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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pablo is a show about a character who's on the autism spectrum and the creative ways he copes with the challenges that new situations pose for him. The series uses a mix of live-action and animated sequences to differentiate between Pablo's real-life experiences and those that take place in a world of his imagination, where his animal friends help him process his complex emotions and find the courage to face the unknown. Featuring a core cast of actors with autism and using real-life experiences of kids and adults on the autism spectrum as its inspiration, this series is an excellent tool for helping kids on the spectrum identify their own emotions. It also offers a unique glimpse into the effects of autism for viewers without firsthand experience.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
In PABLO, a young boy with autism uses his creativity to invent a world where he can better process the complex emotions he feels in various social situations. Each episode opens with five-year-old Pablo (William Burns and Oliver Burns, voiced by Jake Williamson) facing a new and potentially frightening event, such as a friend's birthday party or a haircut. As he draws with his magic crayons, he's transported to a magical world where his animal friends -- Wren (voiced by Sumita Majumdar), Tang (Michael White), Mouse (Rachael Dickson), Noasaurus (Tony Finnegan), Llama (Rosie King), and Draff (Scott Mulligan) -- help him understand what he's feeling and gain the confidence he needs to face the unknown.
Is it any good?
The only disappointment concerning this thoughtful series is how long it took for someone to create it. It's an illustrative journey into some of the challenges of autism, gently presented in Pablo's animated friends. Each one exhibits a characteristic often associated with the autism spectrum, including excitability, sensitivity to sound, aversion to change, detail orientation, and repetition. When Pablo brings his concern to his friends in Art World, their respective reactions reflect the myriad of emotions he contends with, and they help him make sense of what he's feeling so he can step out into the world.
Pablo takes great care to remain authentic in the spirit of this unique series, casting actors and actresses who are on the autism spectrum and using real-life experiences of children and adults with autism to create each episode. Every detail is carefully crafted and full of purpose, and the end result is a series that's engaging and educational, and an ambassador of awareness for differences.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Pablo's emotional coping process. How does he respond to new situations? Does he show fear? Anger? Sadness? How does his process differ from yours?
Kids: Can you relate to one or more of Pablo's animal friends' personalities especially well? What are your most dominant positive characteristics? How do Pablo and his friends show perseverance and communication skills?
Kids: How do you like to express yourself? Do you draw? Sing? Use your imagination to pretend to be someone else? How does this kind of creativity help you learn about yourself?
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