Issue #22 – Discipline: A Mom’s Perspective

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I know, I know… It’s no longer politically correct to use the term ‘discipline’ when relating to individuals with special needs. Truthfully, the previous informative essays and articles in this feature, leading up to mine, all reaffirm that – our children with special needs will act out inappropriately when they are misunderstood and when they cannot communicate their needs, proving that mis-communication, rather than misbehavior is the source of challenge.

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Issue #22 – Gratitude

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I was just a small first grader when my sister was born. I was proud of my new uniform with its freshly pressed shirt and sharply pleated jumper. A few months of school didn’t take away that feeling as I walked through the halls of Bais Chana each day. No less was my feeling of pride when I heard that my mother had a baby. I was the big sister! Not only was I a big first grader who could help a lot, I was also the baby’s only sister among my siblings – all boys.

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Issue #22 – Our Son’s Special Bar Mitzvah

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If one day could encapsulate the highs and lows of raising a child with Down syndrome, the day our son, Yehuda, was called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah would be that day.
My wife and I thought it would be a good challenge for Yehuda to not only have an aliyah and recite the blessings over the Torah, but to actually read from the Torah, like most of the “regular” boys do to celebrate their Bar Mitzvah.

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Issue #21 – Tips for Buying Kids’ Eyewear

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If you’re a parent of a child with Down syndrome in search of the right pair of eyeglasses for your child (him/her), you probably know that walking into an optical store can be confusing. There is no shortage of children’s eyeglass frames. The problem is: how do you figure out which ones: a) your child will be willing to wear; and b) will last longer than the ride home?

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Issue #20 – Self-Control

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It can sometimes turn really murky to try to figure out what is normal and what isn’t, who is normal and who isn’t.
Just a few months ago, Yeshiva Bonim Lamokom celebrated its annual Shabbaton. This is the highlight (among many others ☺ ) of the yeshiva year, as students, rabbeim, teachers, therapists, office staff and faculty’s families pack their bags and head upstate for a glorious weekend of non-stop fun and inspiration.

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Issue #19 – Two Hats

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I wear 2 hats.
I change them daily, sometimes multiple times a day.
Some parts of the day I am an Adjunct Professor at a local educational institution where I teach a course about disabilities.
Part of my curriculum is to underscore the importance of Inclusion, part of the laws of I.D.E.A.
“Disabled children should be educated with other non-disabled children to the maximum extent possible.”

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