Sesame Workshop Celebrates Five Years of Autism Initiative with New Resources About Friendship and Belonging

April 1, 2022

New content features Julia, a Sesame Street Muppet with autism, making a new friend, playing dress-up, and singing a song about belonging

(New York, NY — April 1, 2022) – Today, Sesame Workshop is celebrating five years of its Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative dedicated to showing that all children — autistic and neurotypical alike — are amazing in their own ways. New videos and activities launching today are centered on themes of friendship and belonging and feature Julia, a 4-year-old autistic Sesame Street Muppet, and her brother Sam and new friend Wes, who recently moved to Sesame Street.
New resources, available for free in English and Spanish, include:

  • Two new videos featuring Julia, her brother Sam, and their Sesame Street friends: In Julia Meets Wes, Sam introduces Wes to Julia, and together, they find different ways to play while respecting each other's boundaries and needs. In The We Belong” Song, Julia, Elmo, Abby, and Wes celebrate friendship and different ways of belonging.
  • A printable lyric sheet for families to sing along to the “We Belong” Song
  • New coloring sheet featuring Julia and Sam playing dress-up with their new friend Wes
  • A new Five Steps to Relationships of Belonging and Flourishing article for parents and caregivers, written from the perspective of a parent of two children with disabilities

“It has been incredible to witness our See Amazing in All Children initiative grow and expand these past five years,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of US Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “On the eve of Autism Acceptance Day, we’re thrilled to launch new resources to promote belonging and help all children—autistic and neurotypical alike—form caring friendships.”

In addition to the new resources, Sesame Workshop is continuing efforts to expand the initiative through location-based Entertainment. Sesame Place San Diego recently announced its designation as a Certified Autism Center, joining Sesame Place Philadelphia with the certification. Throughout April, Sesame Place parks, Busch Gardens parks, and SeaWorld Orlando will distribute free storybooks and offer meet and greets with Julia and friends. Guests at Beaches Resorts can enjoy art activities and meet & greets with Julia at their 3 resort locations, all of which are Certified Autism Centers.

In Japan, Sesame Street characters will make an appearance at the Tokyo Tower Blue Light Up event to celebrate World Autism Day on April 2. Sesame Workshop continues to be a member of the national committee for the day, partnering with the Japanese national government and advocacy organizations across Japan.

The Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative aims to increase public awareness and acceptance of autism, foster greater empathy and understanding, and support families with free, bilingual resources. The initiative was developed in consultation with over 250 organizations and experts within the autism community.

See Amazing in All Children resources include topics on family bonding, making friends, coping with the pandemic, and routines and flexibility. Additional resources are tailored for providers and parents and caregivers. The Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative is made possible by generous philanthropic support from American Greetings and Kristen Rohr and is part of Sesame Workshop’s mission to help all children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.

 

About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org.

Julia Meets Wes
Photo Credit: Richard Termine

 

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