autism

A Mother's Day Tribute For Grandmothers: 6 Tips To Help Raise Grandchildren Who Have Autism

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.

Learning To Advocate For Myself

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.

Emanuel Frowner

Learning To Advocate For Myself

04/28/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

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.

Emanuel Frowner

ADL Slams RFK Jr. For Vaccines-Holocaust Analogy

04/14/2015

Washington — Robert Kennedy Jr. apologized for using the word holocaust to describe the effects of mandatory vaccines.

Autism, Aggression And ECT: A Mother's Story Of Hope

This month, many inspiring stories will be featured in the media in celebration of Autism Awareness month, such as one I just read about a young autistic basketball player who recently sank his thousandth half-court shot, or another about the teen who performed a duet with Weird Al Yancovic at the recent Comedy Central benefit. While these victories should unquestionably be celebrated by everyone touched by autism, it’s important to realize they don’t reflect reality for a significant chunk of the community.

The author and her son Jonah. Courtesy of Amy Lutz

Inclusion Is Great. Now What?

The concept of inclusion seems important to most people. On a gut level, most people would agree strongly that “it’s the right thing to do.”  With that said, are we ready to change our behavior to ensure inclusion can be a reality?

The author's children. Courtesy of Michelle Steinhart

8 Lessons From A Spectacular Special Needs Bar Mitzvah

Editor's Note: Thanks to Jewish Learning Venture for sharing this important blog.

My son, a high functioning child with autism, did not speak until he was four and is only now, in 7th grade, learning to read independently. Yet he chanted from the Torah, recited the Sh’ma, helped lead the service, and delivered a D’var Torah that was unique in several important ways. He was thrilled, and so were we.

How can you make your child’s celebration equally memorable?

1). Know your child and make accommodations accordingly. Do not hesitate to ask your rabbi to work with you on this.  If your child is outgoing as our son is, and can handle a lot of guests, fine. If she is fearful of crowds or has performance anxiety, keep it intimate.

Rodeph Shalom's Shireinu: Creating Community Since 2008

In honor of Jewish Disability Awareness Month (#JDAM15), I had the privilege of interviewing Rabbi Robert Levine, Rabbi Benjamin Spratt and Rabbi Leora Kaye from Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City. These three amazing religious leaders plus Mrs. Gina Levine and Dr. Nancy Crown have worked together to develop Shireinu, holiday worship services for families of individuals with special needs.

The Shireinu program was started in June 2008 when Dr. Nancy Crown mentioned to Rabbi Levine’s wife that she felt her daughter with special needs did not fit in at Rodeph Sholom and therefore could only attend services on the high holidays.

Dr. Frances Victory

Holy Brothers and Sisters: Our Brother’s Keepers

As part of Jewish Disability Awareness Month 2012, my daughter Shaina, now 11, addressed a group of third through sixth graders at Temple Israel Center in White Plains. This is what she said:

“Hi, my name is Shaina and I am 8 years old.  I have a brother and his name is Avi. He is 11 years old. Avi loves to play like all other kids but he plays in a different way. He loves the things that other kids love, like music, videos, games and other things. But Avi behaves differently and learns differently because he has autism. This means that his brain works differently and it is hard for him to make friends and understand like other kids his age. 

The Steinhart siblings. Courtesy of Michelle Steinhart

Marching In The Light Of G-d: Singing In The Unity Choir, Together

Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on www.jkidphilly.org

Most stories about inclusion in the Jewish community don’t involve singing in a Baptist church, but this one does.

For the last 25 years, members from my Conservative shul Beth Am Israel have come together annually with our local counterparts from a Reform temple and a predominantly African American Baptist church to sing in fellowship as the Unity Choir. We honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy together for the holiday weekend, but our collaborative partnership endures throughout the year.

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