In Israel, some patients with autistic disorders are deemed as useful in the military section.
The Visual Intelligence Division, or Unit 9900, has a role of examining the visual record of satellites continuously. Members of this division are required to be keen to detect an abnormality in the geographical image, as well as the considerable degree of patience. Some autistic persons are serious in participating in this work.
In Israel, temporal belonging to the military is compulsory, but some citizens are exempted for several reasons, such as physical or mental disability. In 2008, Israeli government ended the practice of excluding citizens with autistic disorders from the army. Instead, they are accepted in some divisions based on their attributes. As a result, Unit 9900 was born as whose constituents included dozens of persons with autistic disorders.
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This attempt of Israel has enabled potentially many autistic patients to utilize their specific ability in the society. Respect each person’s characteristics is a basis of modern society. From this point of view, it is appropriate. However, make autistic people engage in the military can be somehow problematic.
First, many autistic patients are also suffering from intellectual disability. Those who are not capable to make decisions should be protected. Without strict regulation and supervision, exploitation from challenged easily happens. Precise assessment of capacity and proper process of agreement to the engagement have to be ensured.
Second, many autistic patients have a difficulty in empathizing others. This tendency is similar to psychopaths’ attribute. Too much sympathetic persons are not suitable for the army. By contrast, psychopathic individuals are sometimes successful in the wartime. How about autistic people? It is a sensitive issue. If they are successful in the army, they may be going to suffer after retirement, if adequately qualified education was omitted.
It is desirable that many autistic people will get a place in which they are well appreciated. It is not sure that, however, it is good for many autistic people to choose to be a soldier.