Autism Awareness at The Huntington

Children with autism react to sensory stimuli in very different ways. Some children on the autism spectrum are overly sensitive, while others are just the opposite. The Huntington offers a range of environments to suit any child’s needs.

“The Huntington can be a wonderful place for someone with autism because it offers so many opportunities to see, smell, hear, and touch. But it also offers quiet, open spaces,” says Ricki Robinson, M.D., co-director of Descanso Medical Center for Development and Learning in La Cañada, California, and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She’s also a member of The Huntington’s Board of Overseers.

April is National Autism Awareness Month, a great time, says Robinson, to consider visiting The Huntington—given the mild weather and plants bursting forth in bloom.

We asked Robinson what she’d recommend to caregivers bringing their kids:

“A first stop for many children (autistic or otherwise) is the Helen and Peter Bing Children’s Garden. Designed by California kinetic artist Ned Kahn, children get to splash in water, make music with pebbles, dance under rainbows, disappear into a swirl of fog, and hold the magic of magnetic forces in their hands.

“Many autistic children have a heightened sense of smell. For them, the dozens of fragrances in the Rose Garden may hold great appeal. But each child reacts differently to their environment. What may be a joyous experience for one autistic child may be frightening for another. One child may find the waterfall in the Chinese Garden fascinating. To another, its sound can seem like pounding nails. With so many different sensory experiences that can be explored throughout The Huntington’s gardens, parents of a child with autism can tailor their visit to match their child’s interests and sensory likes and dislikes.

Read the complete article on Huntington Blogs.


‘Power Rangers’ Features An Autistic Ranger: Why That’s More Important Than You Realize

As early reviews for Lionsgate’s new Power Rangers film appear on news and entertainment sites, fans of the franchise are also learning new details about the film. We now know that one of the Rangers will be the first gay superhero featured in a blockbuster film. And there’s more: reviews also revealed that the story of another Ranger has a unique aspect. Billy, the Blue Ranger, is on the Autism Spectrum.

The Blue Ranger, played by R.J. Cyler, is part of a cast that represents viewers from a more broad spectrum of life than most big-budget films, with Asian, African-American, and Latina leads.

In the original TV show, the Blue Ranger was not written as autistic. The revelation that Lionsgate’s screen adaptation has added that depth to his character demonstrates the film is headed for a more grounded approach than the show, and is not taking its influence on young adults lightly.

Cyler, speaking with Screen Rant, explains why he was dedicated to bringing truth to Billy and his experience with autism in the film:

I actually sat down and shut my mouth and actually just listened and accepted every bit of information with no judgement… I knew that it was my job to show that people that are on the spectrum are just regular people, literally, just how we talk, how me and Becky [Becky G, Yellow Ranger] talk, they feel the same way, they have the same emotions, they wanna be loved, that want people to love, they want relationships they want, you know, connections, and it’s just like I was really excited to be able to play that ’cause I know it means so much to so many people, ’cause all of us are affected by it.

This, unexpectedly, comes about just as Sesame Street also introduces a new character with autism.

In 2016 Autism Speaks reported that 1 in every 68 children are on the Autism Spectrum in the United States. With that figure in mind, you can see how rarely entertainment reflects those on the spectrum, and how many people have no one to relate to on TV or in film.

Continue onto MoviePilot to read the complete article.


Americans With Disabilities Face Too Many Bumps in the Road

Our survey of Americans with disabilities revealed that:

  • 28% encounter a barrier to a building, transportation or service once a week
  • 20% encounter a barrier at least once a day
  • 36% live in a home that is not wheelchair accessible; of this group:
    • 70% have steps leading into the home
    • 51% cannot afford to make their homes wheelchair accessible
    • 25% say they find ways to “deal with” the challenges and inconveniences
    • 16% say that landlord/homeowner/condo board won’t allow modifications

Continue reading Americans With Disabilities Face Too Many Bumps in the Road