Autism

See Amazing In All Children

USA_CMYK_main_CS3

Sesame Workshop Joins Forces with Autism Speaks to Develop Autism Intiative

Workshops latest initiative will encourage everyone to See Amazing in All Children

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, announced today that it is joining forces with Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, as well as other major autism groups, to develop a new community engagement initiative to help reduce the stigma surrounding children with autism.

divider
press release

Download Press Release

SESAME WORKSHOP JOINS FORCES WITH AUTISM SPEAKS TO DEVELOP AUTISM INITIATIVE

Workshops latest initiative will encourage everyone to See Amazing in All Children

April 2, 2014 (New York, NY) – Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, announced today that it is joining forces with Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, and other like-minded partners, to develop a new community engagement initiative to help reduce the stigma surrounding children with autism. To kick off this initiative, Sesame Street’s Abby Cadabby will join Autism Speaks co-founders, Suzanne and Bob Wright, today at the start of World Autism Day and help light the Empire State Building blue. Today marks the fifth consecutive year Autism Speaks has lit global landmarks, buildings, businesses, and homes blue as part of its international autism awareness campaign: Light it Up Blue.

The initiative, “See Amazing in All Children,” will aim to increase understanding, reduce stigma, and demonstrate the commonalities that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) share with all children. The Workshop will also develop tools and resources for families of children with ASD to help them reduce the stress of everyday routines, such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, trying a new food, or playing with other children.

Sesame Workshop will also be working with other organizations such as Exceptional Minds, a non-profit vocational center and animation studio for young adults on the autism spectrum, to help create content. Sesame Workshop is currently seeking additional like-minded partners for ongoing support and funding for the project.

“With brand new estimates from the CDC last week that 1 in 68 children has been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, 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 Dr. 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. Together with our partners, we will leverage the power of our engaging Muppets to help to bring this message to children, families, and communities.”

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Sesame Workshop on this exciting initiative,” said Liz Feld, President of Autism Speaks. “This collaboration will allow Autism Speaks to reach kids and caregivers everywhere, through a messenger they know and trust: Sesame Street. We will continue our mission to raise awareness of autism as we develop programming, tools, and resources around this initiative.”

About Sesame Workshop:

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the landmark television program that reaches millions of children every day in more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, Sesame Workshop develops research-based content – including television programs, books, games, mobile apps and community engagement initiatives – that supports early childhood learning, helps prepare children for school, and addresses developmental needs. The Workshop’s programs are tailored to the needs of specific regions and focus on topics that help young children and families develop critical skills for lifelong learning. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org.

About Autism Speaks:

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed nearly $200 million to research and developing innovative resources and supports for families. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.

Visit Sesame Street at:

www.sesamestreet.org
www.sesamestreet.org/toolkits
Sesame Street on Facebook
Sesame Street on Twitter
The Sesame Street YouTube Channel

Contacts:

Pam Hacker
Sesame Workshop
212.875.6225
pam.hacker@sesameworkshop.org
www.sesameworkshop.org/press-room/autism/

C.J Volpe
Autism Speaks
646.385.8532
Charles.volpe@autismspeaks.org

divider
project overview

Download Project Overview

Sesame Street’s See the Amazing in All Children Autism Initiative

Project Overview

The Need

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder. The number of children diagnosed with autism has continued to jump dramatically over the years. The findings from the CDC study make autism more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined and mark a 30% increase since the last report in 2012.

Having a young child with autism can be challenging for families. Parents may experience feelings of shock, sadness, anger, denial, and loneliness after receiving their child’s diagnosis. These challenges are exacerbated by the sense of stigma experienced by many families of children with autism and by misconceptions on the part of the general public regarding the experience of people with autism. With the increase in autism prevalence, as well as challenges faced by families of children with ASD, the need for quality resources that support children, their families, and the public is growing.

The Project

Sesame Workshop is seeking like-minded partners for ongoing support and funding to develop the project.Sesame Street’s See Amazing in All Children Autism Initiative will provide resources to reduce the stigma through content directed toward the general public and will provide additional resources designed to support families of young children with ASD.Our goal is to build awareness through media experiences designed to increase understanding, reduce stigma, demonstrate the commonalities that children with ASD share with all children, and encourage connection between the autism community and the general public.

Project Components

  • For the General Public: Reducing Stigma. We plan to help the general public develop a better understanding of children with ASD, reduce stigma, demonstrate the commonalities that exist between children with ASD and the general public, and celebrate the uniqueness and talents of every child by leveraging the power of the Sesame Street brand and characters and key media and organizational partners. Sesame has always stood for inclusiveness, so together with our partners, we will create and disseminate varied media messages using our engaging Muppets as messengers to encourage connection between children with ASD and the general public.
  • For Families of Children with ASD: Facilitating Everyday Routines. We plan to help children with autism and their families reduce the stress of everyday routines by creating digital media tools featuring our Sesame Street brand and characters that break these routines down into simple steps. The tool will be created primarily for parents/caregivers to use with their children and will address activities such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, trying a new food, or playing with other children on the playground, etc.

Development Process

  • Advisory Board: Key experts from the field will continue to help guide and develop messages and resources.
  • Formative Research: Formative research with target audiences, including surveys and focus groups with bilingual samples, will drive the development of key messages and materials developed.
  • Community Engagement: Through the support of key partnerships, initiative messages and materials will be disseminated and integrated into the work of community organizations.
  • Impact Evaluation: After the initiative has been designed, tested, produced, and distributed, Sesame Workshop will commission a study to assess the educational impact of the initiative on the general public including children, as well as a study to measure the impact of the resources created for children with autism and their families. This impact research will become part of a continuous cycle of evaluation to further the mission of addressing the needs of all children.
divider
artwork
divider
partners

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. Since our first tax filing, we have exceeded the Better Business Bureau standard of 65% for our program ratio. Seventy cents of each dollar spent funded programs and services to support autism research, science programs, awareness, family services and government advocacy.

More About Autism Speaks

Exceptional Minds

Exceptional Minds is a groundbreaking vocational training program for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The program was developed to address the 90% unemployment rate and social isolation faced by today’s young adults with ASD as they age out of the school system. EM offers customized instruction in digital arts, visual effects, computer animation and work readiness to this underserved population, enabling its students to obtain the technical, social, and organizational skills necessary for employment.

More About Exceptional Minds
divider
about sesame workshop

Who we are

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street and so much more.

Our Mission

Sesame Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential.

How we do it

Our recipe for success is combining a curriculum that addresses children’s critical developmental needs with the sophisticated use of media and a large dose of fun.

A proven impact

Our work promotes learning with real, measurable results, a fact borne out by numerous studies and sustained through our research-intensive process.

Teaching the whole child

Beyond ABCs and 123s, our programs deliver crucial lessons about health, emotional well-being, and respect and understanding to help kids grow up healthy, happy, and at home in their world.

On a global scale

It began as a simple yet revolutionary idea in the United States: to teach kids through television. 40 years later, it’s grown into a worldwide educational phenomenon, reaching millions of children in more than 150 countries.

A local approach

Our international programs are tailored to the unique needs of children, their country, and culture, created with local educators, advisors, and puppeteers. This often results in a fully local Sesame Street with its own name, language, curriculum, and Muppets.

Beyond television

Since our start on TV, we’ve become a multimedia pioneer, using everything from radio, books, and videos to the latest in interactive media and technology, efforts that are enhanced through collaborations with our colleagues at the ground-breaking research and innovation lab, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center.

Targeted outreach

Through on-the-ground outreach efforts, we bring our lessons directly into the homes and classrooms of particularly vulnerable communities, where they have a dramatic impact in kids’ lives.

Collaborative successes

Generous support from like-minded partners — foundations, corporations, individuals, governments, and others — has been critical to our mission for more than four decades and continues to make new projects possible.

Download Sesame Workshop Overview

divider
contact and connect

Pam Hacker
Sesame Workshop
212.875.6225
pam.hacker@sesame.org

On Facebook

 

On Twitter: #SesameChallenges

 

On Tumblr

Follow on Tumblr

 

divider