Children with developmental disabilities need their routine. Unable to keep themselves busy, they require highly structured frameworks of guidance and activity that keep them occupied and motivated for many hours every day. For their families, often strained to the limit by the taxing task of raising a special child at home, such services are absolutely essential.
And yet, Israel's densely populated Sharon area, with about 750 children and adolescents with mild to moderate mental retardation, has little to offer them especially after their daily special education regimen. Many of these children have no access to additional, extracurricular activities that are so crucial to their welfare and development.
Our day care program is part of a support network offered by Amichai throughout the year, in order to allow children with developmental disabilities a continuation of an ordinary life as enjoyed by all other children..
As of 2015, Amichai operates 6 day centers: 5 for children and adolescents with intellectual disability, ages 3-21 and another one for developmentally delayed children aged 3-6.
Programs includes wide range of Community inclusion activities; Partnerships with schools, youth movements and surrounding neighborhood activities, coupled with diverse volunteering participants from the industrial and private sectors.
In addition, Beit Amichai, with its spacious premises and wealth of modern recreational facilities, significantly upgrade all our services, opening a new horizon full of captivating opportunities to accommodate as many as 40 special needs children.
It offers a vast range of exciting and beneficial activities:
A state-of-the-art Virtual Reality system
Up-to-the-minute, specially adapted computers, full of fun programs and games for improving cognitive and motor skills
High-end arts & crafts facilities
An outdoor patio offering thrilling Gymboree action
A fully equipped music room for song, rhythm and dance
A restful garden, where greenery, flowers and vegetables may be cultivated
A sensory room
An enrichment resource library providing suitable books and games
Some of these new, exciting pleasures are open – under structured supervision – to children from the nearby school and surrounding community. Inviting them to play and interact with our special children, encouraging natural acceptance and nurture values of inclusion and volunteerism from an early age.
Day Care for Children with Developmental Disabilities
Social group activities designed for children and teens on the autism spectrum, and is held
twice a week, alternating each group of friends. Activity is divided into different age groups;
Preschoolers, elementary school and adolescents. The work plan is governed by personal
annual goals tailored to each child according to their needs and family collaboration as
necessary with other caregivers who work with the child in other settings. Group work
includes group goals alongside personal goals for each child.
Group targets - group identity formation, increasing flexibility and coping with changes,
mutual development and attention to the opportunity to choose and self-expression,
content learning, memory and heating and act independently through out the community.
Personal goals for each child - skills development communication- directing body and
relating to one another, increasing responsiveness, adapt, maintaining the line, extending
the range of feel- identification and expression is adjusted, expanding the repertoire of
social game, instilling work habits, increasing and extending the duration of attention and
concentration, development capability control and self-soothing behavior, increased
initiative and responsiveness to social game, bush skills, gross and fine motor skills and
ability to organize personal and environmental.
As part of social groups there are classes designed to enrich children׳s knowledge and work
on more specific skills related to responsibility, regulation and co-sensory experience.
Between departments can be found yoga and movement, Department of Animal and Dog
Training therapy. Group activities delivered by professional guides with extensive knowledge
and experience working with children and adolescents on the autism spectrum and
accompanied by a team of counselors and volunteers are trained and instructed suite to
provide the appropriate response.
Raising a special needs child at home is a most trying, often exhausting task. A special child is essentially an infant or toddler who never grows up, requiring endless attention, supervision and care. Thus, with all their love and devotion, parents sometimes find themselves at wit's end, almost desperate for a break – a timeout in which they can take a deep breath and spend some real quality time with the rest of the family.
Amichai's Weekend Respite Program, with Homelike comfort & so much fun, was established in response to the urgent need of these families. Taking in special children for a weekend of fun, under the care of our highly experienced staff, we enable their parents and siblings to enjoy a restful Shabbat together, with complete peace of mind.
The programs runs year round and currently is comprised of 6 distinct groups of 8-10 children/youth participants. Each group is built for a defined range of ages and capabilities and is managed by professional coordinator and skilled caregivers, in addition to para medical support of our professional team.
At Beit Amichai we are able to offer the children a genuine sense of home. Here our special young guests are accommodated in a complete unit, furnished as a real apartment, and suited to their needs. They sleep in comfortable bedrooms, and their meals are prepared in the large, well-equipped state-of-the-art kitchen, and served in the spacious dining room.
The convenient, modern facilities allow another crucial benefit: teaching the children and adolescents various everyday skills, involving personal hygiene, tidying their surroundings etc. - to empower them and enhance their independence and sense of responsibility. This training, often not provided at home, is of the utmost importance for the next step in their lives – residing independently in their own homes in the community.
In addition, children staying at Beit Amichai over the weekend have access to its numerous leisure facilities: the blooming garden, the outdoor playground, the Gymboree on the balcony, the arts & crafts workshop, the computer room and more.
All these comforts, benefits and delights make the weekend respite a true, much-awaited pleasure for both the special children and the families who place them in our care.
Children with intellectual-developmental disabilities, as well as those with ASD enjoy the rich and fun activities of Amichai during periods where schools do not operate (holidays and summer vacation).
These activities are conducted in small groups based on age and level of cognitive and physical capabilities of participants.
We strive to fill the leisure time with fun and educational activities such as cooking, arts, computer games, team play, water and sports games and much more, with an emphasize on professional attention to the special needs of each and every one of the kids, while trying to strengthen their social skills.
The stuff is comprised of professional team and volunteers which together implement daily the inclusion vision of Amichai.