web analytics
July 3, 2015 / 16 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Thank You, Aryeh United

Our human GPS who loves geography, maps and anything mass transit, to actually GO to the places he constantly reads about.
Aryeh United kids splashing.

Aryeh United kids splashing.

An incredible thing happened this summer to my 15 year old son, Joey. Unbelievably, he went white water rafting for the very first time. Now, you’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal? Plenty of kids go white water rafting – nothing incredible or unbelievable about it.” Let me explain…

Joey has a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of Autism, which, along with other deficits, can affect an individual’s sensory integration abilities resulting in a range of sensory sensitivities. To put it simply, Joey hates getting water splashed in his face or the sensation of wet clothing. When he was younger, one drop of liquid on his shirt meant its immediate removal (public or private domains), regardless of whether another one was available to replace it.

Today, he strongly (and I emphasize, STRONGLY) prefers bathing over showering, to avoid the spray of water in his face. So, now that you know Joey’s relationship with water (splashed, sprayed, sprinkled, or otherwise), you can understand the significance of his first rafting experience (and might I add, a Facebook picture confirming a grin from ear to ear). It wasn’t just BIG. It was HUGE! For this ‘first’ and numerous other ‘firsts’, our deep appreciation and thanks goes to Aryeh United.

Last January, I received an e-mail describing this brand new travel camp with the goal of integrating high-functioning special needs teens with typical teens for a 10 day adventure to America’s South. I was thrilled. I was ecstatic. I would have cartwheeled across my living room if I could. What a potentially perfect opportunity for Joey! Our human GPS who loves geography, maps and anything mass transit, to actually GO to the places he constantly reads about ….. this was nothing short of amazing!

I contacted Yoni Glatt immediately and a short time afterwards, Joey was interviewed and accepted. I can tell you that for the next 6 months (the trip was at the end of August) all Joey would talk about was travel camp! He took out from the library every travel book he could get his hands on about the Smokey Mountains, Atlanta, Savannah, Orlando and other areas of the South. He studied maps, he devised travel routes (he became close buddies with the bus driver), he reviewed traffic patterns of the major cities they would be travelling through and personally rated all the attractions they would be visiting.

Finally, Sunday August 17th arrived and the adventure began. We dropped off Joey at Newark airport with the Aryeh United group. Yoni and his incredible staff greeted us warmly and we could tell that Joey would be in patient, competent, sensitive and professional hands. For the next 10 days, my husband and I followed the group via Facebook – pictures of Joey experiencing his ‘firsts’: white water rafting (with the big smile!), horseback riding, water tubing (Yes! More water!), sharing a hotel room with people he barely knew, adapting, adjusting and modifying his behavior or expectations in novel situations (with some guidance from the adults) and most importantly, being afforded the opportunity to travel with his peers in a setting that created a sense of normalcy for a teen whose life is often far from it. Sure there were some ‘bumps’ along the way. But any issues that arose, were handled by Yoni & Staff with compassion and the utmost understanding and professionalism.

Joey is still raving about his trip (to anyone within earshot) and is already suggesting ( or should I say, strongly recommending) what Aryeh United’s travel plans ought to be for next summer (expect an e-mail, Yoni!) I cannot express in words what it means to be able to have your special needs child experience what is readily possible for a typical child but next to impossible for your own. For Joey, Aryeh United has made the impossible possible. I thank you for your vision and unwavering determination in getting this trip off the ground (literally). And now that you are up and running, don’t stop…you’ve got a great thing going. Besides, Joey’s got his bag packed and ready to go….

Annie Schneider
West Hempstead, NY

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Thank You, Aryeh United”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority Arabs climb a section of Israel's separation barrier in the village of Al-Ram, as they try to avoid crossing Israeli-controlled checkpoints to reach the al-Aqsa mosque compound at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City to attend Friday prayers in the fasting month of Ramadan.
Arab Killed in Rock Attack on IDF Commander, IDF Soldier Hurt at Qalandiya
Latest Indepth Stories
Jelgava Synagogue, Latvia

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

United Nations Building, New York City

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Zuckerman-070315

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

wedding cake

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

More Articles from Guest Author
Lone Soldier Logo

A year after Operation Protective Edge, the Lone Soldier Center continues its care of these soldiers

Israel's under-12 National Baseball Team

Under-12 Israel National Baseball Team will compete in Italy in a great international competition

Foreshadowing occurs in real life too when the Omniscient cracks open a window for us to the future

Swim4Sadna is an annual event benefiting Sadna, an integrative special-ed community in Gush Etzion

Jewish Voices for Peace’s 2015 Haggadah is a blatant anti-Israel screed crying, “L’chayim to BDS!”

Many books have supported the preferability- not to be confused with desirability- of the status quo

U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/thank-you-aryeh-united/2013/09/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: