A Pennsylvania theme park has just been awarded an important distinction.

Sesame Place, a children's theme and water park based on the television program "Sesame Street," was declared a Certified Autism Center by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).

As part of its detailed certification process, Sesame Place requires at least 80% of its staff to complete rigorous training on autism sensitivity and awareness. The park also installed "quiet rooms" as safe spaces for visitors who may be experiencing sensory overload and offers noise-canceling headphones to attendees throughout the park.


"Sesame Street" character Julia, who has autism, is also on-hand at the park to provide a familiar face and help educate guests who might not be as familiar with autism.

[rebelmouse-image 19346069 dam="1" original_size="1200x630" caption="Image via Sesame Street/YouTube." expand=1]Image via Sesame Street/YouTube.

"It is our goal to provide every family with an enjoyable and memorable visit to Sesame Place, and we are proud to offer specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs," the company announced in a statement on its website.

The changes go beyond the actual park as well. It revamped its online resources and the planning process for families too.

In addition, Sesame Place provides information and strategies for guests to better prepare for their visit to the park, with detailed planning tips on their website, including a sensory ranking system for rides, low-sensory parade routes, and other details for related services like travel and dining.

The end result is to give guests and their families "peace of mind" even before they enter the park.

[rebelmouse-image 19346070 dam="1" original_size="750x495" caption="Photo by Shawn Collins/Flickr." expand=1]Photo by Shawn Collins/Flickr.

Sesame Place isn't the only park making strides in accessibility either.

While Sesame Place is the first park to earn the Certified Autism Center distinction, other parks are making inclusive strides as well.

Disneyland has received praise for its efforts to expand disability services to guests, including those with autism. And in late 2017, a video went viral showing a young guest interacting with a park employee in sign language.

Also in 2017, a $17 million dollar water park in San Antonio called Morgan's Inspiration Island opened with the goal of being accessible to all people with disabilities.

However, what's actually "magical" about moments like these are how there's nothing magical at all required — just awareness, hard work, and recognizing the value of accessibility and representation for all children and families.

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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"Veteran" mom and "new" mom parent differently.

When a couple has their first child, they start out with the greatest of intentions and expectations. The child will only eat organic food. They will never watch TV or have screen time and will always stay clean.

But soon, reality sets in and if they have more kids, they'll probably be raised with a lot less attention. As a result, first-born kids turn out a bit differently than their younger siblings.

"Rules are a bit more rigid, attention and validation is directed and somewhat excessive," Niro Feliciano, LCSW, a psychotherapist and anxiety specialist, told Parents. "As a result, firstborns tend to be leaders, high achievers, people-pleasing, rule-following and conscientious, several of the qualities that tend to predict success."

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