In celebration of Autism Acceptance Day, Sesame Workshop has expanded its Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative. New, free videos and activities featuring Julia, a 4-year-old Sesame Street Muppet with Autism, as well as a new episode on HBO and PBS KIDS.
All children get thrown off when there are disruptions to their schedules and routines, but children with autism can have an especially tough time dealing with these changes. The COVID-19 has caused greater uncertainty for children. Sesame Workshop’s new resources aim to provide new strategies to help children cope with change in order to develop flexible thinking skills.
“All children depend on consistent routines, which help them feel safe and secure. Disruptions to routines can be challenging, especially for children with autism,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of US Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “The new resources launching today feature Julia and her family using strategies to navigate everyday moments and life’s surprises. Together, we can help families manage the stress that comes along with the unexpected.”
A new Julia focused episode Match It, will premiere on Apr. 8 in which Julia and her friends on Sesame Street will play a matching game.
Today’s new content includes:
- Original videos starring Julia, her family, and Sesame Street friends. In A Pizza Problem, Julia learns how to cope with the stress that comes with the unexpected—like a pizza arriving with the wrong topping. In Indoor Picnic, Julia’s parents think creatively to reframe the disappointment of not being able to picnic outside on a rainy day. And in Starfish Art Show, Julia thinks quickly to help her brother make it into the Sesame Street art show—giving him lots of encouragement along the way.
- A Little Bit Different, A Little Bit the Same, a new storybook about adjusting to small changes.
- Making it Work, an interactive game to help children build flexibility in their thinking.
- New articles, including strategies for parents and caregivers to help children cope with—and even embrace—changes in their everyday routines.
In addition to the new resources, Sesame Workshop is continuing efforts to expand the initiative. This month, SeaWorld Orlando joins Busch Gardens Tampa, Sesame Place Philadelphia, and Beaches Resorts in featuring physically distanced meet and greets with a Julia walkaround character.