Just try asking Connie and Harvey Lapin to recap 44 years as parent activists in the world of autism. In hyperactive tag-team, the couple bursts forth with stories and ideas, only to interrupt themselves and one another with still more anecdotes, ideas and accomplishments.
It is quite painful for a proud, practicing pro-Zionist Jew, who was bar mitzvahed, educated in Israel, lights candles on Shabbat, attends shul regularly, contributes to The Forward and educates his own child into the religious tradition, to be accused publicly of anti-Semitism ("When Jews Wax Anti-Semitic," Feb. 18).
When the Los Angeles Unified School District broke for the recent winter vacation, a group of nine 10-year-old boys gathered in the Jewish Educational Movement in Beverly Hills for a mid-winter camp called, Kol Hanearim ("all the children"). The public school students were primarily from observant homes, and all have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
Two forces in our culture are at odds here -- the desire to respectfully accommodate differences, and the ease with which we claim victimhood for ourselves and for our children.