Volunteers Needed to Evaluate Sesame Street’s Autism Initiative

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WASHINGTON (Nov. 15, 2016) – Parents of children with autism under the age of six are invited to participate in a new study designed to evaluate “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children.” The initiative, developed by Sesame Workshop, is designed to reduce stigma and build understanding about autism spectrum disorder.

Approximately 200 volunteers are need for the study being conducted by Georgetown University Medical Center and Children’s National Health System.

Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children” consists of on-line and print materials aimed at children ages two to five.

In 2015, Sesame Street debuted an autistic preschool digital Muppet, Julia, and produced a suite of resources that include an app, videos, storybooks, and daily routine cards as part of the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative. To evaluate its effectiveness, Sesame Workshop awarded a grant for real-world testing of the materials to Bruno Anthony, PhD, deputy director of the Georgetown Center for Child and Human Development in collaboration with his wife and research collaborator Laura Anthony, PhD, at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder at Children’s National.

Results from the evaluation study will provide insight into the usefulness of the materials for parents of children with autism.

Volunteers will be asked to fill out three on-line surveys within a month of enrolling. Questions address the participant’s child’s behaviors, services received, knowledge about autism, empowerment, engagement with community, and advocacy.

The first survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. After, volunteers will be asked to spend about 1.5 to 2 hours reviewing the online “See Amazing in All Children” materials over the next week. Two additional surveys are then completed over the next month online after viewing the materials — each taking about 25 minutes. The first 200 participants to complete all three surveys will receive a $25 gift card for their help. 

This study is being sponsored by Sesame Workshop.

Families interested in participating in the project can access the survey here (new window) or contact autism@childrensnational.org with any questions about the study. 

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. Connect with GUMC on Facebook (new window) (Facebook.com/GUMCUpdate), Twitter (new window) (@gumedcenter) and Instagram (new window) (@gumedcenter).