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PBS Kids ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” debuts new character with autism

Just in time for National Autism Awareness Month.

Max, who has autism will be the new character on the PBS Kids program, Max is Teacher Harriet’s autistic nephew.

Earlier this week, viewers got to meet Max.

This show potentially has the ability to teach kids to be more compassionate and loving when it comes to accepting and being open-minded about different learning styles and disabilities.

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is a very popular show for kids and it’s a great to hear that this character has been added to the show. The program is a sweet and positive show for all kids to enjoy.

The show cast Israel Thomas-Bruce, who was diagnosed with autism when he was 4, as Max. Israel is He said the experience gave him “an extra boost of confidence,” according to a news release.

One in 5 people lives with disability in the U.S., the release said. And the lack of representation is less that 1% in children’s television, means that millions of children are able to see themselves in media today.

Respect Ability Act states “when representation exits, almost all representation of autism on screens is of white males.” “By making Max’s character Black, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is ensuring that a population, which is often overlooked, is represented.

The Team worked with several consultants at University of Missouri’s that included Dr. Wes Dotson whose previous research showed that autistic children could learn from watching episodes of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and applying lessons to their own lives.

Including autistic individuals as consultants and in the writer’s room is vitally important to ensuring authentic representation, the release said.

Sister of Max Amira will also be in a few episodes as well.

For more information click here.