[Contributed by Nahum Finkelstein]
ctober was a good month for Micha, Haifa and the North. First, it received another generous donation from ESRA Haifa. Second, the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services selected Micha Haifa’s Rehabilitative Day-care Unit from all the Israel’s day-cares to be the focus of a pilot project. The project will validate new tools for overcoming stressful situations that arise in the treatment children with special needs.
The first stage of the trial is in full swing. The developers of the new methods are training the staff of Micha’s Daycare together with a number of senior staff. In the second stage, experts in the field will observe as Micha applies the new methods and fine-tune them. If the trial succeeds, the methods will be applied countrywide.
At Micha Haifa and the North we are concerned with deaf and hard-of-hearing infants and pre-schoolers. Our specific aim to provide the child with the skills he needs to succeed in the regular school system.
We admit profoundly deaf infants at the age of a few months. After six years under our wing, they can communicate verbally and have the social skills they need to succeed in the regular school system. 95 percent of our children make the transition and go on to be contributing members of society.
An infant attends our Baby Unit several times a week. He is made aware of Communication; is fitted with a suitable hearing aid and taught the meaning the sounds: she Hears for the first time; he is encouraged to utter words, to Speak!
In the course of time, he moves in-house through Day-Care, to Nursery School.
Therapists of various sorts target his needs—audiology, speech, music, occupation, art: you name it we got it!—all in the interests of overcoming his delayed development and any residual problems.
The parents are central to the process. Micha’s social workers and psychologists help them overcome their initial despair and encourage them to play their essential role in their child’s rehabilitation.
While Micha’s basic funding is provided by the Ministries of Welfare and Education, we often feel that a particular child needs more than the basics—more hours of this or that, a novel therapy, a dedicated assistant.. The extras that make the difference are covered by the generosity of donors. We are grateful to be able to count ESRA Haifa amongst our supporters.
published in Haifa & The Krayot Monthly English Newspaper [Sponsored by ESRA Haifa] – January 2016