Meet Julia, a New 'Sesame Street' Muppet with Autism

Posted March 21, 2017

"It's tricky, because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism", said [show writer] Ferraro.

Check out our guide to Autism here.

In the first clip embedded below, Big Bird isn't sure what to make of Julia when he first meets her, seeing as she doesn't seem to acknowledge him and his greeting.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Big Bird is anxious that Julia doesn't like him at first.

In her first episode on Sesame Street Julia ignores Big Bird when she is first introduced to him.

According to Vulture, Elmo and Abby will introduce Julia to Big Bird. And in many ways, Julia is just like all the other little Muppets.

Julia's puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, also happens to be the mother of an autistic son. "How do we talk about autism?'" Sesame Street writer Christine Ferraro told the CBS News show 60 Minutes.

Julia will make her "Sesame Street" debut sometime in April, which is National Autism Awareness Month.

"We chose [traits] we thought would be most helpful and most typical", Sesame Street's executive vice president of global impact and philanthropy, Sherrie Westin, said in an interview with the LA Times past year.

"Julia is an awesome little character", said Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice preside of Sesame Workshop, according to APTN. Gordon explained, "As the parent of a child with autism, I wished that it had come out years before, when my own child was at the Sesame Street age". "I knew nothing about autism, and it seemed that those around me - even the professionals - didn't know much either". In addition, when the group plays a game of tag, Julia responds by flapping her arms. "I would like her to be just Julia". "There's so many people that have given her what she is. They would have known that he plays in a different way and that that's OK".

In the story, Julia will also get overexcited while playing and react by jumping up and down. "'We're so lucky Julia's on our team because she's really good at identifying shapes!' So really finding the positives and working on the strengths of all children with autism", said Melanie Carfolo, with the Rich Center for Autism.