Posts by SINAI Staff

By Dr. Karen Wasserman on Jul 7, 2014
Summertime! Par­ents around the world breathe a sigh of relief as the everyday stress­es of long school days, hectic schedules, and tense nights of homework ease up. Yet, at the same time, many parents hesitate to complete­ly relax during the prolonged summer school break, especially if their children have learning difficulties or disabilities.We are all familiar with the studies that show that children experience a natural re­gression of academic skills during the sum­mer months due to being out of school. But how can parents minimize this regression and keep their...
By Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Rothwachs on Mar 13, 2014
At this time each year, while I anticipate the joy and celebration of Purim, I also commemorate the yahrtzeits of two of my students – Ari Seidenfeld, A”H (11 Adar 5765/2005) and Aharon Halley, A”H (12 Adar 5768/2008).  The pain I feel over losing them will never go away, but over time I have achieved a sense of nechama – comfort.  Our rabbis teach us that the shoresh, root, of the word “nechama” comes from the word nachem, which refers to a change in perspective.  Through this etymological insight, the Torah teaches us that true consolation results from a change of perspective...
By Esther Klavan on Dec 2, 2013
As both a parent and educator, I find myself using the phrase, “What’s your plan?” countless times throughout the week. Whether in response to my own child remarking that he left his math textbook at school and cannot do his homework, or a student coming to let me know that he has two Shabbatonim on the same weekend, my response is typically, “What’s your plan?”These simple words are empowering. They inherently validate the individual’s concern or dilemma by virtue of merely being heard, and simultaneously shift the responsibility back on him to become a problem solver. Quite often the...
By Judith Karp, Associate Dean on Nov 3, 2013
I got in the car after school and with a sense of dread, turned on the news station. It was just a few days after the Nevada Middle School shooting and I needed my daily dose of traffic reports to make it home.I soon heard that there was another violent incident in a Middle School in Massachusetts and my heart sank. A Middle School student stabbed a 24 year old beloved teacher and dragged her body into the woods behind the school.Lately the tragic stories of senseless acts of violence seem to occur on a daily basis.What is going on? Is it the ubiquitous exposure to violence that has caused...
By Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Rothwachs i on Oct 21, 2013
From the first day you put your preschooler on the bus until the day he or she graduates from high school, communication with school is central to understanding your child’s progress. For most parents, communication with teachers is reserved primarily for formal conferences. Parents of children with special needs, however, often seek more regular communication with teachers. The stakes are simply higher when a child experiences academic or social challenges. Sometimes, parents’ emotion or passion can be misperceived as misplaced aggression or lack of confidence, when in fact their intention...
By Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Rothwachs on Oct 17, 2013
Over the last few decades, the world of Jewish education and social services has exploded. We are fortunate to live in an era when resources are available to individuals with disabilities, and expertise is being developed and refined to address a myriad of challenges facing those individuals – challenges that in the past often were ignored. Although the stigma associated with having a disability continues to cast a thick cloud over many in our community, today both children and adults are able to access services which were unavailable in previous generations, services that promote not only...
By Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Rothwachs on Dec 19, 2012
All of the recent speculation blaming Asperger’s for the shooter’s homicidal behavior in last week’s Newton, CT tragedy is outrageous. I understand that this horrific tragedy has ignited a host of social and political dialogues with the intention of assuring that the innocent have not given their lives in vain but have somehow allowed us as a nation to improve. At least one dialogue, however, has unfortunately brought some people to revert to misguided ignorance, leading to the legitimization of bias and stigma. Priscilla Gillman, in her NYT article, “Don’t Blame Autism for Newtown”,...

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