April brings about images of children hunting for colorful eggs, families cooking out in the backyard, flowers sprouting up to show the beginning of Spring–but it should also make us think of autism spectrum disorder. April is Autism Awareness Month.
All over the nation–and all over the world–monuments and landmarks light up blue in support of spreading understanding and awareness about autism. Each and every person can strive to spread autism awareness not just during this month, but throughout the year.
Mental health issues are not rare
Mental illness and disorders are frequently misunderstood in society. The general population tends to treat them as if they’re an oddity or something rare that would never happen to their child–but that’s not only foolish, it’s wrong.
Surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that 1 in 68 school aged children have autism–that’s just autism. Over 20 percent of children will experience a serious mental illness at some point in their lives. The threat is obviously real, which is why autism awareness month exists.
Sesame Street joins in supporting autism awareness
You’ve probably seen something online referring to the new Sesame Street character named Julia. Julia isn’t just another character, though–she has autism spectrum disorder. Recently, Julia made her big debut in an episode.
In the episode, Sesame Street tackled important parts of having autism and being around someone that has autism. They addressed how someone with autism may act a little differently, but that you can still have fun and get along fine. They also brought up sensory differences in children with autism.
Julia had been playing with the other characters outside when some emergency vehicles with sirens on went by. For the others, this was fine, but for Julia it was overwhelming and caused her to panic. To calm her down, the adult took her to a nice place to calm down. This is just one of the examples of how Sesame Street showed what an individual with autism may go through.
Autism awareness isn’t just about parents and schools spreading the word, it’s about society as a whole recognizing it. That’s why Sesame Street’s decision to include a character with autism is so important. Representation in the media–especially in content that children are exposed to–is a great step towards greater autism awareness.
Seven Stars is here for your family
Seven Stars is a program that combines residential treatment with adventure therapy to create a multifaceted, effective program for adolescents, ages 13 to 18, struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder.
We embed the objectives we have for each student into daily activities and teach emotional wellness skills such as conflict resolution, problem solving, social skills, academic skills, self-efficacy and prosocial behaviors. At Seven Stars, we strive to help our students develop the skills necessary to live full, productive lives.