Putting a high-profile actor in a role where they are asked to portray a character with special needs is nothing new and has been taking place for quite some time. What we should be wondering is, why? Why not cast the part to someone who understands every aspect of the role?
Mainstream media influences us in ways we aren’t even conscious of at times; The characters portrayed in television shows, movies and even book characters can help shape not only our minds as individuals but also as social beings. Including characters with special needs in these storylines is something that plays a key role in helping people to understand all the different kinds of people that exist in this world. There have been some powerful and influential characters that have helped familiarize the public with people who have special needs over the years and it’s time to give a few of them some extra attention:
A few weeks ago, an intern here at The Achievement Center of Texas put out a blog discussing special needs representation in film. The discussed the portrayal of those with special needs in the medium, as well as the ethical dilemma of an able-bodied actor playing a disabled character. After its release, we got to thinking about representation in in other forms of entertainment; so here we’ll be talking about television.
TED (or technology, entertainment and design) Talks have featured presentations from phenomenal speakers with the brightest minds in many fields including science, philosophy, entertainment, business, philanthropy, art and religion. The nonprofit organization serves as a platform for intellectual individuals to speak freely about their passions, inspiring their audiences. Amongst a plethora of other inspirational speeches, TEDTalks regarding special needs are exceptionally moving as they reveal the gifts hidden behind disabilities, challenging conceptions of normalcy. Here are 10 of the best TedTalks about special needs:
Parenting is hard but parenting a kid with special needs can prove to be even harder. However, no matter how hard (or even easy!) it gets, it’s important to remember that it is ALWAYS OKAY for you to ask for help. Problems rise, things happen and sometimes the answers just don’t come as quickly as we need them to. Parenting woes can conquer the best of us, so here’s a list of books to help you on your journey raising your child with special needs.
12.6 percent of people in the United States are living with disabilities as of 2015, according to the American Communications survey. That’s over one in eight people. Despite this vast number within the population, individuals with disabilities still face discrimination. However, perhaps not in ways you may be thinking of. Many, if not most, people with disabilities are victims of ableism.
Individuals with special needs can sometimes be susceptible to behavioral outbursts. Facing a string of tantrums can grow tedious for parents of special needs children like you. Regardless of the tantrum’s cause, it’s important to keep a cool head and learn how to calm your child down under difficult circumstances.
Sensory Arts and Crafts are both fun to make and something that you can reflect on in the future, something your child can be proud of. Here are 6 sensory arts and craft projects for you and your child with Autism to enjoy making together:
Hugs Cafe is a restaurant located in downtown McKinney, Texas that works to employ adults with special needs. There are few and far between options for employment for this population, and Ruth Thompson, the founder of Hugs Cafe, is doing
Adults with special needs have few opportunities for advancement once they age out of high school. Currently, there is no university program in Texas designed specifically to educate people with intellectual disabilities. The Executive Director of My Possibilities, Michael Thomas,