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Posted: Mon, 04/18/2016 - 07:32 | The New Normal

Editor's Note: Thanks to RespectAbilityUSA for sharing this important coverage of the Presidential election with us.

As voters prepare to head to the polls in New York, RespectAbility is releasing its New York Disability Voter Guide. The #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Questionnaire was designed for people with disabilities (PwDs) and those who love them to know where candidates stand on the issues.

Posted: Fri, 04/15/2016 - 10:46 | The New Normal

Nearly two years have passed since I completed my national service as a guide with LOTEM in Jerusalem but every time that I return to guide a group, that amazing feeling of being part of something big comes back to me.  LOTEM’s outings to nature impact so many people with special needs and essentially give them the ability to experience a sense of normalcy--what they deserve as human beings who live in this beautiful world that surrounds us. 

Posted: Tue, 04/12/2016 - 19:15 | The New Normal

Autism can be so unpredictable. There's no cure, there's not one widely agreed upon cause, and no two people with autism are exactly the same. I remember when my daughter was first diagnosed at 3 years old, I asked questions like "will she ever be fully independent? will she go to college? will she marry? will she drive a car?" Of course, no doctor or therapist could answer that with certainty- and I asked them all! It's funny to look back at that time and think about how important those things were to me then, and to realize how very unimportant they are to me today.

There are just too many things about autism that are variable and uncertain. However, here are five things I know to be true about autism:

Posted: Wed, 04/06/2016 - 07:58 | The New Normal

Editor's Note: Originally published by Jewish Book Council as part of the Visiting Scribe blog series on The ProsenPeopleWe are delighted to share Liane Carter's perspective about autism and her family's experience.

Purim is one of the many “they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat” Jewish holidays. But for an autistic child like my son Mickey, Purim is first and foremost a holiday about sensory overload.

It starts with the noise: the raucous Purim spiel; the cacophony of gragers; the booing, howling, hooting, and hissing to drown out Haman’s name during the Megillah reading. Add blazing lights, the pink sugary smell of cotton candy, the bang and clang of carnival games, and the press of a hundred children pushing past him to grab the Dunkin Munchkins. It’s simply too much for an autistic child with a hyper-vigilant sensory system.

Posted: Wed, 04/06/2016 - 07:49 | The New Normal

JERUSALEM—What was most noticeable at last week’s baseball game between the “Cubs” and the “White Sox” at Jerusalem’s Kraft Stadium were the smiles and laughter as players stepped up to the plate and then rounded the bases in an inaugural game for children with special needs, sponsored by the Friendship Circle of Central Jerusalem.

Posted: Thu, 03/31/2016 - 16:33 | The New Normal

As spring approaches, we begin to clean our homes and throw out items we no longer use. Whether it is the toy that your child no longer plays with or the sweater that your spouse never wears, spring cleaning is a time of “out with the old and in with the new”.