‘Fancy Nancy,’ ‘Sesame Street’ To Air Autism-Themed Episodes
A pair of children’s television shows are set to highlight the experiences of those with autism.
The Disney Junior series “Fancy Nancy” and HBO’s “Sesame Street” will both air episodes this week centered around characters with the developmental disorder.
The shows come as part of a broad annual effort to increase autism awareness during the month of April.
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On “Fancy Nancy,” Nancy befriends Lionel’s cousin Sean, who has autism. Sean is voiced by George Yionoulis, 11, of Raleigh, N.C. who is on the spectrum himself.
Those behind “Fancy Nancy” said they discovered Yionoulis from a viral video he created with his mom to explain to his fourth grade class what it’s like to have autism. The show’s creators worked with the nonprofits Autism Speaks and RespectABILITY on the episode featuring Sean.
The “Fancy Nancy” episode titled “Nancy’s New Friend” will premiere Thursday at 8 a.m. ET on Disney Channel to coincide with World Autism Awareness Day.
Meanwhile, “Sesame Street” will air an episode this weekend featuring Julia, a muppet with autism. On the show, Julia gets upset when Rudy takes Fluffster, a special toy that she uses to help calm herself.
The episode starring Julia dubbed “The Fluffster Kerfufflel” debuts Saturday at 9 a.m. ET on HBO.