The nonprofit behind Big Bird, Elmo and Abby Cadabby is launching a new effort to reduce stigma surrounding kids with autism and help those with the developmental disorder learn life skills.
Through a new initiative dubbed “See Amazing in All Children,” Sesame Workshop said it will create digital tools to help children with autism learn to play with others and complete everyday activities like brushing teeth, getting dressed and trying new foods.
In addition, the organization said it will use Sesame Street’s brand and characters to educate the public about autism and emphasize that kids on the spectrum are much like their typically developing peers.
“This has become one of the most widely-discussed topics in childhood development, yet we have found that there’s a lack of understanding among the general public about children with autism,” said Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president for community and family engagement. “Sesame Workshop has a long history of addressing diversity, acceptance and inclusion, and we felt we could play a critical role in reducing misconceptions by highlighting the commonalities children with autism share with all children.”
Beyond its efforts aimed at children, Sesame Workshop said it also plans to work with Exceptional Minds, a Sherman Oaks, Calif. vocational center that teaches young adults with autism computer animation and post-production skills, to help create content.