The Muppets are a group of puppet characters created by Jim Henson, many for the purpose of appearing on the children's television program Sesame Street.Henson's involvement in Sesame Street began when he and Joan Ganz Cooney, one of the creators of the show, met in the summer of 1968, at one of the show's five three-day curriculum planning seminars in Boston. Dreamworks Animation’s children series “Spirit Riding Free: Riding Academy,” recently cast wheelchair actress Cassidy Huff to voice the role of Eleanor, a world-class equestrian rider who uses a wheelchair. Carol Greenwald, executive producer for the series, says the show received so many messages from kids that it was a no-brainer to go further. When it comes to animation the rules are limitless — and that extends to creating a landscape populated with disability. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. In 1988 “Sesame Street” would introduce Katie, a Muppet character who uses a wheelchair, but it wasn’t until 1994 that an actual child using a wheelchair would become a … Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. When Ben Lehmann, executive producer for “Sesame Street,” first arrived on the series, he took note of the large wooden platforms everyone was using. I talked in the first part of this series about watching “The Wild Thornberries” as a kid and seeing the character of Bethany, who used a wheelchair. Ironically, Tinkler never had the opportunity to meet Callahan, who died in 2010, nor did he know the artist was actually in a wheelchair. Since that time the loveable characters have appeared on their own TV show, feature films, … He also co-wrote the lyrics to "Count Me In" with his mother. Looking at the “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children” website made a difference for parents, whether or not they were personally affected by the developmental disability, according to findings published late last month in the journal Autism. Julia’s introduction on “Sesame Street” has been met with applause and interest. Emily Kingsley, Jason’s mom and a writer for the show, used her experiences with her son to push for more inclusion as an activist for kids with disabilities. Many assumed Reeve’s wheelchair would be too scary for children. “[Someone might say] ‘Yeah, I know, but it’s just a couple of lines.’ But this is a couple of lines that would mean a lot to somebody who could play this,” he said. And, Linda Bove, who is deaf, appeared on the show from 1971 to 2003. “And it’s really about who makes our community.” Disabled characters would show up here and there on other children’s shows, like Jeff Erlanger’s memorable turn on a 1981 episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” but Bove was the first to become a permanent resident next to Big Bird and company and she’d spark more appearances by other disabled characters and real-life people, including the late Christopher Reeve. Beggar (uses a crutch), The Muppet Christmas Carol. You will be redirected back to your article in, Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox. “The Street is grounded in reality,” Truglio said. The probability of a young child having some sort of relationship with someone who is on the autism spectrum is pretty high. Interviews with leading film and TV creators about their process and craft. I can name currentcharacters on one hand: Sesame Street, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, introduced a muppet with autism, Julia, just two years ago. Most importantly, he was the leading character of the entire series. Netflix's Animated Shorts Provide a Poetic Gateway for Hard Conversations, 'Soul': How Pixar Designed a Tactile New York and an Ethereal Great Before for Its First Black-Led Feature, The Best Slasher Movies Ever Made, From 'Candyman' to 'Psycho', Sundance 2021 Deals: The Complete List of Festival Purchases So Far. Julia (Autism), Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children. He made his first appearance in 1975,1 and according to the book Street Gang, Kingsley appeared in over 50 episodes of Sesame Street. She serves to help children be more accepting of people with autism and promote disability awareness in children. Is an encouraging step that will make children or adults with autism leading character of the to... 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