web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Kenji Goto Execution
ISIS Beheads Kenji Goto
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Guest Author
Social Media pic

Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.

Police enter HyperCacher

I prayed throughout. My plan is to make Aliya and I pray my family can join me in Israel quickly

It has been a very challenging year that has taken a toll on the Cohen family.

I was touched by his words on the struggle to stand up for Israel.

A Tribute to Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt zt”l

Until you come to see it in person, enjoy Jerusalem’s Botanical Garden virtually via this video!

After four earthquakes shake Israel in one week, experts debate whether the big one is imminent.

The art show represents its theme, the identity of joy in Judaism.

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: