From the young age of five, Daniel, now sixteen, from Pisgat Ze'ev, Jerusalem, was convinced not only by his doctor, teachers, and society - but also by himself that he indeed had learning disabilities.
Like many children in Israel, Daniel was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, in addition to which an uncommon neurological disorder, Neurofibramitosis. From the start, Daniel was told that he needed special educational attention: extra time on tests, an in-class reading assistant and more. It was also suggested that he enroll in a private school so that he could receive full and complete attention from teachers and staff. In spite of these suggestions, Daniel enrolled in the public school and studied extra hours at home. With the extra help of his mother and special educational allowances, Daniel was not only able to study well but succeeded in becoming one of the top students in his class.
However, Daniel still felt as though he lagged behind the typical Israeli student with regard to his capabilities. Given the opportunity to come to Nitzana through the Atidim program, Daniel quickly discovered that he was indeed capable of truly succeeding. The rigorous schedule and expectations of the camp allowed Daniel to push himself and within a few days he was the first student to finish a bagrut test completely and correctly - well within the standard time given and without any sort of special attention.
For Daniel, the experience at Nitzana was a life-changing opportunity. He learned about leadership, recycling, responsibility but most importantly about his own abilities. "Here I learned that my disabilities are only words and not real" says Daniel, "I learned that I can do things with my life and that I don't need special help... [These] ten days were a gift….When I go back home, I want to help young kids like me understand that English is important. They need to study and know that disabilities are only in your brain [mind]. If you try hard, you can be better than everyone".