Disney Junior’s Fancy Nancy will introduce a character on the Autism Spectrum on April 2nd in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day according to Deadline.

What’s Happening:

  • A new episode of Fancy Nancy titled “Nancy’s New Friend” will introduce a character named Sean who is on the Autism Spectrum.
  • The character was inspired by a video of 11-year-old George Yionoulis who made a video with his mother to help his classmates understand what the world is like for him.
  • The new character is voiced by George Yionoulis, the inspiration behind Sean in the series.
  • Non-profit organizations Autism Speaks and RespectABILITY where consulted by the creative team to ensure they were handling the subject appropriately.
  • “Nancy’s New Friend” premieres on Disney Junior on April 2nd, which is also World Autism Awareness Day.

What They’re Saying:

  • Lisa Goring, Autism Speaks: “Characters like Sean show that all children are incredible in their own ways and with the support of their community, each child can reach their full potential.”
  • Elaine Hall, RespectABILITY: “My hope is that this episode of ‘Nancy’s New Friend’ will help children and their parents understand autism as a different way of being, rather than as something weird, or wrong or to be afraid of.”
  • Krista Tucker, Fancy Nancy Head Writer/Co-Producer: “We hope this episode will help our viewers understand that there are sensitivities to be mindful of when engaging with someone who has autism. People with autism may act in ways we feel are different, and that’s okay—they’re just being who they are. In a world where so many children interact with kids who have autism, this kind of understanding creates compassion, tolerance and friendship. Most importantly, it creates a world that is kind and accepting of all of us.”

More Disney Junior News: