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Posted: Tue, 07/19/2016 - 07:15 | The New Normal

What is it about Israel that draws so much attention and interest? In this case, it's the positive attention and focus that is in the spotlight. Since the early nineteen hundreds (and possibly millennia earlier), Israel attracted Jewish youth looking for adventures and an opportunity to prove that they are better than what their previous circumstances set them up to be.

Posted: Fri, 07/15/2016 - 07:27 | The New Normal

It was Benjamin’s fifth birthday party. We had dozens of friends and family coming to our home to celebrate with him. The details of the party had been planned for weeks, and Benjamin had been looking forward to the day. Everything was going according to plan. Until it wasn’t. A relative had walked into the party and approached Benjamin for a hug. He recoiled from her touch and, screaming, ran to seek solace in his bedroom. Where he remained for the remainder of his party.  

The premiere episode of "The A Word," a British import on the Sundance Channel — and based on an Israeli drama — opens with the birthday party of five-year-old Joe. And like my son, Joe’s party is interrupted by behaviors that appear to be caused by the overstimulation that often occurs for those on the autism spectrum.

Posted: Thu, 07/14/2016 - 15:15 | Political Insider

Mike Pence's pro-Israel credentials are more in line with the GOP's religious right and evangelical base than with the overwhelming majority of American Jews. 

The Indiana governor, who Donald Trump is expected to pick as his running-mate, is a genuine right wing ideologue and has the record to prove it. That should help Trump among arch-conservatives and some in the GOP establishment  who consider Trump too volatile and unreliable.

Posted: Sat, 07/09/2016 - 13:00 | Political Insider

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dropped his threat to wait for the next president to make a better offer on a 10-year military aid bill if the Obama administration doesn't meet his demands.

That's the word from officials at the White House, the Congress and the Israeli government. 

Posted: Thu, 07/07/2016 - 09:29 | The New Normal

I consider family vacations the most important thing our family does for itself. But these outings have never been without complications, and having an autistic child in the mix makes everything a bit more challenging. Although Noah is now 20 years old, vacations are still something to which we give great thought, and through the years, we’ve learned a lot, struggled at times, and racked up some pretty spectacular memories.

I recall the first time we took Noah on a plane. He was about 4 years old, and we took him and his older brother, Sam, to Florida. About 15 minutes into the three-hour flight, Noah was ready to de-plane. It was not a pretty sight, but my husband and I did our best to distract him, and we got to our destination not too much worse for wear.

Posted: Fri, 07/01/2016 - 07:33 | The New Normal

How much should I depend on others? Does depending on others mean that I am “giving in” to my disability? If I am overly dependent, will I end up in a dull dark world where I rely on others to bring me happiness? 

Issues like these confront some people with disabilities almost every day. A person whose upper body movements are limited could spend two hours dressing herself or dress in 10 minutes with assistance from a health aid. After a stroke, a person no longer able to drive must either travel on four buses from home to work or depend on a friend to drive him.