Making Mirrors: A New Series On Autism In Popular Culture

One of my favorite quotations out there, which has greatly influenced the way I approach just about every aspect of my life, comes from the author Junot Diaz, who said once about his writing:

“You guys know about vampires, right? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, “Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist? And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.”

Leah Jane Grantham

Summer Camp Cliffhanger, Pt. 2: Anxieties About Inclusion

Editor's Note: This post is the second of two. In the first part, Rabbi Rebecca Schorr wrote about the long and sometimes painful process of trying to find a summer camp for her son, who has Asperger's. Finally, she and her husband found Round Lake, a Jewish camp that was “self-contained,” meaning it was designed specifically for children with disabilities. But then they found out that Round Lake was moving to another campus. Ben and his buddies will still have their own bunks, but they will spend much of the day in mainstream activities and social settings. Below, in part two of Rabbi Schorr's post, she gathers her thoughts about what is often called the “inclusion debate,” and concludes that it is a false dichotomy.

In a carefully-crafted letter, Round Lake billed the move as a positive change that will allow our kids access the more modern facilities at the Milford location as well as more elective opportunities with assurances that the camp will maintain its identity: “Think of it as everything RLC has always been, plus.” 

Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

Summer Camp Cliffhanger, Pt. 1

Editor's Note: This post is the first of four parts. The second will run tomorrow and will reveal the author's thoughts about specialized and inclusive camps as she anticipates her son's summer.

With spring on the wing, many families are eagerly awaiting the expansive, sunshine-filled days of summer. But those of us parenting children with special needs often see the school-free summer as an annual albatross.

Rebecca Schorr

Asperger's Mom Seeks Friend For Her Son

Hi! I’m a 12-and-a-half-year-old guy from California who now lives in Pennsylvania. I love Nintenedo 3DS and Wii. I got a WiiU for Chanukah and it’s pretty cool. My favorite games are SuperMario Bros., MarioCart, and Just Dance 4. On the computer, I really love Minecraft. I want to design video games for Nintendo when I grow up. My favorite book is “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” by Judy Blume. And I really like Legos too. But I don’t like sports. And I don’t even like to go outside very much. I hate spiders and I REALLY hate bees. I get along really well with younger kids and adults.. If this is like you, maybe we could have a hang-out.

Rebecca Schorr

Jobs: Asperger's A Plus

For many the 1988 movie Rain Man was their first introduction to autism. Twenty-five years later and not only is autism a household term, but most people know someone who has been diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum. Today, fans of the primetime TV show Parenthood have watched the young Max Braverman (played by Max Burkholder) grow up before us in our living rooms with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

Auticon, a German Tech company, only hires workers with Asperger's.

In Grief, Stereotyping Mental Illness

Special To The Jewish Week

Every American reels with shock and horror in the aftermath of school shootings like the one this past Friday in Connecticut.

Ari Ne'eman
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