ByScience Pub dives deep into emerging research on autism. |
A Fresh Look at Autism
Science, Social Media and the Search for Clues
Ben Rein, PhD
April 12, 2022
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a strong genetic basis. Join us as we learn more about these genetic risk factors, examining the precise mechanisms by which they affect brain function and produce changes in social behavior. We’ll learn how one poorly understood risk factor evolved into the discovery of a potential new treatment for ASD, epilepsy, and other conditions. Ben Rein, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Robert Malenka at Stanford University, studying the neural basis of social behavior. Outside of the lab, Ben is a passionate science communicator, sharing educational videos with an audience of 800,000+ subscribers on TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms. He’ll share the joys and pitfalls of using social media to educate and entertain curious minds.
In celebration of Autism Acceptance Month this April, we are excited to announce the introduction of Julia’s family for the first time in Muppet form! Julia’s parents, big brother, and dog Rose appear in new digital videos celebrating the importance of families. We’ve also released new resources focused on bullying, which disproportionately affects children with autism. All of these resources are available on sesamestreet.org/autism in both English and Spanish. You can also tune in to an all-new episode with Julia airing Monday, April 8, 2019 on WSKG TV!
Julia was introduced online in 2015 and had her TV debut in 2017.
To help promote autism awareness, acceptance and understanding, PBS KIDS will air autism-themed episodes of several popular children’s shows throughout April, Autism Awareness Month. PBS KIDS’ autism-themed programing starts April 9 with the ‘Shape Hunt’ episode of “Sesame Street,” which features the show’s newest character, Julia, a muppet on the autism spectrum. The channel will also be featuring autism-related episodes of “Dinosaur Train” and “Arthur.”
In addition to autism-friendly programming, PBS also offers a website for parents featuring educational resources and a website for teachers with materials and activities for kids on the spectrum. Watch these special episodes on WSKG TV:
April 9 | 11:00am | Sesame Street ‘Shape Hunt’
April 9 | 12:00pm | Dinosaur Train ‘Junior Conductors Academy: Part One & Part Two’
April 9 | 5:30pm | Arthur ‘When Carl Met George / D.W. Swims with the Fishes’
April 10 | 5:30pm | Arthur ‘Pets and Pests/Go Fly A Kite’
April 11 | 5:30pm | Arthur ‘Carls Concerto/Too Much of a Good Thing’
April 12 | 5:30 pm | Arthur ‘He Said, He Said/Bunny Trouble’
ROCHESTER (WXXI) Nicole and Chris Thibault dreamed of having a family of avid travelers. And when they had their first son, Tristan, they started making that dream come true: A cruise when he was 6 months old, his first trip to Disney at 1 1/2. But a year later, something changed. The three of them were standing in line to enter Disney World. ”I was holding him in my arms and we were waiting for our turn, and his anxiety level was so high that he just turned around and he slapped me,” Nicole says.
April is Autism Awareness Month and The Jim Henson Company presents a special episode in which Buddy and his siblings become friends with a dinosaur who knows a LOT MORE about dinosaurs than Buddy, but has some trouble making friends. Like all dinosaurs, their new friend Dennis Deinocheirus has his own dinosaur features. And, like all of us, he has strengths in some areas and challenges in others. Dinosaur Train has partnered in this initiative with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign helps parents track the developmental milestones of all their little dinosaur trackers!
Sesame Street is introducing a new Muppet to its cast, and she is unlike any Muppet they have had before. Her name is Julia, and she has autism. The character was introduced online in 2015, but will now become a regular on the television show. Rachel Rosner, the director of education and support services at Rochester-based Autism Up, said introducing a character with autism is a huge step forward for the show — and for raising awareness. “As a parent of two kids with autism, I’m thrilled that there’s finally a character with autism on Sesame Street,” Rosner said.
Spring has sprung in Elwood City, and Arthur and his friends are bringing more great content to your viewers–on the air and online–all season long! In April, which is Autism Awareness Month, Arthur is featuring classic – and new episodes – with Carl, a character on the Autism spectrum.
4/10 | George and the Missing Puzzle Piece/D.W. Swims With the Fishes
4/11 | Pets and Pests/Go Fly A Kite
4/12 | Carls Concerto/Too Much of a Good Thing
4/13 | He Said, He Said/Bunny Trouble
4/14 | George and the Missing Puzzle Piece/D.W. Swims With the Fishes
You can catch these special episodes on WSKG TV the week of April 10th through 14th, 2017 at 5:30pm. Arthur’s RECENTLY UPDATED WEBSITE is now more mobile-friendly, with fully responsive main sections and easier-to-navigate games, allowing kids to scroll and access all 47 games and apps easily–whether on a desktop, phone, or tablet. The video player also has been upgraded to take advantage of PBS’s latest designs and functionality.
Join your friends on Sesame Street for a one-hour webinar just for educators on the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative! Every child in his or her lifetime will meet someone who has autism—and this project was developed to spread a message of respect, empathy, and kindness to all children, and to remind us all that everyone has unique qualities and talents that make the world an interesting place. In this interactive discussion, you’ll learn more from the creators of this project about the variety of free resources that were developed, and ways these materials can be integrated into programming with children. Register today! Webinar for Providers Working With Families and Children
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 | 2:00pm-3:00pm
Webinar for Educators Working With Children
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 | 3:00pm-4:00pm
Ron, Owen and Cornelia Suskind (Photo Credit: Ron Suskind)
Tune in to RadioLab Tuesday, November 17 on WSKG Radio at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Two stories of humans DIY-ing answers to seemingly unsolvable problems. First, a homemade brain-stimulator that may unlock hidden potential. In the last couple years, tDCS has been all over the news. Researchers claim that juicing the brain with just 2 milliamps (think 9-volt battery) can help with everything from learning languages, to quitting smoking, to overcoming depression. Sally Adee, an editor at New Scientist, was at a conference for DARPA – The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – when she heard about a way to speed up learning with something called trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). A couple years later, Sally found herself wielding an M4 assault rifle, picking off enemy combatants with a battery wired to her temple.
In the U.S., 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That makes autism more prevalent than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined. In fact, almost every school and university in the country has students with autism. While the diagnosis is common, public understanding of autism is not. The lack of understanding around the condition contributes to discrimination, verbal abuse, even physical violence.