PBS Kids celebrates Autism Awareness Month with new friends

This image released by PBS Kids shows an animated Temple Grandin, foreground, as other characters Yadina, from background left, Xavier and Brad fly kites in a scene from “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum."

NEW YORK (AP) — A new child is introduced this month on the animated TV show “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” who is a little different. He’s sensitive to loud noises and he likes doing things his way, in his time.

Ben is autistic and he helps teach the show’s regular cast about acceptance. “People think and do things differently. And that’s OK,” says star Yadina after learning about Ben’s specialness.

The 11-minute episode has the blessing of no less than Temple Grandin, the professor at Colorado State University and trailblazing spokesperson for people with autism.

The episode — premiering Monday — is one of several ways PBS Kids is celebrating Autism Awareness Month. The Emmy-winning “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and new superhero series “Hero Elementary” also shine spotlights on characters with autism.

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