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Planted with love

24 January, 2013

ALYN has recently launched a new treatment as part of the motor rehabilitation – Therapeutic Gardening. A large number of children at ALYN are often admitted for long periods of time after various injuries, surgeries and other medical treatments. 

The long hospitalization period calls for the need for an environment that will allow the children to experience physical activities relevant to their age group and families. By working in this environment, the targets of physiotherapy can be achieved while supporting the emotional world of a child undergoing rehabilitative care.

This is achieved by Therapeutic Gardening. Noa Izenberg, Physiotherapist and Head of the Therapeutic Gardening at ALYN, says that this field has expanded greatly in Israel in recent years. “At ALYN, this method was altered to focus on the overall goals of rehabilitation: motor-physical skills, as well as emotional-social skills.”

The gardening activities take place during physiotherapy sessions or occupational therapy. The techniques used during treatments are determined according to the patient’s abilities and desired goals. The child takes care of the plants after they’ve been planted, watering and pulling weeds, thus increasing the sense of personal responsibility and caring for others.

Therapeutic Gardening also includes group therapy, in which the children plant seeds, pull weeds and water, while being exposed to the many stimulations of a working environment with other children. They help each other and observe the fruits of their labor over weeks. The children display a significant improvement in both physical and emotional states.

For Tu Bishvat (“New Year for the Trees”), the children treated at Shahar Day Care Center planted flower pots. They were incredibly in-tune with one another – some decorating, some planting, while others were in charge of packaging – each of the children according to their abilities. The activity included Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Teachers, Assistants and Sherut Leumi girls, who contributed to the festive atmosphere.

Yesterday the pots were sold by the children, in what turned out to be a very successful sale – all were sold, within a few hours!