The Ruscil family – Tracey Ruscil, is a mother of three young children, two of whom are twins. Her twin sons, AJ and Garrett aged 4 are featured in a Sesame Street film “What my family wants you to know about autism,” with their sister, Angelina, 6.
The initiative by Sesame Workshop aims to raise the issues surrounding autism as well as promoting acceptance. In the film, the children are seen playing with the loveable character, Grover.
In the film we learn that Garrett was non verbal until a year ago but that working with a speech and language therapist together with using an IPad helped to literally transform his life.
Matt Silverman in a Mashable article about the family writes that Tracey tells:
“You would think because they’re identical twins that their autism would be the same, but they’re very different,”
She describes AJ as outgoing and playful while Garrett who is pre verbal, he uses his IPad to spell out words and to communicate his needs.
“Garrett can count to 100 and read at a first-grade level, but he doesn’t wave hi,”
During the film, big sister Angelina tells Grover about how wel her brothers are doing i school thanks to a speech and language teacher and their Ipad.
You can watch Angelina, AJ and Garrett having fun with Grover below.
“See Amazing in All Children” is a joint initiative between Autism Speaks and Sesame Street. The Autism Speaks website states:
‘The “See Amazing in All Children” initiative will aim to increase understanding, reduce stigma, and demonstrate the commonalities that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) share with all children. The Workshop will also develop tools and resources for families of children with ASD to help them reduce the stress of everyday routines, such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, trying a new food, or playing with other children.’