In case you forgot that Sesame Street is in the business of teaching all of us — not just kids — how to be better people, the brand is reminding us this month about all the ways we can appropriately connect with children with autism.
In a recent video, Julia — a 4-year-old with autism — and her older brother Samuel teach their friends how to "hug" someone with autism who might be sensitive to touch and dislike big, traditional embraces.
The first option is a "starfish hug," in which you spread out your hand, much like a starfish, and touch fingertips. The short clip shows characters coming up with other supercute, easy-to-learn alternatives to typical hugs, like "fairy hugs" and "butterfly hugs."
Sesame Street has recently been sharing plenty of other related resources, timed with Autism Awareness Month, that includes introducing Julia's entire family, which includes her companion dog, Rose, and online-exclusive videos featuring Julia getting her first haircut and teaching kids about the different ways you can say hello.
"We hope to show the challenges — but also all the similarities — that a family like Julia's faces in everyday life," said Dr. Jeannette Betancourt, the vice president of social impact for the Sesame Workshop.
Now that's a goal that definitely deserves a starfish hug.