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ASPartOfMe
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19 Oct 2021, 8:31 am

Jerusalem Post

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Hundreds of parents, teachers and people with autism gathered outside the Knesset for a demonstration on Monday evening at which they demanded that the budget for work activities for people with autism over 21 be raised.

The demonstration was organized by Emanuel Cohen, 56, whose 22-year-old son has autism. Cohen has been on a hunger strike for 20 days and has been sleeping in a tent near the Knesset along with several other parents, some of whom are also on a hunger strike.

Calling on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Social Welfare Minister Meir Cohen, speaker after speaker asked politicians to address the hardships facing people with autism once they “age out” of the school system at the age of 21.

Cohen praised the education system but said that after they turn 21, “they are pushed out of a helicopter” and given almost no services. The occupation centers that serve people with autism who are lower-functioning – a sizeable portion, if not the bulk of people on the autism spectrum – like Cohen’s son and the majority of people with autism and their families at the demonstration, usually provide repetitive meaningless work, which often causes a deterioration in behavioral and communications skills of people with autism.

The speakers at the demonstration had three demands. One was for more meaningful work for people with autism who “deserve challenging work, they deserve to keep learning,”.

The other demands were to increase the wages of the teachers and staff who work at such centers, who currently receive minimum wage and who are often forced to leave to support their families. The speakers praised the teachers and staff, saying they were doing the best job they could under terrible conditions, but that they deserved to be paid better.

They also demanded an increase in the number of staff members, so these work environments could be therapeutic and “not just babysitters” as Cohen put it.


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DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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19 Oct 2021, 2:38 pm

Good for the parents for standing up for their adult children! :D

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And although it’s my own slogan and didn’t come up in this protest and news coverage, I personally am very much in favor of the slogan, “We are all middle-functioning!”

And hope that it catches on.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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22 Oct 2021, 10:21 am

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“ A recently elected member of the Ginot Ha’ir local council board, the 56-year-old Cohen is fighting for better and more humane conditions for low-functioning autistic persons, like his 22-year-old son Yiftah.”

Jerusalem Post article —> https://m.jpost.com/israel-news/parents ... ple-682733

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Good for this Dad! ! ! :D



Ettina
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25 Oct 2021, 3:12 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
The occupation centers that serve people with autism who are lower-functioning – a sizeable portion, if not the bulk of people on the autism spectrum


Well, that's a flat-out lie. Around 66-84% of autistic people have IQs over 70, and most autistic people have good verbal skills. Just because the bewareness campaigns act like only lower-functioning autistic people exist doesn't mean they're anywhere close to being a majority.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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27 Oct 2021, 3:01 pm

Ettina wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
The occupation centers that serve people with autism who are lower-functioning – a sizeable portion, if not the bulk of people on the autism spectrum


Well, that's a flat-out lie. Around 66-84% of autistic people have IQs over 70, and most autistic people have good verbal skills. Just because the bewareness campaigns act like only lower-functioning autistic people exist doesn't mean they're anywhere close to being a majority.


@Ettina

Hi, thank you for catching this. Yeah, that is a blatant error, like a throwback to the 1970s, or earlier.

Maybe it’s somewhat more widely believed in Israel, I hope not.

Actually, I hope the journalist just messed up. Yes, this is the population this particular jobs program is targeted for, but it doesn’t represent all persons on the spectrum.