Home   עברית
I would like to receive updates from Nitzan association
facebook nitzan page link

Preparing youth with Learning Disabilities and ADHD for Military Service

חיילים 300

For Israeli youth, enlisting to the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) is a meaningful and important

phase in their life. Some youth anticipate their enlistment with great excitement, while others are consumed with stress and anxiety. The fears and uncertainty accompany both parents and children.

In Israel, military service constitutes the gateway to successful integration into society and the workforce. Therefore, promoting the successful integration of youth with learning disabilities/ADHD in the IDF is essential for their equal inclusion.

The military framework presents multiple adjustment challenges for youth with learning disabilities and ADHD. Serving far away from home, dealing with authority and strict rules, and concerns over suitability and performance ability in the military role, may cause the youth and their parents anxiety and fear. Furthermore, a restriction on parent’s involvement during the military service, also requires adjustment, and often leads to feeling of helplessness.

Nitzan supports people with learning disabilities and ADHD throughout their life. In this program, we aim to provide young people with learning disabilities and or ADHD with guidance and support to prepare them towards integration in the IDF, having a meaningful service and a significant contribution to their country. The program focuses on building the youth's self- confidence, helps them to leverage opportunities generated by their military service and realize their potential. In this unique initiative, Nitzan partnered with the Ministry of Defense.

We at Nitzan would like to share with you a new and exciting project. This is a social and educational project aiming to empower youth with learning disabilities and prepare them for a meaningful army service in which they would fulfill their potential while contributing to the army as well as the state of Israel. We are inviting you to take a few minutes and read more this exciting project.

Target Population

1. Prospective enlistees to the IDF who have learning disabilities and/or ADHD
2. Parents of these prospective candidates
Program Description
The program is comprised of two main components:

1. A workshop encompassing a series of 3 group sessions, including an introductory meeting with the parents and two following sessions with the youth. The workshop provides vital information for facilitating communication with the various military agencies prior to the first draft notice ("Tzav Rishon"), and preparation for the psychometric tests and personal interviews.

The workshops are conducted by senior Israeli reserves officers, who have specific training in this field, and are accompanied by Nitzan's professional team, who specializes in the learning disabilities arena. The Ministry of Defense grants the funding for the officers' work. Currently, the workshops take place in 4 districts. However, we hope to implement them in all of Nitzan's branches across the country.

The group workshop includes a parents' night (peers discussion, and discussion with the workshop facilitators ), a youth session (informative discussions regarding the enlistment process, simulations), and another youth session to discuss personal interviews and perform simulations. All of the sessions are followed by a feedback questionnaire.

2. Individual counseling towards integration in the IDF- Each person with learning disabilities and/or ADHD has their own needs and capabilities. Therefore, we must complement the group workshop with individual counseling in order to provide comprehensive and appropriate response for each youth. The individual support provided is extended to the youth and their parents. The parents receive counseling, and examine their role and involvement in their child's life during this time. They also acquire tools for coping with the foreseen challenges their child may face during the enlistment and the service in the military.

The youth receive individual counseling surrounding various aspects related to the military services, as follows:


  • Mental and emotional preparation for military service, evaluating personal challenges. 

  • Tools for effective self- management throughout the transition, dealing with authority, coping with uncertainty, handling stressful situations, organizational skills, and more.

  • Reinforcement of their sense of capability.

  • Presentation of available support systems .

  • Strengthening capabilities for withstanding mental, physical, and emotional difficulties- conveying useful skills for dealing with daily challenges, stressful conditions, conflict, and dilemma.

  • Joint sessions for the youth and their parents to discuss various topics and problems such as parent involvement during the enlistment process and after it, parent dependency, giving space, decision making regarding the military service, and more.

The individual counseling includes an introductory session to determine goals and objectives for each family, followed by 3-8 session with the youth, 1-2 sessions with the parents, and 1-2 joint sessions for the parents and the youth.