Chaim was born in 1976. He was my third child but my pregnancy and labor was different than with my two other children. So was his development. By the time he was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with Williams syndrome, and was developmentally delayed.
We were shocked by this diagnosis, but we were fully committed to do the utmost to give him the opportunities to have the best quality of life possible. He needed constant care and medical intervention for multiple complications. In spite of the many types of therapies he received, his functioning was way behind the other children his age. He had great difficulty with fine motor and gross motor coordination, and started walking much later than normal.
He attended special education classes throughout his education. He received vocational training in his late teens but had limited ability in the workplace. Presently he is working in a sheltered workshop with other adults who have disabilities.
When Chaim was 21 years old he decided that he wanted to move out on his own just like many of his friends did (they went out of town to learn, and got married later). Because Chaim needs constant supervision, and assistance with some activities of daily living, we decided that Maison Shalom would be the best home for him. This is the only kosher and shomer shabat home in Montreal, and that what he requires.
I visited Maison Shalom and liked very much the friendly and family-like atmosphere. The staff was very gentle, the home was clean and looked just like our own home. I could envision Chaim living there and being happy. Even though it hurt me very much letting him leave my home.
After he moved out – in 1997 – I missed him terribly. I could not imagine that someone else could take care of him as well as I do. But, within a few months, Chaim adapted beautifully to living in Maison Shalom. He never asked to move back to our home. He considers Maison Shalom his Home. He has so many activities, visitors, and fun with the others residents. He loves to sing and dance for the residents, and help them when he can. This makes him feel good about himself. We are forever grateful to the staff for providing him with the care and love that helps him thrive!