Sesame Street is providing a different kind of lesson with the introduction of its newest Muppet, Julia, who has autism. Julia was first introduced in 2015 as part of an online-only digital storybook called Sesame Street and Autism: See the amazing in all children, in which she has a playdate with Elmo and Abby Cadabby. Now the fully realized Muppet version of Julia has arrived in the neighborhood. When she first appeared on the show, Julia was introduced by Elmo and Abby to Big Bird. She was hesitant to shake the friendly yellow giant’s hand, but Elmo explains to Big Bird that since Julia has autism, “sometimes it takes her a little longer to do things.” From there, the four friends learn how to play together in a way that everyone has fun. The creative team behind Sesame Street’s newest addition was sensitive to the complex nature of the condition. The team consulted with autism organizations, educators, and families on how to portray a child with autism and explain the condition to young children. The puppeteer who plays Julia has a son with autism.
Plus: Meet the mother who brings Julia to life and go behind the scenes to see how Julia was developed in these 60 Minutes Overtime videos. You’ll also find a video for explaining autism to children.
The student body at Crystal Lake Central (CLC) High School is a diverse community of students from a variety of backgrounds, abilities and interests, including students enrolled in the Life Skills program. These students may struggle with emotional connections, physical limitations, or cognitive understanding. Regardless of their individual challenges, they bond through their school experience as Central Tigers.
Learning to code is about learning how to solve problems, work with others in creative ways, and think in a new language. Teaching children with autism employs the same skills—creating logical connections, breaking tasks into smaller parts and sequencing them—but it is also much more. Teaching children with autism to code is teaching them the thinking skills they need to address the challenges they face in their everyday lives—to frame their thoughts, to prompt them through routines, and more.
Autism Coding Academy
Coding Autism is building the first autism-specialized coding academy, pairing online coding education, community, and an autism-savvy support team to help transition autistic talent into the technology workforce.
Coding Guide for Children on the Spectrum Coding for Kids with Autism: The Ultimate Guide for Parents and Educators offers answers to some of the most common questions the authors have encountered while operating a successful coding school serving hundreds of children on the autism spectrum.
Every day, students with autism bring life experiences into the classroom that can make learning a challenge. Immersive online games can help these students navigate their unique social or emotional challenges and build self-confidence. These games can also help classmates understand the experiences of their peers with autism.
Game to Improve Social and Emotional Skills Adventures Aboard the S.S. GRIN, a nine-episode online game, is designed to teach social skills to children aged 7–12 who experience social behavioral problems and lack of motivation.
Game to Educate Children About Autism
College students in Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center have developed a free30-minute video game called Prism to help elementary-aged students understand the experiences of their peers with autism.