‘Sesame Street’ Unveils Character With Autism
The makers of “Sesame Street” say Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Grover are getting a new friend with autism as part of an effort to reduce stigma and help those on the spectrum learn life skills.
Sesame Workshop said Wednesday that it is introducing a new character named Julia, a preschool girl with autism who “does things a little differently when playing with her friends.”
Julia is part of the nonprofit’s “See Amazing in All Children” initiative, which is designed to teach kids about autism and offer tools for those with the developmental disorder.
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A website includes tips for parents and siblings, as well as guides to help kids on the spectrum learn everyday basics like brushing teeth and going to the grocery store, Sesame Workshop said. In addition, the initiative includes an iPad app and printed storybooks.
“Sesame Workshop is uniquely positioned to play a meaningful role in increasing peoples’ understanding about autism,” said Sherrie Westin, executive vice president of global impact and philanthropy at Sesame Workshop. “This project is an extension of the belief we’ve always promoted: ‘we are all different, but all the same.'”
Sesame Workshop said it collaborated with more than a dozen organizations including The Arc, Autism Speaks, the Autism Society and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network to produce the content.
In addition, the nonprofit said it engaged Exceptional Minds, a nonprofit animation studio staffed by young adults on the spectrum, to assist with video editing.