At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday afternoon, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.
Today’s topic is “Understanding Autism with the Help of Sesame Street,” contributed by Liz Legg, Compass Community Health Care Center Occupational Therapist.
In honor of April being Occupational Therapy and Autism Awareness Month, we will be highlighting the importance of occupational therapy as well as autism topics all this month during our #LiveWellWednesday posts. Be sure to check back each Wednesday in April for more information from Compass Community Health Care Center Occupational Therapist, Liz Legg.
We are so excited here at Compass Pediatric OT to see the introduction of Julia, Sesame Street’s newest character that is also autistic. Many children often have questions when it comes to autism and Sesame Street is now helping parents address those questions.
When Big Bird asks, “what is autism?” and Alan answers, “for Julia, it means…” he lists different behaviors specific to Julia, indicating that not all children with autism will exhibit the same characteristics, often they are different for each individual child. It’s wonderful that Elmo and Abby Cadabby include Julia in their play and are eager to adapt their games to her needs. They are showing others how important it is to be willing to meet her at her level of interaction. In childhood development, this is what playing and making friends is all about. Just because someone may play differently than you, that doesn’t mean that they can’t or shouldn’t be able to play with you.
It’s fantastic that they praise Julia for what she’s good at, recognizing her creativity, unique style of playing and being with friends. Watching Julia on Sesame Street and seeing how the other Muppets interact with her is such a great learning tool for children, and it models to others how to play with not only children with autism, but any child who may do things just a little differently, because they come from different cultures or geographic places. In this, Sesame Street has started a movement to show children that each of us can be different and it’s healthy to “Play, in their own sort of way!”
For additional information on this topic check out the Autism Society or to schedule an assessment with one of our providers, please contact our office 740-355-7102.