The Need

The population of Israel includes thousands of families where one or more family members have been identified with special needs. Overburdened social services results in a situation where families in complex situations do not always have access to appropriate solutions.

Many families are in great distress, feel lonely, lost and traumatized. Some families have lost confidence in the community. Due to the large number of authorities that deal with people with special needs, families are often confused and do not know where to go. The family does not have a single address to coordinate their treatment. They often encounter lack of coordination and lack of communication between carers. For example, there is no connection between the attending physician and the social worker and the teacher at the school. The enormous burden of rehabilitation and social services does not allow for extensive individual work with the family, whose challenges are very complex.

 

There are many young people who are not diagnosed and others whose diagnosis is incorrect: for example, a person with a developmental disability or Asperger's disease may be mistakenly diagnosed as "mentally ill" and be committed to a psychiatric institution for life, though he or she does not belong to this population.

 

Difficulties begin from the time of birth and continue throughout the life of a person with special needs. Most difficulties can be prevented if they are addressed and receive timely answers. The difficulties manifest themselves above all during life transitions such as at the end of the school and later when pursuing other areas of life such as: education, housing, health, employment and leisure. One of the most difficult phases is when appropriate housing solutions have to be found in the community. These times in the life of a person with special needs require the support and guidance of professionals.

In addition to the role of family members in dealing with young full-time employees, parents are forced to deal with difficult and complicated bureaucracies in order to find a suitable solution to their problems and difficulties and to take advantage of their rights. Sometimes families are not even aware of their rights and how to realize them.