When The Yaldeinu School was founded in 2006, we were happy that children had a school that catered to their unique needs. We were humbled to offer students cutting-edge education and treatments for children on the Autism Spectrum. And we were grateful for the opportunities that came our way. But that was in school.
Who would help the families while the child was home? Who would address the family’s needs? Who would help them obtain the necessary services to help their child succeed in the home and community. Who would be there for them?
We wanted more.
And so, we founded The Yaldeinu Agency, an OPWDD voluntary provider agency, which allows us to provide after school services and home supports to support families. At the Yaldeinu Agency the term “support” takes on a whole new meaning. We hold your hand and never leave go.
Our mission is to help children with disabilities and their families in every way possible. If there is anything we can do to make your home life easier, give us a call. We are waiting to help you.
The Agency Team
Our team is comprised of caring professionals who understand the value of their work and the difference they are making. Each employee, experienced in the field of special education, shares the passion of helping each and every family access the services and programs that will help their child and family thrive. From intake to volunteers coordination, our dedicated team will happily rise up to any task.
We take a holistic approach towards every child and family that we have the pleasure of meeting. We assess the child to determine his/her strengths, weaknesses, and general needs, and take the entire family dynamics into account. Each families’ needs are different. There is no “one size fits all”. By seeing the whole picture, and understanding each family’s unique needs, we customize a personalized plan of support that is perfect for each child and their family.
Through ongoing agency trainings, constant collaboration with other professionals, and up to date corporate compliance, we strive to be that source of support that puts each family’s needs first. Your wish is our priority.
Having a child with special needs can be daunting; we are here to help you every step of the way.
Direct Care Employees
How it all Happens
Our Direct Care Employees come from all over the Unites States. We pride ourselves in having a diverse, non-denominational staff, with the common denominator of their willingness to give and support people with disabilities.
All employees go through background checks and are trained in: Corporate Compliance, Basics of Disabilities, Health and Safety, Abuse and Neglect, and Person Centered Planning. We offer trainings in CPR, First Aid, Autism and Behavior, ABA, and how to teach skills to people with disabilities.
Helping with Heart
Our volunteers are the heroes that man the frontlines and enable our many programs to run. Their sole purpose of volunteering is to make a difference in the lives of others. We continue to be humbled by their commitment, dedication, and love. Our volunteers undergo the same rigorous training and background checks as our employees, with their level of care matching up to Yaldeinu standards. With hundreds of volunteers throughout the year, we’ve learned that it takes just one encounter, by one volunteer, to change a child’s life.
Our agency policy is to comply with all federal, state, and OPWDD regulations. We are supervised by OPWDD (Offices of People with Developmental Disabilities), OMIG (Offices of Medicaid Inspector General), and The DOH (Department of Health).
Where it All Begins
Parents of children with Autism deal with continuous tension, exhaustion, and pressure. In fact, a 2007 study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that parents of children with Autism are challenged with constant stress similar to that of soldiers in combat. These parents need and deserve a break from the non-stop pressure they are under. The children, too, need a break from their constant, intense therapy schedule. Yet, for the families of Yaldeinu, even a brief respite is out of reach without the help of the community. Enter our respite program. Where respite, support, and community integration all come together.
All of our respite programs are fully structured, run by trained staff, and have a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2. This allows for maximum safety, enjoyment, fulfillment, and skill development.
After a long winter of hard work on both our students and their parents end, both are ready for a break.
Yaldeinu takes the children out of town to enjoy some beautiful weather and fresh air along with an incredible program so that everyone is rejuvenated for the Spring semester.
The school day is long, but often not long enough for the students that require structured activities to stay safe, regulated, and calm.
Yaldeinu offers an after school, recreational program full of creative and exciting activities, along with nutritious, gluten-free snacks.
Due to changes of schedule and lots of free time, weekends are tough for our children, with their families getting the brunt of that.
Yaldeinu offers a full day Sunday program to “save the day” and entertain the children offering exciting activities, exhilarating outings, and compelling educational trips.
Shabbos (Sabbath) is a day of rest. But not for families of children with disabilities.
Yaldeinu runs periodic shabbatons (weekend retreats), full of excitement and flair, in state of the art hotels that meet our needs and are wheelchair accessible.
The Yetty Center- Evening Respite Program
The after school rush of supper-homework-baths-bedtime is, by far, the most hectic time of day for families. Even more so, for families with children requiring individualized attention.
Yaldeinu grants the opportunity for children to spend this hectic time in a structured environment where supper and baths are provided, so that the children come home all ready for bed. Transportation is provided.
This program was founded in memory of a beautiful, little girl with special needs who impacted all those who were lucky to have entered her life. May the memory of Yetty remain in our hearts.
Pre-Pesach Day Camp
Of all the holidays in the Jewish calendar, Pesach (Passover) is unanimously the holiday that requires the most preparation and organization.
Yaldeinu recognizes that even those few days from when school ends until Pesach starts, are intense. We step in to take over the reins of stimulating and caring for the children while fulfilling their needs.
Chol Hamoed Trips
Twice a year, during Sukkos (Sukkot) and Pesach (Passover), families enjoy days set aside for “family time”. However, unfortunately, due to the stress levels that come along with raising a child with disabilities, enjoyable, non-stressful “family time” cannot be an option; It is not always possible to cater to typical children and special needs children simultaneously.
Mini Daycamp- End of Summer
The days between camp and school are met with families cramming the back-to-school shopping and trying to balance being there for their special child, too.
Yaldeinu offers a “mini daycamp” that fills a big purpose. By granting our children a structured environment with fantastic, full day activities, we not only allow families to complete their to-do list, but also ensure that our students are able to start the school year while in a healthy state of equilibrium.
Shabbos Day Programs
For some children, every Shabbos is a challenge; Shabbatons are not enough. Other children simply cannot attend an overnight program due to their unique needs and level of care they require.
Yaldeinu offers timely Shabbos day programs where children are tended to from morning until night and enjoy festive Shabbos meals together.
Summer break turns into a summer nightmare for families with children with disabilities. Our children and families often have limited resources available for them, thus impacting their ability to get through the day as well as hindering the capacity for their caregivers to recharge.
Yaldeinu operates a sleep-away respite program that is housed in custom made facilities that meet the needs of our children. Amongst the scenic mountains, upstate, our children can thrive in a fresh and clean environment, beyond the city traffic and noise.
Legal Holiday Trips
While typical children and families jump for joy at the thought of random vacation days throughout the school year, for families with children with disabilities these days are met with dread. With no babysitters capable of dealing with their child’s needs, or the ability to juggle all the children home, many parents would need to stay home from work to step in.
Yaldeinu offers thrilling adventures and trips on these days, which ensure that these our children never get pushed to the side; they remain our top priority.
Yom Tov Volunteer Respite
Jewish holidays are beautiful and special. They are also unique in the fact that technology and many day to day tasks are off limits, thereby allowing for enhanced family connection. However, for families of children with disabilities, the disconnect from services and resource availability turns into a disconnect between what the child needs and what the family can provide.
Yaldeinu sends volunteers to these families so that families can get a well-deserved break while the child gains from having someone look after all his/her needs.
Our Care Coordination is the heart of our agency. When most parents are faced with the task of navigating the multifaceted special needs system to obtain services, it is likely their first encounter. They are lost, confused, and unsure about which steps to take. When they make that first phone call to our agency, the burden gladly gets passed onto our shoulders, and the confusion slowly fades away. We deal with this all day, every day, and are equipped with the knowledge, professionalism, and expertise.
Care Coordination (Case Management)
At The Yaldeinu Agency, each child’s case is taken personally. We adopt your child and coordinate every step of their care. From early intervention, ages 0-3, moving onto dealing with the CPSE (Center for Preschool Agency), ages 3-5, going onto services for school age children available through the DOE (Department of Education), ages 5-21, followed by transition planning, when the child leaves the DOE system (ages 21), we guide parents through each stage. Additionally, we deal with everything in between: from helping parents obtain guardianship, to dealing with Medicaid and SSI. We are never too busy to answer your questions and work on your child’s behalf. We are your child’s voice and never stop advocating for them.
Com Hab (Community Habilitation) is a program geared directly towards helping your child achieve and accomplish, and is provided in a 1:1 setting in the home and/or community. Your child’s success is our best interest. Our Com Hab employees share the vision of helping your child reach his/her goals and will move mountains to help them get there. Each family is granted a “home budget” which allows them to purchase necessary items. If your child needs specific devices, objects, materials, or anything at all that will enable them to reach their goals, we help you access the money needed that is specifically allocated towards this.
With meetings twice a year to determine your child’s goals, as well as supervision and check-ins throughout, we are there to consult and support the Com Hab employees along the way. We remain up to date with every part of your child’s progress and enjoy shared pride when your child reaches a milestone. We continue to be inspired by each hardworking child that perseveres as they work through their challenges to reach their goals
Family support: This is really what it is all about. By partnering with our families, we become part of their family and they become part of ours. If there are two words we remain focused on, it’s “family support”. While all our programs ultimately support each family, we offer some services where this remains the sole purpose of the program.
Parents often wonder: “What is it about Yaldeinu that allows my child to be the best s/he can be?” We are happy to share the tips and secrets, and host parent trainings throughout the year. At these trainings, given by a variety of professionals, we share new developments that may help their child and give over helpful ideas and strategies. This newly gained professional knowledge and empowerment, along with the deep parental love, can increase success and enhance special needs parenting.
Parent Nights Out
Sometimes, the best thing a parent can do, is simply take a break. We offer enjoyable nights out where parents get to immerse themselves in fun activities and rejuvenate themselves. They need to treat themselves, too. Parents often tell us that they come home refreshed and are able to tackle their challenges with renewed energy.
The siblings of our students often grapple with many unanswered questions. They may feel different and misunderstood. We offer “Siblinks”-sibling support groups, as well as exciting, seasonal parties, where siblings get to meet other siblings in their shoes. These groups are a safe haven for siblings where everyone in the room is like them. No judgement is passed as they get to discuss their struggles that are present as a result of their sibling with special needs. Siblings have fun together and leave with newly formed friendships and special bonds.
Parent to Parent Support
While Parents receive lots of support from The Yaldeinu Agency, it is generally parents just like them that they feel understand them most. We pair together different sets of parents that may be experiencing similar challenges. The peer-to-peer support they give to one another and receive is invaluable. While they may be in different boats, they are sailing in the same ocean.
Chasdei Faiga Advice and Referral Line
Many times parents need simple advice and guidance within a variety of topics related to special needs parenting. Sometimes they just want a fresh perspective but have no clue where to turn to. We collaborate with trained people and professionals that can help our parents. While we may not always have all the answers, we know whom to ask and can also guide you to the right party.
The phone number for the Chasdei Faiga Advice Line is
718-732-0507 ext. 2
This program was founded in memory of a charming little girl that sadly succumbed to a serious illness. When her mother reached out for help, she didn’t know which number would be the right one. She opened the phone book and said that whoever answers her phone call will guide her. The lucky lifesaver that answered that call was there to guide this mother, and went on to found this program. May Faigy’s memory be a blessing.
Volunteer Coordination Throughout the Year
Despite the taxing burden that comes along with the gratification of raising a child with special needs, life goes on. There are many family events that need to be attended, as well as well as duties that need to be completed. Sometimes, the only option that would allow a family to function like a “typical” family, is if their child with special needs is being cared for properly at home or in another environment. We match the right volunteer with the right child and provide coordination in whichever way the family needs it to be able to function in the most effective manner.
What is OPWDD?
OPWDD is the “Office for People with Developmental Disabilities”. It is the New York State office that provides funding for services for people with developmental disabilities.
What are developmental disabilities?
With respect to OPWDD’s interpretation: Developmental disabilities include intellectual disability, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, familial dysautonomia, and other neurologically based impairments. In addition: the disability must have occurred prior to the person’s 22nd birthday; the disability must cause significant deficits in the person's adaptive functioning; the disability must be expected to continue indefinitely.
What do I need to know about receiving OPWDD services?
In order to be eligible for OPWDD services, the person must have a diagnosed developmental disability and must provide documentation establishing the disability diagnosis.
How do I start the process of accessing OPWDD services?
You must have all the required documentation for eligibility determination. Once you have the paperwork together, you will need to contact the Front Door and attend a Front Door information session.
OPWDD requires everyone applying for services to provide:
1. A recent comprehensive psychological evaluation including an IQ score and an adaptive behavior assessment.
2. A psychosocial evaluation documenting the person's developmental history.
3. Medical documentation of the person's diagnosis may be required.
4. An annual physical.
If the person is over the age of 22, they will need to provide proof that the disability manifested itself prior to the age of 22. This is often referred to as “age of onset documentation.”
What is the Front Door?
The Front Door is OPWDD’s person centered process for establishing access to services for people who are new to OPWDD, or those seeking to modify existing services.
During this process, eligibility for services will be determined. An assessment of the person's strengths and needs will be done in order to identify and authorize appropriate supports. Part of this process also includes participation in an education session, which is required prior to implementation of services. The DDRO Front Door team is flexible in providing these training sessions for families, people with IDD, and professionals. For more information on the Front Door, you can check the OPWDD website.
Where do I contact the Front Door?
The contact number for all regions in New York State can be found at opwdd.ny.gov
Once the psychological evaluations are complete, how does someone get services?
Call Yaldeinu at 718-305-7137 to discuss the evaluation results and we can help you to determine if a person is likely to be eligible and provide information and referrals accordingly. The intake specialist will also discuss if additional evaluations are required to access services. Once you have the required documents, you will need to contact the Front Door.
Need more information?
Contact us through our contact page.