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March 17, 2014 11:44 am

Israeli Finance Minister’s Wife on Autistic Daughter: ‘She Made Me the Person I am’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Lihi Lapid. Photo: Screenshot.

The wife of Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid, speaking at a recent Hebrew University of Jerusalem conference, credited her teenage autistic daughter with helping her become the person she is today, Israel’s Yediot Ahronot reported Wednesday.

“I don’t know who I am without her,” Lihi Lapid said at the First Canada-Israel Autism (ASD) Research Symposium, a gathering of researchers in autism and other specialized areas from both countries. “I don’t know what kind of person I am. I definitely don’t know which kind of adult I am. She made me the person I am.”

She also described the feelings of  guilt that may come with raising an autistic child.

“Part of being a mother for an autistic kid is feeling guilty all the time for what you didn’t do,” the novelist told the audience about her daughter, who at 17 still does not speak. She also detailed various therapies that her daughter underwent, including horseback riding therapy.

In most Western countries the percentage of children diagnosed with autism is about 1 percent, according to Yediot.

It was recently reported that the Israeli Defense Force achieved a series of operational successes in recent years thanks to a group of soldiers with autism who contributed their unique abilities to the Israeli army’s Intelligence Unit 9900.

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