Empowering parents of children with special needs emerges from supporting their decision-making processes and choices regarding the child's placement through legislation. The latest amendment of the Special Education Law in Israel aims to ensure the inclusion of students with special needs in the general education system, granting parents the option to decide on their child’s placement, and allocating budgets in accordance with the ‘funding follows the child’ principle. The purposes of this study were to investigate the differences in levels of satisfaction from the educational setting between the pre- and post-amendment groups, the differences in levels of parental stress, well-being and distress between the groups, and to predict parental well-being and distress. Parents completed an online survey, measuring parental satisfaction from the child's educational setting, mental health, and parental stress. Parents in the post amendment group believed that the educational setting was more suited to the child and contributed to the child academically, emotionally, and socially on a higher level compared to parents from the pre-amendment group. They also reported lower levels of distress than the pre-amendment group. Findings suggest the amendment promotes family-school system relationships, leading to higher levels of satisfaction and mental health and lower levels of stress.
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- Special needs
- mental health