Local Organization Applauds Sesame Street for New Character with Autism

Posted March 21, 2017

Julia was first introduced in 2015, playing alongside Elmo and Abby Cadabby, as part of an online-only Digital Storybook story called "Sesame Street and Autism: See the unbelievable in All Children". The character was introduced in 2015 in an online-only digital storybook, and she continues with the show's social-impact program, Sesame Street and Autism.

Rosemarie Truglio, Senior Vice President for Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop, said she wanted Julia's character to be as true to reality as possible, while making the concept of autism not-so-taboo. "We're modelling the way both children and adults can look at autism from a strength-based perspective: finding things that all children share". It was part of the campaign "See Amazing in all Children" created to give kids with autism and their families someone to identify with.

Sesame Street's home is now HBO, but it still airs on PBS as well.

And instead of trying to make Julia conform to the other three, Abby Cadabby, Elmo and Big Bird join in on the fun Julia's having. "How do we talk about autism?'" veteran 25-year "Sesame Street" writer Christine Ferraro told CBS's "60 Minutes" host Lesley Stahl. She said the creation of Julia is: "huge". Now the fully realized Muppet version of Julia will feature on the long-running children's show. Julia is a 4-year-old redhead who loves to paint and sometimes repeats what her friends say.

"I think it's going to be able to introduce a whole new generation to autism. They would have known that he plays in a different way and that's OK".

The beloved children's show Sesame Street hopes the inclusion of an ASD character will raise awareness of the condition in viewers from an early age.

Julia's addition to the show has been meet with mostly positive results, with fans taking to Sesame Street's YouTube channel to give the show the thumbs up.

"She needs to take a break", Big Bird's human friend Alan calmly explains.

"As a girl who is on the autism spectrum herself and a long time Sesame Street and Muppet fan for so long I'm so happy they added an autistic character". The show runners noted that Julia will meet Big Bird and be hesitant to shake the character's hand.

Julia's puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, has an autistic son, and explained how important it is for kids with the disorder to see themselves reflected in popular culture-and for their peers to see it.