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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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