Sesame Street & Autism: See Amazing in All Children

Julia colors on an episode of “Sesame Street.”

As a member of the PNC Grow Up Great Advisory Board, I had the opportunity to work with the very creative people at “Sesame Street” in the development of Julia, a character with autism. They also designed a website, “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children.”

Five years later, researchers posed the question: Would this information change attitudes of parents of typical children and parents of children with autism?

473 parents of children on the autism spectrum and 707 parents of typical children participated in the study. The study found that parents of children with autism had less bias toward children on the autism spectrum than the other parents before looking at the website. After reviewing the materials, bias was reduced among parents of typical children and the two groups of parents had comparable levels.  Also, parents of children with autism showed better attitudes and more knowledge about the disorder after spending time on the website.

These findings demonstrate that a website can serve as a quick and easy way to reduce bias and increase knowledge. The article can be found at https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2020/09/08/sesame-street-changing-attitudes-autism/28902/.

Check out “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children.” It is amazing!

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