August 18, 2017
Thomas & Friends
Thomas & Friends is set to introduce a new line of "experimental engines," including Theo, who is described as genuinely kind and caring, but with an awkward habit of blunt speaking. He also has a geared drive system that often does not run smoothly, making sudden jolts when his cogs jam. Each characteristic is a subtle reference to traits on the autism spectrum.
Theo makes his debut in a new film titled "Journey Beyond Sodor," scheduled to be released in the United States on DVD on Tuesday (August 22).
Wesley Dotson, assistant professor of educational psychology and co-director of the Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research, Texas Tech University College of Education, firstname.lastname@example.org or (806) 834-0783
The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research is part of the College of Education and is the premier center in Lubbock for research, education and assistance for families affected by autism.
Research at the center covers three major aspects: developing strategies for the preparation of teachers to meet the needs of students, examining ways to develop parent support networks and preparing individuals with autism as they transition from school to adult services.
The Transition Academy, the center’s flagship program, is home to about 15 teenagers and young adults who have an autism spectrum disorder. They come to campus Monday through Friday to learn job and life skills, including how to live independently, and many have jobs through partnerships with campus and community organization.
The Burkhart Center is named for Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart in honor of their grandson Collin.