Tel Aviv — Roim Rachok, or “Watching the Horizon“, is the first-ever program for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that teaches decoding and interpreting satellite images.
Individuals with autism are often very keen on details and have no problems following routines, and this is why the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) saw the job of keeping a close eye at satellite images and decoding them a good opportunity for those on the spectrum to excel.
IDF first started to take the initiative of empowering soldiers on the autism spectrum after one combat veteran fought hard to find a way to integrate individuals with autism into the military. The veteran was acting out of love for an old friend who was also from the military, two of whom’s sons have autism.
The former Israeli military argued that “most young people go to college or the military, young people on the autism spectrum stay home,” and after talking with IDF, his vision became a reality when the IDF started “Watching the Horizon” in partnership with Ono Academic College.
The program’s success is unprecedented, with Head of the Clinical Branch in the Mental Health Department Lt. Colonel Rinat Yedidya saying that “Watching the Horizon” had a huge impact not only on the soldiers with autism, but also on their superiors and commanders.
“Watching the Horizon” now hopes to expand its program and extend it to other individuals with special needs. Autism Daily Newscast has reported previously on how the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is hiring those on the spectrum.
Source: JSpace News: The IDF: Leading the Battle Against the Stigma of Autism