(ETX Daily Up) – On World Autism Awareness Day, TFOU will air a special episode of the animated series “Thomas and Friends” which will feature an autistic character for the first time. A way to educate children from an early age.
See you on April 2 on TFOU to discover the new episode “Thomas and his friends: The Mystery of the Mirador Mountain”. A special 60-minute episode to introduce Bruno, the first autistic character in the series for preschoolers on World Autism Awareness Day. “The introduction of Bruno emphasizes a population that is still too little represented in children’s programs and which deserves to be highlighted. Substantive work has been carried out and many experts have contributed to the development of this character. We can’t wait for viewers to meet Bruno and enjoy him as much as we do,” said Christopher Keenan, Senior Vice President & Executive Producer, Global Content Development and Production at Mattel, the company that produces the UK series.
The character of Bruno was imagined by screenwriters with autism such as Daniel Share-Strom and Aaron Likens, as well as the organizations ASAN (Autism Self Advocacy Network) and ESSC 3 (Easterseals Southern California). “Our commitment and contributions alongside Mattel have ensured that Bruno reflects what some children and their families around the world may experience or experience,” said Dr. Paula Pompa Craven, chief clinical officer at Easterseals Southern California. “Spectators will have the chance to discover Bruno’s daily life and will be able to learn and grow with him.”
Benevolent but suffering from intense anxiety in the face of change and social situations, Bruno’s character is also sensitive to noise and has difficulty “making eye contact, integrating certain information, following conversations…”. A non-exhaustive list of traits, specifies the press release.
“Introducing an autistic character to the ‘Thomas & Friends’ franchise is part of Mattel’s desire to represent diversity and educate all children from an early age. Toddlers begin to notice very early on the similarities and differences that surround them. This is why, as a toy leader, we have a role to play in providing them with a play universe that is more representative of the society in which they will grow up”, added Delphine Sochon, Marketing Director Mattel France.