Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Meet 'Sesame Street's' First Muppet With Autism Named Julia

Meet 'Sesame Street's' First Muppet With Autism Named Julia

Julia first featured on the Sesame Street website as a character in an online storybook, now she has appeared on the show's Twitter page. "Basically, in terms of vulnerable families, we're looking at families who may have particular stressors in their lives that are impacting their young children", Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president for USA social impact at parent company Sesame Workshop, explained.

Could Julia help children understand autism? "Just as we look at all children as being unique, we should do the same thing when we're looking at children with autism".

Julia will be first seen on Sesame Street on an episode to be aired in the USA on April 10.

A new Muppet will soon join the people in Sesame Street's neighborhood.

Stacy Gordon, who plays Julia on screen, has been thinking of one such child in particular, her son, who is on the autism spectrum.

But it is later explained to them that "she just does things a little differently - in a Julia sort of way".

"One of my favorite stories is a mother who said that she used the book to explain to her child that she had autism like Julia", Westin said, shaking her head slightly as she teared up.

When Julia is introduced on the show in April, she will meet Big Bird and ignore him.

Now they're getting a new friend: Julia.

One in 68 American children is now diagnosed with autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an increase of some 119 percent since 2000.

In her debut episode, Julia is expected to demonstrate some common characteristics of autism.

Asked later if she'd like Julia to become a major character in the show, Ferraro replied: "I would, I would love her to be. They would have known that he plays in a different way and that that's OK", she told CBS News show 60 minutes.

The show's newest cast member, a Muppet named Julia, is addressing a kind of growing-up experience that will be familiar to at least 1 in 68 US children, and many more siblings, parents, friends, and teachers: growing up with autism.

Betancourt, in a press release, said families affected by autism have appealed to "Sesame Street" for years to address the condition.

Lever called it a "significant step" in improving public understanding of autism, and making people on the autism spectrum feel more accepted.

"I remember him having meltdowns and his classmates not understanding how to react", she said, according to A.P. Like many PBS shows, it's a crucial way to bridge learning gaps for children.

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