Special Education Blog

What's Autism Got To Do With It?

rachel-t-new-web.jpgA blog post by Rachel Turniansky, Coordinator of Special Education Services; Principal of Gesher LaTorah and TAG 

In the aftermath of horrible tragedy people scramble to make sense – any kind of sense of something senseless. It’s human nature. But in the process of that scramble one thing stood out to me. The media is reporting that the perpetrator of this horrific incident may have had Asperger’s Syndrome.

Everyone Included

zelinger.jpgA blog post by Yael Zelinger, Coordinator, JADE.

Last I left off,  I was pondering the inconsistencies between my values and my children’s actions. It’s embarrassing when a child behaves contrary to ideals you espouse. Avigayil, my seven year old toothless little “Madeline” had a child with Downs Syndrome in her class this past year. After several attempts at encouraging Avigayil to play with this girl, I took a different tactic.

The good news is I have some progress to report.

Remember that I told I would borrow books about special needs from the library? 

Love of Reading

rachel-t-new-web.jpgA blog post by Rachel Turniansky, Coordinator of Special Education Services; Principal of Gesher LaTorah and TAG

Interesting statistics:

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.

80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

(Source: Jenkins Group) more stats here.

A Work in Progress - Employment for Individuals with Disabilities

rachel-t-new-web.jpgA blog post by Rachel Turniansky, Coordinator of Special Education Services; Principal of Gesher LaTorah and TAG.

In July of 2010 President Barack Obama signed an executive order calling for the hiring of 100,000 workers with disabilities over five years. Today, however, a new report from the Government Accountability Office finds that federal agencies are not making enough headway.

“Nearly two years after the executive order was signed, the federal government is not on track to achieve the executive order’s goals,” investigators wrote. The report found that just 20,000 employees with disabilities were hired in 2010 and 2011 in the federal government. 

Increasing Happiness

 

A blog post by Rachel Turniansky, Coordinator of Special Education Services and Principal of Gesher LaTorah.

turniansky.jpgWith the Hebrew month of Adar approaching, we are told MiShenichnas Adar Marbim BeSimcha – when Adar comes in, joy is increased!  The joy of Adar stems mostly from the holiday of Purim, which falls in the month of Adar. We celebrate that the Jewish people were saved from Haman’s wicked plan to destroy us.

And the Oscar Goes To.....

A blog post by Martha Goodman, Coordinator of MD SNAP.

This week the Academy Award nominations were announced.  One of this year’s nominees for Best Film is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which is set two years after 9/11 and is narrated by Oscar (a hopeful foreshadowing perhaps?), a sensitive boy who lost his father in the tragedy, and also happens to have a form of autism.  I’d like to take this opportunity to nominate these fascinating flicks:

The 'R' Word

A blog post by Yael Zelinger, Professional Development Associate and Coordinator, JADE.

zelinger.jpgI knew what the word “retarded” meant before most adults did.  Because my father ran a school for what were then called “retarded” children, he taught me how to describe the concept to my friends who would ask about his job. I learned to explain that a typical person could touch a hot stove and quickly pull his hand away, however, when a “retarded” person touches a hot stove, he would not pull his hand away quickly enough because his brain works more slowly.

What’s in a name?

A blog post by Rachel Turniansky, Coordinator of Special Education Services and Principal of Gesher LaTorah.

turniansky.jpgHow many of us were taught the old adage, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never harm me?” How long did it take us all to learn how untrue that is? Words can harm, I’d say much more than any stick or stone ever could.

Everyone Included

A blog post by Rachel Turniansky, Coordinator of Special Education Services and Principal of Gesher LaTorah.

turniansky.jpg"A human being mints many coins from the same mold and they are all identical. But the holy one, blessed be God, strikes us all from the mold of the first human and each of us is unique." -Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5

ATTENTION!

A blog post by Yael Zelinger, Professional Development Associate and Coordinator, JADE.

zelinger.jpg“Attention! Can everybody please listen up for a moment? We are going to move to the next workshop now in Room #100. Please meet us there in 2 minutes!”

Announcements like these abound at a shabaton. When I joined the Deaf community as a teenager through Deaf friends I met in camp, I quickly learned that everything has to be VISIBLE! You cannot rely on verbal communication to get people’s attention, share information, or conduct a typical conversation. I learned to wave my hands to get people’s attention, to make sure my face wasn’t blocked by hair or hands and to use sign language to communicate.

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