CAS at all plays a part in your life, you will find yourself reaching for Speaking of Apraxia over and over again.


BOOK REVIEWS THE RECYCLING OCCuPATIONAL THERAPIST By Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR RecyclingOT.com  2012

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arbara Smith, author of From Rattles to Writing: A Parent’s Guide to Hand Skills (previously reviewed in these pages) once again shares a wealth of creative occupational therapy know-how. In this book, The Recycling Occupational Therapist, Smith presents therapeutic activities that are motivating, fun, and meaningful to the client. She was inspired by working with adults with developmental disabilities, plus her experiences providing children with occupational therapy, manufactured products available for occupational therapy and also by her creative young son who relishes building his own activities with available materials. This spiral-bound book depicts scores of occupational therapy devices easily made with simple tools (no major power tools, don’t worry!), some basic purchased supplies such as duct tape, velcro and string, and finally, recyclable materials like rubber bands, baby wipe containers, plastic bottles, and foam meat trays. After a small initial expense, an OT stands to save lots of money (especially important for someone just starting a career) by hand-making the activities as opposed to buying expensive ready-made activities that accomplish the same objectives. The actual creation of some activities can easily involve clients or family members. An added benefit of knowing how to create these devices is that an OT can easily leave them with the client for home use and make another. Many areas of fine and gross motor functioning are addressed through targeted activities. For example, finger strength, dexterity and motor planning is targeted in an activity utilizing sandbags made from colorful socks. These sandbags are pushed into customized holes in bottle covers or boxes. Adaptations address skill levels, tactile dif-

SHOW ME THE DATA! DATA-BASED INSTRuCTIONAL DECISIONS MADE SIMPLE AND EASY

By RinaMarie Leon-Guerrero, Chris Matsumoto, and Jaime Martin Autism Asperger Publishing Co., Shawnee Mission, KS, asperger.net  2011

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hen working with children whose behavior or educational outcomes vary widely from day to day or even from time period within a day to another time period within the same day, accurate collection of data is crucial. Accurate data keeping takes the guesswork out of deciding if progress is being made. While this may sound intuitive, at times improvement or success is not so clear, especially in children with special needs. Data collection is key to making informed decisions about objectives, as well as whether to actually do away with an entire educational program, such as when a goal is accomplished or the program is not sufficiently effective. For people who make small increments of improvements and must be strongly supported through each increment, accurate record keeping helps determine if the provided support is helping. A chart can show that a child had six or more episodes of moderate to severe resistance to schedule transitions. Then a corrective program was initiated to address that, and then three to six a day for five days, then two episodes a day for four days, then one episode for two days, and then no episodes for a week. While all involved care givers may agree that the child is ‘doing better,’ charting the decreasing undesired

ferences, and other goals, such as matching colors. Gross motor objectives such as increasing upperextremity strength and coordination is encouraged, for example, by having the child play with a cloth attached to a wall (with Velcro) while sitting, standing or lying nearby on a movement apparatus such as a rocking chair or air mattress. Many activities are designed to please a client’s sensory appetite, which is a powerful motivator to performance. This results in increased effort and longer attention spans, maximizing benefit from each activity. Directions are clear and specific with illustrations to match the steps. Adaptions for different skill levels or motivational differences are suggested and shown. Nearly all of the activities in the book look like fun for children of varying ages, and with some assistance or supervision, enterprising families will be kept busy for long stretches of time at minimal cost, creating, adapting, and savoring the activities here. One appendix lists the activities Barbara Smith found to be popular among children with and without developmental disabilities, making them useful in groups and families. The Recycling Occupational Therapist, along with a hammer and nails, would make a meaningful gift for a devoted OT or children hankering for a mission (think long summer afternoons...).

behavior can help justify sticking with the program those first few difficult days and discontinuing it once transitions are measurably successful for the child. One major obstacle to keeping accurate data is not having appropriate data-keeping tools. Show Me the Data! is a compilation of data collection sheets, ready for use as is, or customizable, using the provided CD loaded with the files. The sheets cover skills in a variety of areas such as adaptive, behavior, communication, motor, routines, and social. Geared for use with children with cognitive and behavioral concerns, the collection includes options for use with one child and those for use with multiple children. Some charts focus on progressing through the many steps of one activity, such as washing hands, some cover frequencies, intensities and durations of behaviors, while others cover various objectives related to multiple IEP goals. There are check-off sheets, matrices and a variety of charts. The authors provide samples of the sheets in use, model graphs to demonstrate decision-making based on the collected data, and helpful suggestions to ensure accurate data collection by multimember educational teams. If you are looking for a way to simplify data-keeping across the various skills and issues that come into consideration when educating children with cognitive delays and behavioral concerns, Show Me the Data! is a handy and able resource. June 2012

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY DIRECTORY LISTINGS Compiled by Suri Greenberg

The listing below is intended to serve as a starting point for family members, professionals and care givers seeking programs, institutions and service providers designed for special needs individuals and their families within the Jewish community. Building Blocks does not specifically endorse any of those listed. Readers are urged to contact them individually for more information. You must make your own determination as to whether the services and programs they offer are appropriate for your specific case. Also note, that languages are in addition to English.

EARLY INTERVENTION APPROVED PROGRAMS AHRC NY Address: 83 Maiden Lane, New York, New York 10038 Phone: (212) 780-2500 Website: www.ahrcnyc.org Location: Home and Center Services Provided: ABA, Family Training, PT, OT, SLP, Psych, Evaluations All About Kids Address: 255 Executive Drive, LL 105 Plainview, NY 11803 Phone: (516) 576-2040 Website: www.allaboutkidsny.com Location: Home Services Provided: ABA, Speech therapy, PT, OT, Special Instruction, Social work, Psychological, Groups (Developmental Intervention, Special Instruction, Family/Caregiver Support, Parent Support Groups & Parent-Child Groups), family counseling, play therapy, music therapy, Initial & ongoing Service Coordination and Tutoring.

71-25 Main Street Flushing, New York 11367

Tel: 718·261·0211 Fax: 718·268·0556 72-52 Metropolitan Ave. Middle Village, New York 11379

Tel: 718·326·0055 Fax: 718·326·0637

We Provide:

s Classes in English, Spanish, Hebrew & Russian s Integrated Classes s Comprehensive Evaluations s School Psychologist s Counseling s Social Work Services s Speech Therapy

s Occupational Therapy s Physical Therapy s Family Support Groups and Training s Adaptive Physical Education s Fully Equipped Playground s Music, Art, Library & Science

POSITIVE BEGINNINGS IMPACTS A LIFETIME Funded by NYS Educational Dept. and NYS Dept. of Health

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The Auditory Oral School of New York/ StriVright to Succeed Address: 3623 Avenue L Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 531-1800 Mail to: Jewish Press Building Blocks Magazine 4915 16th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11204-1115 Website: www.auditoryoral.org Location: Home and Center Services Provided: Sensory integration, speech language therapy, auditory-verbal therapy, audiological testing and central auditory processing (CAPD) evaluations, OT, PT, special instruction home-based/center-based hearing education services (HES), multi-disciplinary evaluations for children birth to five years, family counseling, play therapy, music therapy, educational, parent-infant toddler groups, parent support groups Center for Hearing and Communication (formerly League for the Hard of Hearing) Address: 50 Broadway, 6th floor, New York, New York 10004

Phone: (917) 305-7700 Website: www.chchearing.org Location: Center Services Provided: Auditory oral speech and language therapy (individual and group) Challenge Early Intervention Center Address: 649 39th Street Brooklyn, New York 11232 Location 2: 70-14 141st Street, Flushing, New York 11367 Location 3: 1911 Richmond Avenue, Staten Island, New York 10314 Phone: (718) 972-0880 Location: Home and Center Services Provided: ABA, sensory integration, Medek, multidisciplinary evaluations, speech therapy, special instruction, occupational therapy, physical therapy, family counseling, social work services, family training, nutrition services, psychological services, vision services, assistive technology, audiology, service coordination, individual and group developmental services Donna Klein and Associates, Inc. Address: 690 North Broadway, Suite GL2 White Plains, New York 10603 Phone: (914) 686-3116 Website: Donnakleintherapy.com Location: Home Services Provided: Sensory integration EIS LAASOIS/WIECDC Address: 22 Middleton Street Brooklyn, New York 11206 Phone: (718) 303-9400 Website: www.EISLAASOIS.org Location: Home and Center Services Provided: Floor time, Sensory Integration and NDT GiGi's Playhouse, Down Syndrome Awareness Centers Address: 106 W117th Street New York, New York 10026 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 925, NYC, New York 10026 Phone: (646) 801-7529 Website: www.newyork.gigisplayhouse.org


RESOURCES DIRECTORY EARLY INTERvENTION APPROvED PROGRAMS CONTINuED… Contact Information: nyc@gigisplayhouse.org, (646) 489-8837 Hamaspik of Rockland County Address: 58 Route 59, Suite 1, Monsey, New York 10952 Phone: (845) 356-8400 Hand in Hand Development, Inc Address: 465 Grand Street, 2nd Floor, New York, New York 10002 Phone: (212) 420-1999 ext. 149 Location: Home and Center Hebrew Academy for Special Children – HASC Preschool Address: 1311 55th Street Phone: (718) 851-6100 Website: www.hasc.net Location: Home and Center Services Provided: Sensory integration, Medek, assistive technology, therapeutic yoga, music therapy, computers, family counseling, play therapy, feeding therapy, parent support groups; nursing HASC Spring valley Address: 46 Grandview Avenue, Spring Valley, New York 10977 Phone: (845) 356-0191 Website: www.hasc.net Location: Home and Center Services Provided: ABA, OT, PT, SP, Sensory Integration, Family Counseling, Music Therapy HASC Woodmere Address: 321 Woodmere Boulevard Woodmere, New York 11598 Phone: (516) 295-1340 Website: www.hasc.net Location: Home, Clinic Services Provided: ABA, Floor time, Sensory Integration, Play therapy, Parent support groups Important Steps Address: 2447 Eastchester Road, Bronx, New York 10469 Phone: (718) 882-2111 Website: www.Importantsteps.com Location: Home and Center Services Provided: Floor time, Sensory Integration Jumpstart Early Intervention Program Address: 3914 15th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 853-9700 Location: Home

Services Provided: OT, PT, Speech, Special Instruction, Nutrition, Sensory integration, Medek, family counseling, play therapy Little Wonders, Inc. Address: 88-66 Myrtle Avenue Glendale, NY 11385 Phone: (718) 850-0400 Website: www.littlewonders-ei.org Services Provided: OT, PT, ST, Family Counseling, Play Therapy, Music Therapy, Parent Support Groups, Service Coordination, Multidisciplinary Evaluations. Languages: Spanish, Polish, Russian, Italian, French, Creole, Greek, Tagalog, Hindi, Punjabi, Hebrew, Urdu and Yoruba. Los Niños Services Address: 535 8th Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, New York 10018 Phone: (212) 787-9700 Website: www.losninos.com Location: Home Services Provided: ABA, Speech therapy, PT, OT, Special Ed teachers, Social work, Psychology, Parent training, Development and Parent/ child groups, Parent support groups McCarton Center Address: 350 East 82nd Street New York, New York 10028 Phone: (212) 996-9019 Website: www.mccartoncenter.com Location: Center Services Provided: ABA, sensory integration, S & L therapy, educational testing Omni Childhood Center Address: 1651 Coney Island Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 998-1415 Website: www.omnirehab.com Location: Home Services Provided: ABA, Floor time, Sensory integration, Medek School for Children with Hidden Intelligence Address: 345 Oak Street Lakewood, NJ 08701 Phone: (732) 886-0900 Website: www.schischool.org Location: Home Services Provided: ABA, floor time, sensory integration, family counseling, support groups

THE BEACON SCHOOL

...where every child shines!

     /               

-

  :

· Small self-contained classes for children age 5-13 · Certified Special Ed teachers · Intensive behavior modification · Social skills training program · Behavioral psychologist- Child Study Center · Orton-Gillingham Reading Program · Mainstream Opportunities

 N A B, NY  .. June 2012

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY EARLY INTERVENTION APPROVED PROGRAMS CONTINUED… Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices Address: 4302 New Utrecht Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11219 Phone: (718) 686-9600 Website: www.shemakolainu.org Location: Home Services Provided: ABA, Special Instruction, Speech, OT, PT, Counseling, Social Work, , Audio, vision, Evals, Service Coordination

Step By Step Infant Development Center Address: 1049 38th Street Phone: (718) 633-6666 Website: www.stepbystepny.com Location: Home and Center Services Provided: ABA, sensory integration, Medek, OT. PT. ST, special instruction, parent training, nutrition, vision, auditory training, family counseling, music and art therapy, parent support groups, swimming, respite.

YAI Network Address: 460 West 34th Street New York, New York 10001 Phone: (866) 2-YAI-LINK Website: www.yai.org Location: Home and Center Services Provided: ABA, Floor Time, Sensory Integration Yedei Chesed Address: 48 Scotland Hill Road Chestnut Ridge, New York 10977 Phone: (845) 425-0887 Website: yedeichesed.org Location: Home

Services Provided: Counseling, play therapy, music therapy, parent support groups Yeled V’Yalda Early Childhood Center Address: 1312 38th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 686-3700 Website: www.yeled.org Location: Home and Center Services Provided: ABA, Sensory integration, Medek, play therapy, parent support groups

CPSE SCHOOLS OR CENTERS (3-5) The Ability Center Address: 3521 Avenue S Brooklyn, NY Phone: (718) 336-3832 Website: Theabilitycenter.net Location: Center Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, ADD/ADHD, Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled, Multiply Handicapped Services: Speech therapy, OT, PT, Sensory Integration, MEDEK AHRC NYC Address: 83 Maiden Lane New York, New York 10038 Phone: (212) 780-2500 Website: www.ahrcnyc.org Location: Center Services Provided: ABA, Family Training, PT, OT, SLP, Psych, Evaluations Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Emotionally Disturbed, Multiply Handicapped Services: Speech therapy, Play therapy/counseling, ABA, Sensory Integration, TEACCH, PECS Languages: Spanish Add’l. Info: State approved Aim High Children’s Services Address: 202 Foster Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11230 June 2012 76

Phone: (718) 853-1750 Website: www.aimhighchild.org Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Multiply Handicapped Services: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Play therapy/counseling, ABA, Floor time, sensory integration Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish Add’l. Info: State approved All About Kids Address: 255 Executive Drive, LL 105 Plainview, NY 11803 Phone: (516) 576-2040 Website: www.allaboutkidsny.com Location: Home Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Hearing Impaired, Visually Handicapped, Multiply Handicapped Services Provided: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Play Therapy/Counseling, ABA, Floor Time, Sensory Integration, PROMPT, Feeding Therapy, Tutoring. Languages: Spanish all areas. Please call for specific languages offered by area.

Add’l. Info: Privately funded, State Approved The Auditory Oral School of New York Address: 3623 Avenue L Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 531-1800 Website: www.auditoryoral.org Location: Home, Center, will send providers to private schools Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired Services: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Play therapy/counseling, HES, ABA, Sensory integration, Speech-language therapy, Auditory-oral therapy, Audiological testing & central auditory processing (CAPD) evaluations, Multidisciplinary evaluations for children birth to five years, Family counseling, Play therapy, Music therapy Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, ASL Add’l. Info: State approved Center for Hearing and Communication (formerly League for the Hard of Hearing) Address: 50 Broadway, 6th floor New York, New York 10004

Phone: (917) 305-7700 Website: www.chchearing.org Location: Center Population: Hearing impaired Services provided: Speech, Auditory oral speech & language therapy Comprehensive Kids Developmental School Address: 99 Essex Street New York, New York 10002 Phone: (212) 566-8855 Website: www.comprehensivecenter.com Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PPD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Emotionally disturbed Services: SEIT Languages: Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Yiddish, Greek, Russian Donna Klein and Associates, Inc. Address: 690 North Broadway, Suite GL2 White Plains, New York 10603 Phone: (914) 686-3116 Website: Donnakleintherapy.com Location: Home Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PPD, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Multiply Handicapped Services Provided: OT, PT, Sensory integration


RESOURCES DIRECTORY CPSE SCHOOLS OR CENTERS (3-5) Add’l Info: State approved EIS LAASOIS/WIECDC Address: 22 Middleton Street Brooklyn, New York 11206 Phone: (718) 303-9400 Website: www.EISLAASOIS.org Location: Center Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Visually impaired, Multiply Handicapped Services Provided: OT, PT, Speech, Floor time and Sensory Integration Languages: Yiddish Add’l. Info: State Approved Evalcare, Inc. Address: 5225 New Utrecht Avenue Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 686-0100 Website: www.evalcare.com Location: Will send providers to private schools Population: Hearing impaired Services: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Auditory Processing Add’l. Info: State Approved Hand in Hand Development, Inc Address: 465 Grand Street, 2nd Floor New York, New York 10002 Phone: (212) 420-1999 ext. 149 Gesher Early Childhood Center Address: PO Box 649 Cedarhurst, New York 11516 Phone: (516) 730-7377 Website: www.gesher-ecc.org Location: Center Population: Mild developmental delays, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled Services Provided: Sensory Integration Add’l. Info: Privately funded Hand in Hand Development, Inc. Address: 465 Grand Street, 2nd Floor New York, New York 10002 Phone: (212) 420-1999 ext. 149 GiGi's Playhouse, Down Syndrome Awareness Centers Address: 106 W117th Street New York, New York 10026 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 925, NYC, New York 10026 Phone: (646) 801-7529

Website: www.newyork.gigisplayhouse.org Contact Information: nyc@gigisplayhouse.org, (646) 489-8837 Hebrew Academy for Special Children – HASC Address: 1311 55th Street Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 851-6100 Website: www.hasc.net Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Multiply handicapped Services: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Play therapy/ counseling, Sensory Integration, Medek, Yoga, Augmentative communication, Assistive technology, music therapy, nursing Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish Addl. Info: State approved, Breakfast provided, Kosher meals, Transportation provided through the Dept. of Ed A Helping Hand Address: 703 East 4th St., Suite 3 Phone: (718) 435-7464 Location: Home, Will send providers to private schools Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD Services: ABA, SEIT, State Approved Languages: Yiddish, English Imagine Academy Address: 1458 East 14th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 Phone: (718) 376-8882 Website: www.imagineacademy.com Ages Served: 3-21 Hours: 8:30AM-3:30PM Classes: Mixed Population Served: Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD Services: OT, PT, Speech, Play Therapy/Counseling, ABA, Floor time, Pre-vocational, Art, Music, Yoga, Therapeutic Swim Languages: Hebrew Addl. Info: Privately Funded, Transportation provided through the Department of Education, Lunch provided

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY CPSE SCHOOLS OR CENTERS (3-5) CONTINUED… Important Steps Address: 2447 Eastchester Rd., Bronx, New York 10469 Phone: (718) 882-2111 Website: www.Importantsteps.com Location: Home and Will send providers to school Services Provided: Floor time, Sensory Integration Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired Services: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Play Therapy/counseling Language: Spanish, Russian, Polish, Albanian, Italian, Hebrew. Please call for other languages Kiryas Joel Pre-School (Part of Kiryas Joel UFSD) Address: 1 Diner Road Monroe, New York 10950 Phone: (845) 782-7510 Location: Center, Will send providers to private schools Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, Multiply handicapped Services: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Play Therapy/counseling, ABA, Sensory Integration, MEDEK Language: Hebrew, Yiddish Add’l Info: State Approved. Full/ Half Day Classes Los Niños Services Address: 535 8th Ave, 2nd Floor, New York, New York 10018 Phone: (212) 787-9700 Website: www.losninos.com Location: Home Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Services Provided: SEIT, ABA June 2012 78

Languages: Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, Portuguese, French, and others National Jewish Council for Disabilities/Yachad (NJCD) Address: 11 Broadway, 13th fl. New York, New York 10004 Phone: (212) 613-8229 Website: www.njcd.org Location: Center, Will send providers to Private Schools Population: Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Hearing impaired Services Provided: Audiological Omni Childhood Center Address: 1651 Coney Island Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 998-1415 Website: www.omnirehab.com Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Multiply handicapped Services: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Play therapy/counseling, Sensory Integration, Medek Languages: Yiddish, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Polish Add’l. Info: State approved Otsar Family Services Address: 2334 West 13th Street Brooklyn, New York 11223 Phone: (718) 946-7301 Website: www.otsar.org Location: Center Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed Services: OT, PT, Speech, Play therapy/counseling, ABA, Floor Time, Sensory Integration, Music therapy, Dance therapy, Parent workshops & Support groups

School for Children with Hidden Intelligence Address: 345 Oak Street Lakewood, New Jersey 08701 Phone: (732) 886-0900 Website: www.schischool.org Location: Center Population Served: Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, ADD/ ADHD, Hearing impaired, Multiply handicapped Services Provided: OT, PT, Speech, Play therapy/counseling, ABA, floor time, sensory integration, music and art therapy, adaptive physical ed, Therasuit therapy, aqua therapy, animal therapy, etc. Languages: Hebrew, Yiddish Sesame Sprout, Inc. Address: 96-08 57th Avenue Corona, New York 11368 Phone: (718) 271-2294 Website: www.sesamesproutschool.com Population: Mild developmental delays Services: OT, PT, Speech Languages: Spanish Add’l. Info: State approved Small Wonder Preschool Address: 90-45 Myrtle Avenue Glendale, New York 11385 Phone: (718) 849-3002 Website: www.smallwonders.org Population: Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, Hearing impaired. Services Provided: OT, PT, Speech, Play therapy/counseling, ABA, Parent Support Groups, Miller Method (for children on the Autism Spectrum). Languages: Spanish, Polish, Creole, Guajarati, Tagalog, Bengali, Arabic, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and American Sign Language, Bilingual staff. UCP of New York City Address: 80 Maiden Lane, 8th Floor

New York, New York 10038 Phone: (877) 827-2666 Website: www.ucpnyc.org Location: Center Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, Multiply handicapped Services: Floor Time, Sensory Integration Languages: Spanish Additional Info: State Approved, Privately Funded Add’l Info: State Approved, Privately Funded YAI Network Address: 460 West 34th Street New York, New York 10001 Phone: (212) 273-6182 Website: www.yai.org Location: Home and Center Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Multiply handicapped Services Provided: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Play therapy/counseling, ABA, Floor Time, Sensory integration Languages: Spanish, Chinese, Mandarin, Cantonese Add’l Info: State Approved & State Funded Yeled V’Yalda Early Childhood Center Address: 1312 38th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 686-3700 Website: www.yeled.org Location: Home Based, Will send providers to private schools Population Served: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired Services: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Play therapy/counseling, ABA, Sensory Integration, MEDEK Languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, Spanish


RESOURCES DIRECTORY CSE SCHOOLS OR CENTERS (5-21) AHRC NYC Address: 83 Maiden Lane New York, New York 10038 Phone: (212) 780-2500 Website: www.ahrcnyc.org Population: Autism/PDD, Multiply Handicapped Ages: 5-21 Gender: Boys & Girls Classes: Mixed Hours: 8:00 – 2:30 Therapies: Elementary: PT, OT, SLP, Psych, Art therapy; Middle/High School: Psych, consultant model for OT/SLP, Art therapy Add’l Info: State approved, Handicap accessible, Lunch provided, Transportation avail. through Dept. of Ed All About Kids Address: 255 Executive Drive, LL 105, Plainview, New York 11803 Phone: (516) 576-2040 Website: www.allaboutkidsny.com Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Hearing Impaired, Visually Handicapped, Multiply Handicapped Ages: 5-21 Gender: Boys & Girls Classes: Mixed Hours: Mon-Friday 8am-7PM. Authorized services provided at our facilities are offered MonThurs 8am -7pm & Fri 8am-5pm. Privately funded services are offered in a child’s home and/or community Mon-Sat 8am-7pm. Services Provided: OT, PT, Speech, Social Work/Counseling, ABA, Floor Time, Behavior Intervention, Psychological, Parent Training, Staff Training& Consultations and Tutoring. Languages: Spanish all areas. Please call for specific languages offered by area. Add’l. Info: Privately funded, State Approved. Handicapped Accessible Arrowsmith Program at Beth Jacob of Boro Park Address: 1371 46th Street Brooklyn, New York 11219 Add’l Info: For more information about the Arrowsmith Program at Beth Jacob of Boro Park, please contact Rachel Zimmerman at (718) 755-1977 Or Malkie Deutsch (917) 562-7068. Arrowsmith Program at Beis Chaya Mushka Address: 1505 Carroll Street Brooklyn, New York 11213 Phone: (718) 756 0770 E-mail: beischayamushka@gmail.com

Add’l Info: For information about the Arrowsmith Program at Beis Chaya Mushka please contact Rabbi Levi Plotkin, Principal Arrowsmith Program at Eitz Chaim Schools Address: 475 Patricia Avenue Toronto ON M2R 2N1 Phone: (416) 225-1187 E-mail: pliner@eitzchaim.com Add’l. Info: For information about the Arrowsmith Program at EitzChaim please contact Rabbi IsserPliner, Principal

Pesach Tikvah Door Of Hope Family & Children Services PESACH TIKVAH HOPE DEVELOPMENT, INC.

18 Middleton Street Brooklyn, NY 11206 Tel: 718-875-6900 Fax: 718-875-6999 Web: www.pesachtikvah.org E-Mail: Info@pesachtikvah.org

• Services for Children with Special Needs • Recovery Based Residences • Respite Program • Family Counseling Center • Psychiatric Assessment and Treatment • Continuing Day Treatment Program • Holocaust Survivors Program • Summer Program for Children with Developmental Disabilities

Arrowsmith Program at Jewish Educational Center Address: 330 Elmora Avenue Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208 Phone: (908) 355-4850 Add’l Info: For information about the Arrowsmith Program at the JEC contact Rabbi Eliyahu D. Teitz, Associate Dean Arrowsmith Program at Yeshiva Degel Hatorah Address: 111 Maple Avenue Spring Valley, New York 10977 Gender: Yeshiva DegelHatorah has a separate boys and girls Arrowsmith Program. Add’l Info: For information, please contact Marsha Feuer at (845)304-7053 or email: marshafeuer@aol.com Arrowsmith Program at Yeshiva Tiferes Torah Address: 75 East End Avenue Lakewood, New Jersey 08701 Phone: (732) 370-9889 Email: yfeldmanytt@aol.com Add’l Info: For information about the Arrowsmith Program at Yeshiva Tiferes Torah please contact Rabbi Feldman, Principal C.A.H.A.L. Address: 540-A Willow Avenue Cedarhurst, New York 11516 Phone: (516) 295-3666 Website: www.cahal.org Population: Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD Ages: 5-18 Gender: Boys & Girls Classes: Separate & mixed Hours: 8:00 – 5:00 Services: OT, PT, SPEECH Addl. Info: Therapies provided on site, Lunch provided, Kosher Meals, Transportation through Dept. of Ed.

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY CSE SCHOOLS OR CENTERS (5-21) CONTINUED… Donna Klein and Associates, Inc. Address: 690 North Broadway, Suite GL2 White Plains, New York 10603 Phone: (914) 686-3116 Website: Donnakleintherapy.com Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PPD, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Multiply Handicapped Services Provided: OT, PT Add’l Info: State approved, Therapies provided on site Ezra Hatzvy Academy Address: 2555 Nostrand Avenue Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 975-1041 Website: Ezrahatzvy.com Ages: 5-21 Gender: Boys/Girls Classes: Mixed Hours: 9:00-4:00PM Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Hearing impaired, Emotionally disturbed, Vision impaired, Multiply handicapped Services Provided: ABA, Floor time, Aquatics, OT, PT, SP. Languages: Yiddish Add’l Info: Privately funded, Handicapped accessible, Therapies provided on site, Transportation through Dept. of Ed. Gesher Early Childhood Center Address: PO Box 649 Cedarhurst, New York 11516 Phone: (516) 730-7377 Website: www.gesher-ecc.org Population: Mild developmental delays, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled Ages: 3-6 years old (nursery, kindergarten, PRE-1A) Gender: Male & Female Classes: Mixed Hours: Mon-Thurs: 8:30-3:30, Fri: 8:30-12:15 Services: Classrooms run by Early Childhood Special Education Teachers providing a dual curriculum, Related Services are provided on site thru CPSE agenJune 2012 80

cies or the BOE Add’l. Info: Privately funded Gesher Yehuda Yeshiva Address: 49 Avenue T Brooklyn, New York 11223 Phone: (718) 714-7400 Population: Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ADHD Ages: 5-13 Gender: Male & Female Classes: Mixed Hours: 8:45-4:15 Services: ST, OT, Counseling Addl. Info: Privately funded, Transportation provided through Dept. of Ed. GiGi's Playhouse, Down Syndrome Awareness Centers Address: 106 W117th Street New York, New York 10026 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 925, NYC, New York 10026 Phone: (646) 801-7529 Website: www.newyork.gigisplayhouse.org Contact Information: nyc@gigisplayhouse.org, (646) 489-8837 Girls’ Program – An Alternative Educational Program for Girls Ages 5-9 Address: 2221 Avenue R Brooklyn, New York 11229 Phone: (718) 336-5296 Fax: (718) 336-5298 Ages: 5-9 Gender: Girls Hours: 9-3:45 Population: Mild developmental delays, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled Services: OT, PT, Speech, Counseling Addl. Info: Therapies provided on site, Lunch Provided, Meals kosher, Transportation through Dept. of Ed. Ha’or Beacon School Address: 2884 Nostrand Avenue Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 951-3650 Population: Autism/PDD, Learning Disabled, Speech & Language Impaired, ADD/ ADHD, Emo-

tionally disturbed Ages: 5-13 Gender: Male Hours: 9:00-4:00 Services: Speech, OT, PT, Counseling Addl. Info: Therapies provided on site, Privately funded, Lunch provided, Kosher meals, Transportation provided through Dept. of Ed HASC School Age Program Address: 6220 14th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11230 Phone: (718) 331-1624 Ages: 5-21 Gender: Male & Female Classes: Separate & Mixed Hours: 8:30-2:45 Population Served: Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Multiply handicapped Services: ABA, Carbone, OT, PT, Speech, Counseling, Vision, Hearing, Medically Frail, Nurse Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian Addl. Info: State Approved, After School Program, Kosher Breakfast and Lunch, Transportation provided through the Board of Education HASC@Remsen Address: 555 Remsen Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11236 Phone: (718) 495-3510 Website: www.hasc.net Population: Mild to Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Emotionally disturbed, Multiply handicapped Ages: 5-12 Gender: Boys & Girls Classes: Mixed Hours: 8:45-2:15 Services: SP, OT, PT, Counseling Addl. Info: State Approved HASC Spring Valley Address: 46 Grandview Avenue Spring Valley, New York 10977 Phone: (845) 356-0191 Website: www.hasc.net Location: Home and Center Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD,

Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Hearing impaired, Vision impaired, Multiply handicapped Services Provided: ABA, Sensory integration, SEIT, OT, PT, SP, Play therapy/Counseling Languages: Yiddish Add’l Info: State approved HASC Woodmere Address: 321 Woodmere Blvd., Woodmere, New York 11598 Phone: (516) 295-1340 Website: www.hasc.net Population: Mild to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Multiply handicapped Services Provided: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Play Therapy/Counseling, Parent Training Add’l. Info: State approved HASC Center, Inc Address: 5601 First Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11220 Phone: (718) 535-1953 Website: www.hasccenter.org Location: Center Population: Mild to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired A Helping Hand Address: 703 East 4th Street Phone: (718) 435-7464 Ages: 5-21 Population: Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD Services: ABA, SEIT, Pendency Languages: Yiddish, English Imagine Academy Address: 1458 East 14th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 Phone: (718) 376-8882 Website: www.imagineacademy.com Ages Served: 3-21 Hours: 8:30AM-3:30PM Classes: Mixed


RESOURCES DIRECTORY CSE SCHOOLS OR CENTERS (5-21) CONTINuED… Population Served: Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD Services: OT, PT, Speech, Play Therapy/Counseling, ABA, Floor time, Pre-vocational, Art, Music, Yoga, Therapeutic Swim Languages: Hebrew Addl. Info: Privately Funded, Transportation provided through the Department of Education, Lunch provided IvDu Elementary School for Girls Address: 1277 East 14th Street Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 758-2999 Website: www.NJCD.org Ages: Kindergarten-grade 5 Gender: Girls Population: Learning Disabilities, Mild developmental disabilities, Speech & Language Delays, ADD/ADHD Services: OT, PT, SEIT, Speech, counseling Add’l. Info: Therapies provided on site, Transportation provided from all 5 boroughs IvDu upper School Boys Division Address: 1305 Coney Island Avenue Brooklyn, NY Phone: (718) 372-7203 Website: www.NJCD.org Ages: 13-21 Gender: Boys Population: Learning Disabilities, Mild-moderate developmental disabilities, Speech & Language Impaired, ADD/ADHD, ED, broad range of needs (students grouped by ability level) Services: Speech, Therapy, OT, Counseling, Travel Training, Vocational Training Add’l. Info: Transportation provided from all 5 boroughs IvDu upper School Girls Division Address: 1277 East 14th street Brooklyn, New York 11230 Phone: (718) 677-4279 Website: www.NJCD.org Ages: 13-21 Gender: Girls Population: Learning Disabilities, Mild-moderate developmental disabilities, Speech & Language Impaired, ADD/ ADHD, ED, broad range of needs (students grouped by ability level) Services: Speech, Therapy, OT, Counseling, Travel Training, Vocational Training Add’l. Info: Transportation provided from all 5 boroughs

Kinor Dovid - Harmony Address: 3820 14th Avenue Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 435-8080 Website: www.harmonyservices.org Population: Mild to Moderate developmental delays Ages: 18+ Gender: Male Classes: Separate Groups: Small groups, separate for men & women Hours: M-Th: 9-3, 3-7:30; Fri. & Sun: 9-1:30 Services: OT, PT, Speech, Counseling, Prevocational Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew Add’l. Info: On-site therapies, Center based, DayHab without walls, Vocational Services, Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation provided Optional Beis Medresh Program. Kinor Malka - Harmony Address: 1467 39th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 435-8080 Website: www.harmonyservices.org Population: Mild to Moderate developmental delays Groups: Small groups, separate for men & women Ages: 18+ Gender: Female Classes: Separate Hours: M-Th: 9-3, 3-7:30; Fri. & Sun: 9-1:30 Services: OT, PT, Speech, Counseling, Prevocational Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew Add’l. Info: On-site therapies, Center based, DayHab without walls, Vocational Services, Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation provided Optional Seminary Program. The Manhattan Children’s Center Address: 124 West 95th Street, New York City 10025 Phone: (212) 749-4604 Website: www.manhattanchildrenscenter.org Population: Autism/PDD Ages: 3-18 Gender: Males/Females Groups: Mixed School Hours: 8:30-2:45PM Services: ABA, OT, Speech Add’l. Info: Privately funded, Therapies provided on site, Transportation provided through Dept. of Ed

EDUC.A.R.E

Educational Advocates and Resources At EDUC.A.R.E, we will provide you with tools, resources and information to help you obtain the services that your child is entitled to under the New York State Law. For a free consultation call (347) 766-4552.

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Otsar would like to thank its dedicated staff for all their  hard work and devotion to our children and adults. June 2012

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY CSE SCHOOLS OR CENTERS (5-21) CONTINUED… Ohr HaLimud – The Multi-Sensory Learning Center Address: 1681 42nd Street Brooklyn, New York 11204 Phone: (718) 972-0170 Website: www.ohrhalimud.org Ages: 7-14 Gender: Girls Hours: 8:30-4:00 Population Served: Dyslexia Services: A complete transitional Bais Yaakov, uniform wearing school that utilizes the scientifically based Orton-Gillingham approach to teach all subjects with emphasis on reading, writing, and spelling in both English and Hebrew. Languages: Yiddish Add’l Info: Kosher Meals, Transportation provided through Dept. of Ed., After School Program Monday thru Thursday/Sunday, Accepts P3s. Omni Childhood Center Address: 1651 Coney Island Ave. Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 998-1415 Website: www.omnirehab.com Ages: 0-21 Gender: Boys & Girls Classes: Separate Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Multiply handicapped Services: ABA, Pre-vocational Languages: Yiddish, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Polish Add’l. Info: State approved, Therapies provided on-site, Handicap accessible, Transportation provided through Dept. of Ed P’TACH Address: 1428 36th Street #211 Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 854-8600 Website: www.ptach.org Population: Learning Disabled Ages: 6-18 Gender: Boys & Girls Schools: Separate schools Hours: 8:45-5:00 Services: Speech, Counseling Languages: Yiddish Add’l Info: Therapies provided on-site, Transportation provided 82

June 2012

through Dept. of Ed. PS/IS 226-BiY Address: 6006 23rd Ave Brooklyn, New York 11204 Phone: (646)339-9041 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Multiply Handicapped Ages Served: 11-15 Gender: Boys and Girls School Hours: 8:00-3:00PM Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew Add’l Info: Transportation Provided through Department of Education, Kosher Breakfast Provided, Handicapped Accessible Services: OT, PT, Speech, Guidance and Pre-vocational School for Children with Hidden Intelligence Address: 345 Oak Street Lakewood, New Jersey 08701 Phone: (732) 886-0900 Website: www.schischool.org Location: Center Population Served: Moderatesevere developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Ages: 3-21 Gender: Male & female Classes: Separate and Mixed Services Provided: OT, PT, Speech, Counseling, ABA, floor time, pre-vocational, mainstreaming, music & art therapy, Therasuit therapy, adaptive phys ed, job training, aqua therapy, animal therapy, computers, etc Languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish Add’l Info: Therapies provided on site, state approved, Handicap accessible, Breakfast and Lunch provided, Kosher meals, Transportation provided through Dept. of Ed.

SEAD - Special Education Academy of Deal Address: 1 Meridian Road Eatontown, New Jersey 07724 Phone: (732) 460-1700 Website: www.seadschool.org Population: Mild developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language Impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD Ages: 3-14 Gender: Boys & Girls Classes: Mixed Hours: 8:30-4:00 Services: OT, PT, Speech, Social Skills Add’l Info: Therapies provided on site, Handicap Accessible, Lunch Provided, Kosher Meals, Private Transportation provided, Privately Funded Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices Address: 4302 New Utrecht Ave., Brooklyn, New York 11219 Phone: (718) 686-9600 Website: www.shemakolainu.org Population: Moderate-severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Ages: 5-11 Gender: Boys & Girls Classes: Mixed Hours: 8:30am-2pm Services: ABA, OT, PT, Speech Add’l Info: State Approved, Handicap Accessible, Therapies provided on-site, Transportation through Dept. of Ed. Sinai Schools Address: 1485 Teaneck Road, Suite 300, Teaneck, NJ 07666 Phone: (201) 833-1134 Website: www.sinaischools.org Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired Ages: 6-21 Gender: Boys & Girls Languages: Hebrew Classes: Separate & Mixed Hours: 8:00am-4pm

Services: OT, Speech, Counseling, ABA Add’l Info: Therapies provided on site, Privately Funded, Handicap Accessible, Breakfast and Lunch provided, Kosher Meals, Private Transportation & Transportation provided through Dept. of Ed. STEP (Special Torah Education) Address: 3005 Ave L Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 252-8822 Population: Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, ADD/ ADHD, Multiply handicapped, Emotionally disturbed, Speech & Language impaired Ages: 5-21 Gender: Boys and Girls Classes: Separate Hours: 9-4 Services: OT, PT, Speech, Counseling, Aquatic Languages: Hebrew, Yiddish Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Lunch provided, Kosher meals, Transportation through Dept. of Ed. UCP of New York City Address: 80 Maiden Lane, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10038 Phone: (877) 827-2666 Website: www.ucpnyc.org Population: Moderate to severe developmental delays, Multiply handicapped Gender: Boys & Girls Classes: Mixed Hours: 8-2 Services: OT, PT, Speech, Play therapy/counseling Languages: Spanish Add’l Info: State Approved, Privately Funded, Therapies provided on site, Handicap Accessible, Breakfast & Lunch Provided, Transportation through Dept. of Ed. The Yaldeinu School Address: 1600 63rd Street Brooklyn, New York 11204 Phone: (718) 851-0123 Population: Autism/PDD Ages: 5-11 Gender: Boys & Girls Classes: Separate Hours: 9–3 Services: ABA, OT, Speech


RESOURCES DIRECTORY CSE SCHOOLS OR CENTERS (5-21) CONTINuED… Languages: Yiddish Add’l Info: Therapies provided on site, Lunch provided, Kosher meals, Transportation through Dept. of Ed. Yeshiva Bonim Lamokom Address: 425 East 9th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 693-9032 Population: Mild developmental delays Ages: 5-21 Gender: Boys Hours: 9–5 Services: OT, PT, Speech, Counseling Languages: Yiddish Add’l Info: Privately funded, Therapies provided on site, Breakfast & Lunch provided, Kosher meals, Transportation provided through Dept. of Ed. Yeshiva Binyan Olem Address: 68 Franklin Avenue Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 302-5222 Population: Mild to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language im-

paired, ADD/ADHD, Learning Disabled. Ages: 12-18 Gender: Boys Hours: 8-6PM Services: OT, PT, Speech, Counseling Languages: Yiddish Add’l Info: Privately funded, Therapies provided on site, Breakfast & Lunch provided, Kosher meals, Transportation provided. Handicap Accessible. YESS! Yeshiva Education for Special Students Address: 147-37 70th Road Flushing, New York 11367 Phone: (718) 268-5976 Website: www.yessyeshiva.org Population: Mild developmental delays, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled Ages: 5-14 Gender: Boys & Girls Classes: Mixed Hours: 8AM-3:45 & Fri. 8AM-1:30 Services: OT, PT, speech, counseling Add’l Info: Therapies provided on site, Privately Funded, Handicap Accessible, Breakfast & Lunch Provided, Kosher Meals, Transportation through Dept. of Ed.

THERAPY & EvALuATION SERvICES The Ability Center Address: 3521 Avenue S Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 336-3832 Website: Theabilitycenter.net Location: Center Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, ADD/ADHD, Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled, Multiply Handicapped Services: Speech therapy, OT, PT, Sensory Integration, MEDEK Add’l Info: Accepts RSA’s, Handicapped Accessible AHRC NYC Address: 83 Maiden Lane New York, New York 10038 Phone: (212) 780-2500 Website: www.ahrcnyc.org Location: Home and Center Ages: Evaluations from birth – 3 yrs. Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Multiply Handicapped Services: PT, OT, Speech/Language, Special Ed Languages: ASL, French, Japanese, Korean, Serbian, Spanish Add’l Info: No cost, EI & CPSE evals, Handicap accessible

All About Kids Address: 255 Executive Drive, LL 105 Plainview, New York 11803 Phone: (516) 576-2040 Website: www.allaboutkidsny.com Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Ages: Birth - 21 Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Hearing Impaired, Visually Handicapped, Multiply Handicapped Services Provided: OT, PT, Speech, Special Education, Social Work, ABA, Floor Time, Behavior Intervention, Educational Evaluations, Psychological, Parent Training, Staff Training, Consultations, Neuropsychological Evaluations, Audiological Evaluations, Hearing/Vision & Mobility Services, Sensory Integration, PROMPT, Feeding Evaluations & Therapy, Group Therapy, Transition Planning and Home Tutoring. Languages: Spanish all areas. Please call for specific languages offered by area. Add’l. Info: Handicapped Accessible. Private Evaluations provided.

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY THERAPY & EVALUATION SERVICES CONTINUED… Arrowsmith Program Address: 245 St. Clair Ave, West, Toronto Phone: (416) 963-4962 Website: www.arrowsmithschool.org Population: Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ADHD Services: It is available to public and private schools. It Identifies, Intervenes and Strengthens the weak cognitive capacities that affect learning through a program of specific cognitive exercises. For over 30 years the Arrowsmith program has proven effective for students having difficulty with eading, writing and mathematics, comprehension, logical reasoning, problem solving, visual and auditort memory, non-verbal learning, attention, processing speed and dyslexia. The Auditory Oral School of New York Address: 3623 Avenue L Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 531-1800 Website: www.auditoryoral.org Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Ages: Birth to school age (EI – CSE) Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired Services: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech/ Language, Special Ed, Counseling, Sensory Integration, Hearing Education Services (HES) Languages: English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, ASL Add’l Info: Accept RSA’s & P3’s, For audiological evaluations pending acceptance of insurance, Handicap accessible, Private evaluations Blanche Kahn Diagnostic Center Address: 1121 East 14th Street Brooklyn, New York 84

June 2012

Phone: (718) 434-4600 E-mail: info@bkhealthcenter.com Website: http://www.hasccenter. org/center.php Services: Uniquely Designed to meet the Medical Needs of People with Disabilities, Internal Medicine, Podiatric Medicine, Physiatry, Neurology, Psychiatry, OT, PT, Speech Therapy, Women’s Health, Geriatric Medicine, Dermatology, Psychosocial Evaluations Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian Add’l Info: Accepts Medicaid and Medicare, Handicap accessible, Extended Hours Center for Hearing and Communication (formerly League for the Hard of Hearing) Address: 50 Broadway, 6th Floor New York, New York 10004 Phone: (917) 305-7700 Website: www.chchearing.org Location: Center Population: Hearing impaired Services: Psych-educational evaluations, auditory oral speech and language therapy Add’l Info: Accepts insurance Chaverim Address: 1704 Avenue M Brooklyn, New York 11230 Phone: (718) 692-0430 Location: Center Ages: 8-18 Gender: Boys & Girls Groups: Separate Population: Speech & Language Impaired Services: Speech/Language, Group therapy exclusively for children with ASPERGERS SYNDROME to enhance social skills. Add’l Info: Accepts insurance Comprehensive Children’s Therapy Services Address: 99 Essex Street New York, New York 10002 Phone: (212) 566-8855 Website: www.comprehensivecenter.com

Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Ages: 3-16 Services: OT, PT, Speech, Counseling Languages: Spanish, Yiddish Add’l Info: Accepts RSA’s Comprehensive Evaluation Services Address: 460 Grand Street New York, New York 10002 Phone: (212) 566-8853 Website: www.comprehensiveevaluations.com Location: Home, Center, School Ages: 3-5 Disciplines: Speech, OT, Physical, Developmental, Psychological, Social History Languages: Spanish Donna Klein and Associates, Inc. Address: 690 North Broadway, Suite GL2 White Plains, New York 10603 Phone: (914) 686-3116 Website: Donnakleintherapy.com Location: Home, Will send providers to private schools Ages: Birth-18 years Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PPD, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Multiply Handicapped Services Provided: OT, PT, Sensory Integration, Will conduct private evaluations Add’l Info: Provide services in several school districts in Westchester. EIS LAASOIS/WIECDC Address: 22 Middleton Street Brooklyn, New York 11206 Phone: (718) 303-9400 Website: www.EISLAASOIS.org Location: Home and Center Ages: 0-18 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, Emotionally disturbed, Visually impaired, Multiply Handicapped

Services Provided: OT, PT, Speech, Floor time and Sensory Integration Languages: Yiddish Add’l. Info: Accept RSA’s Euro-Peds National Center for Intensive Pediatric PT Address: 461 W. Huron Street #406 Pontiac, MI 48341 Phone: (248) 857-6776 Website: www.europeds.org Ages: 1-21 Location: Center Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Multiply Handicapped Services Provided: PT, European-based Intensive PT for the treatment of non-progressive neuromuscular disorder. Add’l. Info: Accepts most major health insurances Harmony Address: 1070 East 17th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 & 1467 39th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 986-7648 Location: HHome, Center, Will send providers to private programs Ages: 18+ for therapy, 3+ for psychological and psychosocial evaluations Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Multiply handicapped Services: OT, PT, Speech/Language, private evaluations, Counseling, ABA, Sensory Integration, Augmentative Communication Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian Add’l Info: Accepts RSA’s and Insurance, Handicap Accessible, Full service Article 16 Clinic Providing on-site and homecare services. Hebrew Academy for Special Children Address: 1311 55th Street Phone: (718) 851-6100 Website: www.hasc.net Location: Home, Will send pro-


RESOURCES DIRECTORY THERAPY & EVALUATION SERVICES CONTINUED… viders to private schools Ages: Birth – 5 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Multiply handicapped Services: OT, PT, Speech & Language, Special Ed, Psychological, Audiological, MEDEK, ABA, Sensory Integration, Floor Time.Languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian Addl. Info: Handicap Accessible HASC@Remsen Address: 555 Remsen Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11236 Phone: (718) 495-3510 Website: www.hasc.net Location: Center Ages: 3-5 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Multiply handicapped Services: OT, PT, Speech/Language, Special Ed, ABA, Sensory Integration Addl. Info: Handicap Accessible

HorseAbility / Center for Equine Facilitated Programs Address: SUNY College at Old Westbury / PO Box 410-1 / Old Westbury, New York 11568 Phone: (516) 333-6151 Website: www.horseability.org Location: Center Ages: 3+ Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, Multiply handicapped. Services Offered: Speech Language, Private Evaluations, OT/PT, Hippotherapy, Therapeutic Riding, Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy. Languages: AMS Add’l Info: Therapists are independent contractors and payment is submitted directly for Hippotherapy (PT, OT, ST) and EFP (Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy). Services may be reimbursed depending on which insurance the therapist’s practice accepts, Handicap Accessible.

HASC Center, Inc Address: 5601 First Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11220 Phone: (718) 535-1953 Website: www.hasccenter.org Location: Center Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, Multiply handicapped Services: OT, PT, Speech/Language, Private evaluations Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew Add’l Info: Insurance accepted, Handicap Accessible

Important Steps Address: 2447 Eastchester Rd., Bronx, NY 10469 Phone: (718) 882-2111 Website: www.Importantsteps.com Location: Home, Center and Will send providers to school Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired Services: SEIT, OT, PT, Speech, Special Ed, Floor time, Sensory Integration Language: Spanish, Russian, Polish, Albanian, Italian, Hebrew. Please call for other languages Add’l. Info: Handicap accessible

The Haven for Stuttering, PLLC Address: 17 Pennington Way Spring Valley, New York 10977 Phone: (845) 517-0965 Website: www.stutteringhaven.org Location: Center Ages: 3-adult Population: Mild to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired Services Offered: Speech Language, Evals, Counseling, Refresher Sessions Languages: Hebrew, Spanish

Jumpstart Early Intervention Program Address: 3914 15th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 853-9700 Location: Home, Will send providers to private schools Ages: 0-3 years Services: OT, PT, Speech/Language, Special Ed, Sensory Integration, MEDEK Population: Mild-severe developmental delay, Speech & Language impaired, ADD/ADHD, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY THERAPY & EVALUATION SERVICES CONTINUED… Los Niños Services Address: 535 8th Ave., 2nd Floor New York, New York 10018 Phone: (212) 787-9700 Website: www.losninos.com Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Ages: 0-5 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Services Provided: ABA, Private Evaluations Languages: Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, Portuguese, French, and others

Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 998-1415 Website: www.omnirehab.com Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Ages: 0-21 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Multiply handicapped Services: OT, PT, Speech/Language, Special Ed, Private evaluations, ABA, MEDEK Languages: Yiddish, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Polish Add’l Info: Accepts RSA’s, P3s, and all Major Insurance, Handicap Accessible

McCarton Center Address: 350 E. 82nd Street New York, New York 10028 Phone: (212) 996-9019 Website: www.mccartoncenter.com Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Ages: 2-13 Population: Mild-severe developmental delay, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, ADD/ ADHD Services: ABA, OT, Speech/Language, private evaluations

Pesach Tikvah-Hope Development Address: 18 Middleton Street Brooklyn, New York 11206 Phone: (718) 875-6900 Website: www.pesachtikvah.org Location: Center Based, Will send Providers to Private Schools Ages: 5+ Population: Autism/PDD, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Multiply handicapped Services: Psychiatric and pharmacological Languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Accepts insurance

Sweet Dream Therapy Farm, Delta Society Facility Address: Sweet Dream Therapy Farm, 826 Green Valley Road, Jackson, New Jersey 08527 on the border of Lakewood NJ Phone: (732) 806 - 7370 Website: sweetdreamtherapyfarm.webs.com Location: Home and Center Population Served: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, multiply handicapped. Ages: 1-Adult Services Provided: Animal Assisted Activities and Therapies. We use a wide diversity of gentle, trained animals, Sensory Integration, Emotional stabilization, Speech assistance and progression, physical developmental assistance, developmental learning assistance. Work with OTs, PTs, Speech, Drs, Schools. Languages: Hebrew, Yiddish and English Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, does not accept insurance.

Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices Address: 4302 New Utrecht Ave. Brooklyn, New York 11219 Phone: (718) 686-9600 Website: www.shemakolainu.org Location: Home and Center Based, Will send Providers to Private Schools Ages: 0-5 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually im-

Therapy for Kids Address: 68-68 Main Street Flushing, New York 11367 Phone: (718) 793-5202 Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private school Ages: 3-21 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Services: Sensory Integration, Therapeutic Listing Program,

National Jewish Council for Disabilities/Yachad (NJCD) Address: 11 Broadway, 13th fl. New York, New York 10004 Phone: (212) 613-8229 Website: www.njcd.org Location: Center, Will send providers to Private Schools Ages: 5-21 Population: Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, Hearing impaired Services Provided: Audiological, Will Conduct Private Evaluations Add’l. Info: Accepts Insurance, Private Evaluations provided. Omni Childhood Center Address: 1651 Coney Island Avenue 86

June 2012

paired, Multiply handicapped Services: ABA, OT, PT, Speech/ Language, Special Ed Languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible

Handwriting Programs, Sensory Gym, OT, PT, Speech/Language, private evaluations, Therapy Treatment Languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish, Russian, Yiddish, Greek, Italian, Tagalog Add’l Info: Accept RSA’s, Handicap Accessible Therapy in Motion Address: 856 - 46th Street Brooklyn, New York 11220 Phone: (718) 435-7000 Location: Center Services: MEDEK, PT Tikvah at OHEL Address: 2925A Kings Highway Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 382-0045 Website: www.ohelfamily.org Location: Center Ages: 3+ Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, emotional challenges Services: Family, Couple, & Individual counseling, Child & Adult counseling, Psychotherapy, Psychiatric Evaluation, Medication Treatment Add’l Info: Accepts Medicaid, Medicare & Many other ins. On a sliding scale, Handicap Accessible UCP of New York City Address: 80 Maiden Lane, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10038 Phone: (877) 827-2666 Website: www.ucpnyc.org Location: Center Ages: 3-21 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, Multiply handicapped Services: Floor Time, Sensory Integration, OT, PT, Speech/Language, Special Ed Watch Me Grow Location 1 Address: 162 West 72nd St., Suite 5, NY, NY 10023 Location 2 Address: 361 East 19th St., Suite 2, NY, NY 10003 Phone: (212) 721-5220


RESOURCES DIRECTORY THERAPY & EVALUATION SERVICES CONTINUED… Website: www.WatchMeGrowNYC.com Location: Center, Will send providers to private schools Ages: 0-21 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired Services Provided: OT, PT and Speech Therapy, Sensory Integration Additional Info: Accept RSA’s, Private evaluations YAI Network Address: 460 West 34th Street New York, New York 10001 Phone: (212) 273-6182 Website: www.yai.org Location: Home & Center Ages: All Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Multiply handicapped Services: OT, PT, Speech/Language, Special

Ed, ABA, Floor Time, Sensory integration, All therapies for children and adults of all ages Languages: varies Additional Info: Private evaluations, Autism evaluations, Handicap Accessible Yeled V’Yalda Early Childhood Center Address: 1312 38th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 686-3700 Website: www.yeled.org Location: Home, Center, Will send providers to private schools Ages: 0-21 years Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired Services: ABA, Sensory Integration, Medek, OT, PT, Speech/Language, Special Ed, play therapy/counseling Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew, Spanish Add’l Info: Accepts RSA’s and P3s

CAMPS & END OF SUMMER PROGRAMS AHRC NYC Address: 83 Maiden Lane New York, New York 10038 Phone: (212) 780-2500 Website: www.ahrcnyc.org Location: Camp Anne - Ancramdale, NY and Harriman Lodge - East Jewett, NY Duration: 3 weeks Type: Sleep-Away camp Ages: Children 5-20 & adults 21+ Gender: Male & Female, mixed Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Emotionally Disturbed, Multiply handicapped Special services: Daily Living Skills Add’l Info: Handicap accessible, NY State approved, accept children not toilet trained Bonim Lamokom Address: 425 East 9th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 693-9032 Website: BonimLamokom.com Location: Liberty, NY

Duration: 8 weeks Population: Mild developmental delays Ages: 12-25 Gender: Boys Hours: 9–5 Add’l Info: Privately funded, Therapies provided on site, Kosher Food Provided Camp Ahuvim Inc. Address: 616 Seagirt Blvd. Far Rockaway, New York 11691 Phone: (888) 6-AHUVIM (888-624-8846) Website: www.campahuvim.org Location: Upstate NY Duration: 4 weeks Type: Sleep-Away camp Ages: 5-20 Gender: Male Population: Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired Add’l Info: Therapy provided, 1:1 counselor to camper ratio, Kosher food provided, We also offer a day camp option for campers who wish to stay with their family in their summer home. Accept children not toilet trained

TAFKID

assists families whose children have been diagnosed with a variety of disabilities and special needs.

Services provided by TAFKID include:

D Family Support Services & Information D Educational Advocacy D Individual Case Consultation D Referrals to Doctors, Therapists, Schools and Government Programs

D Parent Matching D Family Recreation Programs D Parent Training and Meetings D Guest Lecturers D Community Sensitivity and Training D Informational Publications D Pediatric Equipment Lending Program D Tape/Video Lending

is a not-for-profit organization services are free of charge to all families. For more information call TAFKID at (718) 252-2236 or e-mail: tafkid@aol.com

BECOME A PART OF THE NEXT A SPECIAL NEEDS MAGAZINE

To Be Published December 2012

FAMILY FORUM & SIBS SPEAK For a member of a family with a special needs individual to submit an anecdote, advice, or comment. Contact Ruchi Eisenbach at: ruchieisenbach@gmail.com

ASK THE EXPERT To ask a question of one of our therapists, advocates or educators. Contact Chaya Klass at: ileneklass@aol.com

BULLETIN BOARD To have pictures of your events posted free of charge in this section. Contact Eli Stein at: elistein@aol.com

ORGANIZATIONAL LISTINGS To be included in the next directory free of charge, request a submission form at buildingblocks@jewishpress.com Note - a form must be submitted to update any previously published listing. * All submissions become the property of Building Blocks and may not be returned. Publication is subject to the discretion of the editors. Please do not submit previously published material.

For further information or to advertise please contact: Moshe Klass at 718.330.1100 ext. 352 or sales@jewishpress.com

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY CAMPS & END OF SUMMER PROGRAMS Camp HASC Address: 5902 14th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11219 Phone: (718) 686-5930 Website: www.hasc.net/camp Location: 361 Parksville Road Parksville, NY 12768 Duration: 7 weeks Type: SleepAway camp Ages: 3-Adulthood Gender: Male & Female Groups: Mixed Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ADHD, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, Multiply Handicapped Add’l Info: Therapy provided, Kosher food provided, We also offer a day camp option for campers who wish to stay with their family in their summer home, Accept children not toilet trained, Camp after Camp program for 10 days after camp (All female staff for females 5-18 and young boys 5-8). Camp Kaylie @ OHEL Address: 4510 16th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11204 Phone: (800) 603-OHEL Website: CampKaylie.org Location: Wurtsboro, New York Type: Fully integrated camp Ages: 10-16 Gender: Male and Female Groups: Separate Population: Typical kids with no disabilities and kids with developmental disabilities Programs offered: A groundbreaking camp offering an exhilarating camp experience of unmatched sports and activities, leadership programming, state of the art facilities, magnificent grounds and a camp for kids of all abilities where campers thrive in a diverse environment nurturing personal leadership, self-confidence and an inclusive spirit Camp Mishkon-Sternberg Address: 1358 56th Street Brooklyn, New York 11219 88

June 2012

Phone: (718) 851-7100 Website: www.jbfcs.org Location: Narrowsburg Duration: 6 weeks Type: Sleep-Away camp Ages: 3+ Gender: Boys under 9, girls 3+ Groups: Separate Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, Multiply Handicapped Add’l Info: Kosher food, handicap accessible, state approved, special ed and therapy provided, accept children not toilet trained Chai Lifeline / Camp Simcha Special Address: 151 West 30th Street Third Floor, NY, New York 10001 Phone: 877-CHAILIFE Website: www.ChaiLifeline.org Location: Glen Spey, NY Type: Sleep-away Ages: 7-17 Duration: 2 weeks Gender: Male and Female Groups: Separate Population: Multiply Handicapped Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Physical therapy provided on-site, Accept children who are not toilet trained Note Camp Simcha Special accepts children with medical illnesses and disabilities resulting from illness whose cognitive functioning is at age level. All applications must be approved by the camp’s medical director. Ezra Hatzvy Academy Address: 2555 Nostrand Avenue Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 975-1041 Website: Ezrahatzvy.com Type: Day Camp Duration: 6 weeks Ages: 5-21 Gender: Boys/Girls Groups: Separate/Mixed Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Hearing impaired, Emotionally

disturbed, Vision impaired, Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: Handicapped accessible, Special Education and related services provided on sire, accept children not yet toilet trained. Hand in Hand Family Services Address: 390 Kings Highway Brooklyn, New York 11223 Phone: (718) 336-6073 Website: www.hihfs.org Location: Flatbush Type: Day camp Ages: 5+ Gender: Boys & Girls Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, NY State Approved, Special Education and related services not provided on-site. Harmony Address: Kinor Dovid: 3820 14th Avenue Brooklyn, New York Kinor Malka: 1467 39th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 435-8080 Website: www.harmonyservices.org Location: at Camp Manavu and at Camp Chedva Duration: 8 Weeks Type: Sleep-away camp Ages: 18+ Gender: Male and Female Groups: Separate Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech and Language Impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ADHD, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired Add’l Info: Kosher food provided HASC Woodmere Address: 321 Woodmere Boulevard Woodmere, New York 11598 Phone: (516) 295-1340 Website: www.hasc.net Location: Woodmere, New York Duration: 6 Weeks Type: Extended School Year Ages: 3-10 Gender: Male & Female Groups: Mixed Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD,

Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: Special education and related services (therapy) provided on site, Kosher food provided, NY State Approved, Accept children not toilet trained Camp HorseAbililty Address: SUNY College at Old Westbury / Old Westbury, NY 11568 Phone: (516) 333-6151 Website: www.horseability.org Duration: 1 week Type: Day camp Gender: Male/Female Groups: Mixed *Separate programs may be offered if there is sufficient demand. Population served: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, accepts children who are not toilet trained. JCC of the Greater Five Towns Address: 207 Grove Avenue Cedarhurst, New York 11516 Phone: (516) 569-6733 Website: www.fivetownsjcc.org Location: JCC / North Woodmere Park Duration: 6 Weeks Type: Day Camp Hours: 12:00-4:30 Ages: 5-16 Groups: Mixed Kids of Courage Address: 13158 Broadway, Suite 207 Hewlett, New York 11557 Phone: (888) 9-KIDSOC Website: www.kidsoc.org Location: Traveling Ages: 5-Young Adult Population Served: Multiply Handicapped, Serious Illness & Disability Add'l Info: Kosher Food, Handicap Accessible


RESOURCES DIRECTORY CAMPS & END OF SUMMER PROGRAMS CONTINUES… Kulanu Torah Academy Address: 620 Central Ave. Cedarhurst, New York 11516 Phone: (516) 569-3083 Duration: 8 Weeks Type: Day camp Ages: 3-21 Gender: Boys & Girls Groups: Mixed Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, NY State Approved, Accept children not toilet trained National Jewish Council for Disabilities/Yachad (NJCD) Address: 11 Broadway, 13th Floor New York, New York 10004 Phone: (212) 613-8229 Website: www.njcd.org Location: PA, NY, Israel Duration: 6 weeks Type: Sleep away camp Ages: 9+ Gender: Male, Female Groups: Separate and Mixed Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Hearing impaired Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Accept children not toilet trained. Special education and therapy can be arranged in certain locations OHEL Children’s Home & Family Services, Bais Ezra Address: 4510 16th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11204 Phone: (800) 603-OHEL Website: www.ohelfamily.org Location: Bklyn, Queens, Long Island Duration: 2 weeks Type: Sleep away & Day Camp Ages: 5-21 Gender: Male, Female Groups: Separate & Mixed Population: Mild developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Multiply handicapped Services: Family, Couple, & Indi-

vidual counseling, Child & Adult counseling, Psychotherapy, Psychiatric Evaluation, Medication Treatment Add’l Info: Kosher food provided, Handicap Accessible, NY State Approved, Accept children not toilet trained Otsar Family Services Address: 2334 West 13th Street Brooklyn, New York 11223 Phone: (718) 946-7301 Website: www.otsar.org Location: Otsar Center in Bklyn Duration: 2 weeks Type: Day camp Ages: 5-15 Gender: Male & Female Groups: Mixed Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD Pesach TikvahHope Development Address: 18 Middleton Street Brooklyn, New York 11206 Phone: (718) 875-6900 Website: www.pesachtikvah.org Duration: 2 weeks Type: Day Camp Ages: 5-21 Gender: Male and Female Groups: Mixed Population: Mild developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, NY State Approved The Rayim Connection (Camp Rayim) Address: 1312 Christmas Lane Atlanta, Georgia 30329 Phone: (678) 916-6631 Website: www.rayimconnection.com Programs Offered: An inclusion camp for young children, a Sunday school for children with special needs, social skills groups, music therapy group, Shabbat & Yom Tov programs, and more. Camp Ruach Hachaim Address: 266 Penn Street Brooklyn, New York 11211

Phone: (718) 963-0090 Website: www.campruachhachaim.org Location: Bloomingburg, NY Duration: 8 weeks Type: Sleep-Away camp Ages: 7-30 Gender: Male Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Down Syndrome, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ADHD, Hearing Impaired Add’l Info: Kosher food provided, take children from all over the world Sesame Sprout, Inc. Address: 96-08 57th Avenue Corona, New York 11368 Phone: (718) 271-2294 Website: www.sesamesproutschool.com Duration: Six weeks Type: Day camp Ages: 2-12 Gender: Male & Female Classes: Mixed Population: Mild developmental delays Add’l. Info: Therapies provided on-site, Handicap accessible, NY State approved, Accept children not toilet trained The Special Children’s Center Address: 1400 Prospect Street Lakewood, New Jersey Phone: (732) 367-0099 Duration: Four weeks Type: Day camp Ages: 0-22 Gender: Male & Female Classes: Mixed Population: Mild to Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Add’l. Info: Handicap accessible, Kosher food provided, Accept children not toilet trained STEP (Special Torah Education Program) Address: 3005 Avenue L Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 252-8822

Duration: 7 weeks Type: Day Ages: 5-21 Gender: Boys and Girls Classes: Separate Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, ADD/ ADHD, Multiply handicapped, Emotionally disturbed, Speech & Language impaired Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Kosher meals, Accept children not toilet trained UCP of New York City Address: 80 Maiden Lane, 8th Floor, NY, New York 10038 Phone: (877) 827-2666 Website: www.ucpnyc.org Location: 175 Lawrence Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11230 Duration: 3 weeks Type: Day camp Ages: 13-21 Gender: Male and Female Groups: Mixed Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, OMRDD-funded, Accept children not toilet trained YAI Network Address: 460 West 34th Street New York, New York 10001 Phone: (212) 273-6182 Website: www.yai.org Type: Day camp & Sleep-away camp Location: Sleep away camp in Claryville, NY in the Catskills; day camp in Rockland County Duration: Sleep away camp 2-4 weeks, day camp 4-6 weeks Ages: Sleep-away camp: 8-18; day camp: 8-14 Gender: Male & Female Groups: Separate sleeping quarters, mixed activities Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ADHD, Multiply handicapped Add’l. Info: Handicap accessible, Kosher food provided at sleep away camp June 2012

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY CAMPS & END OF SUMMER PROGRAMS CONTINUED… Yedei Chesed Address: 48 Scotland Hill Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 Phone: (845) 425-0887 Website: yedeichesed.org Location: Monsey, New York Duration: 2 separate weeks Type: Day camp Ages: 3 & above Gender: Male &

Female Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible,

Kosher food provided, NY State Approved, Accept children not toilet trained Yeshiva Binyan Olem Address: 68 Franklin Avenue Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 302-5222 Population: Mild to severe de-

velopmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, ADD/ADHD, Learning Disabled. Camp Location: Monticello Ages: 12-18 Gender: Boys Type: Sleepaway camp Duration: 8 weeks Add’l Info: Therapies provided on site, Kosher meals.

DAY HABILITATION PROGRAMS Ahivim Address: 6 Mountain Rd #204 Monroe, New York 10950 Phone: (845) 774-7000 Email: info@ahivim.org Website: www.ahivim.org Gender: Male and Female Groups: Separate Hours: 9-3 Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays Add’l Info: Day Hab Without Walls AHRC NYC Address: 83 Maiden Lane New York, New York 10038 Phone: (212) 780-2500 Website: www.ahrcnyc.org Location: Center Ages: 18+ Gender: Male & Female Groups: Mixed Hours: 9-5 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays Add’l Info: Handicap accessible, Transportation provided, Vocational Services provided, DayHab Without Walls Hand in Hand Family Services Address: 390 Kings Highway Brooklyn, New York 11223 Phone: (718)336-6073 Website: www.hihfs.org Location: Center Ages: 18+ Gender: Male & Female Groups: Separate Program Hours: 9-5PM Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, TransporJune 2012 90

tation Provided, Day Hab without walls, Vocational Services offered. HASC Center, Inc Address: 5601 First Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11220 Phone: (718) 535-1953 Website: www.hasccenter.org Gender: Men’s Yeshiva and Young Women’s Programs Groups: Separate & Mixed Hours: 9:00 – 3:00, Extended hours in our Men’s Yeshiva Program Locations: Boro Park, Flatbush, Williamsburg. Language: Yiddish, Hebrew Population: Mild-severe developmental delays Add’l Info: Vocational services offered, Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation provided, Center Based, DayHab Without Walls Human Care Services Address: 1042 38th Street Brooklyn, New York 11229 Phone: (718) 854-2747 Website: www.humancareservices.org Ages: 18+ Gender: Male & Female Groups: Separate Hours: 9:00 – 5:00 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays Add’l Info: Yeshiva and Seminary day program, Yeshivas Lev Tahor and Machon Lev Seminary. Pre-Vocational services offered, Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation provided from Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Staten Is-

land, Manhattan, and the Bronx, Center Based Kinor Dovid - Harmony Address: 3820 14th Avenue Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 435-8080 Website: www.harmonyservices.org Population: Mild to Moderate developmental delays Ages: 18+ Gender: Male Groups: Small groups, separate for men & women Hours: Mon-Thrs: 9-3, 3-7:30; Sun. & Fri: 9-1:30 Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew Addl. Info: On-site therapies, Center based, DayHab without walls, Vocational Services, Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation provided Optional Beis Medresh Program. Kinor Malka - Harmony Address: 1467 39th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 435-8080 Website: www.harmonyservices.org Population: Mild to Moderate developmental delays Ages: 18+ Gender: Female Groups: Small groups, separate for men & women Hours: Mon-Thrs: 9-3, 3-7:30; Sun. & Fri: 9-1:30 Languages: Yiddish, Hebrew Addl. Info: On-site therapies, Center based, DayHab without walls, Vocational Services, Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation provided Optional Seminary Program.

National Jewish Council for Disabilities/Yachad (NJCD) Address: 11 Broadway, 13th Fl., New York, New York 10004 Phone: (212) 613-8229 Website: www.njcd.org Ages: 21+ Gender: Male & Female Groups: Mixed Group Size: 30 Hours: 8:30-3:30 Population: Mild to moderate developmental delays Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Vocational Services,Transportation provided, Kosher Food Provided, DayHab Without Walls, Supplemental Day Hab also available. OHEL Children’s Home & Family Services, Bais Ezra Address: 4510 16th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11204 Phone: (800) 603-OHEL Website: www.ohelfamily.org Ages: 21+ Gender: Male & Female Groups: Separate & Mixed Size: 3-5 Hours: 8am-4pm Population: Mild-severe developmental delays. Special programming for adults & seniors Add’l Info: Center Based, Handicap Accessible, Transportation Provided, Vocational services offered, Kosher food provided, Employment training and placement services. Otsar Family Services Address: 2334 West 13th Street Brooklyn, New York 11223 Phone: (718) 946-7301 Website: www.otsar.org Ages: 21+ Gender: Male & Female Groups: Mixed Hours: 8:45-2:30 Population: Mild-severe devel-


RESOURCES DIRECTORY DAY HABILITATION PROGRAMS CONTINUED… opmental delays Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation provided, Vocational services not provided School for Children with Hidden Intelligence Address: 345 Oak Street Lakewood, New Jersey 08701 Phone: (732) 886-0900 Website: www.schischool.org Ages: 21+ Gender: Male & Female Groups: Mixed Group Size: 6-8 Hours: 9:00-3:00 Population: Moderate to severe developmental delays Add’l Info: Center based, Vocational Services, Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation provided The Special Children’s Center Address: 1400 Prospect Street Lakewood, New Jersey Phone: (732) 367-0099

Ages: 18+ Gender: Male & Female Groups: Separate Group Size: 5+ Hours: 9:00-3:00 Population: Mild to Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Add’l. Info: Center based, Vocational Services, Handicap accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation provided UCP of New York City Address: 80 Maiden Lane, 8th Flr. NY, New York 10038 Phone: (877) 827-2666 Website: www.ucpnyc.org Ages: 21+ Gender: Male & Female YAI Network Address: 460 West 34th Street New York, New York 10001

Phone: (212) 273-6182 Website: www.yai.org Ages: 21+ Gender: Male & Female Groups: Mixed Hours: 9-3 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays Add’l. Info: Center-based, DayHab Without Walls, Handicap Accessible, Transportation Provided, Vocational services offered Women’s League Community Residences – CBR, Creative Business Resources Address: 1556 38th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 853-0900 Website: www.womensleague.org Population: Individuals with Learning and/or Developmental Disabilities Add’l Info: Vocational services, Job placement, Job coaching, & training

Yedei Chesed Address: 48 Scotland Hill Road Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 Phone: (845) 425-0887 Website: yedeichesed.org Ages: Post high school Gender: Male & Female Groups: Separate Group Size: 16 Hours: 9 – 3 Population: Moderate to severe developmental delays Add’l Info: Vocational services offered, Center Based, Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation provided Yeshiva Bonim Lamokom Address: 425 East 9th Street Brooklyn, New York 11219 Phone: (718) 693-9032 Website: www.bonimlamokom.com Ages: 20+ Gender: Male Population: Mild to moderate developmental delays Add’l Info: Vocational Services offered

RESIDENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES Hand in Hand Family Services Address: 390 Kings Highway Brooklyn, New York 11223 Phone: (718)336-6073 Website: www.hihfs.org Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Emotionally Disturbed Add’l Info: IRA's and Supportive Apartments Harmony Address: 1070 East 17th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 & 1467 39th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 986-7648 Ages: 21+ Gender: Male & Female Population: Mild developmental delays Add’l Info: Supportive Apartments HASC Center, Inc Address: 5601 First Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11220

Phone: (718) 535-1953 Website: www.hasccenter.org Gender: Male & Female Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD Specialization: Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: IRA’s, Supportive Apartments Human Care Services Address: 1042 38th Street Brooklyn, New York 11229 Phone: (718) 854-2747 Website: www.humancareservices.org Ages: All Gender: Male and Female Hours: 9:00 – 5:00 Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, Multiply Handicapped Add’l Info: IRA’s, Supportive Apartments Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services/Mishkon

Address: 1358 56th Street Brooklyn, New York 11219 Phone: (718) 851-7100 Website: www.jbfcs.org Ages: All Gender: Male, Female Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD Specialization: Emotionally disturbed, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, Multiply Handicapped Add’l Info: IRA’s, ICF OHEL Children’s Home & Family Services, Bais Ezra Address: 4510 16th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11204 Phone: (800) 603-OHEL Website: www.ohelfamily.org Ages: 13+ Gender: Male & Female Groups: Separate & Mixed Size: 3-5 Hours: 8am-4pm Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD Specialization: Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handi-

capped Add’l Info: IRA’s, Supportive Apts. Pesach TikvahHope Development Address: 18 Middleton Street Brooklyn, New York 11206 Phone: (718) 875-6900 Website: www.pesachtikvah.org Ages: 21+ Gender: Male and Female Population: Mild to Moderate to Severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally disturbed, Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: Supportive Apartments Sinai Schools Address: 1485 Teaneck Road, Suite 300, Teaneck, NJ 07666 Phone: (201) 833-1134 Website: www.sinaischools.org Ages: 18+ Gender: Male Population: Mild developmental delays, Autism/PDD

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY RESIDENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES CONTINUED… The Special Children’s Center Address: 1400 Prospect Street Lakewood, New Jersey Phone: (732) 367-0099 Ages: Any Age Population: Mild to Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped UCP of New York City Address: 80 Maiden Lane, 8th Flr, New York, New York 10038 Phone: (877) 827-2666

Website: www.ucpnyc.org Ages: infants-adults Gender: Male & Female Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD Specialization: Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: IRA’s, Supportive Apts. Women’s League Community Residences, Inc. Address: 1556 38th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 853-0900 Ages: All ages Gender: Male & Female Population: Mild-severe devel-

opmental delays, Autism/PDD Specialization: Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: ICF’s and Supervised IRA’s, Supportive Apartments YAI Network Address: 460 West 34th Street New York, New York 10001 Phone: (212) 273-6182 Website: www.yai.org Ages: 21+ Gender: Male & Female Population: Mild-severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Multiply Handicapped Add’l. Info: IRA’s, Supportive

Apartments Yedei Chesed Address: 48 Scotland Hill Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 Phone: (845) 425-0887 Website: yedeichesed.org Ages: post high school Gender: Male & Female Population: Moderate to severe developmental delays Specialization: Emotionally disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Add’l Info: IRA’s, Supportive Apartments

MEDICAID WAIVER, RESPITE & OTHER PROGRAMS The Ability Center Address: 3521 Avenue S Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 336-3832 Website: Theabilitycenter.net Services: Children and Parent Groups to address the needs of families. Ahivim Address: 6 Mountain Rd #204 Monroe, New York 10950 Phone: 845-774-7000 Email: info@ahivim.org Website: www.ahivim.org Services Provided: Medicaid Waiver, Parent Support Groups, Sibling Support Groups, Respite, Overnight Respite. AHRC NYC Address: 83 Maiden Lane New York, New York 10038 Phone: (212) 780-2500 Website: www.ahrcnyc.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Family support services to parents and siblings, Respite, Overnight respite, After School Program, Recreation Chai Lifeline, Inc. Address: 151 West 30th St., Third Floor, New York, NY 10001 Phone: (877) CHAI LIFE 92

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Website: www.chailifeline.org Services Provided: Offers emotional and social support groups for children with life threatening or chronic medical illnesses and their families. Friendship Circle of Crown Heights, New York Address: 792 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11213 Phone: (718) 907-8835 Website: www.fcbrooklyn.com Programs Offered: Friends @ home, Sunday Circle and Holiday Programs. Friendship Circle of the Upper West Side, NY Address: 166 West 97th Street New York, New York 10025 Phone: (646) 789-5770 Website: www.ChabadWestSide.org/FCWS Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Sunday Circle And Holiday Programs. Friendship Circle of the Upper East Side Address: 419 East 77th Street New York, New York 10021 Phone: (212) 717-4613 Website: www.fcues.com Programs Offered: Friends @

Home, Children’s Circle, Sports Circle, Holiday Programs, Parents Networking, Summer Camp. Friendship Circle of Lower Manhattan, New York Address: 121 W19th Street New York, New York 10011 Phone: (646) 688-5300 Website: www.friendshipnyc.com Programs Offered: Friends @ Home Friendship Circle of Queens, New York Address: 211-05 Union Turnpike Queens, New York 11364 Phone: (718) 464-0778 Programs Offered: Friends @ home, Sunday Circle and Holiday Programs. The Friendship Circle of the Five Towns Address: 74 Maple Avenue Cedarhurst, New York 11516 Phone: (516) 295-2478 ext. 13 Website: http://www.fc5towns.com Programs Offered: Friends @ home, Sunday Circle, Sports Night, Judaica Circle, Moms Night Out. The Friendship Circle of Suffolk County, New York

Address: 318 Veterans Highway Commack, New York 11725 Phone: (631) 543-1855 Website: www.thefriendshipcircle.com Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Torah Circle, The Clubs, Moms Night Out. The Friendship Circle of Dix Hills, New York Address: 501 Vanderbilt Parkway Dix Hills, New York 11746 Phone: (631) 351-8672 Programs Offered: Friends @ home, Sunday Circle, Holiday Programs Friendship Circle of Great Neck, NY Address: 400 East Shore Road Great Neck, New York 11024 Phone: (516) 487-4554 Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Sunday Circle, Karate Circle, Holiday Programs. The Merrin-Bienenfeld Friendship Circle, Lake Grove, NY Address: 821 Hawkins Avenue Lake Grove, New York 11755 Phone: (631) 585-0521 ext.103 Website: www.fcstonybrook.com Programs Offered: Friends @ home, Holiday Programs, Sports


RESOURCES DIRECTORY MEDICAID WAIVER, RESPITE & OTHER PROGRAMS CONTINUED…

Friendship Circle of Roslyn, New York Address: 75 Powerhouse Road Roslyn, New York 11577 Phone: (516) 484-3500 Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Holiday Programs

The Friendship Circle of Metrowest, New Jersey Address: 66 W. Mt. Pleasant Ave. #205 Livingston, New Jersey 07039 Phone: (973) 251-0200 Website: www.fcnj.com Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Torah Circle, Holiday Programs, Camps, Sports Programs, Teen Scene

The Goodness Group of Wayne, NJ (Passaic County) Address: 194 Ratzer Road Wayne, New Jersey 07470 Phone: (973) 694-6274 Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Moms Night Out, Holiday Circles, Volunteer Programs, Winter and Spring Vacation Camps

Friendship Circle West Hempstead, New York Address: 223 Windsor Lane West Hempstead, NY 11552 Phone: (516) 564-1012 Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Sunday Circle, Holiday Programs

Friendship Circle of Union County, New Jersey Address: 193 South Avenue Fanwood, New Jersey 07023 Phone: (908) 898-0242 Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Holiday Programs, Volunteer Programs

Friendship Circle of the River Towns, New York Address: 303 Broadway Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522 Phone: (914) 693-6100 Website: www.chabadrt.org Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Holiday Programs

The Ari Kraut Friendship Circle of Central Jersey Address: 26 Wickatunk Road Manalapan, New Jersey 07726 Phone: (732) 536-2319 Website: www.friendsnj.com Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Sunday Circle, Life Skills, Teen Scene, Winter Camp, Holiday Programs

The Friendship Circle of Fairfield County, Connecticut Address: 770 High Ridge Rd, Stamford, Connecticut 06905 Phone: (203) 329-0015 #414 Website: www.friendshipCT.com Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Sunday Circle, Holiday Programs, Volunteer Programs, Teen Scene, Sibling Support Groups, Winter Camp.

Night, Bowling League, Teen Scene.

The Friendship Circle of Westchester County, New York Address: 20 Greenridge Avenue White Plains, New York 10605 Phone: (914) 437-5762 Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Sunday Circle, Holiday Programs Friendship Circle of Bedford, New York Address: 16 Old Village Lane Katonah, New York 10536 Phone: (914) 666-6065 Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Holiday Programs, Volunteer Programs Friendship Circle of Rockland County/Monsey, NY Address: 123 Route 59 Suffern, New York 10901 Phone: (845) 368-1889 Programs Offered: Friends @ Home

The Friendship Circle of Bergen County, New Jersey Address: 310 South Drive Paramus, New Jersey 07652 Phone: (201) 262-7172 Website: www.BCFriendship.com Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Holiday Programs, Children’s Circle, Karate Circle, Sibling Circle, Cooking Circle, Winter Camp I, Winter Camp II, End of Summer Camp, Moms Night Out, Parent Seminars. Friendship Circle of Greater Mercer County, NJ Address: 103B Kingston Terrace Drive Princeton, New Jersey 08540 Phone: (609) 683-7240 Website: www.mercerfriends.com Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Holiday Programs, Volunteer Programs

Friendship Circle of Hartford, Connecticut Address: 2352 Albany Avenue West Hartford, Connecticut 06117 Phone: (860) 232-1116 Website: www.friendshipcircleCT.com Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Holiday Programs For all other Friendship Circles: Friendship Circle International Address: 816 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11213 Website: www.friendshipcircle.com To Find A Friendship Circle Near You: http://www.friendshipcircle.com/ friendship_circle_locations.asp Programs Offered: Friends @ Home, Sunday Circle, Parents Webinar, Holiday Programs, Clubs, Sports Nights, Mom’s Night Out, etc……. HaMercaz at Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles Address: 12821 Victory Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91606 Phone: (866) 287-8030 Website: www.hamercaz.org

Programs and Services Offered: Family Support Services for parents and siblings, Respite when available, Sunday Program for birth to 19, mixed program for Males/Females, Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, will accept children not toilet trained, Monthly Recreation program from Birth to 18, Program is open to families, Fee dependent on event. Population served: Mild to Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped. Hand in Hand Family Services Address: 390 Kings Highway Brooklyn, New York 11223 Phone: (718) 336-6073 Website: www.hihfs.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Service Coordination, Community Habilitation, Respite, Sunday Program for ages 5-15, separate program for Males/Females, Afterschool Program 5 days a week for ages 5-15, separate program for Males/Females Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD Add’l Info: Handicap Accessible, Kosher food provided, Transportation Provided, No Fee Harmony - Kinor Dovid/ Kinor Malka Address: Kinor Dovid: 3820 14th Ave. Brooklyn, New York Kinor Malka: 1467 39th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 435-8080 Website: www.harmonyservices.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Sunday Program, After School Program, Respite, Family Support Services

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY MEDICAID WAIVER, RESPITE & OTHER PROGRAMS CONTINUED… HASC Center, Inc Address: 5601 First Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11220 Phone: (718) 535-1953 Website: www.hasccenter.org Gender: Male & Female Programs and Services Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Respite, Overnight respite, Holiday Respite, After School Program, Sunday Autism Program, Family support services for parents and siblings HASC School Age Program Address: 6220 14th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11230 Phone: (718) 331-1624 Website: www.hasc.net/camp Programs Offered: No-fee after school program 4 days a week for male & female ages 5-21, mixed groups, handicap accessible, transportation provided, Kosher food provided, take children not toilet trained HorseAbility / Center for Equine Facilitated Programs Address: SUNY College at Old Westbury / PO Box 410-1 / Old Westbury, NY 11568 Phone: (516) 333-6151 Website: www.horseability.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Family Support Services for siblings, Respite, Sunday Program, 5-day a week After school Program and 7-day a week Recreation Program serving all ages. Gender: Male/Female Groups: Mixed *Separate programs may be offered if there is sufficient demand. Add’l Info: Handicap accessible, Accepts children not yet toilet trained. *Fees are offered on a sliding scale to participants unable to afford typical pricing. They partner with a variety of organizations to supplement fees (including but not limited to: MS society, Kids Plus, OPWDD, Commission for the Blind, LIDDSO) and do not to refuse service based on financial reasons. 94

June 2012

Human Care Services Address: 1042 38th Street Brooklyn, New York 11229 Phone: (718) 854-2747 Website: www.humancareservices.org Programs and Services Offered: Community Habilitation, Medicaid Service Coordination, Family Reimbursement Program, Behavior Management Program, Respite, Separate Sunday Program for Males/Females Ages 3-20 for Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Hearing Impaired, Multiply Handicapped, handicap accessible, transportation provided, Kosher food provided, No fee. Imagine Academy Address: 1458 East 14th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 Phone: (718) 376-8882 Website: www.imagineacademy.com Programs Offered: Family Support Services for Parents & Siblings, Respite, No-Fee Sunday Program for Ages 5-21, No-Fee After School Program 3 days a week for ages 5-21> Handicapped Accessible, Transportation provided, take children not toilet trained JCC of the Greater Five Towns Address: 207 Grove Avenue Cedarhurst, New York 11516 Phone: (516) 569-6733 Website: www.fivetownsjcc.org Programs Offered: Provides many different programs for people with special needs (children – adults), including a Snoezelen Room, after-school and Sunday programs. Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services/Mishkon Address: 1358 56th Street Brooklyn, New York 11219 Phone: (718) 851-7100 Website: www.jbfcs.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Family Support Services, Respite, Res-Hab

Kids of Courage Address: 13158 Broadway, Suite 207 Hewlett, New York 11557 Phone: (888) 9-KIDSOC Website: www.kidsoc.org Programs Offered: Family Support services to parents and siblings, Respite, Overnight respite Kulanu Torah Acadamy Address: 620 Central Avenue Cedarhurst, New York 11516 Phone: (516) 569-3083 Programs Offered: Respite, Sunday program, Family support, Recreation, services for parents and siblings

needs children, Program is once a month in Brooklyn, NY, NJ. OHEL Children’s Home & Family Services, Bais Ezra Address: 4510 16th Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11204 Phone: (800) 603-OHEL Website: www.ohelfamily.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Respite, Overnight respite, After School Program, Sunday Program, Family support services for parents & siblings, Recreation

Los Niños Services Address: 535 8th Ave, 2nd Floor, New York, New York 10018 Phone: (212) 787-9700 Website: www.losninos.com Programs Offered: Provide Service Coordination in NYC and Westchester County, NY & trainings. We present the Annual Young Child Expo & Conference with Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education. We offer other trainings.

Otsar Family Services Address: 2334 West 13th Street Brooklyn, New York 11223 Phone: (718) 946-7301 Website: www.otsar.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Parent Support Groups, Respite, Overnight Respite, Parent Information Workshops Sunday Program: For male & female ages 5-21, Mixed groups, Handicap accessible, Transportation provided, Kosher food provided, Take children not toilet trained

National Jewish Council for Disabilities/Yachad (NJCD) Address: 11 Broadway, 13th Floor New York, New York 10004 Phone: (212) 613-8229 Website: www.njcd.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Respite, Overnight respite, Sunday Program: males and females ages 8+, mixed groups, Handicap accessible, Transportation provided, Kosher food provided, Take children not toilet trained, There is a fee for the program. Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Multiply Handicapped Recreation: Males and Females ages 3+, mixed groups, Transportation provided at times, Kosher food provided, fee for program, open to families as well as special

Pesach Tikvah-Hope Development Address: 18 Middleton Street Brooklyn, New York 11206 Phone: (718) 875-6900 Website: www.pesachtikvah.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Camp Reimbursements, Respite, Overnight Respite, Holocaust Survivor Program/Geriatric Programs. Sunday Program: for male & female ages 5-21, Mixed groups, Handicap accessible, Transportation provided, Kosher food provided, there is a fee for the program. Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Multiply Handicapped After School Program: for male & female ages 5-21, Mixed groups, 4 days a week, Handicap accessible, Transportation provided, Kosher food provided


RESOURCES DIRECTORY MEDICAID WAIVER, RESPITE & OTHER PROGRAMS CONTINUED… Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/ PDD, Multiply Handicapped Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc. Address: 116 E. 16th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10003 Phone: (212) 677-4650 Website: www.resourcesnyc.org, www.resourcesnycdatabase.org Programs Offered: Information and advocacy center for parents and professionals looking for any type of help pertaining to children birth to 26 with any disability. Holds a Special Camp Fair every January and we conduct many workshops throughout the city. Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices Address: 4302 New Utrecht Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11219 Phone: (718) 686-9600 Website: www.shemakolainu.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Residential Habilitation The Special Children’s Center Address: 1400 Prospect Street Lakewood, New Jersey Phone: (732) 367-0099 Ages: Any Age Programs Offered: Respite, Overnight respite Sunday Program: males and females ages 0-22, separate and mixed groups, Handicap accessible, Transportation provided, Kosher food provided, Take children not toilet trained, Population: Mild to moderate to severe developmental delays, Au-

tism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning Disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Multiply Handicapped After School Program: Males and Females ages 0-22, separate and mixed groups, Transportation provided, Handicapped accessible, Kosher food provided, fee for program. Population: Mild to Moderate to severe developmental delays, Autism/PDD, Speech & Language impaired, Learning disabled, ADD/ ADHD, Emotionally Disturbed, Hearing impaired, Visually impaired, Multiply handicapped Special Care for Families and Children’s Services Address: 1421 East 2nd Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 Phone: (718) 252-3365 Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Respite STEP (Special Torah Education) Address: 3005 Avenue L Brooklyn, New York 11210 Phone: (718) 252-8822 Programs Offered: Sunday Program UCP of New York City Address: 80 Maiden Lane, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10038 Phone: (877) 827-2666 Website: www.ucpnyc.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Family support services for parents, In-home respite for individuals on Medicaid waiver, Overnight Respite, After School Program, Recreation

UCP of New York City: The Parent’s Place Address: 160 Lawrence Avenue Brooklyn, NY 12230, Room 205 Phone: (718) 436-7979 xt. 704 Website: www.ucpnyc.org Programs Offered: Free weekly workshops for parents and families, translation in Spanish is available.

Yedei Chesed Address: 48 Scotland Hill Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 Phone: (845) 425-0887 Website: yedeichesed.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Family Support Services for parents and siblings, Respite, Overnight Respite, Sunday Program, After School Program

Women’s League Community Residences, Inc. Address: 1556 38th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 853-0900 Website: www.womensleague.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver Community Habilitation and Supported Employment

YAI Network Address: 460 West 34th Street New York, New York 10001 Phone: (212) 273-6182 Website: www.yai.org Programs Offered: Medicaid Waiver, Family Support Services for parents & siblings, Respite, Overnight Respite, Sunday Program for all ages, male & female, After school program in Queens 5 days a week for boys & girls ages 6-17, Recreation for male & female ages 6-adult on various weekdays, weekends, and holidays, Medical/ Dental/specialty practice for people with developmental and learning disabilities and their families, Clinical and family services, parent support groups, in-home training, rehabilitation programs, employment training and placement programs, socialization programs, travel, and much more.

Yad Hachazakah – The Jewish Disability Empowerment Center Inc. Address: 25 Broadway, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10004 Phone: (212) 284-6936 Location: Office, Agreed upon location Ages: 12 through older adulthood Population: Self-directing people with obvious or hidden disabilities/conditions and their loved ones. Services: Personal Coaching and Mentoring, Peer Networking, Advocacy, Resource Navigation, Dating and Marriage Consultation Add’l Info: Led by professionals and lay persons with disabilities under Orthodox Rabbinic Supervision.

Yeled V’Yalda Early Childhood Center Address: 1312 38th Street Brooklyn, New York 11218 Phone: (718) 686-3700 Website: www.yeled.org Programs Offered: Respite

OTHER SERVICES Beineinu-Connecting Parents of Children with Special Needs Address: 48 West Maple Avenue Monsey, New York 10952 Phone: (347) 743-4900 Website: www.Beineinu.org Services Provided: Parent Matching, Internet research for medical information for internetfree families, Translation of med-

ical information into Hebrew, Zichron Yehuda Equipment Exchange, Growing International database of Resources, Information of Interest to those dealing with various special needs, Library of Chizuk and Inspirational articles, pictures and videos.

Dovi’s Playhouse for Children with Special Needs Address: P.O.Box 290-524, Brooklyn, New York Phone: (646) 736-2816 Services Provided: Tutoring Services for Children with Special Needs – provides tutors after school to children at home.

E-tree Address: 736 Lakeview Road Cleveland, Ohio 44108 Phone: (877) 865-5235 Website: www.treeofknowledge.us Services Provided: Interactive Online Learning System for k-12

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RESOURCES DIRECTORY OTHER SERVICES CONTINUED… Euro-Peds National Center for Intensive Pediatric PT Address: 461 W. Huron St. #406 Pontiac, MI 48341 Phone: (248) 857-6776 Website: www.europeds.org Services Provided: Europeanbased model of therapy for treating children with non-progressive gross motor disorders such as Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury and Spina Bifida. It was the first clinic outside of Europed to offer this type of therapy when it opened in 1999 out of a Michigan hospital, Doctor’s Hospital of Michigan. GiGi's Playhouse, Down Syndrome Awareness Centers Address: 106 W117th Street New York, New York 10026 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 925, NYC, New York 10026 Phone: (646) 801-7529 Website: www.newyork.gigisplayhouse.org Contact Information: nyc@gigisplayhouse.org, 646-489-8837 Add’l Info: GiGi’sPlayhouse,

Down Syndrome Awareness Centers is a community center offering educational and therapeutic programs that support children with Down syndrome, their families and community. Come for classes in art, music, dance, performing arts. Join us for community gatherings. This is a place to connect and celebrate our Down syndrome community.

Area.

Hand in Hand Family Services Address: 390 Kings Highway Brooklyn, New York 11223 Phone: (718) 336-6073 Website: www.hihfs.org Services Provided: Psychological and Psychosocial Evaluations

HorseAbility / Center for Equine Facilitated Programs Address: SUNY College at Old Westbury / PO Box 410-1 / Old Westbury, New York 11568 Phone: (516) 333-6151 Website: www.horseability.org Services Provided: HorseAbility is the only PATH International Premier Accredited Center on Long Island, and the only one at a convenient driving distance from the five boroughs of NYC. PATH International is the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International pathintl.org.

HaMercaz at Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles Address: 12821 Victory Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91606 Phone: (866) 287-8030 Website: www.hamercaz.org Services Provided: HaMercaz is a one-stop resource for families raising children with special needs in the greater Los Angeles

Kids of Courage Address: 13158 Broadway, Suite 207 Hewlett, New York 11557 Phone: (888) 9-KIDSOC Website: www.kidsoc.org Services Provided: Fully medically supervised travel and recreation program for seriously sick children and young adults. All participants are cognitively appropriate for age.

Trips include resort, door to door travel, touring and shabbatons. There is no cost to participants. It is all volunteer. They provide advocacy for medical treatment as well as medical accompaniment to medical treatment destinations on commercial airlines. BInuryni Parent Support Network Address: HASC Center Inc 5601 First Avenue Brooklyn, New York Phone: (718) 436-4087 Programs Offered: Monthly Support Groups for Mothers, Special Events, Guest Speakers, Open to all parents with special needs. The Special Children’s Center Address: 1400 Prospect Street Lakewood New Jersey Phone: (732) 367-0099 Ages: 0-3 Services Provided: Day Care serving all populations 9:00-2:00 or 4:00PM

ADVOCACY Ahivim Address: 6 Mountain Rd #204 Monroe, New York 10950 Phone: (845) 774-7000 Email: info@ahivim.org Website: www.ahivim.org Region: Orange, Rockland, Kings and Sullivan Counties Provides representation: IEP Meetings, impartial hearings, and appeals

GiGi's Playhouse, Down Syndrome Awareness Centers Address: 106 W117th Street New York, New York 10026 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 925, NYC, New York 10026 Phone: 646-801-7529 Website: www.newyork.gigisplayhouse.org Contact Information: nyc@gigisplayhouse.org, (646) 489-8837

AHRC NYC Address: 83 Maiden Lane New York, New York 10038 Phone: (212) 780-2500 Website: www.ahrcnyc.org Region: Five boroughs Provides representation: IEP meetings, impartial hearings, and appeals

Imagine Academy for Autism Address: 1465 East 7th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 Phone: (718) 376-8882 Website: www.imagineacademy.com Region: All Provides representation: IEP meetings, impartial hearings, and appeals

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Michael Inzelbuch Esq. Address: 555 Madison Avenue Lakewood, New Jersey 08701 Phone: (732) 905 2557 Region: New Jersey Provides representation: IEP Meetings, Impartial Hearings, and appeals National Jewish Council for Disabilities/Yachad (NJCD) Address: 11 Broadway, 13th Floor New York, New York 10004 Phone: (212) 613-8229 Hotline: (212) 613-8127 Website: www.njcd.org Region: NY, NJ, National Provides representation: IEP, Impartial Hearings Otsar Family Services Address: 2334 West 13th Street Brooklyn, New York 11223

Phone: (718) 946-7301 Website: www.otsar.org Region: NYC Provides Assistance: IEP meetings, Impartial Hearings Project LEARN Special Education Affairs – Agudath Israel of America Address: 42 Broadway, New York, New York Phone: (212) 797-9000, ext. 308/325 Region: Primarily NY City and State, available to consult on questions on a national level Provides representation: IEP meetings, Impartial Hearings, and Appeals Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc. Address: 116 E. 16th St. 5th Floor, New York, NY 10003


RESOURCES DIRECTORY ADVOCACY CONTINUEDâ&#x20AC;Ś Phone: (212) 677-4650 Website: www.resourcesnyc.org, www.resourcesnycdatabase.org Region: All 5 boroughs Provides representation: IEP meeting, Impartial Hearings, and Appeals SEAD - Special Education Academy of Deal Address: 1 Meridian Road Eatontown, New Jersey 07724 Phone: (732) 460-1700 Website: www.seadprogram.org Region: New York & New Jersey

Provides representation: IEP meetings & Impartial Hearings TAFKID Address: 977 East 17th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 Phone: (718) 252-2236 Website: www.tafkid.org E-mail: tafkid@aol.com Region: New York Provides representation: Educational planning and case consultation, assistance with letter writing and paperwork, IEP Meetings and Impartial Hearings

Thivierge and Rothberg, P.C. Address: 140 Broadway, 46th Floor New York, NY 10005 Phone: (212) 397-6360 Website: www.trspecialedlaw.com Region: New York & New Jersey Provides representation: IEP Meetings, Impartial Hearings, and Appeals Yedei Chesed Address: 48 Scotland Hill Road Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 Phone: (845) 425-0887 Website: yedeichesed.org

Region: Rockland County Provides representation: IEP Meetings UCP of New York City Address: 80 Maiden Lane, 8th Floor New York, NY 10038 Phone: (877) 827-2666 Website: www.ucpnyc.org Region: Bronx, Bklyn, Manhattan and S.I.

RESOURCES & INFORMATION ON THE WEB

Compiled by Suri Greenberg The Internet is a vast reservoir of information. Below is just a sampling of the web sites offering useful information and resources on all aspects of Special Needs, as well as detailed information on specific disorders and disabilities. However, be aware that there is no assurance that the information found on a particular web site is accurate or up to date. Therefore, it is important to check with your physician or other authoritative source that you trust before acting on any specific medical or treatment information you may find on the Internet. FOR INFORMATION ON A VARIETY OF DISABILITIES AND DISORDERS: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Address: 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A Phone: (800) CDC-INFO (232-4636) Developmental Disabilities Home Page Website: http://www. cdc.gov/ncbddd/dd/default.htm National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke National Institutes of Health Address: P.O. Box 5801 Bethesda, Maryland 20824 Phone: (800) 352-9424 or (301) 496-5751 Website: http://www.ninds.nih. gov/index.htm Learning Disabilities: All Kinds of Minds Address: 2800 Meridian Parkway, Suite 100, Durham, NC 27713 Phone: (888) 956-4637 Website: http://allkindsofminds.org IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association Address: 6129 Calico Pool Lane

Burke, VA 22015 Phone: (703) 850-1187 Website: www.ideainfanttoddler.org A guide to Early Intervention resources Learning Disabilities Association of America Address: 4156 Library Road Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1349 Phone: (412) 341-1515 Website: http://www.ldanatl. org/index.cfm Hearing and Vision Disabilities: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Address: 3417 Volta Place, NW, Washington, DC 20007 Phone: (202) 337-5220 TTY: (202) 337-5221 Website: www.agbell.org American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Address: 1660 L Street, NW, Ste.513, Washington, DC 20036 Phone: (202) 822-0830 (office/TDD) Website: http://www.afb.org American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC)

Address: 3820 Hartzdale Drive Camp Hill, PA 17011 Phone: (800) 942-2732 Website: www.deafchildren.org Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) Address: 141 Middle Neck Road Sands Point, New York 11050 Phone: (516) 944-8900 TTY: (516) 944-8367 Website: www.hknc.org INFORMATION ON SPECIFIC DISORDERS: Autism Research Institute Address: 4182 Adams Avenue San Diego, CA 92116 ARI Autism Resource Call Center: Phone: (866) 366-3361 Website: http://www.autism.com Autism Society of America Address: 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 300 Bethesda, Maryland 20814 Phone: (301) 657.0881 or 1-800-3AUTISM (1.800.328.8476) Website: http://www.autismsociety.org/site/PageServer The International Dyslexia Association

Address: 40 York Rd., 4th Floor Baltimore, Maryland 21204 Phone: (410) 296-0232 Website: http://www.interdys.org/ Muscular Dystrophy Association - USA Address: National Headquarters: 3300 E. Sunrise Drive Tucson, AZ 85718 Phone: (800) 572-1717 Diseases Home Page Website: http://www.mda.org/ disease National Down Syndrome Society Address: 666 Broadway, 8th flr. New York, New York 10012. Goodwin Family Information and Referral Center at (800)221-4602 Website: http://www.ndss.org/ index.php National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) Address: 1100 New York Ave., NW, Ste. 660 East, Washington, DC 20005 Phone: (202) 408-1500 Website: www.nationalmssociety.org June 2012

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Compiled By Elisheva Stein

Proxtalker & Lessonpix Get Together

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enver, CO (Apr.11, 2012) – ProxTalker.com LLC, manufacturers and distributors of the LOGAN® PROXTALKER® communication device and the LOGAN® BrailleCoach™ Braille teaching device, has partnered with LessonPix.com to provide custom SoundTags™ using their library of 10,000 symbols. "The beauty of the LOGAN® PROXTALKER® device is that it works out of the box with no initial programming as 80 SoundTags™ with images that are included with each purchase.”, said Chris McCann, Account Manager for ProxTalker.com. “An added bonus is that our customers can create new SoundTags™ using our blank SoundTags™ by recording a sound on the tags and then printing an image on our tag sticker sheets to be placed on the blank tag. This allows the device to be

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designed with his friend and colleague Kevin Miller. Glen and Kevin had the original idea to help Logan, Glen’s son who has autism, to achieve verbal output. Since then, ProxTalker.com’s customers have brought the company into the world of Braille teaching, with the invention of the LOGAN® BrailleCoach™ and the use of its technology to help a variety of people with various communication disabilities in addition to autism. Founded in 2009, LessonPix provides online visuals and materials for teachers, parents, therapists and speech-language pathologist (SLPs) with an ever-growing library of over 10,000 original high-quality scalable and powerful tools to leverage them in the classroom and home. Their unique SoundFinder and its related tools provide SLPs with the ability to easily "Search by Sounds not Letters" and make games, materials, and now AAC overlays and labels to support their therapy goals. For More Information Contact: Chris McCann, U.S. Sales Account Manager, ProxTalker.com, LLC 203.721.6074 chris@proxtalker.com www.proxtalker.com

Talk Is Not Cheap but Ezer Mzion Can Help

even-year-old Shai Chayat suffers from a rare syndrome known as Marshal Smith, which prevents her from communicating through normal speech. Over the last year, Shai began to "speak" through a special augmentative communication computer. Shai's parents borrowed the device that costs close to $5,500 from Ezer Mizion's unique VOCA (Voice Output Com98

customized to the user as opposed to the user to the device.” The new partnership with LessonPix.com provides easy access to over 10,000 high-quality symbols and a simple web-based wizard to create the SoundTags™ labels quickly and easily. The SoundTag™ template will be included in the core LessonPix subscription which also includes learning games, symbols cards and many other visuals. “It’s been clear since we started LessonPix.com that the AAC device market was a great fit for our symbols and we’re thrilled to announced that the LOGAN® PROXTALKER® will be the first AAC device we support,” said Bill Binko, VP and founder of LessonPix.com. The agreement adds yet another option for LOGAN® PROXTALKER® users: "We now have four providers of symbols and images that allow our customers multiple options to make custom SoundTags™ to use for communication and teaching," said Chris McCann, “We have partnered with LessonPix.com due to the very low cost to our customer, the great evergrowing symbol library and the ease of use.” ProxTalker.com is an American company based in Connecticut, founded by Glen Dobbs in 2007 to design, manufacture and distribute the LOGAN® PROXTALKER® which he

June 2012

munication Aids) Lending Center. As it was a loan, they had to return the device, as many others were awaiting their turn. Some families, at this point, pay for, or raise, the funds to purchase their own equipment, having determined by using the loaned item that this particular model will work for them. The Chayats were unable to do either.

Luckily, the school she attends sent an article about her plight to an American philanthropist who decided to cover the entire expense of a personal computer for her use. For child or adult, Ezer Mizion’s VOCA equipment is a breakthrough. Many people with communication disorders can be helped by use of Ezer Mizion’s VOCA devices.


BULLETIN BOARD Annual Special Education Transportation Meeting for Yeshivas Promotes Timeliness & Celebrates Positive Progress

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ver 200 people convened at Yeshiva Toras Emes for the Annual Special Education Transportation meeting to engage in a forum hosted by the Office of Pupil Transportation. Senior staff of OPT joined Yeshiva Principals, Special Education Transport Coordinators, CSE Chairpersons, and school bus vendors to discuss challenges faced when routing Special Education students and potential provisions that would be made to further enhance future service. The Special Education Transportation Department buses approximately 850 Jewish children every day. Services are customized individually with a high dependence on accurate data and well coordinated logistics planning. The depth of detail and individual attention is extended to the driver and attendant level. Each school has an opportunity at the beginning of every new route to personally train ‘their’ driver in knowing and understanding the needs of every individual child. CEO of Support Services for the NYC Dept of Education, Mr. Eric Goldstein, invited everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to ‘meet

the team’. He emphasized that effective dialogue and a cohesive team would ensure improved service in a city as large and diverse as New York. Rabbi Naftulie Weiss, Director of Livnas Ha’Sapir, remarked that, ‘We must treat our job as if we are transporting expensive wine and if we drive too fast, our bottles will break.’ The new Director of OPT, Alexandra Robinson, highlighted key issues concerning the Customer Service unit and encouraged schools to call in with information, complaints and concerns. She also praised the Inspection Unit for their dedication to ensuring every bus, bus driver and attendant is compliant and safe. She was followed by John Mulligan, Deputy Executive Director of Special Education, who said that in order to ensure superior routes for the children and circumvent delays; parents need to bring all relevant and accurate information to the initial meeting with the CSE. A question and answer and feedback platform was provided. A lot of positive and appreciative feedback was received along with many valid concerns, queries

and suggestions were put forward. Rabbi Moshe Ausfresser, who coordinated the event on behalf of OPT, brought up key points for the transport coordinators to be aware of including: When a parent knows of a change, they must immediately notify CSE and speak to their contact person to correct it. Schools should educate parents who expect a change in their child’s medical code to make the necessary changes through CSE and not OPT. Parents must understand that if they send their child to a school located out of their borough they cannot expect a short ride to school. Schools must ensure that a two weeks advance notice is given for field trips. OPT is in the process of adding a Friday PM application to their routing system which will allow for timely and accurate updates about alternate route information on Friday’s with early dismissal. Additionally, Rabbi Ausfresser announced the implementation of a new system which allows the schools to notify OPT of cancellations, due to weather conditions or otherwise, a day in advance – 7:30 p.m. the day prior. Please contact the OPT hotline for more details. June 2012

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volunteering At Women’s League – A Win/Win Situation!

iri is in her junior year of high school and hasn’t yet decided where her career path will lead her. She’s heard great things about the human services field and has a general feeling that she may want to pursue a degree in special education. For David, life as a student has had many ups and downs. Suffice it to say, academics was not his strong point. However, street smarts and a likeable personality have helped him navigate within the mainstream school system. David is currently approaching graduation with some trepidation. He doesn’t know what type of job is suitable for him, given his lackluster academic performance. David does plan to take a course in electronics, but knows his strength lies in interacting with people as he is an inherently caring guy. He thinks to himself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could help someone less fortunate while I attend the vocational course.

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ovi’s Playhouse for Children with Special Needs was founded by Shimon and Frady Steinhaus and their family eleven years ago. It is dedicated in loving memory of Dov Zev z”l, a Down Syndrome child, who loved to play and sing with his family. This organization helps to provide social activities and encourage children with special needs in every aspect of their lives, helping them identify as proud members of the Jewish community. Shimon and Frady Steinhaus, would like their dream of Dovi’s Playhouse to become a reality. Their ultimate goal

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Now when I’m still single and have extra time on my hands, well – why not?” Sue married off her youngest child two months ago. Having read up on “Empty Nesters” Sue thought she’d be prepared for this stage in life. She soon discovered that “theory” is quite different from “practice”. Sue is becoming increasingly desperate to keep her days full with productive pursuits. Brunching with friends is great once weekly, but Sue needs a tad bit more than that. What do Miri, David, and Sue have in common? A situation that is calling out for this solution – Become a volunteer at Women’s League Community Residences! Why not spend just one hour a week with a child or adult with disabilities? Group homes and supportive apartments are located in Brooklyn with babies, adults and seniors who range from mildly challenged to those with severe disabilities. The feeling of satisfaction, knowing that one is making a difference in someone else’s life is truly amazing. “Leah is so excited about our Tuesday evening walks on Ocean Park-

Dovi’s Playhouse of building a playground designed for special children is very far off at this time, but they are trying their utmost to do what they can for these children in other ways. They are currently helping children with special needs in areas such as mainstreaming into camps. They do this by supplementing the costs of tutoring and other extra help in areas that have had state funding reductions. Dovi’s Playhouse had dedicated Dovi’s Therapy Room at Yeshiva Bonim Lamokom, a yeshiva high school for Down Syndrome boys in Brooklyn.

way, or when we just schmooze if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Lately, I realized that I also look forward to our time together and feel a loss if I need to miss our appointment,” says veteran volunteer Danielle. For those wishing to “test the waters” of a career in human services, volunteering in a group home setting allows one a chance to see if this is a viable future employment option. Some of our most valuable staffers first came to Women’s League as volunteers. And the rest of their story is, well, history! Whether it’s playing a musical toy with a blind child, learning the Parsha with a mildly challenged man, baking a cake with women with disabilities or taking a walk with a senior, Women’s League’s volunteer program is prepared to create the perfect match – you know, the one made in heaven. Just contact Shaindy at 718.853.0900 ext. 308 to start the ball rolling.

The ceremony was a tribute to the memory of their son, Dovi a’h. Dovi’s Playhouse had demonstrated unwavering support for the belief that a Torah true chinuch must be made available to all Jewish children. Dovi’s Playhouse also donated Purim parties and Pesach’s Children Artscroll Haggadahs to this yeshiva, Bonim Lamokom. The ongoing and ever increasing support of friends from around the world is deeply appreciated and so vital to the continued success of Dovi’s Playhouse and to maintain the dedication in memory of Dov Zev.


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Abilities Expo New York Metro Draws Record Attendance

n May 4-6 at the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison, approximately 7,000 people children and adults crossed the threshold of Abilities Expo New York Metro, or as one attendee called it, “Disability Wonderland.” Abilities Expo had put together an impressive line-up of exhibits, workshops, celebrities, events and activities to appeal to people of all ages with the full spectrum of disabilities—including physical, learning,

development and sensory disabilities “Most of all, it’s a celebration of what you can do, not what you can’t.” said David Korse, president and CEO of Abilities Expo. Attendees experienced thousands of cutting-edge technologies, products and services. One Staten Island family whose 11-year-old has a rare skin disorder was even awarded a wheelchair accessible van from Ride-Away, one of the exhibitors. Other highlights included hip-hop and ballroom wheelchair dancing, assistance dogs demos, adaptive sports, facepainting and the opportunity to see first-hand how full-sized horses connect to kids with Autism and their

siblings. Expo-goers even got to meet the stars of Push Girls, a new docuseries from the Sundance Channel which traces the lives of four dynamic women in Hollywood who happen to be in wheelchairs. Don’t worry if you missed this Abilities Expo, as they’ll be back May 3-5, 2013. Visit www.abilitiesexpo.com to find out more.

Gesher Early Childhood Center: Bridging the Worlds of Yeshiva Chinuch and Special Education

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hould a preschool age child who requires intervention or related services enroll in a yeshiva classroom populated with typically developing children, or should that child enroll in a NYSED funded non-sectarian special education program? Educators, therapists, and parents who are faced with this question recognize how challenging it is for the Orthodox community to properly service preschool age children with learning differences. The demands and expectations of a high quality chinuch often preclude the efforts to fully integrate and support the needs of the non-typically developing child. Those involved in the decision making process of enrolling a child in a Yeshiva need to be certain that the child will succeed in that environment.

For many children who are not ready to enroll in a Yeshiva, the option of enrolling in an NYSED funded program is available. These programs offer high quality services, helping to ready the child for enrollment in grade school. Unfortunately, choosing such a program necessitates sacrificing all formal chinuch and children who attend such programs often need to catch up when they enter the Yeshiva of their choice. Others are not even afforded the luxury of options. Many children who are not ready to succeed in a typical Yeshiva classroom also do not qualify for NYSED funded services and programs. The Gesher Early Childhood Center is a unique and valuable resource for those facing this dilemma. Gesher is staffed with NYS certified Special Educators, proficient in curriculum

development and the skill to incorporate the educational objectives of each child. As a non-NYSED funded program Gesher employs the high quality curriculum standards of Yeshiva Day School Early Childhood Education. The Gesher Administration subscribes to a trans disciplinary approach, fostering effective carryover of all related services within the classroom setting. The Gesher staff is trained to maximize the potential of typically developing children and those with mild to moderate delays utilizing the integrated classroom model. To schedule a consultation or for more information, Gesher can be reached at 516.730.7377 or via email at gesherschool@gmail.com. Visit Gesher on the internet at www.gesher-ecc.org.

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BULLETIN BOARD CALENDAR OF uPCOMING EvENTS:

JuLY 1, 2012 Ohel Boys (6-11) Sibshops—Five Towns (718) 686-3497 (Batsheva) Batsheva_Gutwirth@ohelfamily.org JuLY 9, 2012 Ohel Girls (6-16) Sibshops—Queens (718) 686-3497 (Batsheva) Batsheva_Gutwirth@ohelfamily.org

JuLY 22, 2012 Ohel Boys (6-11) Sibshops---Brooklyn (718) 686-3497 (Batsheva) Batsheva_Gutwirth@ohelfamily.org JuLY 25-29, 2012 National Fragile X Foundation International Conference • Miami, Florida www.fragilex.org

JuLY 12, 2012 Ohel Girls (6-11) Sibshops---Brooklyn (718) 686-3497 (Batsheva) Batsheva_Gutwirth@ohelfamily.org

AuGuST 1-2, 2012 ICare4Autism International Conference • Jerusalem, Israel www.icare4autism.org www.hear-our-voices.org

JuLY 12-13, 2012 Glut1ds Conference Indianapolis, Indiana www.glut1ds.org

AuGuST 3-5, 2012 Abilities Expo www.abilitiesexpo.com Houston, Texas

JuLY 15, 2012 Ohel Girls (6-11) Sibshops—Five Towns (718) 686-3497 (Batsheva) Batsheva_Gutwirth@ohelfamily.org

OCTOBER 25-28, 2012 Achieving Inclusion Across The Globe International Forum • Washington, DC www.thearc.org

JuLY 18, 2012 Ohel Girls (12-16) Sibshops—Five Towns (718) 686-3497 (Batsheva) Batsheva_Gutwirth@ohelfamily.org

OCTOBER 26-28, 2012 12th International Symposium on Guillain-Barre/Acute Inflamatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy Fort Worth, Texas www.gbs-cidp.org/home/take-action/ events

JuLY 19, 2012 Ohel Girls (12-16) Sibshops---Brooklyn (718) 686-3497 (Batsheva) Batsheva_Gutwirth@ohelfamily.org JuLY 19-22, 2012 VCFSEF Conference Toronto, Ontario, Canada www.vcfsef.org/about_vcfs/general_information.html

Autism

OCTOBER 29-NOvEMBER 2, 2012 4th Congenital CMV Conference San Francisco, California info@mcaevents.org | www.mcaevents.org NOvEMBER 16-18, 2012 Abilities Expo www.abilitiesexpo.com San Jose, California COuRTESY OF

Connecting Parents of Children With Special Needs

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Los Ninos

he 9th Annual Young Child Expo & Conference was held on April 18-20, 2012 at the New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania right across from Madison Square Garden. This event brought together over 1000 early childhood principals, teachers, early childhood directors and other professionals for 3 days of great professional development. The focus of the conference was essential topics in early childhood development – learning to help young children learn and grow well. Top experts presented half the program on topics relevant for typically developing children and half the topics aimed to help professionals address the special needs of children with autism and other developmental disabilities and challenges. We had a great turnout and received positive feedback! Next year’s conference will be held at the same hotel – New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania on April 17-19, 2013. Save the Date. Mark your calendars and make our 10th Annual Young Child Expo & Conference your professional development day! The conference is a joint project of Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education (www.fordham.edu) and Los Niños Services (www.losninos.com). Our conference website is www. youngchildexpo.com


BULLETIN BOARD Human Care at the Israel Day Parade

Esther Lustig, LCSW CEO of Human Care Services with NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli at the celebrate Israel parade.

H

Human Care Services marching with NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli at the Celebrate Israel Parade.

The Special Macabees: Basketball at Its Finest

oward is a 49 year-old man with a learning disability. Once a week he volunteers at a day care facility. The rest of the week he spends time in a “Life Management” program. Sunday is funday for Howard. It is a day he shines, for Howard is one of the star basketball players for Los Angeles’ Special Macabees. Seven years ago Jeff Liss, a sales consultant, thought about the conundrum Orthodox Jews face in finding sports teams for their mentally challenged youth. So while walking the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California with his wife, Liz, Liss noticed a group of Special Needs kids wearing yarmulkes. He inquired about sports programs with their leader and discovered none existed. That’s when he came up with the idea of the Special Macabees. With the help of Liz, Jeff Liss organized the Special Macabees. He recruited coaches and athletes, solicited funding, and contacted synagogues to

jump onto the bandwagon. For Howard and his teammates, basketball teaches them not only how to play the game, but how to interact with fellow teammates, being alert, focusing, and learning to follow the rules. The athletes’ abilities range from having trouble knowing which basketball hoop to address to those who have pretty consistent lay-up shots. On March 11, 2012 the Special Macabees had the opportunity to strut their stuff. They played their biggest game at the Westside JCC on Olympic Blvd. in Los Angeles against the Special Olympic team. This basketball game wasn’t like watching the Lakers at the Staples Center. However, the screaming fans and excited players made up for their lack of skill on the court. The coaches make sure all athletes had an opportunity to play, no matter their skill level. No one hogged the ball. There were no swearing nor bad

manners. Yes, there were double dribbles, walking, and other basketball nonos ignored by empathetic refs. Occasionally an athlete protested a call or lack of one. During the third quarter of play, a Special Olympics player ran with the ball. A Macabee complained to the ref with the walking sign. The ref ignored his plea. The final score of the March 11 game was 44-48, a Special Olympic victory. Afterwards, everyone was treated to kosher pizza and drinks. Jeff Liss’ dream is to duplicate his success with the Special Macabees in Los Angeles in other cities throughout the country. Liss can be contacted at jliss72@verizon.net.

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RECRUITMENT After-School Hours

Positions available for Community Hab trainers with experience. Well paying jobs with special needs individuals. P/T late afternoon hrs Mon-Thurs & Weekends: Email resumes to Shanie@otsar.org

Want to make a huge difference - in someone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life? - in your own life? BECOME A VOLUNTEER! XSpend just one hour per week with a child or adult with disabilities.

XBoro Park/Flatbush group home settings. XRead, learn, play a game/music, walk together, be a friend, share a hobby, etc.

XMale and Female volunteers welcome, ages 16 and up.

Contact Shaindy Womens League Community Residences 718-853-0900 ext. 308

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RECRUITMENT

OTs · PTs · SLPs · CFYs · SEITs Clinical Psychologists/ LCSWs · LMHCs

Call JUMPSTART EI

Ph (718) 998.1415

(718) 853-9700 ext. 255 or fax resume to

(718) 853-5533 Seeking Special Instructors, Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists to work with infants and toddlers in all Brooklyn neighborhoods. Bilingual (Spanish, Creole, Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, etc.) a plus.

WORK IN CLINIC OR SCHOOL SETTING Flexible Scheduling & Competitive Rates

Also seeking evaluators in all disciplines. Call Judy at ext. 240

Connecting Parents of Children With Special Needs

SPECIAL ACCESS FOR SPECIAL PEOPLE Kol Hachesed Hotline, Beineinu, and Building Blocks Magazine are joining together to bring you a onestop-resource-shopping experience. With PROJECT SPECIAL ACCESS, you will be able to access information on resources for special needs from the leisure of your home at any hour, day or night. If you like to dial, click, or read, Special Access has the information that you need in the format that you prefer.

DIAL

Kol Hachesed Hotline 718-705-5000 ext 20 to be connected to the new Developmental section, which lists programs and services of many agencies and organizations. A list of services is available through the Project Special Access website.

CLICK

www.ProjectSpecialAccess.org to be connected to Beineinu's rapidly growing database of resources, information and inspiration. Email Golda@Beineinu.org to receive weekly Beineinu updates delivered to your inbox.

READ

Building Blocks Magazine, the bi-annual special needs publication, which is full of wonderful articles and resource lists geared to the parents of children with special needs. Back issues will be available online through the Project Special Access website.

Whatever your media, we've got it! We provide SPECIAL ACCESS for special people like you!

For more information, log onto www.ProjectSpecialAccess.org. June 2012

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INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

Abilities Expo

65

IVDU Schools

29

Reach for the Stars Learning Center 7, 104

The Ability Center

77

JCC of the Greater 5 Towns

34

Spirit! Magazine

83

AdaptiveClothingShowroom.com

64

Women's League Community Residences104

Tafkid

87

American Discount Medical

63

Jumpstart Early Intervention

Therapro

66

Arrowsmith Program

70

Rabbi Reuven Kamin MA

Beineinu

85

Kew Gardens SEP

Block Institute

70

Ilene Klass MS, OTR/L

81

UCP - Children's Programs

Bussani Mobility Team

69

Kulanu Torah Academy

10

Yachad / National Jewish Council for

CAHAL

25

Dana Ledereich, MA OTR/L

83

Disabilities

49

Camp Kaylie

28

Maxi-Health Research Inc.

Yachad / NJCD

83

CBR - Creative Business Resources

79

MCC - Manhattan Children's Center8, 52

Yad B'Yad Academy

27

Dovi's Playhouse

77

National Jewish Council

Manhattan Star Academy / YAI

43

EDUC.A.R.E

81

New York League for Early Learning /

Yedei Chesed

75

Eis Laasois Child Development Services 105

YAI

Yeled V'Yalda Early Childhood Center 21

eTree / Tree of Knowledge

35

Ohel Bais Ezra

Gesher Early Childhood Center

14

Hamaspik

108

105 85

Touro College Speech & Hearing Center 18

9, 104

TTI - Testing & Training International 11

55, 67 104 104 3, 54

Yeled V'Yaldah - Project Reach

17

Ohel Children's Home & Family Services 83

Yeshiva Binyan Olem

10

Omni Childhood Center

19, 79, 105

Yeshiva Bonim Lamokom

41

15, 81, 104

YESS - Yeshiva Education for Special

Hand in Hand Family Services

74

Otsar Family Services

Haor - The Beacon School

75

Pesach Tikvah/Door of Hope

79

Students

HASC School Age Program

16

Pocket Full of Therapy

62

Zahler

HorseAbility

37

Positive Beginnings Preschool

74

Human Care Services

2

Project Special Access

47, 105

BECOME A PART OF THE NEXT

A SPECIAL NEEDS MAGAZINE

To Be Published December 2012 FAMILY FORUM & SIBS SPEAK

BULLETIN BOARD

For a member of a family with a special needs individual to submit an anecdote, advice, or comment.

To have pictures of your events posted free of charge in this section.

Contact Ruchi Eisenbach at: ruchieisenbach@gmail.com

Contact Eli Stein at: elistein@aol.com

ASK THE EXPERT

ORGANIZATIONAL LISTINGS

To ask a question of one of our therapists, advocates or educators.

To be included in the next directory free of charge, request a submission form at

Contact Chaya Klass at: ileneklass@aol.com

buildingblocks@jewishpress.com Note - a form must be submitted to update any previously published listing.

* All submissions become the property of Building Blocks and may not be returned. Publication is subject to the discretion of the editors. Please do not submit previously published material.

For further information or to advertise please contact: Moshe Klass at 718.330.1100 ext. 352 or sales@jewishpress.com 106

June 2012

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4 107


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Building Blocks June 2012