Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Sesame Street introduces autistic character

Sesame Street introduces autistic character

Julia joins Elmo and the gang as part of the show's "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children" campaign.

In the 60 Minutes segment Julia's puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, spoke about the meaningful addition to the series.

In her first episode, Julia is introduced to the large, inquisitive wild fowl Big Bird. Now the fully realized Muppet version of Julia will feature on the long-running children's show.

Host Lesley Stahl met Julia and spoke to Elmo and Big Bird about their new friend. They would have known that he plays in a different way and that's okay. This year, the showis introducing yet another new character: when is Julia's premiere on Sesame Street?

For Stacy Gordon, playing this character means a lot. He also has a verbal tic, and can not stand being seperated from his hat for no reason in particular.

The team worked with autism organisations in the development of Julia.

Julia was previously included in Sesame's books and digital offerings, and her character has been in development for about three years.

As Christine Ferraro, writer for Sesame Street for 25 years, told CBS News" 60 Minutes, "It's tricky because autism is not one thing ... it is different for every single person who has autism.

Ferraro added "I would love her to be not Julia, the kid on "Sesame Street" who has autism".

Sesame Street writers have made a decision to have the other characters immediately include Julia into their "gang", rather than leave her out as sadly some autistic children are. Sesame Street, which has been on air since 1969, has introduced a new Muppet with autism that will help children learn about acceptance. But Sherrie Westin, an executive vice president at Sesame Workshop who oversaw the initiative, said she saw that Julia resonated with audiences. If even one doctor watches Julia and rethinks how they screen for autism, the show will have been a success. "We all have our little quirks that make us who we are". She didn't see herself reflected in them or in the other kids in her class - she didn't see herself anywhere at all.

"They were singing beer commercials, children were".

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