An afternoon spent at Ezrat Achim’s special needs division is like an afternoon spent with a favorite aunt, or even the child’s grandparents. Most children need only catch sight of Ezrat Achim’s blue and white minivan approaching their building to begin jumping up and down in excitement. They know they are going to a place where love is offered freely and without judgement; a home away from home where they enjoy valuable, lasting friendships. Remarkably, the dynamics of love and friendship are far from one-sided. Special needs children have a unique capacity for love and affection.
While it is no easy task to care for a special needs child, our staff and volunteers derive great satisfaction from the enriching experience. It isn’t only the children who come away feeling valued and safe. People from all walks of life – differing cultures, backgrounds and religious affiliation; parents, staff, volunteers, bus drivers and therapists are brought together as their lives are touched by a special needs child.
For parents, having their child attend one of Ezrat Achim’s after-school centers provides an invaluable opportunity to meet other parents with similar challenges; people who get what they are going through and whom they can relate to on so many levels. At Ezrat Achim, we understand the challenge and feeling of helplessness that parents of special needs children can sometimes face. Caring for a special needs child can often be a round-the-clock project.
Each afternoon, at Ezrat Achim Special Needs Centers throughout the city, under the guidance of professional staff and dedicated volunteers, Ezrat Achim’s Special Needs
Day Care Centers care for dozens of special needs children, ranging in age from 4 to 14, with differing levels of developmental and cognitive delays. During the most difficult
hours of the afternoon, from 3-7 PM, after the regular school day ends, the children enjoy hours of recreation and friendship, as they develop essential skills and gain confidence in their abilities. Children with a range of disabilities, enjoy playing with an assortment of educational toys and crafts, exploring the Gymboree, and engaging in a variety of other important skill-building activities. Through an array of interpersonal exercises, our team of professionals and volunteers work together to stimulate optimal growth for each child.
The children enjoy a warm, nutritious meal and then they are brought home on our special Ezrat Achim vans. Our goal is to provide a secure and fun setting for special children, in addition to giving their parents and families vitally needed respite.
Center for children with Developmental Delays 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Center for children with Autism 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM