Archived | Autism Speaks: New Teletubbies Grandparents Guide to Feature Autism Awareness Information | Circa March 2007 #NotAnAutisticAlly

As part of their on-going commitment to Autism Speaks, Ragdoll, Inc., creators of the Teletubbies, will include a full page dedicated to autism awareness in the new Together Time with Teletubbies: A Guide for Grandparents. Grandparents, who play an integral role in the development of young children, can learn about autism as they learn about the Teletubbies.

The guide encourages and educates grandparents on how best to interact with their grandchildren while they are watching the Teletubbies.

100,000 copies of the guide will be distributed nationally in English and Spanish through PBS stations for use at workshops and local events.

The inclusion of Autism Speaks, its mission, and the signs of autism, will help raise awareness among grandparents, and point grandparents to for more information.

View Together Time with Teletubbies: A Guide for Grandparents

View Together

Viewing Teletubbies together can be a wonderful opportunity for you to share the joy of the first discovery through your grandchild’s eyes.

Teletubbies is crafted with the knowledge that little children watch television in a radically different way than older children. Teletubbies seamlessly integrates cognitive concepts like shapes, colors, opposites, spatial awareness (e.g. near/far, next to, etc).

A celebration of [lay and imagination, the Teletubbies segments are designed as age-appropriate games for toddlers, presenting real people and fantasy adventures – just like a child encounters real people and stuffed animals.

To understand how it’s done, look for these design elements:

Pauses leave time for prediction and participation. For example not the tim between hearing a familiar sound and the appearance of the character associated with that sound. The pauses leave time for young viewers to say the answer before it’s given on screen, allowing a child to stay one step ahead of the Teletubbies and giving them a sense of accomplishment.

Repetition provides opportunity for mastery. Young children love to experiment, testing their experiences by doing things again and again.

Multiple stages of language are included in every episode, from normal adult speech to preschoolers describing their world to the Teletubbies play-language. Teletubbies emulate the stage of emerging speech that we hear a baby’s first attempts at forming a word, while children in the video segments provide a model for the next step and the adult voice encourages the kind of repetition of words that helps vocabulary development.

Humor, especially he kind of silly sounds and gentle slapstick appropriate for toddlers, makes learning fun and serves as a way to demonstrate understanding. Children who laugh when something is out of place know the way things are supposed to be. Otherwise they wouldn’t get the joke.

Short films about real children give young viewers a chance to explore parts of the world beyond their own homes and families. And children love watching other children.

Learn Together

Viewing Teletubbies is not a silent activity. When you watch with your grandchild and help them interact with the program, their is amplified and their bonds with you are strengthened.

Join the conversation. Talk about what you are both seeing and encourage comments. When the Teletubbies say “hello”, wave and say “hello.” When the Voice Trumpet asks a question, repeat it and invite your grandchild to answer. Ask your grandchild, “What do you see?”

Point and name

Help your grandchild to learn the names of the things they see on screen (e.g. “look, Po has a scooter! A scooter.” Invite your grandchild to repeat the word. )


Which Teletubbies will pop up last or who will try on the hat next? Correct predictions indicate knowledge. For example, when a child knows which Teletubbies comes next because the Teletubbies are popping up in size order, it means the child is seeing size relationships and patterns. When three Teletubbies have appeared and children know which one will pop up next, they understand that there are four in a full set of Teletubbies and they know which one is missing. For grownups, this seems simple, but for toddlers, recognizing sets, size, sequence, and patterns are important cognitive concepts.

Role Play

Make a game of imitating the things that the Teletubbies or the children int he video segment did.

Make connections

Wherever possible make connections between the program and your grandchild’s own experiences both during the show and other times of the day. For instance point out if their pajamas are the same color as Dipsy (green), or if you are doing some of the things that the children in the program’s video segment did, or if you are cleaning up a spill like the Noo-no.

Celebrate discoveries and accomplishments with a BIG HUG.

That hug provides comfort that helps ease the disappointment of transitions (the game is over and I don’t want it to be …. Big Hug!), or celebrates a new discovery (look, I found what I was looking for … Big Hug!)

(NOTE: Interjecting here … ugh Big Hug! *cringe* This might be a horrible experience for your grandchild so please don’t assume they want to be hugged. Body autonomy is very important to learn and respect for all children.- Eve)


Tinky Winky (Costumed person wearing a purple Teletubbies suit)

Noo-nooo (a blue vacuum toy character.)

Laa – Laa (Costumed person wearing a yellow Teletubbies suit)

Po (Costume person wearing a red Teletubbies suit.)

Dipsy (Costumed person wearing a green Teletubbies suit.)

Voice Trumpet (I have no idea how to explain this one).

Play Together

Bumping tummies, giggling, falling down and joining in the games are all an essential part of the fun of Teletubbies. you and your grandchild can play along.


To grown-ups, prediction is a thinking skill, but to young children, it is a game. So ask your grandchild what they think is going to happen next.


Many episodes include the Teletubbies doing a dance. Getting up and moving with them helps children build muscles, coordination and balance. Plus, it’s fun!

Follow the Voice Trumpet’s lead

For young children, following instructions can be like playing follow-the-leader. So, for example, if the voice coming from the Voice Trumpet says “Going up,” raise your hands up above your head and if it says “Going down,” put them down.

Treasure Hunt

Find something in your home that you saw in the program. Is there a ball like Laa-laa. Something purple like Tinky-Winky?

Make up a story about the Teletubbies

Where did they go when the program ended? What might they do tomorrow? What will they see next on their video screen?

Dance Together

Make up your own Teletubbies dance

Cut out the squares on this page. Let your grandchild pick one. Do the movement together. Then pick another card. Do the movement on the first square. Follow that by the movement on the second the square and so on.

By the time you have done 3 – 5 squares, you have constructed a Teletubbies dance that a toddler can remember.

To help with spatial concepts and vocabulary development, name each step as you go. (E.g. forward/backward, up/down, etc) Don’t worry if your grandchild doesn’t do each move exactly right or if they need you to hold their hands to help them balance. The idea is to have fun together. Just turn up the music and boogie!

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is a nonprofit organization, founded by Suzanne and Bob Wright, who are grandparents just like you. We are proud to partner with Teletubbies to help promote awareness about autism.

Watching Teletubbies with your grandchildren is one way you can stay connected with them, while also helping to promote healthy childhood development.

Unfortunately, not every child develops normally. One out of 150 children today is diagnosed with autism, a developmental disorder that can, often severely , a person’s ability to communicate and socially interact with others.

If you have young grandchildren who aren’t reaching appropiate developmental milestones, encourage their parents, or guardian, to consult with a pediatrician. Early intervention is critical.

Be aware of the early signs of autism:

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafer
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter.
  • No babbling by 12 months.
  • No Barack-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months.
  • Failure to respond to name by 12 months.
  • No words by 16 months.
  • No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months.
  • Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age.
  • For more information, available resources and questions please visit www. Autism Speaks. Org

Still have questions about Teletubbies?

Here is your video guide to understanding Teletubbies: teachers/progphilo.html

Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Send emails to:

Ragdoll logo

PBS Kids logo

PBS Sprout! logo

Autism Speaks logo


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

Explore Autistic History

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