Feb 27 2013
As part of our month-long series dedicated to Jewish Disability Awareness Month, Jason shares what it’s like to be a parent with a disability.
Every morning I say two prayers. It isn’t normal for someone in my position to recite either one, but I’ve never been described as normal.
The first, traditionally said by addicts, is the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” The second, traditionally said only by women as part of the Jewish morning prayers, is, “Blessed are you Hashem, our God, king of the universe for having made me according to his will.” Together these prayers remind me–a person with cerebral palsy–to be proud of who I am, while accepting, but not diminishing, my challenges. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 20 2013
Liane and her son.
As part of our month-long series dedicated to Jewish Disability Awareness Month, Liane shares advice for those just starting out on the special needs journey.
I’m a proud member of a tribe. No, not just that tribe. I mean the tribe of special needs parents. There’s no way you’d spot us in a crowd. But even without a secret handshake, special needs parents manage to find each other. Maybe it’s that unmistakable look of exhaustion and resolve many of us wear. Whatever it is, I’ve been part of this particular tribe for 20 years. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 13 2013
Jewish day school. Photo credit: Clive Moss
As part of our month-long series dedicated to Jewish Disability Awareness Month, Benay shares her hopes and concerns about her son’s future Jewish education.
I watch my 5-year-old at Jr. Congregation on Shabbat, and I am amazed. Here, in a small room with children, songs, and a teacher he knows and loves, he is comfortable and in his element. He participates, and more than that, he wants to be a leader, a teacher, and a student. He runs onto the bimah in the sanctuary for Adon Olam, and he thinks he’s leading the congregation.
Witnessing my son’s emphatic participation is huge. He was first diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum at 2 years old. Thanks to my husband and sisters, who insisted he be evaluated on the early side, he has benefited from four years of intensive therapy with dedicated and talented therapists and teachers and has made astounding strides. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 6 2013
When your child has special learning needs–or any kind of physical, emotional, or behavioral challenge that impacts learning–finding a suitable religious education can be a challenge.
For the 85% of us who look towards an afternoon or Sunday Hebrew School, particular challenges may arise. First of all, show us a child for whom 4:00 p.m.–after a full day of a structured secular school environment–is an optimum time for learning, and we’ll show you a dozen more for whom it’s not. At 4:00 p.m., most children exhibit some type of “special learning need.” For those with an actual diagnosis, though, these tips may come in especially handy: Read the rest of this entry →
February is officially Jewish Disability Awareness Month (JDAM), and we’ve partnered with Matan to run a special series on Kveller to highlight the challenges, successes, and everything in between that comes with raising a child with special needs.
Through advocacy, education, and training opportunities, Matan empowers the Jewish community to include children with special needs. You can find more about them on their website here.
Every Wednesday for the month of February, we’ll be featuring a different voice from the special needs community right here on Raising Kvell, so be sure to check back in throughout the month. And if you’re curious how February was chosen for JDAM, read here to see how a Torah portion helped decide.
If you have any specific questions or topics you’d like to see addressed this month, let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help you out. We’ll kick things off later today with some Hebrew School tips from Matan founder Meredith Polsky, so keep your eyes out and stick with us all month.