A suitable spectrum – Thousands attend panel on relationships and Autism

“The glass ceilings are with us, the parents,” said Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein, “that is a conversation we must change.”

Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Deputy Minister of Finance Yitzhak Cohen and Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein participated in a panel discussion on Wednesday on the matter of people who are on the autistic spectrum and their desire to enjoy romantic relationships. The panel looked at the issue from both a social and a religious point of view. 
According to Jewish law, said Cohen, there is no reason people who are disabled should not wed.
“Israeli society,” he said, “must accept the other, those who are different.”
Shaked said that the issue is one that is close to her heart and that the New Right Party aims to devote more attention to social issues after the upcoming April elections.
Rabbi Feuerstein said that it is important “to recognize the fact disabled people are regular people, there is no person who has no limitations what so ever.”
He added that “the glass ceilings are with us, the parents, the care takers and the society at large... We are too busy with IQ tests and labels and do not believe in the potential people have, this is a conversation we must change.”
Roughly 2,000 people attended the panel, which was held in the Feuerstein Institute in Jerusalem, a press release said.
In a recent article for this paper, Hanna Brown discussed how television shows and movies often focus on people who are on the autistic spectrum who are often very brilliant at some things and are fairly independent.
“What is problematic is what is not being shown – people on the lower-functioning end of the autism spectrum,” she wrote, “what has been described by professors Helen Tager-Flusberg and Connie Kasari as the “neglected end of the spectrum.”