As a speech language pathologist for over 15 years, I love finding resources for other children to learn about various disabilities. Since I was a graduate student, I always gravitated towards working with individuals with Autism. Learning about Autism has been a fascinating journey and that I continue with throughout my career. The learning never stops! As a parent, I think teaching our children at a young age is the key to helping our children accept others and their differences. Many months ago, I discovered that Sesame Street was introducing a new character, Julia who has Autism. I recently discovered Sesame Street’s wonderful resources online as well as their app, Sesame Street and Autism that helps educate children and parents about Autism. For parents who are unfamiliar with Autism, I think it is very important that they become knowledgeable about it so that they can help educate their children.
Within this free app, there is information for parents to read and learn and then share with their children. Articles such as “what to say to parents with children with Autism” can be powerful and important because even as adults we are all still learning! Being sensitive to other peoples feelings and perspectives with regard to their children are important issues that both parents and children need to consider. The app includes the storybook, We’re Amazing, 1,2,3! There are also videos included on the app such as Benny’s Story and The “Amazing” Song which help explain Autism in a way that young children can understand. Additionally, there are articles about siblings and tips on being a friend to a child with Autism. There is also a provider guide about creating Autism Friendly Events which can helpful to many adults planning specific events either at the home, in the community or at a school.
Tips for Parents: Read the information first and then choose a video or two to share with your children. Read the storybook with your child and encourage questions! These videos and a storybook should be shared multiple times because with repeated readings we can see many benefits. To learn about the benefits of repeated readings, click here.
Are you an educator for young children? Share these videos and digital storybooks with your class and start educating our children at a young age. Check out these wonderful resources on Sesame Street’s website here. Are you interested in finding more children’s books about Autism? Click here for some suggestions. Another children’s book titled Temple Did it and I Can Too! written by Temple Grandin is also an excellent resource to teach children about Autism.
To download this app, click here.