Rabbi Rebecca Schorr's blog

What's The Deal With Seinfeld's Self-Diagnosis?

Last week's announcement by Jerry Seinfeld that he is "probably on the autism spectrum" has been met with mixed emotions by those of us who are connected to the autism community. There are those who applaud Seinfeld for being open about his struggles with social engagement and those who fear that his announcement will somehow diminish the struggles of those on the spectrum. Both sides are excoriating one another in the blogosphere, highlighting the division between the parents of low-functioning kids and the parents of the high-functioning ones.

Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

An Aspergers-Friendly Seder

Passover has long been a challenging time of year for our family. Last year, in a piece about difficulties our family has attending seder, I wrote this:
Each year we hope that it will be better. That a year of further maturation and therapies will make it easier on Ben. And, therefore, for me too.

This year, however, we decided that hoping was not enough.

The rabbi's seder table. Courtesy of Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

Giraffes: The Meaning Of A Facebook Meme

In the past few days, giraffes have overrun my Facebook stream.

Some are comfortable sticking their necks out; others have no choice. Fotolia

Our Child's Disability Lowered Our Expectations For His Siblings

A child with developmental delays has a major impact on his siblings' lives.

An obvious statement, right? How could other siblings not be affected by the amount of attention and focus on the one with bigger needs?

Except that’s not what I mean.

Chore chart. Photo courtesy Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

My Son, Another Kid's Project

Sundays have become special days in our family. Not because of religious school, or because of any particular family activity. Sunday is the day that Ben’s friends come over, per the schedule established by a program coordinator after due consultation with all the families involved.

You see, Ben is someone else’s mitzvah project.

Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

I Stand By My Reasons, And I Try To Transcend Them

Excuse {\ik-ˈskyüs\}
Noun: A reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.

Jacob Schorr and Lillian Schorr at the Pez Factory. Photo courtesy Rabbi Rebeca Schorr

After Struggling With 'Communications' Class, A Boy With Autism Finds Summer Love

At our local middle school, "Communications" is a required course for all seventh graders, including our son, Ben, who has Asperger’s Disorder:

We will explore all the ways human beings communicate with each other, including reading and writing, speaking and listening, as well as non-verbal ways of communicating, such as gestures, visual arts, signs and symbols.  We will also work on research, study, and organizational skills, in order to help you better clarify and express your ideas.

Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

Sleepaway Camp: Fun For the Camper, Respite For His Family

The other day, I had a vague sense that I was supposed to be doing something; that I’d forgotten something. I glanced down at my watch: 2:10 p.m., and I panicked. Ben takes his afternoon meds at 2:00 p.m. But I don’t have to give Ben his meds because he is away at camp for the month.

Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

Explaining Autism: Good Words And Books

As a rabbi, I cannot count the number of times I have started a class with the following statement:

“There is no such thing as a stupid question. In fact, chances are in your favor that if you have a question, someone else in the room is wondering the very same thing.”

Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

'The United States Of Autism' Sugarcoats My Family's Situation

They say that when you know a child with autism, you know one child with autism. The same could be said about families with autism.

Rabbi Rebecca Schorr
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