There Is A New Muppet On The Sesame Street Block Named Julia And She Has Autism.
A new Muppet is about to join Elmo and the gang down on Sesame Street, and she’s here to teach children a lesson about acceptance.
Julia, an orange-haired girl with autism, was revealed in 2015 through Sesame Workshop’s Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative.
The purpose of Julia’s character will be to combat stigmas associated with the autism spectrum, as diagnoses have continually grown.
Christine Ferraro, a ‘Sesame Street’ writer for more than two decades told Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes that Julia is meant to expose the show’s young viewers to children with autistic traits.
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‘There is an expression that goes, “If you’ve met one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with Autism,”‘ Ferraro told Stahl.
Rather than being treated like an outsider, which too often is the plight of kids on the spectrum, Julia will be one of the gang.
And, as Ferraro explained, the purpose of her character is so that when children ‘encounter people with disabilities in their real life it’s familiar’.
In her first episode, Big Bird holds out his wing to shake hands with Julia, who is being introduced in the upcoming season.
When Big Bird makes the gesture, Julia does not respond, and it becomes a teaching moment for characters on the show.