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Posted: Thu, 09/08/2016 - 14:56 | The New Normal

Now that the summer has come to an end, it is time for parents to think about the fall season, back to school, and catching up on doctors and dentist check-up appointments. Visiting the dentist can be a frightening sensory experience for some children with autism. Here are some tips when taking your child with autism to the dentist.

Posted: Wed, 09/07/2016 - 10:27 | The New Normal

While there are multiple Jews in Congress and the Senate, only one Jew serves at the chief executive of their state: Governor Jack Markell of Delaware. He is term-limited, so sadly his tenure in this office will end soon. He is a major hero in public life, so it’s worth your time to look at his expansive contributions.

Posted: Wed, 08/31/2016 - 11:14 | The New Normal

At Camp Ramah, Israel is central. Dozens of Israeli shlichim (emissaries) “bring” Israel to our nine overnight camps and four day camps in North America each summer. And, for decades, campers have been participating in a variety of programs through Ramah Israel including Ramah Israel Seminar, Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY), Ramah Israel Institute, and Ramah Jerusalem Day Camp.

Campers with disabilities in our inclusive camping programs have many opportunities to form meaningful relationships each summer with the shlichim, who serve as bunk counselors and teach swimming, sports, arts and crafts, dance, and more.

Posted: Tue, 08/16/2016 - 12:22 | The New Normal

Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared at


The Cherokee tribe of Native Americans had a well-known proverb stating that you “shouldn’t judge a person before you have walked a mile in their shoes”. It’s practical advice to view a situation from the perspective of another before rendering an opinion. One can see how this type of thinking can lead to greater compassion and understanding of those around us.


But how can one really experience the perspective of another? It’s certainly easier said than done. Consider the case of individuals with autism. These days almost everyone has heard of autism or autism spectrum disorders (ASD), both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.

Posted: Tue, 08/16/2016 - 12:07 | The New Normal

This has been a grueling political season, full of rancor and too much ugliness to catalogue.  Some days, I just want to hide under the covers and pretend it’s all a bad dream. But then I think about my children. 

Having children is, at least for me, the ultimate act of cockeyed optimism. There are so many reasons to be fearful of bringing children into the world, of exposing them to the awfulness to which human beings can lower themselves. But then of course there is the profound, unparalleled opportunity to try to shape another human being by the values and beliefs you hold dear, and that is in many ways irresistible. Not to mention sometimes just flat out joyous fun.

Posted: Thu, 08/11/2016 - 10:15 | The New Normal

Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on newsworks.

It's been over a decade since my son George, 13, was diagnosed with autism, which means that it's been that long that I've been a member of a certain tribe: that of special needs parents.

Through the ups and downs of the challenges that my husband and I have faced coming to understand how best to meet our son's needs, I've met, shared with, laughed and cried with so many resilient, insightful, spiritual, funny parents who are doing what I'm doing—extreme parenting with no road map, taking life not one day, but one hour and sometimes one minute at a time.

Despite the intensity of the experience, many, though certainly not all, of us live with a sense of purpose and even a sense of peace.