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Tag: Autism

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  • Special Needs Summer Reading with My Friends

    By Michelle K. Wolf

    June 22, 2014 | 10:11 pm

    It’s officially summer with long, light days to catch up on some reading. My favorite hobby since I was a child has always been reading and as a parent of a teen with special needs, I find that reading is the one of the few hobbies that works for me: books are portable, I can do it...

  • “Born on a Blue Day” – by Daniel Tammet – Book Recommendation

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    June 20, 2013 | 10:06 pm

    “Born on a Blue Day” (publ. 2007) is an extraordinary memoir written by a young British autistic savant, Daniel Tammet. His mental capacities are so remarkable that he was able to recite Pi to the 22,514th digit and holds the British and European record.

    The author writes about...

  • Autism musical sells out

    May 15, 2013 | 3:06 pm

    Normally, a two-day run is nothing to boast about — but no one who saw the new musical “A Chorus Line of Another Kind” at the Highways Performance space in Santa Monica would say it was anything but a resounding success.

    Both “A Chorus Line of Another Kind” and “On Our Own,”...

  • Connie and Harvey Lapin: Two-person army for their son

    By Julie Gruenbaum Fax

    January 3, 2013 | 10:49 am

    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.

    In the...

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  • Media Enrichment Academy: Seeing potential

    October 11, 2012 | 11:39 am

    Students at the Media Enrichment Academy in Sherman Oaks often arrive with a variety of labels: Autistic. Isolated. Troublemaker.

    By the time Eli Katz was finished with the extracurricular program, however, the 20-year-old, who was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, had...

  • Pool trusts ensure care of adults with special needs

    By Julie Gruenbaum Fax

    August 22, 2012 | 2:43 pm

    “Keys! Keys!” David Weisbord says as he tugs at his father’s hand, pulling him toward the door.

    “OK, Child, we’ll go for a ride,” Seth Weisbord says with loving exasperation.

    A ride with dad around David’s Culver City neighborhood is one of David’s favorite...

  • Conversations From Twitter – Part 7

    By Ilana Angel

    June 27, 2012 | 12:13 am

    I was very much looking forward to talking to Twitter’s @AsianPosh1.  She has been following me on Twitter for a long time and has been truly lovely. She defends me to the haters, reads my reality blog and my lifestyle blog, and always has a kind word for everyone who needs it. ...

  • Conversations From Twitter – Part 6

    By Ilana Angel

    June 24, 2012 | 10:13 pm

    When I called my latest interview, he answered the phone by serenading me with Sinatra’s “My Way”.  He sounded great, and while surprising, exactly what I expected.  That was my introduction to Twitter’s @JohnnytheGrk.  I knew I would like him because I love his wife...

  • Conversations From Twitter – Part 4

    By Ilana Angel

    June 7, 2012 | 10:02 am

    I was very excited about doing this series of interviews, and while I knew it would be great, I was not sure how long it would last.  I have been interviewing people that follow my reality blog on Twitter and with each person I talk to I find myself loving the series more.  They...

  • New Autism Numbers from the CDC : I Know One

    By Michelle K. Wolf

    March 29, 2012 | 10:51 pm

    The big news today in special needs land was a new CDC report showing more than a 20 percent increase in autism rates. As reported in the NY Times, “The new report estimates that in 2008 one child in 88 received one of these diagnoses, known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), by...

  • Disabled adults find second family in group home

    By Julie Gruenbaum Fax

    February 22, 2012 | 6:41 pm

    Tamir Appel scampers to his room to pull out a photo album of his latest trip to visit family in Israel.

    He sets it on the dining room table, where some of his housemates are gathered to talk about their daily life at the Ryzman Family Group Home for Men in Valley Village, one of...

  • Finding their place [VIDEO]

    By Julie Gruenbaum Fax

    February 22, 2012 | 2:46 pm

    Lauren Levine is settling in with a group of friends apartment to watch “American Idol,” when a look of panic comes over her face. She rummages around, finds her keys and darts out.

    “I left the hair thing on,” she says when she returns, breathless, from her own apartment...

  • Beyond labels, raising autistic son yields treasure

    By Ryan E. Smith

    February 1, 2012 | 2:51 pm

    Jews and people with autism have a lot in common, if you ask Ezra Fields-Meyer.

    As an autistic young man, he knows he has a good memory and likes to repeat things. As a Jew, he’s noticed similar qualities, which he pointed out during his bar mitzvah speech a few years ago.

    “We...

  • Almighty? No Way!  Coming to Know the God We Already Love

    May 11, 2010 | 5:48 pm

    Sometimes life presents us with challenges so arresting, so shattering that they change everything. This is the tale of a series of such moments, which began with my son’s diagnosis with autism, sending me into a tailspin and sundering my conventional ideas of God and Torah. This...

  • Autism groups focus on needs of grandparents

    December 18, 2008 | 2:34 am

    When Louise Beckman mentioned Chanukah to her toddler granddaughter two years ago, the child's repeated response was: "No presents."

    Beckman felt rejected.

    Her granddaughter, who was diagnosed with autism, has improved her ability to communicate with others due to early intervention...

  • Transcendence: Jacob Artson’s eloquence and spirit defy his severe autism diagnosis

    By Julie G Fax

    October 2, 2008 | 12:07 am

    Jacob Artson needs a break. He's expended a huge effort keeping his movements and tics under control for the past 45 minutes, and he's ready to release some energy.

    As I talk about Jacob's journey through severe autism with his parents, Rabbi Brad and Elana Artson, Jacob takes a...

  • Opening the Gates

    October 1, 2008 | 11:53 pm

    Jacob Artson, 16, gave the following speech last May at a conference in Los Angeles titled "Opening the Gates: Building Inclusive Congregations and Communities for Jews with Special Needs," where he shared the keynote address with his father, Rabbi Bradley Artson, dean of the Ziegler...
  • My bar mitzvah

    By Wyatt Isaacs

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    You might recognize Wyatt Isaacs from the HBO documentary, "Autism: The Musical," which demonstrates how a group of children with autism -- a developmental disorder that affects social interaction and communication -- could exceed expectations by staging their own theatrical...

  • Special needs program puts spotlight on the siblings

    By Nancy Sokoler Steiner

    November 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Barbara Azrialy spent much of her childhood in Cincinnati pretending to be an only child. In fact, she had two brothers, one five years older and the other three years younger. Both brothers were mentally retarded.

    "Nobody talked about it back then," said Azrialy, 62, now a special...

  • Nes Gadol calls its first autistic students to the Torah

    By Adam Wills

    May 10, 2007 | 8:00 pm


    Neal Katz runs up to the ark and opens the door. Blond-haired and bubbly, he points to the scroll, unable to articulate his desire.

    "Do you want to touch the Torah?" Cantor Steve Puzarne asks.

    The 13-year-old is autistic and nonverbal. Instead of using words, he mumbles...
  • A Mind-Opening Experience

    By Ezra Werb

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Last fall, I started working with Franklin, a 7-year-old autistic boy. I was given the title of "behaviorist," and my job was to help shape the child's behavioral and social patterns, promoting ones healthy to his development, while curbing ones that hinder him.

    I had previously...

  • A Circle of Friends

    By Mitch Jadidi

    April 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    For several weeks, I had been visiting Nathan, a 6-year-old boy diagnosed with autism. We had been brought together through the Conejo Valley Friendship Circle, an organization that extends warmth to families in the community that have children with special needs.

    Nathan was unable...

  • Does Autism Offer Special Gifts?

    By Illana Katz

    May 26, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "Identify yourself," Seth says when meeting someone new. "Oh, my deepest apologies," he'll tell you, his curled hand over his heart as he delivers a deep bow, if he thinks he has made some kind of error.

    Sometimes his face comes very close to yours to get your attention, telling you...

  • Strange Fire

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    March 31, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    The Chasidic Reb Nachman of Bratslav tells of a king's son who goes mad: he believes he is a turkey.

    The boy removes all his clothes, spends all his time under a table and refuses to eat normal food. Distraught and alarmed, his father summons in all manner of experts, but none can...

  • Torah Lover Beats Odds

    By Beverly Gray

    September 13, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Joey Schwartzman has a passion for clocks. He is also crazy about street addresses, dates and numbers of any kind. And he has one more enthusiasm not often seen in 15-year-old boys: he loves reading Torah and Haftorah at his synagogue, Westchester's B'nai Tikvah Congregation.

    What...

  • Your Letters

    May 3, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Autism Support

    What a tremendous service you are doing by educating people about the rise in cases of children diagnosed with autism and the need for greater support for families with children with special needs in the Jewish community ("Beyond the Wall" and "Chinese Box," April...

  • Planning a Special Bar/Bat Mitzvah

    By Becca Hornstein

    August 10, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    In 1987, when Joel Hornstein stood before over 200 congregants, family members and friends to recite his Bar Mitzvah Torah portion in English and Hebrew, he had only been able to speak for a few years. No one expected a child with autism, or any other significant disability, to...

  • Sound Advice

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Two recent conferences held in the Jewish community -- one on autism, the other on a wide scope of disabilities -- demonstrated the difficulties of reconciling research and reality when it comes to helping individuals with special needs.

    The University of Judaism (UJ) held its...

  • Autism: The New Epidemic

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    April 15, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Barbara and Sheldon Helfing never expected to have one autistic child, much less two. Their son Leland, now 5, was born prematurely and began showing signs of a neurological disorder before...

  • Center Provides Hope for Autistic Children

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 17, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    As Tony and Barbara Miller* awaited the birth of their first child in 1990, they excitedly planned for the future by purchasing a large, family-friendly home in a suburb renowned for its school district. When their son Robert* was born -- a striking child with olive skin and a halo...

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