Monday, June 20, 2011

The update you have all been waiting for

Where to begin?

Well that last few days in Israel were like on of those emotion charts! full of every emotion possible! Happy and Sad were the two major ones! All the therapists and I got together for an official closing discussion. Their thoughts opinions and ways to continue. It was wonderful and teary. The last day was very hard for me. I was getting close to coming home (just had the weekend to get through)  and i was so excited but I had to say goodbye to the people that helped me and supported me. We had a little party for Noam and another little girl who also attended the institute from England! Noam gave everyone a flower and a big hug and really understood that he was heading home!

I had a meeting with the Rabbi Raffi Feurenstein... that was exciting, it gave me more motivation and hope for the future and the trip home!
The weekend was great and long! We were both anxious and ready to get home! Noam had some last minute fun with my family! Horse riding, swimming at the beach! Just beautiful!

Lucky for me i bumped into some friends of mum and dad's just before boarding the flight home! They flew all the way home with us and that was a blessing!!! great to have help and a familiar face!
Noam was great on the plane but by the last leg was full of energy! Good old Qantas and their amazing staff... lets just say, they all knew Noam by the end of the flight!

Melbourne Airpot walking through those doors and I got it!! the hugs I had been waiting so long for. Mika, Shuly, Naish and my Dad ( mum was in bed it was an early flight).

It's been two weeks now and things are starting to settle.. Noam had a hard start sleep wise but as the days went on he got better and better! It was so great to be home and even better to be able to share the experience finally with Naish and the rest of the family! What has been even better has been the changes they have seen! Noam has settled back into school and kinder and it will be interesting to see how those changes carry though....
I am back into running a household, being a mother, a wife a friend and a girl on a mission to find the support and therapies to keep this kid growing!
There are lots of exciting things coming up in the horizon and I promise to keep update happening through my blog!!  ( especially seeing as 130 people viewed it yesterday)

It wasn't really until I got home that I realised how much I had changed! Two weeks in and i am realising that some things you can't change, some things you have already changed, some things you don't want to change!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


We are home with still lots of stories to tell! I have promised many to keep this blog going so that I will do! just give me a few days to get my act together!

Both Noam and I were very excited to get home! kisses for everyone and non stop hugs!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thank you!

We were so blessed to be given this opportunity! The generosity of work colleges, family and friends and people we haven't even met, was then as is still now overwhelming. I will be forever grateful to everyone who has helped us get here both finically and emotionally.... I can honestly say with all my heart that you have given Noam a new beginning.. you have given Noam direction and knowledge to see the world through clear eyes. To know, to understand and be a part of a world that every person deserves to be apart of! I have to say it again THANK YOU!!

Tomorrow is our last day at the Institute! WOW! Five weeks have past, I have learnt so much and  so has Noam. We had final meeting with all the therapists and me! They each went around and spoke about what they have been doing with Noam, why and where to go from here. I have filmed it so that I can share it with everyone in melbourne that works with Noam and for me to keep the inspiration and motivation flowing within me! I also spoke about my experience, how we got to Israel, how the trip has effected me and how I see the changes in Noam... My goals for the future

This trip has taught me to believe again.. It has opened my world to a sea of opportunities for Noam and made me believe in a child whose future 6 weeks ago I was not to certain of! I have learnt to have faith in Noam, let him be the five year old he is! Give him the independence he deserves and send him on his way to be wants and needs to be! (with a little help from me)

I can't forget to say a big thank you to a few other people! My amazing family here in Israel who not only have embraced Noam but have cherish him supported us and honestly helped me get through the toughest 6 weeks of my life!

To the therapists at the Institute! ( I know some of you have found this blog) Your support and dedication infectious! Each and every one of you has something unique and inspirational to offer.. Keep doing the amazing work that you do and always remember that you are changing the lives of so many families and so many children who will be forever grateful. You have not only given me hope you have given Noam Life.... You have shown him what the world has to offer and taught him to embrace it!
There are no words to describe to you all how grateful I am! I am going to miss you all and I prey that one day I will be back with Noam to continue this amazing Journey!

Monday, May 30, 2011

There is nothing more magical than Erez Israel. ( the land of Israel) Tonight we stood and watched a city unite on the eve of Yom Yerushalayim ( Jerusalem Day) . We walk the streets in pride, waving the Israeli flags and sining about a country that means so much has given so much.

There is nothing more magical than watching your child flourish amongst crowds. Become a boy who understands, is intrigued and excited and who I honestly believe felt the pride all other Yerushalmi's (people of Jerusalem) did today!  

Noam asked me to 'walk with the people'..... He told me he wanted a flag.... And as he watched the tractors drive by he waved, said shalom and talked about the tractor he went on with his cousin Motty to see the 'SHEEP'....

This is a boy who's world has been opened up not only to language but to everything it has to offer. I realised today as I walked with Noam that he is no longer a passive member of society but an active one! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

When I come home and Noam sleeps i have been reading a lot on this theory that has intrigued me so much. Today i came across a piece of writing that just put it all together for me. 

(my husband being a librarian  I should probably quote that properly but that would mean having to go back through my papers... another time maybe) 

I could probably try and summarise what this means for you but I think i may just put the link to the site I have been reading and if you are interested have a read! ESPECIALLY people out there who have children!

Just to clarify.. the child is often and just shouldn't be! When mediating it's also about changing yourself for the child,  looking at the individual child, setting the environment for the individual child and 'stimuli' - looking at what will motivate the individual child and using that knowledge to extend learning!

(hope that makes sense)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

So you would like to know how all this learning and mediation has helped Noam? well let me tell you.
Tonight we had to take Noam to the doctor! A suspected ear infection diagnosed by myself! Noam HATES doctors and never ever cooperates. As expected when she went to check his ear he carried on, screamed no no no and wouldn't let her look! I asked him to listen to me and I asked him if his ear was sore? he said yes! I basically explained to him that 'if you want it to feel better then you need to let her look so she can give you some medicine!' He said NO! I asked him if he wanted to go home and see daddy and Mika and Shuly in a week? He said YES! so I explained ' We need to check your ear so we can give you medicine, otherwise you can't go on a plane home to see them! he said OKAY! he sat and let the doctor look. He then said THANK YOU! So now I think I can say this trip is really going to change our lives!

Thank you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I almost forgot to add that on the way home from the institute today Noam spoke to me! He said - MUMMY play Chana and shira, Leah and Shmuel! 'Shmuel Noam friend' He said! !!!!
unfortunately  I couldn't stop crying (tears of pride) so I found it hard to talk back!! LOVE THAT KID!
When things get tough you generally feel like packing it in! Well that's how I felt at the beginning of this week! Really I did, you can ask the girls at the institute, you can ask my husband who I sobbed too and you can even ask my mum and dad who for no reason I got angry at! Most of all you can ask NOAM! To whom I really cried too. It seems like he listen as today he had a truly amassing day! Lots of great talking, lots of great sequencing, planning and co operating! And yes today not only did he eat chicken, he also ate mashed potato! ( i know i am getting carried away with the eating chat but really guys, it is AMAZING as this is a kids who just never eats anything!

What Have I learnt so far? I ask myself this question every day. The answer is simple! The more you expect the more you get! The more you talk the more he understands. The more you mediate the more chance he has of reciprocating through language play and motivation. Most of all I have learnt that Noam needs to treated like he is 5 years old!!!!

Here are some pics of what Noam did today! Tomorrow I will explain in a little more detail how and why!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I wasn't going to blog today! But here I am. I felt like I didn't really have much to say and didn't want to bore anyone with words of nothing. I am so tired that i am finding it hard to fall asleep. My mind is full of endless thoughts. The trip is coming to an end with only 7 Days left at the institute! where to go from here and how am I going to get him there? If you have a chat with Naish I think he would agree that my mind is in overload... I have been emailing home with instructions to make appointments  for when we get home and there are even some that he doesn't know I have made! I am so excited for the future and determined to give Noam even more!

The past two days were hard. Noam regressed a little in behaviour and was struggling a little to cope with the demands on him. I was struggling to cope with the demands on me! Lucky for us we are surrounded by a support network of amazing individuals who lets just say 'saved the day'. It was time for a quotes and the quote of the day had to be 'ROME WASN'T BUIL IN A DAY'. No it wasn't and although tacky is was the perfect thing for someone to say to me!

Noam has come so far... It is only natural that he regresses a little. I see it as 10 steps forward 2 steps back 20 steps forward 1 step back!  His anger and frustration in the past seemed to be for no reason! It seems that now Noam's ability to understand this world around him together with his desire to be surrounded by a world of language has refocused his anger to 'real' frustration in not being able to 'talk' and use language as a tool of communication. He is trying so hard and in time  I am sure in will succeed!

Today he ate a PLATE of schnitzel! WOW

Friday, May 20, 2011

I have a story to tell!

Considering everything Noam has been through in the past few weeks he has really been amazing! One thing is for sure that I now know that i didn't really prepare him enough for this Journey. In preparing him i mean that I didn't really talk to him about what where we were going. I didn't explain to him why or how, and most importantly I didn't ask him how he felt about it!

As I have discussed in earlier posts the institute has taught me the importance of mediation. Mediation through play and interaction. Today Noam had a so so day! To be totally honest so did I. By the time it came to 6.30pm he was so worked up and angry that I couldn't calm him down to put him to bed. I managed after 15 minutes to get him to lie down. I lay down next to him and patted his head! I began to talk to him like I never have before. It went a little something like this.

ME - "Noam I feel like you are angry, are you angry with Mummy? 
NOAM -he looked me straight in the eye and said "NO".
ME 'Are you angry with Daddy?
NOAM - NO.. 
ME -Shuly? 
NOAM - 'NO" 
ME - Do you miss daddy? I do! 
NOAM - NO (but I think he does) 
ME -What about Shuly? 
ME - And Mika? 
NOAM- NO! - 'play' - 
ME -"Do you want to play with Mika?"

This may sound like a simple discussion especially for a 5 year old! For me and Noam I honestly believe this was the best discussion we have ever had!
He actually got his feelings out with the help of mediation.
Once I understood what he was feeling I was able to explain to him that Mika would also love to play with him and we will go home on a plane in two weeks and see everyone.
He went to sleep feeling calm and with a smile on his face! And so will I
I am going to sleep thanking EVERYONE for giving us this opportunity to learn. I am thanking EVERYONE for giving me my dream, although a simple one, I had a conversation with my son. THANK YOU!!!!
Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The end of the third week

As we reach the end of out third week at the institute the bad news is that I am an emotional mess! Missing Mika, Shuly and Naish and the rest of my amazing family and I am struggling at times to stay strong and motivated. The good news is A) that is totally normal and B) Noam and I are both learning more than i ever expected!
I guess the most important thing to remember is that I am not coming home with all my problems solved or with a kid that can speak fluently. What I am coming home with is with a kid who now see's the world through different eyes and a mother who has been given the tools to teach him to continue the vision.
I have so much more to learn and to gain from my time here and for the rest of my life. I guess in a way I am now a little scared to leave an environment that has given me so much support and knowledge. A big part of me wants to stay and learn and a bigger part of me can't wait to get home and continue.

The week saw Noam grow, making me  even prouder if that is at all possible! Not only is he cooperating but he is also learning, taking what he is learning and relating it to every day life skills and understanding. Today with Ayelet ( Noam's cognitive yoga teacher) we discussed briefly Feuerstein's theory of muscle strength and it's relation to the mind! Unfortunately we were unable to discuss this at length but we have taken a rain check for Sunday. I can't wait to fill you all in.

There was a lot of buzz around the institute over the past few days as Noam managed to do a little disappearing act... I wont elaborate on the details as my heart is still feeling the effects of the event. Let me just say it has given a few of the therapists (actually all the therapists even the ones that don't know Noam) a mission to teach Noam danger! they believe they can teach him to stay with mum, hold hands and not run away! All I can say is I HOPE THEY CAN!!  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Noam and Liat
Learning about sequencing. 
It's not the first time in the past five years that someone has said to me 'Limor, you have to stop being such a good mother'. It's also not the first time these words have brought tears to my eyes. Why?

For those of you who know me well and know my relationship with Noam you will know that we are very close. I will do anything in the world to protect all my kids, to give them the best life I can give them... sometimes the protection is something they just don't need, Noam in particular. For a few years now we have been working on language with Noam. I would have to agree and it is something that the institute and it's wonderful people have pointed out that Noam doesn't have a need to talk. I and we as a family talk for him.. without knowing it we are actually hindering his speech development as well as creating a field of behavioural issues which we play into ( especially me)! I am learning about the capability of a child who every day surprises me.
Today we had some big tantrums. I'll admit that I got to a point where i fell into the trap of yelling and getting frustrated. going head to head with Noam simply feeds into his seek of attention. Slowly I am discovering that the world of speech and explanation (mediation) actually eliminates frustration, lack of communication and most of all anger! I guess I am human and at times struggle as any parent does but the more I learn the more he succeeds!

Today Noam showed me is ability to develop new skills. His ability to learn listen and succeed!
I DID IT!!!!
May I also add that participating in the group sessions at the institute have once again wowed me!! Noam not only enjoyed every minute he thrived! using three word sentences interacting with kids who don't even speak his language! and wait for it, eating CAPSICUM and RICE WITH CHICKEN.

Oh and before I forget, the surprise i wasn't telling you about was a big flop so their is really no point writing about it! sorry, i know you were all getting very curious but really don't loose any sleep over it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Now I did video a session with Shoshana the phycologist today! What a woman!! the session was amazing and we learnt lots about Noam. She also managed to get about three or so FULL sentences out of him. I cant seem to upload it on here!! NOT HAPPY!

I also thought i would quickly add some pictures of the Yoga cards I was talking about the other day just incase anyone is interested!

Tomorrow we are doing something i am really looking forward to... shh it's a secret can't tell anyone yet!
Where to begin? I often write what I think. Most of the time I have no idea if it makes any sense to anyone else... somehow getting it down on paper works for me. Today is no different! We had a fantastic day at the institute today. We continued with the old and added some new. Noam worked with a new therapist today I was a little apprehensive when I looked at the weeks schedule and saw that he had some new therapists. My theory was that we had gotten through two really tough weeks, finally he was settling with the therapist he knows and now they go changing them on me! Well good thing they did. Not that I don't love the others because I do, but this lady was fantastic. She taught me a lot about following through. She worked on behaviour as well as cognitive abilities. We discussed Furensteins three stages of thinking.  There is the input and data gathering stage, the processing stage and  the output stage through intentional mediation Noam is able to restructure his thinking and in tern develop a greater skills in learning abilities.  She explained to me why Noam needs more input and how it will help his overall understanding as well as behaviour. She showed me the difference practically and once again it all just fell into place!

Today i discovered the importance of constantly doing things differently with Noam. Noam is a creature of habit if something is done one way once or twice then thats the way it will be forever! The therapist tried getting him to spell his name with letters.. She had his name on a pice of paper then had individual letters. He had to match them. He did because Noam knows his letters however placed them on top of his name rather than on the board. Noam is used to matching by placing on top! Today after three attempts he learnt a new skill!

Now for the best part of the day! Noam joined a group of five children at the institute. These sessions are run by OT's, Speech therapists, special Ed teachers and I am sure some others.. The idea was to leave him to give me a break! when i left he SCREAMED!! I cried like a baby!! When I came back i could hear Noam from out in the corridor. he was having fun! He came out of the room and was so excited to see me. One of the boys who also has DS a good few years older than Noam asked him if he would like to join them in the class room? the therapist translated for Noam and Noam said YES. Loud and clear YES YES.. he didn't even look back. He went with the boy to the class and sat with the five children.
He actively participated in the group session for 30 minutes. Dong everything all the kids did and interacting! The therapist to my amazement ran the class in english and hebrew!

I got some pictures of the group session but they are a little blurry because I had to hide!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

reflections with a little play

The sole purpose for coming to Israel is for the intensive program the institute offers. Sadly their is no such place in Australia but we are working on it! I can't  help but ponder the thought of bringing Naish and the kids to Israel for a year or two so that Noam can work at the institute with these inspirational people for a longer period of time. I honestly believe it would change his life. Practically i know these thought are only dreams. Reality kicks in and well we all know what that means!

Most of you know that I have spent many years in Israel. I connect to the culture and the people and honestly I have always felt Israel to be my home away from home. I feel it even more now! This trip for me has been a very different experience, being here with Noam has shown me a side of Israel i never knew existed. For one i now know where all the parks are in Jerusalem not just the pubs!  It has been hard to move around and see people in our free time as Noam has really struggled with the change and has been finding it hard to settle. One thing he is enjoying is chatting to people as i wheel him around in the pram. Through the shooks (markets) and through the streets I am certain that he too is connecting to country that means so much to me! 
Today we went with my friend Aviv and her son Guy to Neve Tzedek in Telaviv.  As we walked around I was amazed at how much the city of Telaviv has changed. I have to admit I am falling more and more in love with the new Israel every day. 

Its was an amazing today today and it felt great to be free of the emotion that comes with our experiences in Jerusalem. It was amazing to spend time with my dear friend who herself is an inspiration to me!

tomorrow it's back to work and I am really looking forward to learning learning learning and more learning! 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's been a short week at the institute. A shame but that's what you get in a country that celebrates.. We arrived back in Jerusalem on wednesday after the independence day celebrations. Noam was a little angry to leave Bilu (my families house) but was very excited to see the staff at the institute when we got there. He is still struggling a little to cooperate at the beginning of sessions but is coming around quicker than the past few weeks! Mediation is the key and golly it works! It seems that a few of the staff have tuned into what he likes. Most sessions now start with something to do with sheep, cars or trains. This is a great way to get him involved and interested! WE continued with counting, sorting, up and down lines and to my surprise Noam is starting to think more methodically... He too is very proud of himself. We are starting to see words like WOW and YEY disappear as he begins to embrace language and use phrases like "I DID IT".

One of the sessions we have had weekly is Yoga for children. Besides a tool used to calm and relax the session involves symbolic representation which will give Noam the skill to identify symbols and and relate them to every day experiences and objects. This time it was my turn to say WOW! the therapists showed him a card of a yoga pose, next to it she placed a card (picture) of an animal doing the same pose. Noam has to relate the two cards and then do the pose with his body. The first two session we have had with Ayelet he found it difficult to relate the two. Today he was a pro, achieving all the poses with ease and identifying the relation between the two. he really enjoying the experience at the same time! Video and pics to follow next week.

Next week Noam will participate in group sessions within a combined mainstream and special needs kinder program. This will give me some time to myself (which I soooo need) as well as give the therapists the opportunity to observe and work with Noam within a group session.

For now time to spell check and say goodbye!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Okay this post is for Mum and Naish. I PROMISE TO SPELL CHECK from now on!
I have never been the best at spelling and grammar. When I type, I type fast without really thinking. I have so much in my head that it just comes out. I forget to check. Sorry to all.
A great day was had by all with family for Yom Ha-atsmaut. Back to work tomorrow!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Yom Haatsmaut Sameach! (Happy Independence Day Israel)



Today was the best day we have had since arriving at the institute. Noam seems to have settled and seems to be enjoying the staff and the environment! Thanks goodness as I was starting to really feel like I had put too much pressure on him by taking him aways from his environment and the people he loves!

All four sessions today were amazing.. It seems that I have this mediation technique down pat!! (well maybe not perfect) but I am defiantly on my way...

Today I came to some conclusions on my own about the Feurnstein approach.. I was proud of myself and at the same time fascinated with my discoveries and how they relate to 'Noam's life (of WOW). 
Sequencing and the importance it plays in every aspect of life... starting with numbers leading to language,, sequencing sets the tone for understanding. This understanding gives the child the tools to understand, discover accept and participate. Over the past week and a half at the institute each therapist has worked on a different level of sequencing . Today i discovered why!

Before we left Australia Noam's kinder teacher gave me two drawings that Noam had done. One was a pig and one was a sheep! Noam knew what they were but to the average eye they were not recognisable. This was the start of symbolic drawing. Today at the institute together with the OT they worked on drawing a person. In order to help Noam understanding of the meaning of what they were drawing the Ot called the person 'daddy' Noam was very excited but the idea and decided to take a piece of paper and a texta. Rather than draw a person, Noam drew an aeroplane! WOW!! all that talk about Daddy he wanted to go on the plane to see his daddy! AMAZING

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Isn't it amazing to talk to people who understand! to have friends that you can be totally honest with and who totally understand where you are coming from and how you feel. The world of disability is hard. It brings out the best and worst in people. You gain friends you loose friends. You gain strength you loose strength. At times you feel out of control like your whole world is falling apart. At times you feel so empowered that anything is reachable. You develop a sense of determination to do anything in your power to give your child the best life they can have... to help them reach their fullest potential no matter what it takes. Without the understanding of friends and family you could never succeed. I am so blessed to have an amazing family both in Australia and Israel. This trip would not be possible without their support. They say that true friendship is never lost in time! I have always believed in this and have been through stages in my life where i haven't had contact with people for years to reunite to the same friendship..How blessed I feel to be reunited with a friendship. One i believe was always there but was brought back through two amazing and inspirational children.

 Noam, Israel and this trip has given me so much. I don't have the words to describe how this trip has and is changing my life.... I am learning daily to understand my child and myself and how we work together!

 Today at the institute
we played with horses, we did some puzzles, we played with those lying down and standing up icy pole sticks... we attempted to use them to create a square. We used a white board to copy the square made of icy pole sticks to a drawing.... MY fear was that with all the stubbornness of not wanting to co operate the concepts were being lost. For the final session we
went with Sara to the park next to the institute. I wasn't sure how Noam would go trying to cooperate in open space with slides and play equipment to distract him. As Sarah wheeled Noam around the park in his pram showing him all the lying down and standing up lines she explained the important link this had to his understanding of the world around him and his every day environment. Once out of the pram and running around Noam found two icy pole sticks on his own.He picked them up and showed them to Sarah and I "SQUARE" he said... Sarah picked up another stick and together we sat. Sarah made for Noam the letter N. Noam knows his alphabet and was excited by the letter 'N'- Sarah pointed out to him that the letter 'N' was for Noam. 'WOW' said Noam. Noam picked up the sticks and proceeded to make the letter 'N' on his own! HE GOT IT!!!!!
Where to begin?
It's been a few days since I have blogged. In the world of 'Noam' a few days can mean a million experiences and a million emotions.
That pretty much describes the past few days we have had.
I am not even sure where to begin. I think the best thing to do in a situation like this is to simply write and whatever comes out you can either enjoy to read or just skip altogether!

Last Thursday was an interesting day at the institute. Besides the usual tears and anger we saw snippets of Noam's capability. An amazing little boy with so much going on in his head. His determination and passion together with his stubbornness has in the past two weeks made me cry laugh and be proud. Last thursday we had many sessions but one which stood in my mind was that with the head of the intensive program. Chana is a woman who i don't know very well, but one that I already admire. Not only is she compassionate and wise she sees beyond what's being displayed on the outside and see's the child for who he is! In reflection i have to say that all the therapist see 'Noam' Their understanding of the 'child' their development and what makes them tick intrigues me more and more every day! In trying to open his mind in a systematic way through play i was amazed at the imitation she was able to pull out of Noam! I have always and will always believe that a child learns through play! What I have learnt over the years with Noam is that his play at times needs to be directed and realistic! what I have learnt through feurenstien is that his play needs to be 'mediated' there is a difference one which i never understood until now! Over the years we have had many issues with Noam mouthing things!! from all types of objects to his thumb. The answer has been to give him this stimulation in a more appropriate way! A rubber strip maybe.. on thursday it was brought to my attention that his need for this stimulation may very well be  not only due to his lack of language but also the types of food he eats (or should I say doesn't eat)!
Hmmm food for thought!

I have to take a break this evening from this blog, sorry i had so much to say but
i As I sit and type  to you all it is 8pm in Israel... Tonight marks the start of Yom Hazikaron - Remembrance day! The Siren rings and I stand in silence together with a country that mourns!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Soliloquy - "Narration given by a mediator directed at the child without expectation for the child to respond or give eye contact but rather immerse them in a verbal environment"
This is a concept of embarrassing language that sounds easy but is actually a difficult skill to master! To gain the skill will be to develop a communicative child who feels comfortable and develops a greater understanding of and within  the world around him. 
This is a skill I am beginning to embrace, explore and use. Never fear, next week i will begin to tape Noam's speech sessions with Rina... Magical....

Today Noam had an OT session like no other... It started off as most sessions so far... angry, crying and not a very happy Noam.. After a little TLC and some clever diversion techniques the therapist Rachel did some work with plastic pipes that stretch and icy pole sticks... I wasn't really sure about what she was doing but once she explained it to me i was amazed! She was teaching Noam the concept of the 'stick lying down and the sticks standing up. Why? because this is how they teach pre writing.  It sounds strange i know but really when you hear the reasoning behind it, it's truly amazing. Noam has now leant (within ten minutes might i add) about horizontal and vertical lines... in the next session we will take the next step of teaching him to Draw a square, then other shapes, then letters! WOW I can't wait to sit it all come about.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Slowly getting into the routine of the day, Well i am anyway! Noam is struggling a little with the idea of participation! In true Noam style he is testing the waters with every therapist he sees! Lucky for them they are experts at diverting the negative behaviour to positive. I guess in a way I am happy he is showing these behaviours as these are the things Naish and I struggle with everyday. These are the things i need help with the most! For those of you who know Noam even a little, one of our biggest concerns is his tendency to abscond. Funnily enough this hasn't changed in Israel however...we are working on it! The therapists are determined to win and although Noam is a tough opponent it seems that they may have the upper hand! throughout his speech session today Noam tried to run out.. instead of locking the door (as some of the other therapists have done) the speechy aloud him to leave the room as long as he asked if he could! hmmmm after the third time he started asking, after the fourth time of leaving the room he realised that mum wasn't coming with. That made it the fourth and last time in that session that he left the room! Interesting don't you think?
The key to success so far seems to be language! we haven't even touched on things and already as Noam becomes confident with his use of language I am already seeing slight changes in behaviour and ability!

The day ended with another 3 hour walk for me while Noam slept the afternoon away... I walked to the 'old city' with the purpose of visiting the market I once loved so dearly! As i walked i noticed the absolutely amazing changes made to the streets of Jerusalem. As for the market, stairs, stairs, stairs and more stairs. PRAM = NO MARKET!  Oh well at least I had a nice walk there

Monday, May 2, 2011

Another day in a magical city!

Tomorrow is another day, Well it was, today I mean... another day! A better day.
To explain a little about what is happening for those who are interested! Noam and I are at the institute for 4 hours a day. There are four sessions a day, each one hour long! We are seeing a few different therapists each day. A psychologist , occupational therapists, speech therapists and special Ed teachers who have or are doing PHD's in Furenstein's approach! It can get a little overwhelming for Noam (an myself) to be changing therapists every hour but he is getting used to the idea! ( I think next week some sessions run for 2 hours with the same therapist)

  Some of you may think that 4 hours a day is not much considering we have come half way across the world. I felt the same until i saw the state Noam was in when we finished today. Lets just say Noam in the pram sleeping, mum drinking coffee trying not to sleep! The intensity of what happens in those four hours is amazing. 

It's a little hard to go into detail exactly what happens in each session and i am really hoping to be able to film some sessions (keep forgetting to ask)... I think i have learnt more in the past few days than i have in five years.
Mina if you are reading this, I GET IT!! Mediated therapy the importance of the the use of language between Noam and adults....Narration, explanation  I GET IT!! The speech therapist blew me away today. Mina you wold have been proud of this kid who used his words and learnt some more... learnt to ask and had a discussion about a book.
I have so much to learn. I am on an emotional roller coaster and didn't realise how hard emotionally this would be.

To finish  off the day We had a play in the park at the end of the street! Kezza it is fenced and brilliant!!! Noam made some friends his interactions were immaculate (if that makes sense).
i feel like this is the start some someone new!

Jerusalem really is a magical city! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Life As A Documentary

I am sure that this experience is going to bring on many changes in both of us! Noam has been great but over the past few days has demonstrated behaviours i have never seen! He has begun yelling at me in a way that scares me. His frustration at his inability to effectively communicate verbally has over the past few years become more and more frustrating to all of us! If i could have one dream in life  it would not be to win tatslotto or to have the house i have always dreamed of. besides good health and happiness I also dream for Noam to be able to speak... I dream of the day i am able to know what he is feeling, thinking and knowing.. The psychologist today explained the about the importance of conversation. She explained the need to not talk for Noam but to narrate... consider his life as a 'documentary'  narrate what you do how, you do it, how your going to do it and why your gong to do it! I always knew the importance of narration in Noam's world of understanding and speech... today in watching a master at work the penny finally dropped! I hope that I too in time will have the skill to make narration apart of our every day life!

The big day

WoW! What a week, what a day! We arrived in Jerusalem today! after searching and searching the streets of Nahlaot we finally found the institute and the apartment! I don't think i will elaborate on the little adventure as it was a little stressful and exhausting.... lets just say we arrived and are now all settled!
Arriving at the institute all emotional from the trip here I think it was fate that we began with a visit to the child psychologist!  Between Noam throwing things and screaming and me crying she had a field day!! LOL... It all ended with a happy Noam and a happy mummy! She was inspirational. Her ability to calm Noam and redirect his negative behaviour to positive, beautiful and constructive interactions was something you generally only read about! I defiantly have a lot to learn and so far at least one great teacher to teach!

Got to put the boy to bed so for now! See ya

Thursday, April 28, 2011

History repeats itself

As a little girl growing up I spent many weeks in Israel. My father came from a place called Kfar Bilu. Here we call it a mushav!  in english i have no idea at this time what you would call it! Many years ago there were chickens, cows, horses and orange trees. We used to come to visit the family and spend hours on tractors and playing with the animals. My uncle and aunty still live here and it is here that we are staying until we head to Jerusalem on Sunday to begin at the institute. Although there is not really much agriculture  left, there is still a tractor!! Watching Noam on the tractor with his cousin Motty ( or as Noam says it OTTY) brought back many amazing memories from being a child visiting Israel!

Not only is Noam's language and behaviour changing for the better daily ( and we haven't even gotten down to business yet) His life experiences are fascinating him and his reaction to what he experiences for me is a beautiful one to watch.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shalom Israel

After lots of anticipation, nerves and excitement we have arrived in Israel!!
Noam was a star on the plane!!! Lots of WOW's lots of chit chat and best of all lots of SLEEPING!! YEY for Noam. The most exciting part for him was landing in Hong Kong! Once we landed we got a big AGAIN. In HK we spent and interesting 11 hours! walking walking and more walking! We had a ball but to be honest after about 4 hours i was ready to fly on. Noam took on a role of 'model' for the time we spent there, i am not sure i am able to count how many times he had his picture taken by random people! strange and a little nerving.
Then onto Israel with ELAL. One amazing part of flying into israel with ELAL for those of you who haven't been is when the plane lands there is applause from all aboard... Noam was no different just louder and topped up with many 'mummy' , mummy' WOW! He had everyone around him in tears of laughter!
I have to say that the help i received from Qantas was outstanding!! from ELAL, well lets just say welcome to Israel!!

I now find myself sitting at my family waiting for the next part of this amazing journey to begin... On sunday we head to Jerusalem. I can't wait!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

There is lots of buzz around our place at the moment! Getting ready to go is reminding me what it felt like to get married! So much preparation, talk and excitement and then the big day! Life changing, amazing and defiantly scary! For those of you who know Naish there is nothing scary about him. For those of you who know Noam, well the big flight and a change in routine blah blah blah for me is scary!

The internet has been my saviour since giving birth to this amazing child! Not a night has gone bye over the past five years where i haven't sat and 'google' something to do with Down Syndrome, Vitamins, special diets and lots more (admittedly i have been known to make a few purchases on ebay or buyinvite!) Tonight has been no different!  The good news is, thanks to google i am now aware that Hong Kong International airport has children's play areas and big big big television screens scattered through the departure lounges just for kids.

Bring on the the 11 hour Stop over......
Stay posted people as the big day arrives so will the exciting posts about flights, airports and Israel!!
more importantly 1st of May is our first day at the institute!!

till then
see ya!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This trip would not be possible without the support and donations of many amazing people! There are honestly no words to describe our gratitude to those of you you who have contributed! This once in a life time opportunity has only been made possible thanks to YOU! Back home i will be leaving Mika and Shuly with Naish. I can't begin to describe how much this hurts and how much I wish this cold be a journey we was a family share together! Reality is that it will be Noam and my Journey but all of our futures! HOw grateful i am to know that Naish and the kids have the support of so many family and friends  .Without them this trip would also not be possible! THANK YOU!

Preparing Noam for the trip doesn't come with ease. Sometimes I wonder if all the fear is only my fear! We have done lots of talking about flying and being away. He seems excited but how much he understands is anyone's guess! When reality kicks in will the separation be to much or will he rise to the occasion??
Thanks to my beautiful friend Kim ( my rock over the past 5 years ) who is making Noam a 'social story' for the trip I can only hope that he rises to the occasion!

In the meantime it need to get myself healthy and organised! (the winter cold has kicked in.)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What am I looking for?

I could write a book about feelings, emotions and the Journey that began a little more than 5 years ago! (18-11-05 to be exact) with almost 2 weeks until Noam and I head off, everyday brings another emotion I never knew existed!  Over the past few weeks i have had many people wish us all the best! The comment of the year seems to be ' I hope you find whatever you are looking for'!

What am i looking for?
There are so many things that I wish for this trip!
I wish to be challenged and inspired!
I wish to spend time with my son and get to know more about this amazing person i have brought into this world.
I wish to understand how his mind works.
l I wish to give Noam the skills and determination to be the person he wants to be!
I wish for him to experience, explore, develop and understand

Sometimes being a mother is just not enough on it's own to help your child grow and succeed!  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Where we are heading

Where we are heading... Check it out for a more detailed explanation of what we are working with

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Three weeks before the big trip!

So I have no idea about how to go about this blog stuff but i am sure i will learn fast! 3 weeks to go and we are getting ready! I told the kids today that Noam and I were going away! hmmmm not sure how that went down! I told Mika  that I was taking Noam to Israel to see lots of doctors!! He  was so scared to go to bed incase i wasn't going to be there in the morning! Poor kid. The fear was taken away with the excitement of the idea of me buying lots of gifts and sending them to 'his mail box'. One very happy little boy!
As for Noam he was excited about going on a plane! That thought was overshadowed by the Phenergan taking affect which resulted in some strange tongue movements and a play with daddy's hair before passing out in bed!! YEY for phenergin bring on that 20 hour flight!!!
And Shuly, well she was more worried about the boys getting a chocolate biscuit when all she got was a bottle!