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Documentary highlights NYC street basketball

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer

 

The best basketball players often aren’t found in college or in the NBA, but on the nation’s blacktops. Using a late 1970s tune by the Blackbyrds as its overall theme, Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, New York City accurately gives viewers a well-deserved look into pick-up basketball. Although they focused on the Big Apple, in many urban corridors, if you are a hoopster of any note, you will make or break your hoopin’ reputation on the blacktop. Many go on to star on high school and college teams; some even make it to the pros. Many others don’t — but that doesn’t make them any less significant in basketball circles — their streetball exploits will sometimes precede them. Continue Reading →

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Somali parents struggle with trauma of childhood autism

New legislation promises more help for low-income families
 
By Michelle Lawrence

Contributing Writer

 

“It’s an awesome feeling to change policy so that equality is from the get-go and from the gate for all kids. This new law/policy will help children on fee for service Medical Assistance and Managed Care who are mostly low-income and disproportionately minorities. This is victory at its best!” says Idil Abdul, autism advocate (see “Mother of autistic child fights for equal care,” MSR, May 2). On May 16, the Minnesota State Legislature passed an autism therapy (ABA and Developmental Therapy) coverage law, which was subsequently signed into law by Governor Dayton. Unfortunately, many families struggling to cope with the illness are not confident the new law will address their needs. Continue Reading →

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Mother of autistic child fights for equal care

Proposed laws could disadvantage Black and  low-income people

 

By Michelle Lawrence

Contributing Writer

 

“State legislators want to create two different healthcare policies for kids with autism: one that generously covers the privately insured, and the other that gives minimal coverage to the poor and publicly insured, but both using state funds,” says Idil Abdull of Burnsville and mother of a 10-year-old son with autism. At age 11, when Abdull came to the United States from her native country of Somalia, she knew very little English and very little about American politics. “The only thing I knew about America was Superman and Rocky [the movie], she says.”

Some 20 years plus since arriving on North American shores, Abdull is now very fluent in both English and the parlance of American politics. “If nothing else, I know how to be loud,” she says. Like many other families, Abdull says she went through a period of denial about autism. Continue Reading →

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