Skip to main content

TV Shows and Movies That Address Disability and Difference

Want to teach kids about empathy without preaching? Add these gems to your watch list

Tina Cha

Published on: February 10, 2021

TV Shows and Movies That Address Disability and Difference

Julia from Sesame Street. Photo from PBS.

TV programs for preschoolers

Sesame Street

In 2017 Sesame Street introduced kids to Julia, a four-year-old girl with autism, and broke new ground in welcoming her to the neighborhood. Julia is a shy, talented artist, who sometimes misses social cues. Elmo and Abby catch on quickly that “she does things a little differently, in a ‘Julia’ sort of way.” Most recently, Sesame Street introduced Julia’s family and even created a few clips to help families with autism explain the importance of face masks.

Find the series on HBO, PBS and YouTube. Recommended for ages 2 and older.

Goldie & Bear

Goldie and Bear, of Goldilocks and the Three Bears fame, have made up and become the best of friends. The series centers around meeting other characters from fairy tales and nursery rhymes and learning valuable lessons along the way. Goldie’s mother, Marian, moves around in a tricked-out wheelchair (think Inspector Gadget). She has a successful business that takes her to other enchanted forests.

The series ended in 2019 but more than 40 episodes are available on Disney+. Recommended for ages 4 and older.

Share this resource with your friends!