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Sesame Street welcomes it's first character with an ASD diagnosis

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Sam_Alumni
Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,665 Disability Gamechanger
Sesame Street is welcoming a new character to the show, a little girl called Julia who has an ASD diagnosis.  She shows some of the characteristics of children with Autism in the hopes that it can teach other children about what ASD is and for children with a diagnosis the opportunity to see themselves represented on TV.

The puppeteer who has a son with an ASD diagnosis told the BBC:
"Had my son's friends been exposed to his behaviours through something that they had seen on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened,
They might not have been worried when he cried. They would have known that he plays in a different way, and that that's OK."

What do you think? Is it good to see everyone represented on TV? Would this help your children?

Scope
Senior online community officer

Comments

  • Chris_Alumni
    Chris_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 689 Pioneering
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    From Rebekah, via Twitter: "The earlier anyone is exposed the better; more platforms need to take the baton on this & continue to raise awareness."
  • Chris_Alumni
    Chris_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 689 Pioneering
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    And from Sally on Twitter: "Great to normalise rather than marginalise."
  • Ariel
    Ariel Community member Posts: 16 Courageous
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    This is interesting, and I'd like to see how people respond to Julia, though I don't think Sesame Street is easy to find in the UK nowadays?

    Have you also seen the new Pablo series coming to CBeebies? A series totally focused around autism, it seems. The details seem a bit thin on the ground at the moment, but there's a short video clip on the CBeebies Facebook page.

    My daughter is being raised to understand the day-to-day implications of autism, which I think is the very best way for her to learn about the realities as someone that comes into contact with it daily, but even still I am keen for her to see these shows and get a wider and more general appreciation of autism.

    And for children with no direct experience of autism, I think these shows have the potential to be very valuable tools. But, of course, they need to be done right. If there's too much attention on the 'differences' that make an autistic person autistic, they risk making their characters a walking diagnosis. They need to show that autistic people aren't doing odd autistic things every second of every day, necessarily, and that they can be indistinguishable from anyone else at times.
  • Leila
    Leila Community member Posts: 1 Connected
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    This sounds interesting, Ariel . My grandson, aged 9, has Aspergers, and has not had a good time at school with either teachers or fellow pupils. Hopefully, a good programme on a mainstream channel will help with education, normalisation and inclusion. 
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