“Sesame Street,” the beloved children’s show whose viewers stretch across generations and cultures, is making huge strides in bringing awareness to autism, inclusion and the celebration of differences in all of us.
Pediatric Therapy Services at Swedish couldn’t be more thrilled. We have the privilege of working with children with autism and their families. We walk with them through each big and small milestone, and their ups and downs. We cherish our children for the amazing people they are, but we know they aren’t always understood by others.
The “Sesame Street” Muppets are introducing a new character, Julia, who is a pal of Elmo's. Julia has autism. She shares some common traits of kids with autism, including being slow to talk to strangers or answer questions, rarely making eye contact and flapping her arms when she's excited. Julia also is very sensitive to noises and covers her ears when things get too loud for her.
Children watching “Sesame Street” will see Julia in relationships with others and learn new songs about autism. This promotion of autism awareness is music to the ears of families with autistic children who hope Julia’s story reaches other kids.
Julia will familiarize children with the traits of autism, and her story will send a message that while we are different, we also are the same and can all be friends.
In a new “Sesame Street” video about the “Amazing Song,” kids play, laugh and sometimes get upset – things all children do. “We all are different and we all are OK,” according to the lyrics.
What a strong, positive message for all children. At Swedish Pediatric Therapy Services, where we support amazing children every day, we applaud “Sesame Street” and its producers for including this lesson in early childhood education.