Twice A Minority: Education and Life Experiences of War Victim Refugee Youth with Developmental Disabilities and those of Their Parents in Türkiye

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Kaya A., YILDIZ G.

Participatory Educational Research, vol.10, no.1, pp.330-343, 2023 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.17275/per.
  • Journal Name: Participatory Educational Research
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.330-343
  • Keywords: autism, education, intellectual disability, special needs, Syrian refugees
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


According to 2022 data, approximately 4 million Syrians live in Türkiye, and it is known that %24.7 of them have various disabilities. Recent research has shown that the developmental disability is one of the most common types of disability among Syrian refugees in Türkiye. We aimed to investigate the lives of refugees with developmental disabilities, who are twice a minority. Among the Syrian refugees in Türkiye, 24.7% are individuals with special needs. It was reported that developmental disabilities and post-traumatic stress disorder are the most prevalent diagnoses across the refugees. The study aims to investigate the current status and educational needs of Syrian refugees with developmental disabilities and their parents, who live in refugee camps in Türkiye with a specific emphasis on their education life. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with young refugees with developmental disabilities and their parents in the study conducted with a phenomenological approach. The content analysis conducted on the study data revealed that these individuals migrated to Türkiye due to the Syrian war, and they did not want to return to their home country. Since they lived in camps in Türkiye, they have been isolated from social life. Participants stated that they mostly required special education and health facilities and socialization. The identified problems were analyzed, and certain recommendations are presented based on the study findings.