As a child, Joel was immature and a little slower than the other children. While he never received a formal diagnosis of a developmental disorder, both his family and teachers were content to place him in special needs classes throughout his schooling. This did not please Joel, who only ever wanted to be a part of mainstream society.
When Joel was 21, he dreamed of serving in the army. He applied through traditional channels, only to be told that army service was not a "good fit" for him. Joel began to despair; a born and bred Israeli, he believes that army service is an important part rite of passage for every young man. That was when he discovered the Feuerstein Institute.
Through the Institute, Joel served as an army volunteer. He moved into our residential facility, where our staff worked with him on the skills required to gain independance and further integrate into society. After Joel completed his army service, he turned to his counselors and asked, "What's next? I want to do more." In response, the staff helped him procure employment. When he later showed interest in meeting dating, the staff coached him on dating etiquette and signed him up for date mixers.
For the past two and a half years, Joel has held a steady job at one of Jerusalem's top steakhouses - his performance has been so exemplary that recently, the head chef enrolled Joel in culinary school, so as to be able to promote him to sous-chef. Joel has also maintained a meaningful relationship with his girlfriend of the past two years.