Down Syndrome

How Sarah Palin Killed My New Year's Buzz

My 2015 was off to a great start. I’d made some time the week before to reflect on my goals for the new year and managed to take some action steps to making them happen. My sister-in-law graciously offered to babysit our kids on New Years Eve and my husband and I enjoyed one of the best dinners out we’ve had in some time. On New Years Day, we took our children out to experience the Mummers Parade, a loud, overstimulating Philadelphia tradition that my son, who has autism, not only managed but really enjoyed.

But then the buzz kill came.

The author's son walking his dog. Courtesy of Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Winning The Title

Editor's Note: As we close out National Down Syndrome Month, we wanted to share another important voice focusing on living with Down Syndrome.

At 2 lbs 3 oz, Ilyse had already acquired the name "wild woman." Born prematurely with Down Syndrome, Ilyse showed spunk and grit and the intensive care unit nurses acknowledged this with a nickname. Later, as a competitor in Special Olympics, Ilyse's uncanny ability to capture the limelight led to her being called "Hollywood".  But the honorific that has had the greatest transformative effect on Ilyse is that of "Auntie."

Ilyse holding her niece. Courtesy of Becky Voorwinde

Inclusive Congregations: Justice, Not Charity

When our son was a newborn, another mom of a child with Down syndrome suggested that we see “Praying with Lior.” Deeply moved by the movie, I turned to my husband and told him that we needed to find a synagogue so that our Julian would have a faith community that knows, loves and supports him. We were not interested in “tolerance” or even “acceptance.” We wanted to be part of a congregation that celebrated difference and embraced members with disabilities as part of its fabric. 

What Does 'Fair' Mean When One Son Has Down Syndrome?

Our six year-old has been spending a lot of energy on the concept of “fairness,” as many six year-olds do. To him, fairness is about resources, and he spends his time thinking about what’s fair in terms of his share compared with what is allocated to his younger brother, who is three.

Ben Wohl and Julian Wohl

Amid Marathon Bombings, A Girl With Down Syndrome Becomes A Bat Mitzvah

Last week's Torah reading consisted of two parshiot: Acharei Mot ("After the Death") and Kedoshim ("Holy Ones"). I cannot but think that these passages perfectly encapsulated the events last week.

Ashley preparing for her Bat Mitzvah. Photo courtesy Gateways

News Roundup @ The NN: Neural Mechanisms, Bubbles And Dentistry

March’s employment numbers came out today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; the labor participation rate for people with disabilities holds roughly steady at 20.7 percent.

The more you know, the more you know. Fotolia

A Brave Response To North Dakota's New Abortion Law

I am a professional in the field of services and supports for people with disabilities.  As a lifelong disability advocate, and someone who knows a lot of wonderful people with Down syndrome, I am concerned, as are many advocates I know, about early, noninvasive prenatal testing that is likely to result in more abortions of fetuses with Down syndrome. 

Meet The Director and Star of "Girlfriend"

 Aaron Herman interviews Justin Lerner and actor Evan Sneider about their groundbreaking film, "Girlfriend."

A Down Syndrome Jewish Actor’s Breakout Role

In ‘Girlfriend,’ a film directed by high school buddy Justin Lerner, Evan Sneider plays a character much like himself.

07/12/2011
Staff Writer

Three years ago, when Justin Lerner decided to give his friend, Evan Sneider, an actor with Down syndrome, a small role in his master’s thesis film, he did not know Sneider would eventually become critical to the launch of his own career.

In the new indie film "Girlfriend," Evan Sneider, below right, plays an actor loosely based on himself.

Special-Needs Families Fighting Jewish Day Schools

Painful battles to get their kids placed.

06/09/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

In three years, Jodi and Gavin Samuels may face one of the most difficult decisions of their lives.

Born with Down syndrome, their daughter Caily, now 2, will outgrow the Chabad preschool program she attends on the Upper West Side. That means her parents will have to choose between sending her miles away from home to a Jewish program for children with disabilities, such as one in Teaneck, N.J., or to a public school.

Jodi and Gavin Samuels with daughter Caily, who they are trying to keep in a Jewish school. Michael Datikash
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