Autism, the condition that is spreading around the world
Autism has become one of the most common mental disorders in this day and age, but only 30 years ago it was incredibly rare
As many people know, April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, a day where people wear blue to spread awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), more commonly known as Autism, an increasingly common disorder. But, if you really knew what Autism was like and its effects on the human mind and body, you may think differently about people who have this condition.
Autism is a disorder that causes difficulties with social interactions and verbal/ nonverbal interactions, and it is is usually discovered at birth. The number of confirmed cases has skyrocketed in recent years due to the fact that in the past, there were very specific guidelines to what Autism was and if the patient did not fit perfectly in those guidelines, they would not have been diagnosed with Autism.
Recently, Sesame Street has added a new muppet named “Julia” to their roster that has Autism. Julia has been with the Online Story book since 2015, but will now be joining the actual TV show.
Stacy Gordon, the puppeteer behind Julia actually has a son who also has been placed into the Autism spectrum. She wishes that Julia was around when her son was younger because it would allow people to see what he was like with a TV character before witnessing it first hand in the classroom environment.
Furthermore, Autism is four to fives more common in men than in women. An estimation from gospelmedium.com said that about 1 in 54 men in the United States have autism while about only 1 in 252 women in the United States have Autism.
“I googled ‘Autistic People are,’ and the top result was ‘Demons.’ That is the number one thing people think,” said Rosie King, a Autistic motivational speaker in an video on Ted.org.
Demons, this really shows how blissfully unaware our modern day generation is.
On a Ted talk, Steve Silberman explained about the hidden history of Autism and how they used to be considered a sign of terrible parenting. Since then it has been realized that this is obviously false and it is just a genetic disorder. That is really what people think about Autistic People?
“Autism would be met with shame in a community, and thought to be the result of bad parenting and treatment,” said Silberman; explaining about Autism affects on a family's image.
Faith Jegede, a sister too two nonverbal Autistic Brothers said that, “Brokenness is an opportunity for glorious light to shine through.”
“Acceptance starts within each of us. When you see that mom with a toddler screaming on a plane or in the store, it's easy to pass judgement. Remember that the child may have autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, etc. In those moments, offer a helping hand. Smile at the parent. Teach your family or your own children about accepting people of all abilities. I think it would make the world a much happier, accepting place,” said Mrs. Wieand, an English teacher at Freedom High School, who actually has a son who has been placed into the Autism Spectrum.
Mrs. Wieand believes that Sesame Street is really helping out this generation as she said, “Yes, I love this. I think that awareness starts in the home. By having kids exposed to children and characters of all abilities, this will help move from tolerance to acceptance.”
The Freedom Forum is an award-winning high school publication at Freedom High School in the Bethlehem Area School District in Pennsylvania. The organization publishes approximately 8 issues per school year and reports on local, as well as world, events.