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

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Marzo 22, 2017

Julia, a Muppet with autism, is making her TV debut on the beloved children's show next month.

The woman behind the muppet, Stacey Gordon, traveled from Phoenix to NY to audition for the role, because she has a special connection to the character - she's raising a son with high-functioning autism. They'll grow up knowing that it's there and it won't worry them and they can treat everyone equally.

"Sesame Street" writer Christine Ferraro told CBS News 60 minutes: "The big discussion right at the start was: 'How do we do this?" At first, Big Bird is afraid that means Julia doesn't like him, but the other muppets quickly explain that, "she does things just a little differently".

"I thought that maybe she didn't like me", he said. Julia has been part of the online interactive Sesame Street family since past year, and her popularity among viewers prompted show creators to bring the character to television. Julia stims - she bounces when she should be playing tag and the other children wonder why. "I want to do my best to bring Julia to the world in the best light possible". She was so well-received producers chose to have her come and play where everything's A-OK and set about designing a new Muppet and will make her TV debut in the USA on 10 April.

Now, Julia will finally be joining the regular cast of Sesame Street, and her puppet was crafted with careful consideration. The new character is Julia, who has autism.

The Arc of Florida says "Sesame Street" has had a number of diverse characters in its history, but this is the first time it's introduced one on the autism spectrum.

Julia will be joining Sesame Street in April. "Man, I really wish that kids in my son's class had grown up with a Sesame Street that had modeling [of] the behavior of inclusion of characters with autism".

Could Julia help children understand autism?

In Michigan, Allen says the numbers are hard to translate but, about one in 68 people are affected by autism.

Rachel Rosner, the director of education and support services at Rochester-based Autism Up, said introducing a character with autism is a huge step forward for the show - and for raising awareness.

"That is one of my favorite things about "Sesame Street" is that they're so inclusive of showing kids of all shapes, sizes, types, everything", Lindsay Dorff, a Green Bay mom, said. Some autism parents feel a great pressure to stop their child's stimming because they feel it alienates them from their peers.

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