From Rappler: “MANILA, Philippines – Meet Julia – she’s Sesame Street‘s newest character, and she’s the first with autism. Julia joins Elmo and friends to help raise awareness for the children show’s new initiative, Sesame Street and Autism: See All in Amazing Children.
See All in Amazing Children was launched early on Thursday, October 22 in the Philippines and was created to “help families and children ages 2 to 5 build an understanding and awareness around autism,” according to their Facebook post.
The initiative is available online and also as an app, both of which include materials like videos and story cards, to help children and adults who encounter other kids with autism.
See All in Amazing Children highlights how all children have one thing in common: they’re all unique. As “The Amazing Song” that comes with the materials provided on the site repeats, “we all are amazing each in our own way.”
The digital storybook, “We’re Amazing 1, 2, 3” features Abby Cadabby meeting and playing with fellow muppet pals Elmo and Julia. Elmo helps Abby understand that because Julia has autism, she plays and reacts to certain things differently: “Elmo’s daddy told Elmo that Julia has autism, so she does things differently. Sometimes Elmo talks to Julia using fewer words and says the same thing a few times.”
Aside from the story with Julia, the site also shares stories of real children with autism.
“Children with autism are 5 times more likely to get bullied. And with one in 68 children having autism, that’s a lot of bullying,” said senior vice president of US social impact, Dr. Jeanette Betancourt to People. She added that by highlighting commonalities, kids with autism can “share in the joy” of playing with friends and being part of a group.
Sesame Street is trying to raise awareness online through the hashtag #SeeAmazing.
Sesame Street and Autism: See All in Amazing Children was created by Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization of Sesame Street.”