Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Children of New Immigrants with Special Needs: Barriers to Diagnosis and Treatment with Suggestions for Better Services

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Children of New Immigrants with Special Needs: Barriers to Diagnosis and Treatment with Suggestions for Better Services

Article excerpt

A study that was recently conducted at the Myers- JDC-Brookdale Institute examined the key barriers to providing services for pre-school children with special needs whose parents are new immigrants. The qualitative research was based on 80 in-depth interviews with professionals in clinics, child development centers, kindergartens and other services throughout Israel, as well as with immigrant parents across the country.

Key findings: Many barriers affect the willingness and ability of immigrants to use services for their children who have special needs, sometimes for many years after immigration. Some barriers are relevant to certain immigrant groups, and others to all groups of immigrants. Among these barriers:

* different cultural perceptions about normal development of children and treatments

* lack of diagnostic procedures that are sensitive to language and culture differences

* difficulty in obtaining information regarding rights and services, partly due to language barriers

* difficulty to realize rights in the Israeli service system, partly due to lack of knowledge how to do so effectively

The study presents recommendations for developing, expanding and adapting of services that may help to remove the barriers. …

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