The Arab community in Israel coping with intellectual and developmental disability Academic Article uri icon


  • The Arab family in Israel is still embedded in the traditional society with extended family support systems, but we see a population in transition influenced by the surrounding society. This paper looks at the different religious attitudes toward the exceptional people in our society (i.e., the family reaction to a child born with intellectual or developmental disability), reviews recent studies on the Arab and Bedouin families in Israel, and presents data on the Arab population in residential care centers. Today, out of 57 residential care centers in Israel for persons with intellectual disability, 13 (22.8%) are providing service to the non-Jewish population. The Arab population constitutes 12–13% of the total residential care population, lower than the 19–20% in the total population. In residential care, the Arab population is characterized by younger children with severe and profound intellectual disability. The informal family support system is still a very important factor in the Arab family in Israel, a fact that we believe should be strengthened by implementing the British and Danish model of nurse home visitation.

publication date

  • January 1, 2004