(photo: US Embassy in Tel Aviv)

(photo: US Embassy in Tel Aviv)

By Abigail Klein Leichman - December 8, 2016

Originally appeared here in Israel21c

When her son was diagnosed with autism 13 years ago, “Hadijah” felt terribly alone. The stigma attached to children with disabilities in her Arab village in central Israel led Hadijah to withdraw into a world of herself and her son.

That changed only after she met Amal abu Moch, a social worker at the Family Advancement Center of the Beit Issie Shapiro Sindian Center in Kalansua, a 22,000-population Arab city in the “Triangle” district of central Israel.

Moch introduced Hadijah to other Arab parents of children with disabilities and guided her in better understanding her son’s needs and legal rights.

”Now I feel I have the tools to help my son and family,” said Hadijah, who was able to find employment once she found the appropriate care framework for her son.

The Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS) Sindian Center was founded in 2001 as Israel’s first early-intervention center for the Arab sector, at the behest of the Israeli government. Read More