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Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities

Working Together Towards a Common Goal

        

Keren Or’s innovative therapies and one-on-one approach make it a unique place, and no one understands that more than the parents who bring their children to our center.

Yifat Ne’eman has been a speech therapist at Keren Or for six years, and she appreciates the powerful role that Keren Or plays in the lives of the children’s families. “There are schools for the deaf, schools for the blind and schools for children with developmental disabilities, but if a child has all these deficits, where does a parent put them?” she asks. “At Keren Or, parents can feel they have finally found the right place.”

Part of what makes Keren Or “the right place” is the constant evaluation and improvement of therapies in order to provide the best possible and most individualized care.  For example, Yifat is part of a team of therapists at Keren Or who are utilizing a new approach to speech therapy.  By combining speech therapy sessions with hydrotherapy in Keren Or’s state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool, Yifat is able use the warm water to relax and strengthen the children’s muscles, thus giving them important “feedback” about their bodies that helps their speech and motor skills.  “The pool is an amazing place for these children,” Yifat explains, because the water helps the children orient their bodies in their environment.  “They have to close their mouths so water doesn’t get in,” she says, “and blowing bubbles helps strengthen the muscles of the mouth needed for swallowing and learning to breathe properly.” 

Yifat works closely with the parents and respects their “wishes and choices” based on their wisdom and experience.  “These are the people who work with their children at home every day,” she says. “I learned that these parents can teach us a lot.”  When parents, teachers, and therapists come together, there is nothing they can’t accomplish for their children.