Psychological Team

The staff members of the Early Intervention Center base their work on a comprehensive view of each child that takes into consideration his or her cognitive, emotional and physical abilities.

Because we pay special attention to the psychological aspect of the children and their families, and because we are committed to meeting the specific needs of each child, we have built a large and highly skilled psychological treatment team. The team includes social workers, psychologists, family therapists, a movement therapist, a music therapist and an educational adviser.

The team provides services to the children and their families, as well as to the preschool staff.

For the Children

Evaluation and assessment
Every child who is admitted to the preschool undergoes an informal educational evaluation and is then placed in the class that is best suited to his or her age and level of development. A psychological assessment is done during the child’s studies in the preschool.

Treatment groups
The children in each preschool class receive treatment on the emotional level through the music and movement therapy groups that take place on a regular basis. The children learn to express their needs and desires, and to establish relationships and receive the appropriate responses, verbally and/or nonverbally. In addition, there are smaller psychological treatment groups made up of several children from each class who need extra reinforcement and guidance in emotional relating skills.

There are also groups which are led by staff members from different disciplines; for example, a group led by a member of the psychological treatment team together with various therapy professionals.

Individual play therapy
Children who need individualized psychological treatment are able to get play therapy in a room especially dedicated to this purpose.

Some of the preschoolers have a counselor who comes to their homes after school hours. Guided by members of the psychological treatment team, the counselors are assigned only when the parents are willing, depending on the availability of a suitable counselor.

For the Family

Because we recognize the crucial role played by the family unit in the child’s growth and development, parents and other family members are given guidance and support according to their needs.

Individual meetings with parents
All parents have a private meeting with the member of the psychological treatment team who works with their child’s preschool class and together they work out the nature and frequency of their subsequent meetings, based on the evaluation of their needs.

Support groups for parents
The groups deal with the reality shared by all the parents – their experiences and difficulties, as well as possible solutions and responses to their situation. The group setting provides a space for expressing thoughts and feelings about both the shared problems and the unique individual issues that come up. A valuable source of support, the group provides an opportunity to discuss and learn about various ways to cope effectively with the challenges faced by parents of children with special needs.

Support group for siblings
This group welcomes the developmentally normative brothers and sisters of children with special needs. The group enables them to express thoughts and feelings that cannot always be dealt with in family and social settings, as well as to process the complex reality of being “the brother or sister of a child with special needs.”

Help and guidance in dealing with the various authorities
This service provides hands-on assistance to families in dealing with the various bureaucratic systems they encounter, including the National Insurance Institute (the Israeli equivalent of Social Security), the Income Tax Authority and others. Families are also given information about the various benefits to which they are entitled.

Integration into inclusive education
The team helps parents whose children are able to integrate into an inclusive (mainstream) preschool one or two days each week to implement such an arrangement.

Help with the transition from preschool to elementary school
We provide assistance in finding the most appropriate setting for continuing the child’s education. A special group facilitated by a treatment staff member focuses on the transition to elementary school and on easing the departure from the preschool setting.

For the Preschool Staff Members

Staff counseling
Members of the psychological treatment team provide ongoing counseling and guidance for the preschool’s educational and paramedical teams.

Maintaining system-wide integration
The psychological treatment staff participates in discussions, parent days and medical clinics, based on their familiarity with each child and his or her situation.

Support groups for educational and therapy staff members
A member of the psychological treatment staff facilitates a support group where educational and therapy (physical, occupational, speech, etc.) staff members can freely discuss their dilemmas and difficulties and learn from the experience of others.