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Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities

Speech and Feeding Therapies

Feeding therapies

Speech Therapy: Like children in any other school, students at Keren Or range in their abilities to communicate verbally. Their challenges, however, require a more comprehensive and unique approach to Speech Therapy than other schools might offer.

Self-expression is often a birthright that our students have not experienced before coming to Keren Or. Many arrive unable to communicate their thoughts or needs. Speech Therapists work individually with students and adapt the curriculum to the cognitive and physical capabilities of each child. Sometimes this adaptation is as basic as understanding a student's body language and using that as a foundation for communication. Other times, students use tactile objects or ‘icons’ and sound recordings to create unique avenues of interpersonal exchanges. Higher functioning students learn formal sign language and have a whole world of expression opened up for them. iPads and other technologies are used to open further oppurtunities for students.

Whatever their capacities, each student participating in the Speech Therapy program is assisted in finding a way to connect with others. This endeavor is of the utmost importance and a key component of Keren Or’s overall mission to unlock the potential in each of its students: to create understanding and connection.

Feeding Program: At Keren Or, feeding is a carefully designed therapeutic experience that aims not only to strengthen feeding skills but also to deepen communication and trust between care-givers and children, many of whom have difficulty reaching out beyond their own isolated worlds.  Therapy that tones mouth, tongue and swallowing muscles helps children gradually progress from tube feeding to liquids and then solids. This progress is important both for nutrition and for developing communication skills. Individual food programs also serve to maximize each child's self-feeding skills and provide the developmental push that can only come from an interactive feeding experience where patience and pleasure are paramount.