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Sesame Street has a way of making everyone feel accepted

Sesame Street

Sesame Street has a way of making everyone feel accepted

Many of us know (and love) Muppet characters. Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog stole our hearts many years ago. The Muppets have become a world-wide phenomenon since their launch, outgrowing Sesame Street. They are now featured in movies, in adverts in the cinema, in songs and cuddly toys. Some of us might even own a ragged Muppet somewhere in our attic. Their creators aren’t shy when it comes to outgrowing their ‘limits’, either.

The stories are originally for kids, but they have a broader meaning than that. We could witness the cute Muppets transform over the years. Everyone is welcome on Sesame street, regardless of ethnicity, gender or profession. How else could a frog and a pig live under the same roof? Okay, so they talk, but so do most Disney characters, from lions to mermaids. If it isn’t real, it doesn’t mean that it can’t send a powerful message.

This time, The Muppets have something extraordinary in store for us. They encourage us to ‘Meet Julia’, one of the new ‘family’ members. Julia is everything the other Muppets are. She is young, cute, has red hair and green eyes. She has one special addition, she is autistic.

“You’re lucky,” says Abby to Grover. “You have Julia on your team and she is really good at finding shapes!” and off they go, involving Julia in their regular activities. It sends a powerful message in today’s society, one that speaks volumes about integration. Autism is still considered to be a ‘stigma’ and those who suffer from the illness, often suffer from exclusion, too.

Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president said: “In the U.S., one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We wanted to promote a better understanding and reduce the stigma often found around these children. We’re modelling the way both children and adults can look at autism from a strength-based perspective: finding things that all children share.”

Autistic kids often have creative tendencies and we can’t wait to see what tricks Julia has up her sleeves. In the meantime, let’s consult the cards to see what social impact the new character will have. Will the world follow the Sesame Street example?

Psychic Timea’s Verdict:

Ten of Swords:
The topic of autism is painful, but one that needs to be addressed. This card represents a new level of awareness and understanding. It is a transition that might be difficult at first, but it is necessary.

Five of Cups:
The situation is sad, but the introduction of the new Muppet shifts focus. Pity will soon be exchanged with acceptance. Remember, we need to find the positive side of every situation.

Six of Pentacles:
Sharing your time and resources with autistic people comes to fruition. The new level of awareness will bring with it a sense of generosity. A generous attitude might be all we need.


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