The Feuerstein Institute and their work with children with Down syndrome.
The Feuerstein Method has proven to be an excellent tool for children with Down syndrome. Unlike children with other cognitive disabilities, children with Down syndrome are marked by readiness to interact and benefit from the mediated learning experience. In many cases, the children have been able to improve to a level of performance equal to their peers, and are able to mainstream into normative classrooms.
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Noam from Melbourne Australia.
"When Noam and I first met Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein in Melbourne, I was desperate. Noam was an angry little boy, nearly nonverbal, with behavior that was getting worse by the day." – Limor, Noam's mother.
Noam, a young child with Down Syndrome, first came to the Feuerstein Institute at age five. When he arrived, his mother was frantic for help. Her son, frustrated by his lack of ability to communicate, was angry and aggressively acting out. He struggled in the nursery program in which he was enrolled. His parents were told to send him to special school, a prospect which they dreaded. Fortunately, they met Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein and learned about the Feuerstein Institute. He told them that they would be able to help Noam if he came to Jerusalem for intensive assessment and treatment. While Limor was nervous at the prospect of leaving behind her husband and two other children, as well as her job for six weeks, she was amazed at the generosity of her family, friends, colleagues and community. With their support, she was able to bring Noam to Jerusalem for the six weeks of therapy that he needed.
Limor was amazed to see changes in her son right away. She was thrilled to discover a side to her son that she never knew existed. During the course of his treatment, he 'woke-up' and began to interact with the world around him. For the first time, he responded to his mother reaching out and trying to teach him. For Noam, Limor and their family, Noam's time at the Institute turned out to be a truly life changing experience.
Noam continues to progress. Limor recently emailed the staff, detailing her and her family's delight and excitement that her son was mainstreamed into normative kindergarten class, with the support of an aide.
To read more about Noam's journey, please click on this link to read his mother Limor's blog Noam's life of WOW