Beaches Resorts is continuing to address the needs of children with autism ahead of Autism Awareness Week from March 26 by providing staff with intensive training to cater to the needs of all children.

Sesame Street’s first autistic character, Julia, was added last autumn to the collection of walkaround characters at Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos.

An average of 200 children a month take part in the meet and greet activity with Julia and painting activity, across all three Beaches Resorts in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica, according to data collected since the start of the year.

The Amazing Art with Julia sessions teach children how to express themselves through art.

In this activity, children are greeted by Julia, a four-year-old character who has autism, who highlights how people can express themselves through art.

Using a range of materials, children have the opportunity to explore, experiment and create in this open-ended art activity.

Julia’s debut continues Beaches Resorts’ partnership with Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, and expands the resort company’s exclusive Beaches Resorts Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street programme, now in its 13th year.

Staff underwent initial training with “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in all Children” resources. Complementing these efforts and continuing its commitment to create memorable experiences for all families,

Beaches Resorts has also partnered with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), created to meet the training needs of professionals who work with individuals with special needs and cognitive disorders.

Through the partnership each of the resorts’ kids camps and early childcare staff have earned the distinction of Certified Autism Centres, ensuring team members have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament and expertise to cater to all children.