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Julia, a Muppet with autism, joins Sesame Street

Julia is already a staple in Sesame Street books, but she will make her TV debut on Sesame Street in a special episode titled "Meet Julia" airing on April 10 on PBS and HBO. This release goes hand-in-hand with the "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children" campaign, which is focused on reducing the stigma of autism. Julia, who "does things a little differently," displays "different-but-fun" ways of doing things, which are embraced positively by her community. Sesame Street models the way both children and adults can look at autism from a strength-based perspective. To learn more, visit this link.

Julia, un Muppet con autismo, se une a Sesame Street
Julia ya es un personaje en los libros de Sesame Street, pero ahora hará su debut televisivo en un episodio especial de Sesame Street titulado "Conoce a Julia," que se emitirá el 10 de abril en PBS y HBO. Esta edición va de la mano con la campaña "Sesame Street y autismo: ver lo increíble en todos los niños", que se centra en reducir el estigmas del autismo. Julia muestra formas "diferentes-pero-divertidos" de hacer las cosas, que la comunidad acoge positivamente. Sesame Street es un modelo tanto para niños como adultos, para que puedan mirar al autismo desde una perspectiva basada en la fuerza positiva. To learn more, visit this link.

"Meet Julia, the newest friend on Sesame Street. Julia has autism. She’s also a really good singer and can remember all the words to lots of songs…like the favorite Sesame Street song, “Sunny Days”. Abby’s happy to join in!" - Sesame Street Channel.

Please Don't Make Me Write!

Most students with autism spectrum disorder hate to write. Even a simple writing assignment can trigger a major meltdown. So, what can a parent or teacher do to help?
— Oehler, MS, CCC-SLP

Kathy Oehler, a speech-language pathologist and Autism Consultant, addresses a challenge that most students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face: a struggle to write. She mentions that even simple writing tasks can trigger meltdowns. In 2013 she published an article revealing why this is the case. Oehler describes that the writing process involves skills in the four areas that are problematic for many individuals with ASD: language skills, organization skills, motor control and planning, and sensory processing

In her article, which you can find below, Oehler not only outlines the latest research revealed by brain-imaging tools, but also gives specific methods and strategies addressing each of the four areas mentioned above. If you are a teacher or parent and seeking to further support an individual with ASD in their writing, reading her article will be worth your while! 

Putting Ourselves in Their Shoes

Our Diverse Learning team has been visiting schools in order to give teachers a taste of the experiences that children with learning differences go through in a classroom. The team at Brain Highways worked together with kids with a formal diagnosis to create a video clip, "Dear Teacher,"   to share with educators how their brains work and to offer ways teachers can help. You can find it below! Have a look & even share it with your child's teacher, so that we can continue to spread awareness about learning differences in children. 

Diverse Learning ha estado visitando escuelas para demostrar las experiencias de los niños con diferencias de aprendizaje. Brain Highways ha creado este videoclip que resume muy bien. Echa un vistazo y compartirlo con los profesores, por lo que podemos difundir el conocimiento sobre el aprendizaje en los niños.

"Kids with a formal diagnosis, such as autism, Asperger's, ADHD, learning disabilities, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Central Auditory Processing Disorder -- along those who just need to move while learning--often find it challenging to shine in a traditional classroom. The kids who collaborated to write and star in this "Dear Teacher" video represent such students." - Brain Highways