For everyone wanting to rave about how wonderful Sesame Street is for creating an autistic muppet… they haven’t. They created a cartoon character and a bunch of videos pushing a mostly negative agenda. Please read this write-up of the materials and why Sesame Street needs to start over with this initiative.
Sometime a little right isn’t enough, especially when overpowered by so much wrong.
An excerpt (one of many things wrong with the materials), which I feel is especially poignant:
“I’m going to say something I know is controversial, but parents’ complaints about how hard it is to raise an autistic child do NOT need to always be shown. They don’t need to be part of every conversation about being autistic. Parenting is hard sometimes, yes. But this narrative of suffering only strengthens the stigma that autistic people face in the world. It helps NO ONE. Not even the person complaining. And certainly not their child.
Can you imagine Sesame Street making videos of parents of typical children complaining about how difficult it is to raise their kids? Can you imagine Sesame Street doing this with parents of kids with other disabilities? Somehow it is unique to autism that the ‘parents’ lives are hard’ story must ALWAYS be included. It really does not have to be included. There is a time and place to talk about how hard parenting your autistic kids can be, and it’s the same place you talk about how hard parenting your typical kids can be, how hard your marriage can be, how hard your friendships can be – privately, with trusted friends and family.”