Autistic Teens Join IDF

Published: December 2nd 2010
in News » Israel

Israeli soldiers in combat gear.

On Monday, for the first time in history, autistic soldiers were given the opportunity to join the Israeli Defense Forces.


The decision to allow the autistic teens to contribute to the army was brought about by teachers at the Leah Rabin Middle School in Petah Tikva, which accommodates autistic teenagers.


Teachers at the school believe their students have much to contribute to their country and its forces.


Zohar Pe'er, 21, is one of the 10 autistic soldiers joining the ranks of the IDF. His mother, Efrat Etzion-Pe'er, says he whispered to her "This is great," as he got ready for the ceremony.


She told reporters that she waited eagerly to see her son in uniform, and added, "He doesn't show many signs, but I know he's waiting for the ceremony and wants to wear the uniform."


Captain Moran Cherney-Cohen, who heads the Central Command's volunteer department, said that "In addition to professional trainers who will accompany them [the new recruits] during their first days, there will also be officers who underwent special training with them at all times."


It was just a few months ago that the Hebrew press reported that teens diagnosed with developmental delays and disorders can now participate in the IDF with their fellow Israeli peers.

Related articles: (idf, autistic, autism, Leah Rabin Middle School)
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