All About Achiya


About Learning Disabilities


Watch the video for a comprehensive view of who we are, and what we do:




All about Achiya


1. How is Achiya different?

2. Why does the Charedi population need special programs for their children and teachers?

3. How does Achiya help learning disabled children?

4. Are all of Achiya’s employees trained professionals?

5. Does Achiya treat only children from the Orthodox/Charedi population?

6. How many children does Achiya treat each year?

1. How is Achiya different?

Of all the organizations that work to help learning disabled children in Israel, Achiya is the only organization to offer a holistic solution that combines a complete program of therapeutic interventions for LD children with an accredited program of special education training for teachers.  This is unique in Israel, and rare throughout the world.   Unlike other organizations that deal with a variety of educational and social issues, Achiya’s programs all focus on assisting children with learning and developmental disabilities. Achiya is also unique in that it offers programs designed to meet the educational and developmental needs of Israel’s Orthodox/Haredi children, and acts as a catalyst for change in both the community and the Haredi education system.

2. Why does the Haredi population need special programs for their children and teachers?

Educational excellence has always been an important value in the Orthodox/Haredi community. But for learning challenged and special needs children, this emphasis on academic achievement can lead to alienation, anger, and,too many cases, a tragic decision to separate from the community and leave the observant lifestyle altogether. Indeed, it is well known that 70% of young “dropouts” from the religious world suffer from learning disabilities.

Early identification and treatment of learning and developmental disabilities is the first step to preventing children from dropping out of school. Although awareness of this issue is on the rise, thousands of Haredi children are still not receiving the corrective educational services they need.  There are two reasons for this:

  • A lack of teachers in the Haredi sector who are professionally trained to identify learning disabilities.
  • A lack of professional frameworks capable of helping the number of children who require educational and developmental intervention.

3. How does Achiya help learning disabled children?

Through educational and developmental intervention programs for children, support for parents, and professional training for teachers, Achiya is transforming attitudes about corrective education in the Haredi sector.  Achiya’s unique program has made it Israel’s leading organization for educational and developmental intervention geared towards the orthodox community.

By helping Haredi learning and developmentally challenged children to achieve their full potential, Achiya is enabling them to take their place as contributing members of society.

4. Are all of Achiya’s employees trained professionals?

Achiya employs 150 people. Of these,  130 (86%) are trained professionals in the areas of therapeutic intervention and education.

5. Does Achiya only provide help to children from the Orthodox/Haredi population?

No. Achiya treats children from all sectors in Israel who are referred by the public healthcare services. Achiya’s developmental centers in Bnei-Brak and Elad offer speech, physical and occupational therapies to children of all religions and lifestyles, in an environment that respects orthodox standards of modesty.

6. How many children does Achiya treat each year?

The number of children treated at Achiya grows from year to year. In 2013, the Achiya Developmental and Learning Centers provided care for 2,300 children, in the form of 35,000 individual treatments. In addition to the Centers, 3,400 kindergarten and elementary schools are participating in Achiya’s early intervention programs.

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About Learning Disabilities

1. What is a learning disabilty?

2. What does it mean to have a learning disability?

3. What are the signs of a learning disability?

4. What causes a learning disability?

5. How is a learning disability diagnosed? 

6. Coping with a learning disability.

7. How do learning challenges influence a child’s growth and future?

8. Did you know that

1. What is a learning disability?

Learning Disabilities (LD): Some children find learning in regular classrooms difficult. It does not mean they are not intelligent; it means they learn differently. Children with learning disabilities may be average or above average in intelligence, but they have trouble sorting and storing information because of language disorders, sensory integration problems or expressive and receptive language disorders.

A learning disability cannot be cured or “fixed.” With the right support and intervention, however, people with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to be successful in life.

2. What does it mean to have a learning disability?

First of all, a learning disability has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence ;all, such successful people as Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell, and Winston Churchill all had learning disabilities.

The way our brains process information is extremely complex, so it is no wonder things can sometimes get messed up. Let’s take the simple act of looking at a picture; our brains not only have to form the lines into an image, they also have to recognize what the image stands for, relate that image to other facts stored in our memories, and then process and store all this new information.  It’s the same thing with speech – we have to recognize the words, interpret the meaning, and figure out the significance of the statement. Many of these activities take place in separate parts of the brain, and then we have to link them all together.

If  you’ve been diagnosed with a learning disability, you’re not alone. As many as one out of every five people has a learning disability. Nearly 190,000 children and teens in Israel have learning disabilities, and at least 20% of them have a type of disorder that impacts their ability to focus.

3. What are the signs of a learning disability? 

You can’t tell by looking at a person that he has a learning disability, which can make learning disabilities hard to diagnose. Learning disabilities typically first show up when a person has difficulty speaking, reading, writing, figuring out a math problem, communicating with a parent, or paying attention in class. Some children with learning disabilities are diagnosed in grade school when a parent or a teacher notices that they are having difficulty following directions for a game or that they are struggling to do things that they should be able to do easily. Other children develop sophisticated ways of covering up their learning issues, so they remain undiagnosed until the teen years, when schoolwork, and life, is more complicated.

Most learning disabilities fall into one of two categories: verbal and nonverbal.

Some people with verbal learning disabilities may be able to read or write just fine, but have trouble with other aspects of language. For example, they may be able to phonetically read a sentence or paragraph, but cannot relate to the words in ways that will allow them to make sense of what they’re reading (such as forming a picture of a thing or situation). Some peoplefind writing difficult. They struggle to control many different components involved in writing a sentence, moving forming letters to remembering grammar rules.

People with nonverbal learning disabilities may have difficulty processing what they see. They may have trouble making sense of visual details, such as the numbers on a blackboard. Someone with a nonverbal learning disability may confuse the plus sign with the sign for division, for example. People with nonverbal learning disabilities may have difficulty understanding abstract concepts, such as fractions.

A  behavioral condition called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often associated with learning disabilities, because people with ADHD may have find it difficult to focus for enough time to learn and study properly. Students with ADHD are often easily distracted and have trouble concentrating. They may also be excessively active or have trouble controlling their impulses.

4. What causes a learning disability?

No one issure what causes learning disabilities, but researchers do have some theories as to why they develop. They include:

Genetic influences. Experts have noticed that learning disabilities tend to run in families, and think that heredity may play a role. However, researchers are still debating whether learning disabilities are, in fact, genetic, or if they show up in families because kids learn from and model their parents.

Brain development. Some experts think that learning disabilities can be traced to brain development, both before and after birth. For this reason, problems such as low birth weight, lack of oxygen, or premature birth may have something to do with learning disabilities. Young children who receive head injuries may also be at risk of developing learning disabilities.

Environmental impacts. Infants and young children are susceptible to environmental toxins (poisons). For example, you may have heard how lead (which may be found in some old homes in the form of lead paint or lead water pipes) is sometimes thought to contribute to learning disabilities. Poor nutrition early in life may also lead to learning disabilities.

5. How is a learning disability diagnosed

Just because you have trouble studying for a test doesn’t mean you have a learning disability. There are as many learning styles as there are individuals. For example, some people learn by doing and practicing, others learn by listening (such as in class), and others prefer to read material. Some people are just naturally slower readers or learners than others, but still perform well for their age and abilities. Sometimes, what seems to be a learning disability is simply a delay in development; the person will eventually catch up with, andperhaps even surpass, his or her peers.

The first step in diagnosing a learning disability is to rule out a physical problem, including vision and hearing problems. If there is no physical problem then a psychologist or learning specialist should be consulted. He will use specific tests to diagnose and evaluate the disability.

6. Coping with a learning disability

Although a diagnosis of a learning disability can be upsetting, it’s actually the first step in resolving the condition. Once an expert has pinpointed a  particular problem, the person can then follow suggested strategies or take medicines to help cope with the disability. And taking steps to manage the disability can often restore a student’s self-esteem and confidence.

Some students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability work with a special teacher or tutor for a few hours a week to learn special study skills, note-taking strategies, or organizational techniques that can help them compensate for their learning disability. If you’ve been diagnosed with a learning disability, you may need support just for the subjects that give you the most trouble.

Medication is often prescribed to help students with ADHD. There are several medicines on the market today to help improve a student’s attention span and ability to focus and to help control impulses and other hyperactive behavior.

7. How do learning challenges influence a child’s growth and future?

Everyone has differences in learning abilities, but people with learning disabilities have severe learning problems that persist throughout their lives. People with learning disabilities may have difficulty in school or on the job. Learning disabilities may also impact independent living and social relationships.

A learning disability cannot be cured or “fixed.” With the right support and intervention, however, people with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to lead successful lives

8. Did you know that…

  • 70% of all juvenile delinquents have a learning disability.
  • More than 38.7% of children with learning disabilities drop out of high school, compared to 11% of the general student population.

… and that’s why it’s so important for children with learning disabilities to get the help they need, BEFORE it is too late.

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