A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

SmartHealthToday: Sesame Street introduces new character to promote autism awareness

By Shelly Reese SmartHealthToday Sesame Street, famous for inclusion, acceptance and “sunny days,” is introducing a new character in an effort to promote greater understanding of autism. Julia, a green-eyed girl with pumpkin-orange hair, will make her Sesame Street debut in April during National Autism Awareness Month. Julia is a key part of Sesame Street’s initiative to raise understanding about...

UK student develops program to to help encourage communication between police, autism community

By Amanda Nelson and Beth Goins Special to KyForward A University of Kentucky student is teaming with local police to provide education about interacting with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Abbey Love is an educational psychology doctoral student in the UK College of Education. With a research focus on teaching and ASD, Love is involved with Central Kentucky autism groups such as...

Constance Alexander: ‘Curious Incident’ leads to reflections and discussion of needed resources

True to its title, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” begins with a boy and a dog, not an unusual pairing. But the dog in the story is dead, pierced by a garden fork that has gone through the animal’s flesh and into the ground. “It looked as if it was running on its side, the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream,” the narrator says. Christopher...

Rosa Parks Elementary School third-graders ahead of the curve on autism awareness

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward Nine-year-old Steven Estepp would earn gold stars under “plays well with others” on a throwback report card because he and his classmates at Rosa Parks Elementary realize everyone is unique and some need more TLC than others. Their thoughtfulness was evident when school psychologist Melisa Morris led a short session during Autism Awareness Month. “It’s...

New team serving autistic adults named semi-finalist in the Business For Good Competition

Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative President Joe Clabes, left, Opportunity for Work and Learning CEO David Boggs and Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Senior Policy Advisor Dr. Linda Linville make up WISE, a new organization in Lexington to serve adults with autism. (Photo provided)   WISE, a Lexington-based start-up social enterprise serving adults with autism, has announced that they...

Wesley Eversole: Living with Asperger’s doesn’t prevent one from achieving life goals

My name is Wesley Eversole. I am a 2011 graduate of the University of Louisville’s sport administration program. I have a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome.   What is Asperger’s syndrome? Asperger’s syndrome is officially defined as “a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to socialize and communicate with others.” Indeed, growing up I found it difficult...