The New Normal

Everyone is welcome in The New Normal, a Jewish blog about disability. We're a source of information, inspiration and a challenge to received wisdom.

CDC Releases New Numbers: 1 in 68 Children Has Autism

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released new data stating that 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This number is a 30% increase from data released in May 2012 that identified 1 in 88 children as having autism. It is 120% higher than the numbers reported in 2000 and 2002, which identified 1 in 150 children as having autism. In 1980, only 1 in 10,000 children was diagnosed with autism.

Autism

Israeli Actors Who Are Deaf/Blind Dazzle The Kennedy Center

Nalaga'at Theater Deaf-Blind Acting Ensemble is a world famous acting group whose cast consists of a dozen talented deaf-blind actors. RespectAbilityUSA is an American non-profit organization devoted to empowering people with disabilities to be valued and respected for the abilities that they do have. Claudia Gordon works at the White House Office of Public Engagement where she serves as the Public Engagement Advisor to the Disability Community. All three joined together for a night of theater and exchange, when Nalaga'at performed at the Kennedy Center.

"Not By Bread Alone" at the Kennedy Center.

Combatting Stigma: Inclusion And Other Options

The stigma associated with all kinds of human difference pervades social awareness. Whether prejudice is based on race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, physical characteristics or disabilities, few possess the neutrality towards the other we espouse as a liberal ideal. Western democracies combat the inequalities stemming from such differences. By statute and judicial judgment, access to housing, jobs, education, transportation, and the right to vote have been mandated, but despite significant legislative advances over the past 30 years, few are satisfied that the goals of such laws have achieved their intended effects.

Patient Responsibility by Alfred Tauber

#JDAM14 Roundup

Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month (JDAM) ended in February, but the energy and intentions behind this national effort to raise awareness and encourage communities to take action to become more inclusive are going strong. #JDAM14 was full of dynamic, passionate programs locally and nationally. The voices of people in the Jewish community who are writing about disability and inclusion is also a big part of spreading the word.

JDAM14

JCPA Passes Resolution On Inclusion And Disabilities

At its recent plenum convening community, lay and professional leaders from around the country, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs passed its first resolution on inclusion and disabilities in the Jewish community. Founded in 1944, the JCPA creates a network of 16 national and 125 local independent partner Jewish community relations councils. The plenum is the JCPA’s annual, national forum in which members gather to prioritize and gain consensus on key social action issues both within the Jewish community and regarding matters that affect the general population, including poverty, gun control and immigration reform.

Rabbi Steve Gutow

Caution: A Dangerous Autism Treatment

On a regular basis, parents of children who have autism come across numerous possible treatments options. Each child who has autism is unique and presents different behaviors, sensory and communication challenges and each child responds to therapies uniquely. Parents invest time and money finding the therapies that works best for their child and there is a lot of trial and error, energy, hope and frustration involved in the process.

A few weeks ago, I came across an article that talked about the "5 Scariest Autism Treatments," including “Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS).” I had never heard of Miracle Mineral Solution before and after doing some research on it I was shocked.

Frances Victory

Behind The Mask -- God's Presence

During the merry celebration of Purim this upcoming Saturday night and Sunday, children and even adults will wear masks and costumes.  Masks echo the theme of concealment in the Purim story itself, which we will read in the Scroll of Esther.

Rabbi Michael Levy

Ruderman Family Foundation Announces Third Annual Inclusion Prize

The Ruderman Family Foundation has announced the launch of the third annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion global competition. The Prize recognizes organizations who have demonstrated their commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities into the Jewish community through innovative programs and services. The $250,000 prize will be split equally by five organizations.

“Our foundation is seeking to recognize and award excellence in the inclusion of people with disabilities in our Jewish community around the globe,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

ruderman.jpg

Wear A Mask For Merriment, Never Because Of Embarrassment!

Purim is fun, and food, and noise, but there is also a serious side to Purim. Before Esther reveals her Jewish identity to the king, she hides behind a mask of anonymity, one of many in the harem. Only after she speaks as Esther, the Jew, does she speak honestly, with her own voice. Her power comes from the honesty in her own voice and not behind her mask.

Many of us, especially in the special needs world, learn to live behind masks.

Rabbi Daniel Grossman

Movements Join Together At Yachad Shabbaton

Young adults with disabilities do not often get to enjoy Shabbat on a college campus with peers, but that's exactly what happened in early February when five Ramah campers, and four staff members, reunited at Brandeis for a Shabbaton.

What made the get-together even more special was that they were joining a large gorup of Yachad members and advisors for the annual New England Yachad Shabbaton. Yachad is a program of the Orthodox Union, members of all Jewish denominations are embraced and have the opportunity to engage with Judaism in their own ways.

Brandeis Shabbaton
Syndicate content