It is crucial to provide our children with optimal intervention while they are young and malleable. The decisions and placement process may be difficult and time-consuming, yet the reward of seeing a child flourishing and acquiring new skills is immeasurable. The sooner we help our children, the smaller the gap will be between their development and that of other children their age.
If a child is born with a syndrome or receives a diagnosis later, parents are entitled to financial benefits from Bituach Leumi. The application and approval process is tedious. You can request assistance from the social worker at the hospital, kupat cholim, or from Misrad Harevacha.
For a comprehensive list of benefits, visit the Bituach Leumi website at www.btl.gov.il.
If Bituach Leumi does not approve your request for financial aid, you should apply for an appeal; the outcome may be reversed.You may contact Chaim V’Chessed for assistance with the process.
Receiving an Evaluation and Therapy through Kupat Cholim
Sometimes children exhibit behaviors signifying ADHD, sensory issues, social and emotional or speech and language delays, fine or gross motor delays that may necessitate therapy or/and special education school placement. An evaluation ensures that your child receives the appropriate therapy or placement in the proper educational setting. Some children who receive therapy through a kupah can stay in their current school or gan.
Below are the guidelines for applying for an evaluation and therapy through Kupat Cholim’s Child Development Center (Machon L’Hitpatchut Hayeled).
Identifying a Developmental Delay
As soon as you notice a delay in any area of your child’s development, bring it to the attention of your pediatrician. Check whether the child is indeed late or if it fits within the normal parameters of child development.
Although you may not notice a delay in your child’s development, your child’s ganenet or teacher may notice a delay and recommend an evaluation.
It is best to address issues as soon as possible because the younger the child is, the easier it is to help him or her. If the doctor or school suggests that intervention is necessary in the areas of gross motor, fine motor, or speech and language, you will need to contact your kupat cholim’s Child Development Center (Machon L’Hitptachtut Hayeled) to begin the application process.
Hitpatchut HaYeled Departments of Kupot Cholim
The Application Process
You will need the following items for application. Read below for further explanation.
- Hafnayah (referral) from your family doctor or pediatrician
- Questionnaire from your teacher or ganenet (note: there are different forms for different ages)
- Questionnaire for the parent
- Eye exam (can be done by any kupat cholim eye doctor). Be sure to tell your eye doctor what you need the exam for.
- Hearing test (if concern centers around language issues)
Referral from your doctor:
Make an appointment at your pediatrician and specify that you are coming to fill out the form for Hitpachut Hayeled. The doctor will ask you questions regarding your child’s development and you will leave the doctor’s office with a hafnayah for Hitpatchut Hayeled. At this time you can ask the doctor for a referral for a hearing test and the secretary for a hitchayvut (payment for the medical procedure) for the hearing test. The hitchayvut may have an expiration date.
You can receive the necessary questionnaire forms from our office (through pick-up, fax or email) or at your local kupat cholim branch. Make sure to follow up with the ganenet or teacher so that the forms are completed as soon as possible in order to start the application process.
Contact your kupat cholim or Chaim V’Chessed to verify where you can do a hearing test.
Note: Remember to bring the referral from your doctor and a hitchayvut.
When you finish getting all the paperwork together, make copies for your records.
If you have any other documents that are pertinent to your child’s development or issues of concern, such as reports from a neurologist, orthopedist, psychologist or another professional, include it in the packet with an explanatory note.
Submitting the forms
You will now need to get the forms to the Hitpatchut Hayeled department of your kupat cholim as soon as possible.
Clalit: mail or bring to Machon L’Hitpatchut Hayeled, Derech Beit Lechem 75
Leumit: mail or bring to Machon L’Hitpatchut Hayeled, Rechov Hagidem 3
Maccabi: mail or bring to Machon L’Hitpatchut Hayeled, Binyan Klal – Rechov Agrippas 42
Meuhedet: mail or bring to Machon L’Hitpatchut Hayeled, Rechov Kanfei Nesharim 13, Givat Shaul OR Rehov Charles Lutz 12, Neve Yaakov OR Rechov Chaggai 22
You may ask the secretary at your local kupat cholim if they can send the forms using their internal mail service. If they can and do, check with your secretary to make sure the forms were sent and check with Hitpatchut Hayeled that they received the forms.
As a parent, it is up to you to advocate for your child and make sure that the process is done as quickly as possible.
The Evaluation and Therapy Process
Machon L’Hitpatchut Hayeled should answer you within ten working days after they receive the application. If they do not contact you, contact them. The kupot are busy and overwhelmed; paperwork can get misplaced.
You will then be put on a waiting list for an appointment in Machon L’Hitpatchut Hayeled or in a local clinic for the evaluation (speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological, neurological or interdisciplinary) that best suits your child’s needs. Be aware that there may be an extended waiting period. Depending upon the needs of your child, this may affect your child’s opportunities for proper educational placement. If you are on a waiting list for an evaluation or therapy for an extended time, check with Hitpatchut Hayeled if you are eligible for reimbursement for a private therapist.. Approval has to be given before going to a private practitioner.
Tips for the Evaluation Process
On the day of the evaluation, make sure your child is well rested, comfortable, and not hungry. It is important for children to be at their best so that they will cooperate with the testing procedures. Bring any medical reports or documents and be ready for questions regarding your child’s development, any medical conditions or hospitalizations, and anything else of importance to your child’s history.
Once the evaluation is complete, you will be notified as to whether your child was approved for therapy and what services he is entitled to. If you don’t receive a written report within two weeks, with specific recommendations, call Hitpatchut Hayeled or the clinic where the evaluation was done. After you are approved for services, you can choose where to receive the therapy — either at Hitpatchut Hayeled, a snif (branch) of Hitpatchut Hayeled, or at a machon hesder (cooperating clinic/service provider).
Contact your individual Hitpatchut Hayeled for a complete listing of locations that offer therapy.
Optimal Educational Placements
During the evaluation process, or once your child begins to receive services, the professionals may suggest looking into a different educational setting for your child. Young children, between the ages of three and six, can especially benefit greatly from a modified educational setting for a few years to help them resolve issues and acquire skills to assist in future learning. There are both Hebrew- and Yiddish-speaking placements.
For guidance on the placement process in a special education program, contact your child’s current ganenet/teacher/school advisor, or Chaim V’chessed.
Important note: Evaluating a child can be both timely and costly. It can be done privately or at your kupat cholim. Many of the kupot cholim have an excellent staff who provide a professional, inclusive assessment of your child. Parents often choose to do evaluations privately so that their child is evaluated by a specialist in the specific field they need. Sometimes you can receive reimbursement from your kupat cholim. Be sure to verify the reimbursement policy before the private appointment. In order to understand and best help your child, it is important to have a thorough and accurate evaluation and report.