Mrs. Ariella of Bnei Brak appears to be the stereotype of the perfect Israeli Bais Yaakov graduate. She successfully juggles her work as a teacher of

Mrs. Ariella of Bnei Brak appears to be the stereotype of the perfect Israeli Bais Yaakov graduate. She successfully juggles her work as a teacher of 35 first graders with her life-time career as a mother of seven children between the ages of 13 and six months. Her husband learns in a Kollel, a Torah scholar dedicated to his studies. They have a good, solid marriage with open communication cemented by common values and goals.

But their life is far from idyllic. Their third child, nine year old Yanky, is hyperactive and has serious behavior problems. “He quickly become aggressive and lies constantly. We’ve caught him shop lifting more than once.”

Last year the Achiya Comprehensive ADD/ADHD Program in Bnei Brak screened the children at Yanky's school for signs of the syndrome. Children with two or more warning signs received a full psychological and learning evaluation plus a computerized Moxo Test. Yanky was diagnosed with ADHD. He and his parents were invited to join the Achiya Comprehensive ADD/ADHD Center in Bnei Brak. "As part of the testing, we discovered that our son had a learning disability in addition to ADHD. He is dyslexic and had been using his exceptional memory skills to get by in the classroom.


Achiya sent a dyslexia specialist to his school several times a week to tutor him privately. In addition, once a week he went to the Center to participate in a special group for boys with similar behavioral problems, led by a child psychologist. Each week my husband and I met with either a psychological counselor or attended special parenting classes. We learned new skills for coping with our son's disruptive behavior and received the support we so desperately needed. Both my husband and I slowly came to understand that our son doesn't WANT to misbehave, but that he had difficulty controlling aggression. We began rewarding every tiny step toward self-control. Meanwhile, the psychologist in his peer group was teaching the boys tools to attain self-control.


"It was, and it still is, a process. It's not easy. Shabbos is the worst, because that's when he's home. The problems begin with a bang the moment he wakes up and continue non-stop throughout the day -- fighting with his brothers, disturbing the Shabbos meals, screaming at the younger children; even throwing things or threatening to do terrible things; sometimes, I feel like giving up, that it's just too much for me. I had always dreamed of a Shabbos table with cherubic children singing together in perfect harmony. Instead, the meal is complete chaos, no singing, no words of Torah, just yelling and screaming and plenty of tears.


"My husband and I are trying to cope with our guilt and shame. I see all these beautiful, 'perfect' families out there, but we’re not. I used to think that we're the only ones in the entire world with such problems."

Last year, the Achiya ADD/ADHD Center held a special Shabbos retreat for the parents of children treated at the Center. Twenty five couples attended, including Mr. and Mrs. Ariella.
"It was a shot of pure energy, oxygen for the soul. Without the children, without all the pressure of trying to keep up our appearances, we were able to open up and connect with other families going through similar challenges. Suddenly, I realized that our family is not unique; others are coping with similar, and even greater, challenges. For once, I didn’t feel isolated and different. Of course the retreat included lectures and panel discussions where we learned new things and had plenty of private time to talk with the experts. Both my husband and I returned home with hope for the future. Somehow, we’ve changed, and that has had a huge impact on his behavior."

On May17th the ADD/ADHD Center of Achiya – Learn That You Can will be having its second annual Shabbos retreat for 50 couples at the Kibbutz Chafetz Chaim Guest House. Dr. Gil Maor, the Center's Educational Consultant, Mr. Yisrael Avraham, the Center's Psychologist and Educational Consultant and Rabbi Mordechai Beeri, Director of the Achiya Bnei Brak ADD/ADHD Center will present workshops and lectures, and be available for private consultations. Networking will take place during the meals and between programs,


The ADHD Retreat is highly subsidized.

Parents are paying a fraction of the true costs.

When making a contribution, please note in the message box that the donation is to be used for the retreat.