The new kid on Sesame Street has autism

A wonderfully insightful story this week on “60 Minutes” about the new kid on Sesame Street, and she has autism.

Correspondent Leslie Stahl explains how the producers painstakingly worked to get it right when they explain autism to the pre-school set through the child-like minds of Big Bird, Elmo and other residents of Sesame Street.  Bottom line, preschoolers can be sensitized to the issues around autism and children with autism can be friends, too.

Stahl points out in the report, “Sesame Street has always based its characters and content on extensive research.  They regularly bring in educators and child psychologists. In the case of Julia, they also worked with autism organizations to decide which characteristics she should have and how best to normalize autism for all children.”

The CDC says that the prevalence in the United States being born on the autism spectrum is estimated at 1 in 68 births. So, the likelihood of having a classmate with autism is extremely high.

And a reminder that April is Autism Awareness Month.

Posted in Developmental Disabilities.