YES stands for Yeshiva extension support and arts centre. This is an exciting development on the Yeshiva College campus. This centre is where the play school was formally housed and has direct access onto Ridge Road. YES is launching in January 2018 with a full bouquet of therapists forming a multi-disciplinary team. We hope to soon be able to also offer the arts component in terms of dance, music and drama. Watch this space……
Meet the Y.E.S Team
I am passionate about both therapy as well as assessment and through these mediums it has allowed me to create the most tremendously deep bonds and rapport with all the children who have crossed my path. I assess student’s cognitive abilities and social functioning along with providing individual and group therapy. My main aim is to prevent any school added pressures by implementing early Interventions and Learning Support programs along with current curriculum. I look forward to starting this wonderful journey with you!
Sometimes in a classroom one may get lost, but working one on one with that child, a teacher is able to be their GPS, helping them to find their Waze by focusing on them solely as ONE learner. And then figure out how best to discover their keys to unlock a glorious world of Discovery for them.
I want nothing more than to see all our children learning happily , and learning successfully – because YES, everyone can. That is why I am inspired to be part of the YES center – to grow in my own journey of learning and teaching, to help kids understand their own way of learning, and to give them tools that will help them to be their best, and make them fly.
In the past few years I have loved working with people of all ages on skills and strategies for effective learning. Since moving to S.A, I have been working with children who were struggling with the acquisition of Hebrew reading and am looking forward to continuing doing so through the exciting new Y.E.S center as part of a wonderful team of therapists. I find this most exciting because the ability to read Hebrew precisely and fluently, has such special value to any Jewish person.
What we offer
YES is going to be a centre of excellence equipped with the finest equipment and resources to aid any child utilising the centre.
As of January 2018, the following support therapists will be available at YES: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, remedial therapy, psychotherapy as well as remedial Hebrew therapy. These therapists will be based in the YES centre and will service the children on campus who require their intervention. Children from other schools are more than welcome to also utilise these excellent therapists during afternoon hours.
Full assessments will also be a focus of the centre utilising our well known and well experienced therapists to execute full psychological assessments required. This aspect of YES will be fully up and running by March 2018.
The centre has two full time employees namely Dinah Unterslak, Director of the YES centre and speech therapist in private practice for the past 14 years, as well as Sharon Nkomo, dedicated YES centre child minder and runner.
Types of Therapy
Physiotherapy focuses on:
- Assessing, treating and preventing human movement disorder, restoring normal functioning or minimising dysfunctions and pain in adults and children with physical impairment, to enable them to achieve the highest possible level of dependence in their lives, as well as preventing recurring injuries and disabilities.
- The Physiotherapist evaluates muscle strength, flexibility and joint range of movement.
- The Physiotherapist addresses postural alignment and control through biomechanical and postural correction and rehabilitation.
- The Physiotherapist restores movement and improves fitness, balance and co-ordination.
Occupational therapists are trained to assist people of all ages to perform the functional tasks that normally occupy their lives. The occupation of childhood is to develop the skills necessary for play, school and activities of daily living and to become functional and independent adults. The skills assessed and addressed in Occupational Therapy include the development of:
- Gross motor skills e.g. ball skills, hopping and jumping.
- Fine motor skills e.g. cutting, colouring and handwriting.
- Visual perceptual skills (the ability to interpret and understand what we see).
- Sensory Integration skills (the ability to take in the information we receive from all our senses, and to process, interpret and make sense of this information so that we can act appropriately).
- Ability to regulate arousal level in order to attend and concentrate on tasks set…
- This expectations for the level of development of any of these skills will vary depending on the child’s age. It is important to note that all of these skills are developing simultaneously. Impairment of one area is likely to stunt development in other areas.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy intervention is aimed at improving a vast range of areas:
- One aspect of therapy focuses on helping a child to speak more clearly. It is when their speech contains mispronunciations and patterns of errors that they provide articulation therapy.
- A significant focus area in therapy is on language. This refers to understanding and using language to express oneself correctly. Language therapy includes vocabulary expansion, word associations, understanding and applying the rules of grammar, comprehension as well as improving written language.
- Perhaps the most important skill in the classroom is the ability to process, remember and use what you hear. Therapy aims to improve auditory processing skills such as auditory word and sentence memory as well as the following of oral instructions.
- Another significant aspect of speech therapy is focusing on skills that are important for successful reading, writing and spelling. This is referred to as phonological awareness and begins with the basics of rhyming, understanding how words can be broken up and put together again and learning to apply spelling rules correctly.
The Educational Psychologist forms part of the multi-disciplinary team that offers learners a safe therapeutic space in which to deal with a range of learning and emotional difficulties. Therapeutic approaches are tailored to address the needs of each child.
Various formal and informal assessment tools can be used to explore the functioning of the learner. These assessment tools will be selected and utilised considering the various policies and practices on fair and ethical use of psychometric (formal) and informal tests taking into consideration the diverse South African context. The assessment process may include exploration of the learners’ emotional, behavioural, learning, and vocational and other strengths and difficulties through the use of the following assessment tools:
- Scholastic Assessment
- Perceptual and Sensory-Motor Assessment
- Social-Emotional Assessment
- Aptitude assessment
- Personality assessment
- Career development
- Projective assessment
The main aim of the Remedial therapy is to bridge the gap between where learners currently function academically and where they should be. The role of the Remedial therapist is to assist learners to overcome or cope with their learning difficulties. It focuses on skills rather than content.
The learning support programme for a child may include:
- General Academic Support: Literacy / Numeracy
- Phonics and spelling support
- Reading support
- Reading comprehension and understanding of written text and language
- Language enrichment
- Attention / concentration
- Building confidence and self-image
Dinah will be responsible for admissions, general running of the day to day activities at centre, case conferences and constant communication between the therapists and school, full assessment organisation and execution as well as implementing parent and teacher training.
Sharon will be based at the centre to escort the children to and from their classes and ensure they arrive at their therapist on time and arrive back at their class safely. This is especially important for the nursery school and foundation phase children. Sharon has been working at a nursery school for the past 9 years and has a certificate of basic first aid, care giving and child minding.