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ALEH ON THE HORIZON: A QUALITY HOME FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
ALEH Moriah is a warm and loving home in Gedera providing comprehensive care to 116 individuals with multiple intellectual and developmental disabilities. The “ALEH on the Horizon” home is ALEH Moriah’s new community home for 12 children between the ages 7-14 with severe autism. Residents of the home are low-functioning and require 24-hour/day assistance and supervision in all activities. At ALEH, the children receive the care and support they require within a warm, supportive atmosphere filled with opportunities for rehabilitation and inclusion in regular community life.
The community home is part of the local neighborhood, located in a quiet residential area in the city. Its goal is to encourage inclusion of the children of the home within the fabric of regular community life and advance the principals of normalization in all facets of their daily lives. At the same time, the specialized environment offers the necessary medical and rehabilitative frameworks that helps each resident advance his or her abilities and live a high quality of life.
Designed to enable each child to live a full life, the community home program combines a variety of activities emphasizing normalization, community integration and inclusion, and is run according to a systematic schedule in which activities are coordinated to correspond to the needs and abilities of the children in the residence in conjunction with the surrounding community. Individual attention to each resident is a basic principle of the program, with personal advancement programs planned to enable each resident to achieve their maximum potential. To this end, ALEH employs a wide range of caregivers, medical, nursing, health and therapy staff who provide the necessary support and care.
The daily schedule is normative and includes inclusion in the community’s special education school during the morning hours. In the afternoon, meaningful recreational activity takes place both at home and at various local community venues, including bowling, outings to pizza or coffee shops, summer camps, holiday events, sports club, gardening club and home economics clubs.
The professional program seeks to enable each child to attain maximum functioning, with encouragement towards independence in daily life skills, communication and community integration. A further objective is to encourage families to be part of their children’s lives as much as possible. Children from the community home regularly communicate with their families via Skype. Parents visit their children often and children go home for the weekend every other week.
A second community home is slated to be opened at ALEH Moriah during 2019, with another 12 applicants waiting to move in. Currently, some of these children live at home, some are hospitalized, and others are institutionalized. All are waiting, together with their families, for the chance to live in a protected, loving and warm environment that encourages their independence and enhances their quality of life.
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