The Donald Berman Yaldei Developmental Center was founded 1998 in Boisbriand, Quebec, by Menachem and Devorah Leifer, the new parents of two profoundly developmentally delayed children.
Frustrated by the lack of adequate and readily available support, the couple resolved to help themselves as well as other families in the community. Yaldei began in a private home with only three children and three staff members. Thanks to intensive early intervention treatment, the children began to make miraculous progress at this humble facility.
Before long, Yaldei outgrew the small house, and the centre moved to The Queen Elizabeth Health Complex, a central address at the heart of Montreal. As the center grew, so did our range of therapeutic, educational, and recreational services. On top of the intensive Early Intervention program, the centre now boasted over 15 therapeutic treatments and diverse programs, including a summer camp and a weekend respite program for children and their families. Day by day, more children overcame their obstacles, and Yaldei began to be recognized as a beacon of hope for families in need.
In 2006, Yaldei obtained a permit and opened a school under the same roof as our therapy center, as well as establishing satellite programs in two Montreal elementary schools. By 2012, over 170 children were receiving treatment each year!
More help meant more space, and the ambition of Yaldei became bigger than a single floor could hold. The vision of a big new building meant a need for big support. Through belief, community, and persistence, Yaldei’s dream soared to new heights. In 2016 Yaldei moved to a 40,000 square foot state of the art facility. Today, we work with over 25 schools across the greater Montreal area, and help over 250 children every year, either with autism, or over 35 other cognitive and physical disabilities.
Despite its exponential growth over 20 years, Yaldei’s vision and essence remains proudly intact: We remain committed to help transform the lives of the people who need us the most, facilitating the process of discovering and revealing the greatest untapped potential of each child with disabilities.