A lucid and penetrating piece from a blogger who is the father of a son with autism. He writes about the double-bind of being the family member of a loved one with disability: how if you share the positive moments you worked so hard to achieve, you run the risk of your friends jumping to the conclusion that everything is hunky-dory, mainly because they would feel more comfortable if that was the case.
April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month, an opportunity for all Americans to commit to supporting people with autism spectrum disorders, ensure they are afforded opportunities to reach their full potential, and appreciate the contributions individuals on the autism spectrum make to our families, communities and society.
We have been referred to, and refer to ourselves, as the “People of the Book.” Actually, we seem more to be the people of the question. The Torah is filled with questioners, challengers, activists. The Talmud: more questions, clarifications, debates, arguments over every word, nuance and point.
As concerned as we are about economic justice, the American Jewish community has failed to understand, on a gut level, a glaring reality: adults with disabilities in the U.S. disproportionately experience poverty. According the census bureau, about one in five Americans has a disability. That means twenty percent of us.
This week I attended two major conferences for lawyers whose main function is to help people with disabilities. Frankly, it would be wonderful if these lawyers weren't needed. Imagine a society that valued people with disabilities enough that our constitutional rights would be automatically protected.
About a month ago, The Forward ran the story “Should Every Disabled Child Get a Jewish Education?” which frames the issue as follows: Jewish parents want their kids with learning differences to attend Jewish day schools, but financially strapped Jewish day schools say that they can only go so far in meeting their needs. I, along with others parents of kids excluded from Jewish schools, was interviewed for this piece.