By Emmanuel Elder - Chairman of the Keshatot Children Foundation
practicing communication through typing
The Fund for Keshatot Children [reg. no. 580540532, recognized charity, clause 46, Israel Income Tax Authority] was established in 2011 by parents of autistic children who studied at the Keshatot Center in order to assist autistic children in their schools.
The fund seeks contributions for complementary para-medical treatments [which are not among the therapies and treatments provided by the Ministry of Education], therapeutic and technological equipment and infrastructure improvement. The fund also organizes enrichment and recreational activities provided by local volunteers. Because the Fund for Keshatot Children is run solely by volunteers, all monies raised go directly towards these activities.
The Keshatot ("Rainbows" in hebrew) Center is a multi-regional magnet school serving 89 children age 3 – 13 on the autism spectrum in 2 kindergartens and 11 elementary school classes. These children graduate after the 6th grade and continue in Harim or Dror high schools.
The Harim ("Mountains" in hebrew) high school, is a multi regional school in Givaat Ada, serving 60 adolescents age 13-21on the autism spectrum.
The Dror ("Freedom" in hebrew) high school, is a multi regional school in Pardes Hanna, serving 45 adolescents age 13-21on the autism spectrum.
COVID-19 has created a new and unknown challenge. The autistic children, which crave consistency, had to deal with changing routines, staff members, and an ever-changing at-home life. Each child, along with his family and teachers, had to deal with national lock-down, a school shut-down and many more unbalancing events.
While the Special education continues to work throughout the nation wide lockdown, the Fund for the Keshatot Children continues to support and assist the schools. The iPads the fund provides, enable all the teachers and therapists to create lessons and worksheets, which they can then share with the autistic children.
During these challenging times we have embarked on a new project, the Kseahtot and Harim schools are working with the "Express yourself through typing" center in Herzelia. The teachers and therapists are receiving courses and guidance, aiming to enable non-verbal children to learn how to express them selves through typing (iPad odr computer keyboard). With 50% of our children unable to speak, we hope this new method will enable some of them to communicate with thier family, teachers and surroundings.
The fund is glad to support and finance such innovative methods, advancing the schools, the staff and the children.
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