Sesame Street to introduce Julia, a muppet with autism

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01 April, 2017

- Classic children's TV show Sesame Street is raising awareness for Autism, as it introduces a new character named Julia. This time, the children's show will be including Julia, a Muppet with autism, in its cast starting April.

The show's creators have a goal to help children better understand playmates who have autism, which affects millions of American children.

United States 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl spoke to Big Bird and Elmo about helping adjust to how Julia reacts to situations.

Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop's senior vice president of USA social impact, said: "In the U.S., one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder". They say every child with autism is different, and Julia is just one illustration.

While the first episode where she will appear will focus on Julia and her condition, "Sesame Street" writer Christine Ferraro said on "60 Minutes" that she hopes the muppet will be accepted as part of the show's community.

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This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

"Sesame Street" has introduced its first new Muppet in 10 years.

Confused, Big Bird thinks "that maybe she didn't like me". She also has autism.

Julia's puppeteer, Stacy Gordon, has a son with autism.

"Had my son's friends been exposed to his behaviours through something that they had seen on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened", she told 60 Minutes. "There's a saying that if you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism". "They might not have been anxious when he cried". Puppet designer Rollie Krewson told Stahl about the various details that went into creating the look of Julia, including a set of arms that can flap uncontrollably when Julia's overwhelmed. "They would have known that he plays in a different way and that that's OK". The other characters will then explain the situation to him, telling him that "She does things just a little differently".


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