Advancements in Behavioral Health Techniques

601 288 People's Care

There exists a common misconception with the terms ‘Behavioural Health’ and ‘Mental Health’, as many believe the two to be interchangeable with one another (1).

While they are not completely dissimilar, Mental Health tends to focus more toward the biological components that affect a person’s mental well being, whereas Behavioral Health is more of an umbrella term for everything that contributes to mental wellness (2).

There are a vast range of techniques and activities that have been adapted for the betterment of those with behavioural health issues (3). From cognitive behavioral therapy (combinations of cognitive and behavioral therapies), aversion therapy (the association of desirable stimuli with that of unhealthy stimuli), to the realms of play therapy (2).

The most popularized of the techniques used in recent years, have been harnessed and made into smaller therapeutic devices – toys and items – used to help support younger audiences who need support with their behavioral health (4).

Developments in play things have given fresh, fuzzy faces to the support of mental health issues are often left stigmatized in society at large. Some take the form of robotized toys like ‘Huggable’ (5), that can help alleviate the anxiety found in hospitalized children. Others, which are more accessible to the general public, can be found in ‘Meddy’.

Meddy Teddy, is a teddy bear that was developed to help kids get into the world of meditation and yoga. It is constructed out of a solid internal frame that helps maneuver the bear into any yoga position imaginable (6). Having a special play toy to meditate and practice yoga with really helps children want to continue practicing this art of mindfulness.

Those working to support people with behavioral health issues should, if they have not already, really look into how meditation and yoga can help channel frustrations and aid sooth the mind a little. A continual effect of meditation really helps achieve a serene sense of mindfulness.


Featured Image – https://shirahvollmermd.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/mental-health-became-behavioral-health-we-lost-our-mind/


  1. Behavioral health versus mental health. Published by Psychology Today on the 28th of October 2009. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/promoting-hope-preventing-suicide/200910/behavioral-health-versus-mental-health
  2. What is behavioral therapy?. Published by Health Line on the 14th of November 2016. https://www.healthline.com/health/behavioral-therapy#types
  3. Children’s emotional and behavioural well-being and the family environment: findings from the Health Survey for England. A. M. McMunna, J. Y. Nazrooa, M. G. Marmota, R. Borehamb, R. Goodmanc. 2001. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anne_Mcmunn/publication/11883388_Children%27s_emotional_and_behavioural_well-being_and_the_family_environment_Findings_from_the_Health_Survey_for_England/links/5a3ce991aca272d2943d9be0/Childrens-emotional-and-behavioural-well-being-and-the-family-environment-Findings-from-the-Health-Survey-for-England.pdf
  4. Mindful Play from Trendhunter. https://www.trendhunter.com/protrends/mindful-play
  5. Anxiety-Alleviating Robots. Published by TrendHunter Tech on the 9th of June 2015. https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/robot-teddy

The official site for MeddyTeddy https://www.meddyteddy.com

The Social Awareness of Autism – 2018

618 412 People's Care

Since the rise of streaming media, made popular by online platforms such as that of Hulu and Netflix, the quality of television seems to have climbed dramatically. Both in their artistic measurement and in the presentation of common social issues(1), the small screen has become a melting pot of rich and diverse characters working through dialogue that is close to home, nothing proving remote in its reach.

With the rise of the medium climbing ever higher, we have seen many advancements in the narrative of people on the Autistic spectrum be told and heard by millions. But is this necessarily a good thing? Are these shows representing those with ASD respectfully and responsibly, and is this exposure causing people to become more socially aware of ASD?

It has been a little over a year now since Sesame Street introduced Julia to their colourful cast of puppets. Julia is a small, red-haired, four year old who loves to play, paint, and have fun with the rest of the gang. She dislikes loud noises, sometimes needs things repeated to her so that she fully understands everything she is being asked, and she works at a different pace to others. Julia is a child on the autism spectrum (2).

Many parents of children with ASD are well aware of this fact, having Julia on one of America’s leading child education shows is a fantastic advancement in autism awareness. It took three years of consultation and development to make sure that Julia, and Stacey Gordon her puppeteer, was the best representation of someone on the spectrum (3). The character has since helped raise awareness for children living on the spectrum and their families with an appearance in front of Congress (3).


Many other television shows have taken to powerful representation of characters living with ASD in the form of the highly intuitive surgical lead of ABC’s new hit series, The Good Doctor, Dr. Shawn Murphy (4). The show centers around a young surgeon with savant syndrome who has been hired into one of the most prestigious hospitals in his field, at San Jose’s St. Bonaventure Hospital, learning to acclimatize with his new life and those around him. The Good Doctor is the highest viewed show at ABC this year (5), and continues to grow its following with the announcement of a second season.

These are but two examples of characters living with ASD on screen, while there are many more to spool through. Having well researched, positive role models on television will always help focus the dialogue of awareness to large audiences. Let’s just hope that writers continue in this vein and continue delivering social awareness to millions.



  1. A Medium With a Message: Inside TV’s Long History of Tackling Social Issues. Published March 14th 2017 on Variety. http://variety.com/2017/tv/features/tv-social-issues-history-the-defenders-east-side-west-side-1202007945/
  2. Sesame Workshop Expands Commitment to Autistic Children & Their Families. Published on the Sesame Workshop. http://www.sesameworkshop.org/press-releases/sesame-workshop-expands-commitment-to-autistic-children-their-families-with-new-muppet-a-special-episode-additional-content-and-educational-resources/
  3. The Quiet Strength of Julia, the First Muppet with Autism. Published on April 7th 2017, by Mental_Floss http://mentalfloss.com/article/94125/quiet-strength-julia-first-muppet-autism
  4. How ABC Found a Surprise Hit in ‘The Good Doctor’. Published on November 19th 2017, by the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/19/business/media/the-good-doctor-abc.html?_r=0
  5. ‘Young Sheldon’ & ‘Good Doctor’ Debut To Strong Ratings As New TV Season Starts. Published on September 26th 2017, by Deadline http://deadline.com/2017/09/young-sheldon-the-good-doctor-premiere-ratings-big-bang-theory-the-brave-the-voice-me-myself-i-1202177081/


Autism Friendly Valentines Day Crafts

1024 1024 People's Care

Original article by the American Autism Association! Lots of fun crafts to be made!


Charlie, Meddy Teddy, and aut2bfit – Autism helpers and news

838 894 People's Care

Meet Charlie and Meddy Teddy.




Charlie is son to aut2bfit founder mom Kris. She started her nonprofit to bring together those touched by AUTISM with a community of athletes & sports pros.

Meddy Teddy was started by the Jordan brothers as a way to bring yoga, mindfulness, and meditation to kids. He’s quickly being adapted into the autism and behavioral health field.

Becoming a Community Advocate

1024 683 People's Care

If you’re a support staff for an individual with special needs, a child with autism or a caregiver for a senior, you understand the importance of being your own advocate. Insurance companies, school systems, and care centers all have budget constraints, so they’re unlikely to offer more than they have to. It’s up to you to fight for what you need. However, there are many people in your community who have neither the skills nor the resources to advocate for themselves. Have you considered advocating on their behalf? Here are just a couple of ways you can help.

Education advocacy

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires all public schools to accommodate and modify educational practices for children with disabilities. Those accommodations and modifications are determined during an Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting between parents, school administration, a special education representative, and a general education teacher. Appropriate accommodations vary depending on a child’s needs, ranging from preferential seating to one-on-one, in-home education. Many of the accommodations are expensive, however, and with education budgets being tight, schools are sometimes reluctant to provide these services. Parents who don’t know their rights under the law are less likely to secure the accommodations and modifications their child needs. If you have experience in this area, whether you’re an education professional or a parent with a special needs child, you could provide life-changing guidance to a family in need. The law stipulates that parents may bring support of their choosing to IEP meetings – know the law, and be a voice for people who don’t.

Senior advocacy

Seniors are another vulnerable segment of the population, and not all of them have a family member to advocate on their behalf. You can help deliver the services seniors need – the opportunities are endless. Many seniors need help navigating issues like Medicare, taxes, long-term health insurance, veterans’ benefits, etc. Whether you work with governmental agencies, care facilities, or insurance companies, your help can have a huge impact in a senior’s life. If you’re unsure of where to start, contact your community’s senior outreach program or a local retirement community.

Community advocacy

In addition to one-on-one advocacy, you can be a community leader on behalf of people who can’t fight for their own needs. You could advocate for increased funding for schools, reduced property taxes for senior homeowners, and even for increased community activities targeting children, seniors, and families.

Some people become community advocates after having to advocate on behalf of a family member. Some are drawn to advocacy by virtue of their professional skills or leadership abilities. What community advocates have in common is a desire to use their experience to help make things better for everyone. What can you do to improve the lives around you?

Emotions Matter

1024 573 People's Care

Emotions are an incredibly powerful force in our lives! Emotions fuel our mental state, they tell us how we feel and how to respond to certain situations. So, what if a person has difficulty recognizing their emotions?

Children with Autism often experience that difficulty. They find it hard to recognize the facial expressions and what emotions they hold. And on the other end, they have trouble controlling their own emotions and reactions. The good news? We can do something about it.

Here are some of the tips for parents to use in helping their children develop and improve their ability to express and respond to emotions:

Associate simple words with emotions. One way to help your child remember and recognize emotions is by pointing out emotions as they organically arise. Take for example watching TV- If a character is smiling and joyous, point out his face and demeanor while saying “Look, Edward’s smiling. He is happy.”

Focus your child’s attention. Another helpful way in developing your child’s response to emotions is by improving their concentration skills. You can work on this trait by allowing him to focus on a person while they are speaking.

Respond to your child’s emotions. One good way to backup your child’s emotional recognition skill is by responding to their emotion by recognizing and verbally expressing what emotion is present. For example, “You’re smiling. You must be happy.”

Encourage your child to maintain eye contact. Having your child maintain eye contact when communicating with someone is an effective way in helping them practice and improve their emotional recognition skills.

Utilizing resources that are available to you is also important; other parents, blogs, social skills groups, one on one therapy, etc. Every child has their own pace of learning and developing. So, despite any hiccups or bumps in the road, remember to stay positive!