This Non-Verbal Jewish Teen Wrote a Breathtaking Letter Explaining Autism
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE for Kveller
Gordy Baylinson is a 16-year-old who has never spoken. His parents, Evan and Dara Baylinson, didn’t realize their son could understand anything they had said previously–but recently, they were proven wrong. Gordy understood everything.
This month, Gordy wrote a letter–his first letter–to a police officer about the treatment of people with autism. He was diagnosed as on the autism spectrum when he was 17 months old, but it wasn’t until February of last year that his parents found out, while he doesn’t speak, Gordy has strong opinions of his own, which he can eloquently communicate through writing:
“My brain, which is much like yours, knows what it wants and how to make that clear. My body, which is much like a drunken, almost six-foot toddler, resists.
This letter is not a cry for pity, pity is not what I’m looking for. I love myself just the way I am, drunken toddler body and all. This letter is, however, a cry for attention, recognition and acceptance.”
I Learned All I Need to Know from Playing Cards with My Grandma
BY CARLA NAUMBURG for Kveller
Some of my favorite life memories are with my Grandma Dede, who passed away just over a month ago. I particularly remember playing cards with her, including many games of Russian Bank.
For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of playing Russian Bank with Delia, here’s how it goes: it’s a two person solitaire-style card game, played with two decks. The goal is to get rid of all of your cards before your opponent does, and you do this by building up the center game board, solitaire style—and by dumping your cards on your opponent’s pile whenever you can. As the playing board gets built up, each move can require multiple steps, and if you see your opponent missing steps or breaking the rules of play, you can call “stop!” and take over their turn.
Five Things Not To Expect When You’re Expecting
BY RACHEL SHARANSKY DANZIGER for Kveller
“You know,” my friend told me, “I recently realized that I’ve been making it harder than necessary for myself.”
My friend’s newborn baby slept in her arms. Her toddler ran around with my children, happy to explore the mess of baby accessories. “Parenting, that is,” she clarified. “By trying to control everything.”
The kids shrieked and she craned her neck to try and see what they were up to. And then she forced herself to turn back toward me. “Like right now,” she added. “It’s really hard not to go and check and manage and all that.”
I Spit On My Child to Ward Off the Evil Eye—and It Worked
BY TOBI ASH for Kveller
We had just spent the day at Disney World, and our overexcited 16-month-old daughter was crying hysterically. She couldn’t stop screaming, the tears streaming down her face, barely catching her breath to pause, only to let out more hysterical shrieks. I checked and changed her diaper, offered a new fresh bottle, bathed her, undressed her, put on fresh clothes, put on the TV, but nothing worked.
A frantic hour passed by, and then another, and another, while my husband and I desperately tried to stop her crying. Finally, a thought struck me—a superstitious thought about “Ayen Hara” (the Evil Eye), perhaps placed on her by a fellow Disney attendee.
With nothing to lose, I carried her into the bathroom myself, and locked the door. Then, with a heart full of love and a mouth full of saliva, I viciously spat at her three times right in the forehead.
Watch This Dad & His Daughters Hilariously Rate Movies, Barbie & Pizza
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE for Kveller
- (Note from JVillage:) Nothing inherently Jewish about this, but we thought it might be a fun thing to do with your kids, sitting down and interviewing them on subjects and getting their opinions.
Don’t you actually want things, like toys and kids’ movies, to actually be rated by kids themselves? Well one dad has done it. Hamilton Leithauser, a musician (formerly in the band The Walkmen), made a video where he and his daughters talk pretty seriously about the movie “Trolls,” pizza, dad on dad fights, sleeping in the car, the Barbie Dreamhouse, play-doh, the kids’ menu and more in the latest episode of “Over/Under” on Pitchfork.
The Barbie dreamhouse, for instance, was determined to be: overrated. His older daughter said, “I hate it!! I don’t like it at allllll.”