Posted: Sun, 05/03/2015 - 07:05 | Posted by: Frances Victory | The New Normal

As Mother’s Day approaches, I begin to think about my two beloved grandmothers who played a huge role in my life. They helped shaped me in so many different ways and I cherish each and every memory of our time together. For grandmothers who have grandchildren diagnosed with autism, understanding the role they can play in their grandchild's life is not always clear. But their are many ways that with supports and education, those grandmothers can still make a wonderful impact in their grandchildren's lives. Here are some tips towards making that happen.

Posted: Sat, 05/02/2015 - 07:31 | Posted by: Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer | The New Normal

Editor's Note: We were shocked and saddened to read this news story from Israel and wanted to share it with "New Normal" readers.

The ultra-Orthodox mayor of Rehovot has cancelled a special bar- and bat-mitzvah ceremony for children with disabilities that was scheduled to take place on Thursday at the Israeli city's Conservative synagogue.

Posted: Wed, 04/29/2015 - 13:12 | Posted by: Emanuel Frowner | The New Normal
Emanuel Frowner

My dad homeschooled me from the sixth grade until I got my GED in 2000. The reason was because he did not want me to be bullied by the other students. Homeschooling helped me learn how to work extremely hard. I studied hard for exams, wrote papers, and completed extra credit assignments. But I sometimes wished that I could have spoken up more about wanting to be around others who were similar to me. While I was not as comfortable advocating for myself when I was younger, many of my experiences since then have taught me how to be better at speaking up about the accommodations I need.

Posted: Fri, 04/24/2015 - 08:52 | Posted by: Dani Gillman | The New Normal

April is Autism Awareness Month.

It's not only about making people aware that autism exists. One in 68 individuals in the United States have autism. Most people know someone or know of someone that's affected by it.

It's not about just wearing blue for a day or making your kids wear blue to show support, although I do appreciate that and hope that there was a teachable moment in there somewhere!

Posted: Wed, 04/22/2015 - 11:30 | Posted by: Alana Kessler | The New Normal
Participants at Elwyn. Courtesy of LOTEM

Editor's Note: As we think about Earth Day this week, we are happy to share this blog from a young woman interning in Israel's LOTEM program that supports bringing nature to people of all abilities.

Last February, I visited three of the ninety nature clubs that LOTEM runs around Israel. LOTEM's mission statement came to life as I watched Noa, a nature club guide, run her activity and lesson for adults with severe disabilities. Nature was brought to life in front of them and I was able to see the direct impact that it had on them, whether it was a large smile or scream of joy!

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