I have been raising my family in Eretz Yisroel for 17 years, and I’ve had several of my children evaluated for all sorts of therapies – OT, PT, speech, you name it. When I was told my four-year-old needed a psychological evaluation before she could get some extra language help in school, I thought, “Okay, no big deal!”
Except that getting an appointment for one was proving impossible.
I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I sat on the phone for nothing. Attempting to reach Hitpatchut HaYeled, the child development center of our kupat cholim, was so frustrating. Every single time I called, I waited on hold for at least half an hour, only to reach a secretary who would give me vague excuses for refusing to transfer me to the woman I needed to speak with. She also kept reminding me that there would definitely not be any slots available before six months’ time. The deadline was approaching, but I could not dream that I would ever get an appointment. I was banging my head against a brick wall.
I called Chaim V’Chessed.
Just a few hours later, Mrs. Faigie Gugenheim called me. She told me to expect a very important phone call.
Ten minutes after I hung up with Faigie, the phone rang. It was the woman who was never available at Hitpachut HaYeled, and she was tripping all over herself to apologize. She scheduled an appointment for me for the very next week.
I was shocked.
I was so excited that we had an appointment that I did not bother to ask who would be taking the evaluation. The long and short of it is that it turned out to be a disaster. The evaluator was not a native English speaker and my daughter was terribly put off, acting totally out of character the entire time. I, for one, was literally holding back my tears!
A month later, the results came in the mail. They were horrific. I simply did not know what to do with it! Should I submit this report? Which options did I even have?
Back to Chaim V’Chessed.
This time, both Faigie Gugenheim and D’vora Grossbaum got involved. They reviewed the evaluation and agreed that it could not be used; it would have my daughter placed in a completely inappropriate setting. I was really up a creek. It’s pretty much impossible to counteract the findings of a kupat cholim professional.
Just when I was sure there was no way out, Mrs. Grossbaum herself decided to make room in her packed schedule to personally re-evaluate my daughter. Her credentials give her enough weight in kupat cholim to counteract a professional opinion. Going way beyond the call of duty, Mrs. Grossbaum gave my daughter full evaluations in English and in Hebrew, with quintessential patience and calm.
That Motzoei Shabbos was Lag Ba’Omer, but Mrs. Grossbaum stayed up way past midnight that night to write up my daughter’s evaluation. She sent it in along with a personal note describing my feelings and asking the office to use the second evaluation instead of the first.
Hashem answered all our tefillos. Two days later, Hitpatchut HaYeled contacted me. They got the second evaluation, they said. They accepted it. Then they asked asked me exactly what I wanted for my daughter – and granted her the language hours she needed.
The cross-language miscommunications, the frustrations of dealing with this foreign system, dealing with the inevitable glitches – it’s all par for the course. Faigie was there for me every time I was caught off guard, calmly answering all my questions and guiding me on exactly what I to do next. And D’vora’s intervention made all the difference in achieving our happy ending.
Thank you, Chaim V’Chessed!
Mrs. A. G., Yerushalayim