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Nitzan Horim

What is "Nitzan Horim"?

"Nitzan-Horim" is a Center for parents with learning, functional and


adaptive difficulties who have children aged birth to three years. The Center was established as a means of early intervention for the children and with the purpose of equipping the parents with the tools and knowledge to raise their children and to allow the children to break the cycle of distress and to succeed in school and in life in general. The Center serves as an additional assistive link for the Nitzan adult population.

The basic assumption of Nitzan-Horim is that empowerment and guidance of the parents will advance their positive functioning and allow them to be happier parents with more confidence and parental capabilities who will raise happier, healthier and better adjusted children.

The purpose of the center is to develop knowledge in the field of parent functioning amongst this specific population with the aim of serving as a national center that can provide knowledge, guidance and training for professionals, parents and other Nitzan Centers and Parent Centers throughout the country. The program aims to strengthen the parent-child bond and to empower the parents to take an active role in their child's development and to ensure that he/she receives all the essential skills necessary for success in life. 

Why "Nitzan Horim"?

Over the past few years, much attention has been directed towards

אמהות ופעוטות

children with learning and functional disabilities. This increased awareness has led to special programs and various methods of helping these children succeed in educational frameworks and social circles. However, individuals with learning disabilities still encounter many challenges throughout their lives, including when they become parents and need to cope with raising children of their own. Currently, Nitzan is the only organization in Israel which develops and administers programming for the population of adults with severe learning disabilities and/or functional difficulties. 

Parents with learning disabilities, especially those who come from underprivileged backgrounds, encounter many difficulties coping with parenthood. They often lack the skills, tools and knowledge necessary to raise their children and prepare them for life. They may have emotional, cognitive or social difficulties of their own. Frequently, as a result of a lack of awareness, they fail to provide their children with sufficient stimulation, such as reading to them and exposing them to a variety of sights and sounds. The parents' disabilities and life circumstances make it difficult for them to respond to their children's emotional needs, to set limits and to instill them with sufficient language skills.

Because of these difficulties in upbringing, the children often develop large developmental gaps, have fewer language skills than other children and generally suffer from social and emotional difficulties, which later accumulate to educational gaps and an overall lower chance to succeed in life.


The program comprises parent-child bonding activities, parents' literacy and empowerment activities and meetings with other parents to provide support and role modeling for the parents.

Parent - Child Activities : The parents are encouraged to read to


theirchildren and learn about the importance of reading together and  stimulating their children. They also take part in structured activities and games with and without the guidance of a professional, 

and learn to recognize the needs of their children. The activities help the parents to communicate with their children and to respond to them in a manner suited to their needs. The parents also learn how to take part in emotional dynamics with their children and to set limits. The families also take part in group reading activities once a week given by a professional in the field. The groups are divided according to the age of the children (0-1; 1-2; 2-3) and they learn about various reading methods, selecting appropriate reading materials, dealing with emotional issues that arise from reading and the parents learn how to improve their own reading skills. The groups experience reading various texts and books suited to the age of the children (for example, the younger children will use books with pictures, and fury animals which can be patted) as well as stories involving musical instruments, puppets and games.  

Parent Empowerment : The parents take part in various lectures, activities and counseling and guidance sessions, given by professionals in the field of early-childhood education. The parents gain important knowledge and tools to help them raise their children in the best possible manner and to cope with any difficulties that may arise. They also learn important information regarding health and safety and basic life skills involved in raising a child. Additionally, they learn tools to communicate with their partners and to share the task of raising a child.


Support Group for Parents: The group serves as a safe environment for the parents in which they meet with others, receive feedback and empowerment. The group serves as a strong ground for development and change, as well as for individual expression, emotional sharing and mutual learning. The parents are able to discuss their experiences in the activities and at home and they are invited to discuss conflicts and difficulties which might arise. The groups are optional and are held according to the interest and need of the parents.

The center is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and houses the following facilities:

  • Sample baby room - includes a fully equipped baby's room which serves for demonstrations and learning of various issuess such as safety, proper heating/ventilation, feeding and clothing, etc.
  • Library - include books, DVD's, television set and comfortable seating. It serves as a setting for parent-child reading, bookk rentals, group "story hour" and more. An educational facilitator is available to advise parents on books suitable to the age of the child.
  • Games Room - The purpose of the games room is primarily to serve as a joint fun activity between parents and children.. However, it also serves as a place to increase the awareness of the young parents to the developmental process of their babies and children, and to promote and advance the development of their children through playing. The activities which take place in parent-child pairs or in groups also contribute to the enhancement of the parent-child relationship.
  • Enrichment Room - The room serves as a center for joint fun and learning through creative activities, using paint, cutting andd sticking, clay etc.
  • Coffee shop - serves as an informal meeting place for the parents. It also has a notice board informing of upcoming eventss and a screen on which educational movies will be screened. 

In addition, the center has a gym-boree for physical activities, a shop in which products may be purchased, a nurse and doctor's room, staff room, auditorium and consultation rooms for individual counseling.