Celebrating Differences

Celebrating Differences

Mobile Therapy Centers (MTC) joins the world this month in celebrating diversity in autism. Currently, about 1 in 54 children have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Maenner, Shaw, Baio, et al, 2020) [1]. At MTC, we identify that although there is a specific diagnostic criterion for ASD, no two individuals with autism are the same. Therefore, we work with individuals to provide a specialized multidisciplinary approach that supports individualized goals with emphasis on social significance and real-world applications.

Here are some of the things you can expect from us at the clinic. Daily, MTC celebrates the neurodiverse culture as we thrive to create an environment within our clinic designed to mirror the world our kiddos live in. No child is expected to conform or fit within a box based on their diagnosis. We work with our families to create goals relevant to the individuals in our care. One way we do so at our Illinois location is through mock room environments: dentist office, restaurant, clothing store, and hair salon to promote independence.

Mobile Therapy Centers is excited to announce that this year’s campaign theme set by the Autism Society is #CelebratingDifferences! Designed to build better awareness of the realities of autism, we hope you and your families will join us in #CelebratingDifferences this April for Autism Acceptance Month.

Here is how you and your family can celebrate these differences at home:

Celebrate famous autistic people throughout history. Did you know that it was theorized that several inspiring people throughout history had autism? Here are some fun ways that you can recognize a few:

  • Grab a game controller, cell phone, or deck of cards to battle your favorite Pokémon because Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon, has autism
  • Who doesn’t love the movie Frozen? Did you know it was based on the book The Ice Queen, written by Hans Christian Anderson? This famous author with autism also penned classics such as The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling.
  • Snuggle on the couch with your family and read the classic, Alice in Wonderland, created by the neurodiverse mind of Lewis Carroll

Visit a local museum and check out the work of the famous artists that are thought to have had autism:

  • Michelangelo (the Renaissance artist), Vincent Van Gogh (the famous impressionist), and Andy Warhol (the famous pop artist)
  • Listen to the beautiful classical music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the classical composer who was also thought to have autism

Visit an Autism-Friendly event:

  • Participate in MTC’s Saturday Social Group. Our kiddos gather twice a month to engage in fun activities together promoting social skills.
  • Join our Parent Autism Support Group held on Monday or Wednesday nights
  • Engage in our School Readiness program developed to help foster independence in the school setting
  • Walk a 5K to help advocate and fundraise for individuals with autism that may need financial support
  • Visit the Shedd Aquarium, Brookfield Zoo, Art Institute of Chicago, and The Field Museum (physically or virtually). They are dedicated to providing a sensory-friendly environment featuring quiet rooms and tactile experiences.
  • Enjoy a sensory friendly movie day at AMC and Marcus Theaters

Read a book written by an author with autism, or written by an author who has been personally touched by an individual with autism:

  • Adventures in Handom and The Magical Heart of Handom, by John R. Miller. A sci-fi children’s book about the imaginary world of Handom and the power of having a good and kind heart. The term “Handom” was inspired by the author’s hand stimming!
  • The Terrible Taunting, by Molly Murphey. This story is a Temple Grandon Award winning comic written to help children with autism see themselves represented in literature.
  • Benji, the Bad Day and Me, by Sally J. Pla. A story about siblings that show compassion and empathy toward each other as they both struggle with the challenges of a bad day.
  • Darius Hates Vegetables, by Darius Brown. A story written by an author (who was in fifth grade at the time) to help children on the spectrum cope with situations they may encounter in school.
  • The Quiet Bear and Really, Really Like Me by Gretchen Leary. These books help children understand differences and some behaviors that they may see exhibited by their friends with autism.
  • Rules by Cynthia Lord. A realistic fiction novel about a young teen trying to detach the stigma attached to her brother’s diagnosis.

Mobile Therapy Centers prides ourselves on celebrating neurodiverse and neurotypical individuality, and welcome you and your families to celebrate with us this April. No matter how you celebrate at home, we wish you a wonderful Autism Acceptance Month!

Mobile Therapy Centers services include ABA Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, Feeding Therapy and Counseling at our Multidisciplinary Clinics, at your home or at your child’s school/daycare making it convenient for you and your family. We also provide Telehealth services. Contact us below to learn more.

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[1] Maenner MJ, Shaw KA, Baio J, et al. Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2016. MMWR Surveill Summ 2020;69(No. SS-4):1–12. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6904a1external icon.