Know to ask:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a broad diagnosis made in individuals who have a combination of difficulty with maintaining focus, organization, impulsivity, and forgetfulness. Many parents may be overwhelmed managing a child that has ADHD, especially if they are struggling to get the proper diagnosis for their child, or confused as to their rights and benefits.
Within the Israeli healthcare system, there are many services and benefits for those with an ADHD diagnosis. Having a diagnosis is only beneficial to your child, and the earlier a diagnosis can be made, the better. This guide will provide you with clear information on how to get a proper diagnosis, and help you understand and access your rights and benefits. There is no shame in receiving a diagnosis, and we encourage you to get the help you need, and find support.
When to Seek a Diagnosis:
ADHD is currently the most common disorder diagnosed in children. If your child is exhibiting some of these signs or symptoms, you may want to get him/her screened for
- Often misses details, and makes careless mistakes on schoolwork
- Has trouble staying focused when playing or performing a task
- Loses things frequently, and has a lot of difficulty maintaining organization
- Generally easily distracted
- Extremely and constantly fidgety
- Running and climbing when not appropriate
- Talks too much, blurts out answers, can’t wait their turn
Not all children who exhibit some of these behaviors have ADHD.
Some children exhibit other symptoms, and the severity of the symptoms and level of impact on their day-to-day lives will vary.
You can receive a diagnosis at any age, but some benefits are only available to children under 18.
Regardless, a diagnosis is only to your child’s benefit, and the earlier you receive a diagnosis, the better the support, therapy, and general outcomes there are for your child.
Receiving a Diagnosis:
1. Speak to your child’s pediatrician, and their metapelet/ganenet/teacher
- Have your pediatrician write you a referral for a specialist
- Have the ganenet fill out a form describing the issues for Hitpatchut HaYeled,
(the form is available at your local Kupah or sometimes online).
2. A full medical examination must be carried out by a physician who is one of the following:
- A psychiatrist for children and youth
- A specialist in neurology and child development
- A developmental pediatrician with work experience of at least 3 years in a recognized Child Development Institute
- For a full list of doctors with specialization in ADHD: https://www.health.gov.il/Subjects/KidsAndMatures/child_development/Pages/ADHD_experts.aspx
3. Computerized Test
- Not always necessary, but many doctors like to use them
- Not covered in the health basket
- Subsidized by supplemental plan, one time only
- Sometimes the doctors will suggest doing computerized tests to assist with the diagnosis. These tests are highly subsidized with supplemental insurance, however, it is important to note that they are only subsidized once. Therefore, if your child is tested “too early” and uses the benefit, you will need to pay in full for the computerized test if you choose to retest them at a different time.
- You can go to a private specialist for a diagnosis. Check with your medical secretary to see if you can get partial coverage or reimbursement from your Kupah.
- If the diagnosis was made abroad, you will need to convert the diagnosis after your
- Aliyah through an Israeli specialist. It is important to bring all previous medical records in order to expedite the process.
1. Para-medical services
- Hitpatchut HaYeled services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychologist, and more.
- Speak to the Hitpatchut HaYeled medical secretary for assistance with making appointments, and to understand what referrals or paperwork is necessary.
- With supplemental insurance, your child can receive Tipul Rigshi (horseback riding therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, etc) at a discounted rate.
- Some therapies or assistance may be offered in your child’s school as well.
- Ritalin is covered until age 18.
- Attent, Concerta, and others are covered as well for children under 18, but the criteria is more specific. (For example: if Ritalin is contraindicated, child has other diagnoses, etc).
- After 18, supplemental insurance provides subsidies for some (but not all) ADHD medications. Without supplemental insurance, medication is not covered, but can still be purchased with a prescription.
- Follow up frequently to get appointments for therapies in Hitpatchut HaYeled. According to The Ministry of Health, the wait times for Hitpatchut HaYeled should not exceed 3 months from the date of submitting the proper paperwork. If you can not get an appointment within 3 months, you should request a Hitchayvut for coverage for private care.
- While starting a new medication, be sure to be proactive with the doctor, metapelet, etc, to assess how the medication is working.
- In between specialist appointments, a pediatrician or GP can renew a prescription (this may be limited to a specific number of times, or by medication).
- Be aware that depending on the medication, and whether or not you have supplemental insurance or qualify for discounts, some ADHD medications can be expensive.
Additional Benefits for a Child Diagnosed with ADHD:
- See above for treatments and therapies with supplemental insurance.
2. Disability Benefit
- Children diagnosed with severe ADHD, where the child needs medications beyond Ritalin, or requires extra supervision, may be eligible for Disabled Child Benefit and Related Benefits. For more information see Disabled Child Benefit for Children with ADHD.
- If your child is eligible for disability, you will receive a tax discount
- Children with an ADHD diagnosis may be entitled to special educational services to meet their needs.
- If your child learns in a special education framework, you are entitled to a tax discount.
- Crowdsource on the Facebook Group “Navigating ADHD in Israel for Anglos”.
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All resources linked to www.kolzchut.org.il/en are the exclusive translations of the Yad L’Olim Healthcare Division in memory of Shira Pransky z”l.
External links to outside resources are reputable sources, however we are not responsible for the content or any changes made.
For further information and personal assistance, please contact Yad L’Olim’s Healthcare Division at firstname.lastname@example.org