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December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘CEO’

Autism and the Effectiveness of Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Our understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders has advanced rapidly in recent years. Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a family of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by unusual patterns in social interaction, communication, and range of interests and activities. While this profile is generally applicable for the entire ASD population, much variation actually exists. No two individuals exhibit the exact same symptoms and as such, ASD is a heterogeneous disorder.

Autism spectrum disorders can often be reliably detected by the age of 3 years, and in some cases as early as 18 months. Studies suggest that many children eventually may be accurately identified by the age of 1 year or even younger. The appearance of any of the warning signs of ASD is reason to have a child evaluated by a professional specializing in these disorders.

By age 3, most children have passed predictable milestones on the path to learning language; one of the earliest is babbling. By the first birthday, a typical toddler says words, turns when he hears his name, points when he wants a toy, and when offered something distasteful, makes it clear that the answer is “no.”

Some children diagnosed with ASD remain non-verbal throughout their lives. Some infants who later show signs of ASD coo and babble during the first few months of life, but they soon stop. Others may be delayed, developing language as late as age 5 to 9. Some children may learn to use communication systems such as pictures or sign language.

Children who do speak often use language in unusual ways. They seem unable to combine words into meaningful sentences. Some speak only single words, while others repeat the same phrase over and over. Some ASD children mimic what they hear, a condition called echolalia. Even though there are children with no ASD who go through a stage where they repeat what they hear, it usually is gone by the time they are 3.

Some mildly affected children may have minor delays in language. Some seem to be very verbal with unusually large vocabularies, but have great difficulty in sustaining a conversation. The usual “give and take” of conversation is difficult for them. They often carry on a monologue on a favorite subject, giving no one else an opportunity to comment. They have other difficulties including the inability to understand body language, tone of voice, or “phrases of speech.” Sarcastic expression might often be misinterpreted. For example, if someone tells them, “Oh, that’s just great,” they would take the words literally, believing the speaker meant to tell them that it really IS great.

The body language of ASD children is also difficult to understand. Facial expressions, movements, and gestures rarely match what they are saying. Also, their tone of voice fails to reflect their feelings. A high-pitched, sing-song, or flat, robot-like voice is common. Some children with relatively good language skills speak like little adults, and do not pick up on the “kid-talk” approach so common with their peers.

People with ASD are at a loss to let others know what they need because they cannot make understandable gestures or lack the language to ask for things. Because of this, some may simply yell or just take what they want without asking. ASD children have great difficulty learning how to get through to others and express their needs. As ASD children grow up, they become more cognizant of their difficulties in understanding others and in making themselves understood, which can result in more anxiety, depression or maladaptive behaviors.

Studies show that augmentative devices are a great help in fostering language in children with autism and other disabilities, and have achieved remarkable results.

Augmentative communication is all of the ways we communicate other than speech. It includes:  Gestures  Sign Language  Vocalizations  Facial Expression  Communication Displays (boards)  Communication Devices A group of aids, starting from simple, notebook-size plastic boxes to more high-tech devices that resemble an IPod or BlackBerry, has been developed to help those with autism to express their needs. These devices range in price from about $100 to several thousand dollars. Most are portable and the simpler ones are also very durable and well-constructed, a real advantage for children with autism.

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices are tools to allow people with severe or significant speech impairments to express themselves. These devices are used as a method to allow children to exactly say what they want and as fast as they can. It’s a valuable communicator that allows them to express their feelings, thoughts, ideas and get their needs met. These devices can range from low tech picture cards to high end speech generating devices.

However, regardless of low or high tech, the most important questions about the suitability of an AAC Device is: • can the person say precisely what they want • can they say it quickly

NDS Bought by Cisco for $5 Billion

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Cisco Systems, Inc. an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Jose, California, specializing in design, manufacturing, and sales of networking equipment, is purchasing NDS, developer of software solutions for multi-channel television providers which is jointly owned by European private equity firm Permira, and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., for $ 5 billion.

NDS was founded in Jerusalem in 1988, by a group of Israeli scientists from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot. The company has specialized in the development of interactive systems for secure transmission of entertainment and information to digital TV,  digital set-tops, PCs and mobile devices. In addition, NDS is developing electronic security solutions for Web applications.

Calcalist, the financial website that broke the story, suggests the negotiations over the sale were the reason for the resignation of Dr. Abe  Peled from his post as CEO of the company in July 2011. Peled, an Israeli who had led NDS for 16 years, was appointed as Chairman of the company, being replaced as CEO by Dave  Habiger. Chief operating officer is  Raffi Kesten, who also manages the operations of the company and  its development center  in Israel.

The sale was kept secret from NDS empoyees, who only found out about it early Thursday morning.

What Satmar Chassidim Can Teach The Author Who Trashed Them

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Dear Deborah,

Your book, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots, has touched a lot of nerves and unsettled a lot of hearts in the Orthodox Jewish community. It is not every day that a Satmar woman divorces her husband, moves to Manhattan and writes a tell-all book about the experience. It is not every day that a Satmar woman writes about her chassidic experience with derision and her intimate relations without inhibition.

My wife’s family is from Satmar, too. Her great-great grandfather was the shochet and chazzan in Satmar, Hungary, serving Grand Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum before World War II. Her great-grandfather left Satmar in the 1930s and moved to Portsmouth, England, where he served as the Orthodox pulpit rabbi of a less than observant congregation. His wife wanted to raise their children in a more modern environment and he went along with that decision. He never trimmed his beard or payos in Satmar but did so in Portsmouth. His wife shaved her hair in Satmar but didn’t do so in Portsmouth.

They didn’t write a book about the ordeal as you did. They respected their parents’ insular ways even if they couldn’t follow the path themselves. They wouldn’t – out of self-respect and human dignity – deride those who gave them life, God, and an eternal connection to Jewish destiny.

Deborah, our families share much in common. Chassidic life is not for us. In our view we should not be insular; we should make it our mission to inspire the world. But we part ways, fellow Satmarite, when you approach every Jewish law with cynicism and see sexual subjugation in every chassidic custom. I think you are writing yourself into the text.

I have no doubt you believed all you wrote to be true (including your allegation of castration and murder in Kiryas Joel which has been proven to be false). I wonder, however, if you are open enough to consider that your processing might be uniquely personal – defined through an emotionally scarred and spiritually detached lens that has affected the way you see the Jewish laws and customs that have inspired and unified your people for the past 2,000 years.

Your book became an immediate sensation. What is it that made it so popular? Is it an intellectual treatise, a work of authority? It is not. You write passionately but anecdotally, poignantly but subjectively.

You left your husband and heritage, choosing instead secular values. I have read books much more profound than yours by women who rejected secular culture, seeing its lifestyle as hedonistic, Godless, and disrespectful of their feminine dignity. They saw in secular culture a society that defines the perfect body as the perfect virtue, the undress of female as art, the augmented female figure as the appropriate trophy on the arm of the rich and famous. They chose chassidic Judaism instead.

But their books weren’t featured on “The View.” Their stories weren’t highlighted in newspapers across the globe. They didn’t receive a call back from Simon and Schuster. Why do you think that might be?

It is the alleged window into the chassidic bedroom that made your book sensational. And that is because there is so little about sex in the secular world that is private, dignified and feminine anymore. It is all so public, aggressive and masculine. When a woman is provocative she is not feminine but masculine, having traded relationship for sex. Perhaps the last frontier of feminine dignity is in the religious bedroom. And you besmirched the most wonderful, intimate experiences of a community by presenting your sad personal experience as the norm.

The women of “The View” ate it up. Deborah, it is not you they like. It is your validation they seek.

Leaving Satmar may be your defining moment. But it is a door, not a destination. What is your ideology? How do you define God? How do you make perfect the relationship between created and Creator, man and woman, man and self? How do you understand human challenge, temptation, frailty, and the longing to connect to an Eternal force?

You haven’t addressed the larger issues that any ideology must. Those who cheer you on celebrate what you do not believe, what you do not do. It would be more interesting and inspiring to know what you do believe, what you do in fact do.

Deborah, you are a woman who has crossed a river. You are free, entirely able to live your dreams. What are your dreams? In which moral community will you find a home?

Will it be a community in which people care for each other?  Will it be a community in which people make sure no one falls through the cracks? Will it be a community in which even the weakest are provided for? Will it be a community infused by a desire for closeness to God? Will it be a community in which gala weddings are made for the needy, even those who can’t pay for them themselves?

Men And Temptation: Beyond The Bus

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

There is a culture war raging in Israel. The extremists are pushing for an ever-expanding division of the sexes – including separate seating on public buses – and the moderates are refusing to go along for the ride. The struggle has filled newspapers and blogs the world over.

And it raises a larger question.

How should the Orthodox Jewish community deal with human temptation? Does removing challenges make the male spiritual immune system stronger? Does it make our masculinity more dignified?

Most people will agree that men and women are essentially different and face different challenges. Most men will agree that the basic male nature – without God or spiritual influence – is to pursue power and promiscuity.

From the day he is born man wants to be mighty, to make an imprint on the world. Jewish tradition teaches that this desire comes from a good place. Our soul is endowed with the knowledge that the purpose of life is to improve self and inspire others, to affect the world we inhabit in a positive way.

The male’s challenge is his ego, the drive that leads him, as a cow is led to pasture, to chase the fool’s gold of fame, fortune and physical pleasure.

Judaism teaches that we should have an ego. It says, in fact, that we should have an “eighth of an eighth” of haughtiness (Sotah 5a).

It doesn’t ask us to overcome our pride entirely. Why? Because spending our lives on a “seek and destroy” mission against our ego will send us down a troubled path. We may destroy our self-confidence in the process. And we may spend so much time overcoming the ego that the lack of haughtiness becomes our identity – our pride. Circuitously, we may reinforce the trait we sought to weaken.

The male ego can never be entirely removed. It is like removing fat from a well-marbled piece of meat; the more you uncover, the more you will find.

So what was God’s plan? How is man to overcome his nature? By taking responsibility. Marrying, working, caring for a wife, tending growing children with increasing and changing needs, joining a synagogue and committing to community are the things that keep man rooted, humble, and down to earth.

The same is true with man’s second primal desire. The male attraction to the female was created by God. The more one tries to remove temptation, the more things will become tempting. Asking women to sit in the back half of the bus, or to walk on another side of the street, will result in their very presence being a distraction. The more you cover, the more things you will observe.

The solution was written in the Torah. It was defined as the reality of the world after Adam left the Garden of Eden. Man should be busy. Man should work hard. Man should do the things men do best: protect and provide for the wife and children they love.

When I was a bachur in yeshiva, we sought deeper meanings in the words of Chazal; the derash fascinated us more than the pshat. As I grow older, the words of Chazal ring clearer and deeper in their most basic meanings. And these are words I love: Rabban Gamliel says (Avos 2:2), “How wonderful is the study of Torah with work, as involvement with both makes one forget sin.”

May it be God’s will.

Yaakov Rosenblatt, the author of two books, “tends the flock,” literally and figuratively, as CEO of A.D. Rosenblatt Kosher Meats, LLC and a rabbi with NCSY in Dallas.

Where is the HP Touchpad Headed?

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

There is a large variety out there today in the handheld market, but Palm was one of the pioneers. For many, the Palm-based OS was the operating system of choice. From the Palm OS, the next OS to be developed was Web OS, which was the final product of Palm. After a series of strategic errors, the company eventually could not keep up with the ever-changing technology market. As a result, Palm ended up being acquired by HP (Hewlett-Packard).

HP has been going through major changes itself. After buying Palm, HP decided to create the Touchpad, which would run on Web OS. However, after the Touchpad was on the market for a relatively short time, HP announced that it would be ending its project with Web OS. The price of the Touchpad dropped from $599 to $100-150, depending on the model, producing a huge fire sale of the Touchpad. It was sold out in a matter of hours and many people couldn’t even get their hands on it.

After that, another run was made, producing one or two million more Touchpads, and as of now, most of these have already been sold. There has been no further talk of more Touchpads being produced in the near future.

In addition to HP killing Web OS, a decision was made to scrap HP’s personal computer division as well. All of these radical changes led to the CEO being fired and replaced by former E-Bay CEO Meg Whitman.

With her years of experience as a CEO, she has decided to change some of the ideas that the former CEO, Leo Apotheker, had. For instance, she decided not to close or spin-off the PC (personal computer) division. In terms of Web OS, it is still unclear what its future will be. As of Oct 21, 2011, Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP’s personal systems group, announced that they would make a final decision about the future of the Web OS platform in a couple of months.

The select few who were fortunate to get the Touchpad at the sale price got themselves a great deal. Web OS is a great competitor to Google’s Honeycomb OS and even to the iPad, especially for that price. Currently, there is still a community of techies out there who are making apps. In the event that this comes to an end, there are those who are talking about installing Google’s OS on the Touchpad, in place of Web OS.

As for future tablets from HP, that remains to be seen. However, I wouldn’t write them off just yet. The reality is that the tablet business has become very profitable and popular. The latest talk on the web is that HP is working on a tablet that will run Windows 8.

Windows 8 is almost sure to be tablet-friendly. Currently, Apple is getting a large chunk of the tablet market, and Google’s OS is making tremendous headway. It would be a huge mistake on Microsoft and HP’s part to not get on the bandwagon. The reality is that the computer business is changing radically right before our eyes.

It is crucial to a company’s survival for it to stay on top of its market and know what and when to give its customers. If a company does not keep up with the market’s demands in a timely fashion, it could eventually become the next Palm.

 

Cantor’s Foreign-Aid Idea Would Hurt Israel

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

This election season in the United States was not a great one for the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Republicans and the tainted Emergency Committee for Israel launched mendacious ads and campaigns against pro-Israel Democrats across the country threatening the historic bipartisan support for Israel that has existed in Washington. The lies in these campaigns have been called out by an array of independent journalists from The New York Times to Salon, and politicizing support for Israel in this way has been condemned by key figures such as Israel’s U.S. ambassador, Michael Oren.

But now Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia – the Republican whip and a key member of the GOP leadership team – has shared with us a disturbing policy planned for the future.

Cantor signaled to JTA recently that if Republicans took control of the House, he and the GOP leadership would sever aid to Israel from the larger foreign aid budget. Such a policy is terribly wrong – and there are good reasons why it has been opposed strongly by the organized pro-Israel community in Washington for so long.

Let me pause here to say something that I unfortunately never hear from the other side of the aisle: I am discussing a deeply unfortunate and misguided policy, not a person. I’m confident Eric Cantor is pro-Israel and that he is trying to do the right thing. But there’s a reason that AIPAC, our friends in Israel, and the pro-Israel world in general have vociferously opposed de-linking aid to Israel from the larger foreign operations budget for all these years.

Assistance to Israel is unavoidably intertwined with aid to other countries around the world. Paring assistance to other countries and moving America closer to isolationism – exactly what Cantor is afraid of, and what this strategy in essence is forecasting in a coming GOP Congress – ultimately will doom aid to Israel. Israelis clearly will see such a change as making them more reliant on and subservient to American foreign policy. This is especially true if, as some on the right have suggested, aid to Israel falls within the Pentagon’s budget.

As Israeli media such as Ynet already have noted, “Such a separation in the foreign aid budget might not be good for Israel, and may tie her down more when it comes to American interest and hurt her independence.”

Politically, it’s always been beneficial to make the argument that as a relatively tiny investment that pays great dividends, foreign aid helps countries around the world – not just Israel, of course. That argument goes out the window when Israel becomes the only country to get such separate, special treatment, with other countries (and ethnic groups in America) suddenly clamoring to be treated like our close ally Israel.

Jews historically have worked with the Congressional Black Caucus, for example, and other communities to jointly advance foreign aid for a range of countries; such coalitions to advance global assistance would become a thing of the past.

Cantor is not the only Republican in this election cycle advocating this change. Former Rep. Pat Toomey, running for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, has similarly urged this separation of aid to Israel from the foreign aid budget on the campaign trail. Toomey and Cantor perhaps are just taking note of the obvious – that passing a foreign operations bill in a future GOP Congress will be exceedingly difficult, thus threatening aid to Israel.

Indeed, in June 2009, in a Congress sans Tea Party members, more than half the House GOP caucus voted against the foreign aid budget – including aid to Israel. In a more conservative Congress, the number of votes for foreign aid only would diminish.

A far-right Congress will be problematic for the policy concerns and values of the vast majority of American Jews on so many fronts. Dramatic cuts to social service programs would be on the table, repeals of key health care reforms would be attempted and a woman’s right to choose would be challenged at every turn.

Yet this seemingly esoteric but actually far-reaching policy change – historically opposed by the spectrum of pro-Israel activists – has the power to threaten the very existence of aid to Israel, even though it has historically been the central item on the pro-Israel community’s agenda.

Reframing

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Over the past few months we have discussed many of the major ways in which we can understand what makes a teenager tick. Now let’s put all the pieces together and work towards restarting the relationship between you and your teenager.

 

Beginning again is never easy, especially when starting over demands that a person develop new habits.  However, restarting a relationship with a teenager is easier than most parents think.  Old habits can be replaced by new ones as long as you follow the Three Cs and keep the goals of Relationship Theory in mind.

 

Remembering the importance of connection, control and communication, parents can use the following techniques to help jump-start their relationship with their teenager:

 

Reframing

Communicating intent to change

Keeping the goals in mind

 

Reframing

 

Reframing can help parents view their teenager from a new perspective.  Seeing the relationship from a different angle can lessen the effects of a long history of bitter emotions.

 

Try to depersonalizethe conflict by viewing the teenager as a unique and separate individual.  One technique I teach parents is to treat their teenager as though he or she were a friend’s child.  With friends and acquaintances, we are extra careful not to overstep boundaries and we work hard to stay calm and maintain our sense of compassion.  Imagine how much better a parents’ relationship with their teen could be if they would relate to him or her with more love, politeness, and respect.

 

Another way for parents to reframe the relationship is to view themselves as their teen’s grandparent.  Many of us have fond memories of our grandparents.  I always viewed mine as a tremendous source of love and generosity, and their home was a place of kindness and acceptance. I never felt belittled or criticized by my grandparents.  Perhaps grandchildren have this special relationship with their grandparents because they are not the primary providers or responsible for discipline.  Parents who are able to imagine themselves as their children’s grandparents and relate to them in that way can reduce friction and give their children more of the love and kindness they need.

 

A third possible way is for parents to view themselves more like a salesperson and less like the chief executive officer of a company.  The shift in focus works as follows: For the first ten or eleven years as a parent, you were the CEO of your family.  As CEO, you were in charge of everything – how your children dressed, what they ate, whom they played with, what they watched on television and when they went to sleep.  Just like a CEO, you decided on all policies, budgets, and staffing (babysitter) issues.  You called all the shots from top to bottom.  However, when your children blossomed into teenagers, everything began to change.  Instead of being the CEO of your family, your role began to change and you became a salesperson.

 

A salesperson is very different from the CEO. Back in the office, the CEO wants results – he has invested millions of dollars in inventory and staff, he has investors and a board of directors to answer to and is financially responsible for the entire company.

 

A salesperson, however, is outside – hired to convince customers of their need to buy the company’s products.  Successful salespeople develop sales techniques that enable them to convince the customer that spending an extra $3000 on the latest stereo system (for example) is important for the customer’s happiness.  A salesperson must be able to close the deal and try to ensure that the customer returns to buy more products in the future.

 

Parents of teens at risk would do well to shift from being the CEO to being a salesperson in their family.  There’s no doubt that teens can be difficult customers. They develop particular tastes, desires and feelings strengthened by a powerful sense of autonomy and independence.  You know you can’t force them to do what you want anymore.  You may keep on trying and hoping.  You may even beg them to turn out the way you want them to, but they always seem to choose what they deem is important.  In truth, your child, who is now a teenager, has become a picky consumer and you need to learn the skills of a salesperson.

 

So how are you going to sell your teenager what you want him or her to buy?   Any salesperson will tell you that one of the most important rules in sales is that in order to make a deal you have to first develop a relationship with your customer.  You have to keep the customer engaged and interested in pursuing the relationship. To do this, you need to find ways to assure your customers that you are sincerely concerned about their happiness and well-being.  Of course, a good salesperson knows that you also have to wait for the right moment to sign the deal.  Salespeople need to be patient.  They know that sometimes just being friendly during the first encounter is what brings customers into the store a second or third time until the deal is done.

 

Reinterpreting Negative Behavior

 

Do teenagers at risk willfully try to harm or upset their parents or are they simply acting out their pain and pent-up frustrations? As we have learned in previous chapters, teenagers at risk are not just cranky, spoiled or rebellious.  They are dealing with serious emotional issues and are confused about their identity.  Many are angry about their lack of autonomy and their inability to live life the way they see fit.  During this time, parents are tempted to believe that if their teenagers would just listen, their problems would somehow go away.  However, teenagers at risk have a problem that is similar to a physical disease and demands professional attention.

 

When children are diagnosed with serious physical illnesses, do you think their parents can rightfully blame the children and claim that they are sick because they are lazy, obnoxious, or even selfish? Will the parents fight their children in an effort to make them better? Probably not.  However, somehow when parents deal with teens who have emotional difficulties, they lose perspective and believe their children could change “if they just wanted to.”

 

Instead of dismissing their teenagers’ emotions, parents need to accept that an at-risk teenager has a type of disease.  It’s not a disease that can be identified in a laboratory or under a microscope, but rather can be classified as a social illness that needs the same amount of attention – if not more – than a serious physical ailment.  Realizing that their child is suffering from an illness can reduce the feelings of anger many parents have.  This allows them to more easily maintain a compassionate stance that helps them deal with the real problems and less with their own feelings of loss of control.

 

Parents who have one teenager at risk and are unsure of how to explain that teenager’s behavior to the rest of their children should consider telling them that at-risk behavior is similar to a physical illness.  They should tell the children that their sibling is suffering from an illness that needs intervention and that they can help by being patient and loving.

 

To Be Continued

 

 

Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, is a Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in marriage counseling and teens at risk. He is the author of “At Risk – Never Beyond Reach” and “First Aid for Jewish Marriages.” To order a copy, visit www.JewishMarriageSupport.com. For an appointment call 646-428-4723 or email rabbischonbuch@yahoo.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/reframing/2010/10/14/

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