The good news: Sesame Workshop has announced Sesame Street's See Amazing in All Children Autism Initiative, a program intended to, according to a press release, "provide resources to reduce the stigma through content directed toward the general public and ... 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."
The bad news, for many in the autism community, is that one of the organizations the Workshop is partnering with is Autism Speaks (there's Abby Cadabby getting ready to light the Empire State building up blue for World Autism Awareness Day in the photo at right). Autism Speaks has been criticized for not listening to adult self-advocates and for scare campaigns like the November 2013 "Call to Action" and the "I Am Autism" video that, though they may reflect some families' experiences, seem to represent an approach far different from Sesame Workshop's intention to "See the amazing in all children" and demonstrate that "We are all different, but the same." There's a Change.org petition up asking Sesame Workshop to reconsider its partnership with Autism Speaks, and the blog A Diary of a Mom has a letter to Abby Cadabby requesting the same thing.
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