Every year over 700 deaf and hard of hearing children and their families are treated at Beit Micha.
The organization’s vision is to give every deaf child the tools to acquire communication, language and speech for his or her full integration into society. The organization’s main achievement is the inclusion of 88% of its first grade graduates in regular schools.
Beit Micha is contacted by families of infants from a few months to six years old (first grade), who have been diagnosed with hearing impairment. The children come from all over the central region; from Hadera to Gedera. Arabs and Jews, religious and secular.
Beit Micha offers a very wide range of services for a wide audience of deaf and hard of hearing infants, including:
- 1. The audiology unit – the first stage of the child’s rehabilitation process, the audiology unit is responsible for conducting hearing tests, evaluating the auditory function of the baby and infant, fitting and adjusting hearing aids, auditory monitoring and consulting on the use of hearing aids for both families of the infants, and professional medical teams in the community.
About 700 children and infants make use of the audiology unit every year.
The audiology unit is equipped with the most sophisticated and modern equipment available on the market, which allows testing the hearing of every child, even in unique physiological situations. In addition, Beit Micha ensures the presence of at least two audiological speech therapists at each examination.
The existing audiology examination room is outdated and very crowded. In the 2023 renovation, it will be significantly expanded in order to facilitate the infants’ experience, and will include a comfortable waiting room for accompanying families.
- Speech therapy treatments – the main component in the child’s rehabilitation process. Each child is entitled to a number of individual meetings given every week, which are essential for promoting each child’s auditory perception and the development of essential language, speech and communication skills.
In addition, the children are entitled to group meetings for the development of the child’s social skills in preparation for his or her integration into kindergarten and school.
- 2. Rehabilitative daycare centers – about 50 deaf and hearing-impaired babies and infants, aged 6 months to 3 years, who need integrated intensive care are placed in one of the four rehabilitation day care centers at Beit Micha every year. The daycare centers provide a rich full-day therapeutic program, six days a week.
As part of the 2023 renovation, the daycare classrooms will be expanded in order to make optimal use of the existing spaces that were not being used. In strict accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Welfare for daycare centers, the new classrooms will include the best equipment and will be adjusted exactly to the needs of deaf infants.
- 3. A support system for parents and families by the social workers’ unit – the purpose of the social workers’ services is to strengthen and empower families, thereby improving the process of rehabilitating the hard of hearing child. Beit Micha operates a system of support and emotional empowerment and provides guidance and information to parents, in order to encourage them to become partners with the knowledge and tools they need to independently handle their child’s special needs.
The social workers in the organization provide parents with support, guidance and assistance in exercising their rights. In addition, the organization offers support groups for parents, which are an opportunity to create a joint interaction between the parents, and to share similar feelings and experiences related to the challenge of raising a deaf child.
As part of the 2023 renovation, a wing for social workers will be built, which will allow a designated and personal place for these sensitive conversations. Special attention will be given to the design of a space that is inclusive, pleasant and comfortable for parents and families.
- 4. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy – children with hearing impairment often also face problems with their balance system and with sensory regulation. Treatment and enrichment in the motor-sensory field can improve these skills. Crucial importance is given to the therapeutic environment and the accessories accompanying the treatment.
As part of the renovation, the treatment room will be upgraded and the entire equipment will be replaced with the most advanced equipment in the field.
- 5. The Rotating Kindergarten – Every year 12-15 children with hearing impairments, aged two to four, participate in the program that allows the toddlers to receive a response to their special needs, while taking part in mainstream kindergarten activities.
The Rotating Kindergarten program includes two days a week of intensive activities as a kindergarten group of peers at Beit Micha. During the rest of the week, the children are integrated in kindergartens with their hearing peers near their home. The purpose of the program is to develop skills in using speech and conversation, listening to a partner and encouraging social initiative. The children of the Rotating Kindergarten receive weekly individual treatments from a speech therapist. Once a month a parents group led by the kindergarten teacher and a social worker is offered as well.
As part of the renovation, the Rotating Kindergarten will be upgraded and the entire equipment will be replaced with the most advanced equipment in the field.
- 6. The Pre-School Division – includes hundreds of children from the age of three until entering school. From the age of three, the children are educated in educational settings in the community. These frameworks are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and the guidance and professional support of the therapeutic center of the Ministry of Education. In addition, the children and families receive support services from Beit Micha, including: hearing tests, auditory monitoring at the audiological institute in Beit Micha, as well as support from a social worker. The children receive a variety of support tailored to the child’s needs, including:
- Individual integration – children integrate into mainstream kindergartens near their place of residence, receive professional care in the kindergarten in the morning and in the treatment center of the Beit Micha center in the afternoon
- Group integration in the Rotating Kindergarten (see above)
Integration in special settings – children with hearing impairments who have additional disabilities and who study in special education settings that do not specialize in hearing impairments, receive support and training from a team of experts from Beit Micha for the professional staff in the kindergarten, auditory rehabilitation services, follow-up and monitoring at the audiological institute in the Beit Micha center.