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How to "hug" a child with autism



Screenshot: Sesame Street

It is the Autism Awareness Month. To honor this, Sesame Street shows us how we can better support children in the spectrum. They released a few short videos with Julia, the first character of the show with autism.

In the above video, Julia and her neurotypical big brother Samuel Abby teach a new kind of hug, as Julia does not like big hugs. Some people with autism have a strong touch sensitivity, so embracing them can overwhelm them. Julia prefers "starfish hugs" – you and the other person each raise one hand, spreading your fingers like a starfish and touching your fingertips.

For children with autism or sensory problems, you can suggest a starfish embrace or invent your own kind of "hug". A chicken hug? (Touch your elbows and clap like a chicken.) Hug a turtle? (They make one "turtle shell" with a fist and then rub the tanks together.) The best thing to do is to ask the child who is feeling well (or the parent, if he can not formulate his preferences.) In the USA In one of 68 children, the autism spectrum (ASD) is diagnosed, according to the Sesame Street initiative called Sesame Street and Autism: See astonishment in all children. The website states, "While there may be significant differences between people with autism and peers, all children want the same things: to feel safe, happy, and loved."


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