Children’s TV show Thomas & Friends is featuring the first autistic character created in partnership with autism writers and organizations.
Bruno the Brake Car’s new role will be voiced by nine-year-old autistic actor Elliott Garcia from Reading, whom the National Autism Society helped cast.
Bruno is a “fun, puny brake bike” who is detail oriented and enjoys schedules, processes and knows where all the routes lead in the area.
He rolls backwards at the bottom of the ship, which gives him a unique perspective on the world, as he helps the other engines by keeping the heavy cargo stable with powerful brakes. mine.
Car engines also use lanterns on the red exterior to announce his emotional state, move when he’s excited or cautious, and he can create ear protectors by breathing gas if he is sensitive to loud noises.
Garcia said: “When I got the role of Bruno, I imagined that it was a dream, but it was not! I feel really excited and happy.
“It’s great that they represent autistic characters because I watch the Thomas & Friends series and having an autistic character makes me feel so happy and excited.”
He added that he can relate to the character in a number of ways, explaining: “I relate to his ear protectors, because if there’s a really loud noise, I can’t deal.
“I can be quite nervous about everything, I have to come up with new strategies, just like Bruno.”
Characters and storylines were developed by Mattel Television in collaboration with U.S. autism organizations including Autism Advocacy Network (ASAN) and Easterseals Southern California, as well as autism writers and spokespersons. autism.
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Autism is a developmental disability that affects the way people communicate and interact with the world, as described by the National Autism Society.
Tom Purser, head of instruction, volunteering and campaigns at the National Autism Society, said: “It’s important that people see autistic characters on our screens because there are 160,000 children with autism. School-age children with autism in the UK and they want to see their stories told, but it is important for children without autism to gain insight and understanding of what can happen with autism.
“What Elliot brings to this role is his joy and enthusiasm, his autistic experiences and he just brought the character to life.”
He added: “This is a real moment for autism because the history of autistic children and their relationship with the Thomas & Friends brand is huge and I think to really recognize the importance of it. The importance of reflecting on neurodiversity and autism in the Thomas & Friends series is a great moment for Mattel, for the Thomas & Friends brand, and for people with autism. “
Christopher Keenan, senior vice president and executive global content development and production at Mattel, added: “Bruno’s introduction organically appeals to a global audience.
“A lot of care and thought went into developing his character, and we can’t wait for audiences to meet and love Bruno as much as we do.”
Bruno will appear in future episodes of Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go! on Channel 5’s Milkshake from September 21 at 7am.
The character’s intro will also appear in the show’s YouTube series, the music album, the Thomas & Friends Storytime podcast, and the upcoming long-running Mystery Of Lookout Mountain special.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/thomas-and-friends-to-introduce-first-autistic-character-bruno-the-brake-car-41967623.html Thomas & Friends introduces first autistic character Bruno the Brake Car