For months the proud, expectant parents have been smiling in anticipation. They can’t wait to meet their little bundle of joy!
But for some parents, when the big day finally arrives, their world comes crashing down. Roughly 9% of mothers give birth to special-needs babies every year. In some cases, parents are given the diagnosis at birth or soon thereafter; in others, it may take a while to put a finger on what’s wrong.
Confusion and emotional turmoil set in, and even with a confirmed diagnosis parents are still in the dark. They need support, information and guidance on all the gnawing questions: Where do we go from here? How do we mourn for our shattered dreams and move forward? What services are available and which therapeutic framework would best suit my child? Which experts’ advice should we seek? How can we meet this child’s needs and balance them with our needs as a family?
Gedelim Beyachad (“Growing Together”) was established to serve as the address for parents, from the moment they discover or have a hunch that something’s not right. Founded by Tzippy Bartman, herself a mother of two special-needs children, Gedelim Beyachad has become the address for parents new to the special-needs journey.
Conveniently located in Petachya’s Shtilei Aryeh Pedagogic Center in the Sanhedria neighborhood of Jerusalem, Gedelim Beyachad’s state-of-the-art facilities serve parents and children from all over Jerusalem and its environs, including Modi’in, Beit Shemesh, Ma’ale Adumim and the Binyamin Regional Council.
Gedelim Beyachad offers
- Timely assessments and diagnoses for babies age 0-2, thus ensuring more effective treatment outcomes;
- Various therapies on site, such as occupational, speech and music therapy, given by expert staff with decades of experience. Parents are also guided on follow-up exercises to do at home;
- Medical consultations as well as guidance on navigating the bureaucracy of the health services;
- Where warranted, babies and toddlers are referred to other therapeutic frameworks. In many cases, Gedelim Beyachad has used its connections with institutions and professionals to get quicker appointments with the experts in question;
- A supportive environment for parents, with special family events, lectures and seminars as well as retreats where parents can recharge their batteries.
Most importantly, Gedelim Beyachad provides a calm, supportive environment where parents can meet with other parents contending with the multiple challenges of raising a special-needs child, share their experiences and exchange valuable information and resources – a place where they can feel at home to laugh and to cry, and to watch in amazement as their children blossom. We firmly believe that empowering parents aids children in their development and that when parents are given the tools and emotional input to love and bond with their special-needs child, the future is a lot more promising for everyone.